In the few months since their unexpected layover in Gander, Nick and Diane had kept in almost constant contact, their regular evening phone calls becoming a highlight of the day. Nick was becoming positively nocturnal staying up until midnight just to wait for Diane to be home in order to call her.
They had written each other letters (some of which were suitable to be shared, some of which were far too… private in nature) and often found themselves making note of little things that happened throughout their day that they couldn't wait to tell the other that evening.
When Nick called Diane to tell her he was once again travelling for work and would be in Dallas for a week from the following Wednesday, she immediately began planning things for them to do together.
While her initial thoughts were of art galleries, museums or the aquarium, her eyes had wandered as she turned each idea over, before her gaze fell on the picnic basket that had come home with her from Gander.
Smiling, she knew just where to take him.
The couple turned the corner at the end of Diane's street, momentarily disconnecting their hands so she could lift the latch on the small gate and lead Nick into the park now sprawling before them.
"Wow," Nick exclaimed, his eyes roving over the colourful flowerbeds and the small fountain in the centre of the lush green lawn.
"I know, it's like having my own Secret Garden at the end of the street!" she grinned at him before leading him over to a shady spot under a large oak. She spread out their woollen blanket and sat down, tucking her legs underneath her.
Nick smiled as he joined her.
"This is perfect," he said, the warmth of his smile extending to the crinkles at the side of his blue eyes.
Diane didn't think she'd ever get sick of that sight.
"It gets better," she said, pushing the picnic basket towards him. "Open it."
His curiosity piqued, Nick leaned forward and opened one flap of the hamper.
"Toutons!" he gasped excitedly, a boyish grin of delight spreading across his face as he eagerly extracted them from the basket before looking around for cutlery.
Diane smiled, laying out the rest of their food and pouring them each a small glass of champagne as she did so.
"You know, I thought about taking you to Dealey Plaza or the museum or one of those tourist hot spots, but then I thought that this might be better – not the kind of place you'd find in a guidebook."
He nodded, still half-engrossed in his beloved toutons.
"I mean, I don't know what your work schedule looks like while you're here, but if you've got some time to spare, I can always show you those as well," she went on.
"Oh no, no this is perfect," he replied with a smile. Nick hesitated before continuing slyly
"It's the kind of local insider knowledge I'm going to need in the near future."
Diane furrowed her brow, puzzled.
"What?" she asked.
Nick paused before putting down his plate of toutons and reaching out to take her hand.
"I've spoken to work time and time again about travelling less. After Gander I think they've finally listened to me and have approved me for a transfer to another position. The reason I've been in Dallas is to meet with my new employers."
Diane stared at him blank-faced. Surely he couldn't mean…
"Diane, I'm moving to Dallas. I start in my new role at the beginning of next month… is that… would that be alright?"
Diane was torn between kissing him and whacking him on the elbow. She rolled her eyes affectionately.
"Alright? Of course it's alright! Nick, this is fantastic!"
He smiled with relief.
"Good. Because if it wasn't, that would make this next part rather awkward," he said, reaching into his pocket before placing something small on the blanket in front of her.
Diane glanced down.
And then everything just sort of… stopped.
It was a small, dark box that was sitting on the rug with its lid open and nestled inside, glinting softly, was a ring.
She looked back up at Nick, mouth agape in wonder.
"Marry me?" he asked softly, his eyes searching hers and the gentle smile playing at the corners of his mouth belying his nerves.
Diane didn't think twice before launching herself at him, her arms thrown around his neck and, kissing him, she pulled him down to the ground.
Their glasses of champagne were knocked over in the process, spilling out onto the rug, but in between their kisses and Diane's repeated cries of "Yes! Yes, I will!" neither of them could quite find it within themselves to care.