Emily and Shashika
How He Asked
Shashika, my boyfriend of almost four years, told me he had a really important meeting at UBC. “This could be huge for my career,” he said, unable to contain his excitement. “It would mean the world to me if you could attend. The only thing is…the meeting’s over breakfast…”
That’s okay, I thought.
“…at 8 am on Thanksgiving Monday.”
Ahhh…maybe not so okay? My mind immediately started racing. We were committed to host a “Friendsgiving” on Monday night. Shashika assured me that we could do it all (he’s always been the even-keeled one) and I believed him.
Fast forward to 8am on Thanksgiving Monday. We were on our way to the meeting & Shashika’s nerves were really showing.
We drove up to the UBC Rose Garden parkade. “Okay, we have a few minutes to spare,” he said, breathing a sigh of relief. “Want to take a quick walk through the Rose Garden?”
The Rose Garden is my favourite spot on campus — it’s where Shashika and I first started hanging out back in the day as grad students. And it’s where we graduated together…on the same day, with our families meeting for the first time.
As we walked up the steps, we started reminiscing. In the centre of the garden, Shashika grabbed my hands. “What are you thankful for?” he asked with a smile.
I mumbled something along the lines of “You… my family…my friends…coffee…”
Shashika then started rhyming off his list of gratitude, starting with his cat and the Canucks. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a photographer pop out of one of the rose bushes. I scrunched my face in confusion and pointed. “Who’s that?”
“Oh… you know, probably a UBC photographer. They take photos here all the time!”
Shashika immediately shifted back to what he’s thankful for. I then noticed another photographer on the balcony above. And all the while, Shashika still hadn’t mentioned that he was thankful for me.
“Oh yeah,” he said, grinning. “I guess there’s one more thing I’m thankful for…”
That’s when things went from realistic to unrealistic. Until I realized that this was actually real life, despite my lack of caffeine.
He went down on one knee…and all I saw was the ring.