Name Challenge/ Proposal

Essay by wongtekHigh School, 10th gradeA-, September 2009

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Matthew had been fidgeting all night, and I didn’t know what was wrong with him. I figured I should ask, but he was being so introverted and I didn’t want to pry, I shouldn’t pry. We were sitting cross-legged shaggy carpet of our two bedroom, one bath, third floor apartment, eating Chinese take-out while watching mindless sitcoms on TV, but really, neither of us were watching the actors. Matthew had adverted his attention to twiddling his thumbs with more conviction then I had ever seen and I had devoted all of my attention to watching him twiddle his thumbs. Then he stood up and moved to the couch, sitting in the exact same position but instead of twiddling his thumbs he was staring intently through them, and through the table, and the rug, and the floorboards, and through the core of the earth, into the depths of his own universe.

I had to ask, I was bubbling with curiosity, but I also had to give him space. I got up to get a glass of water. Indirection! Is that a word? I had to ask him indirectly. … How was your day? Or was that too broad, too out there? What are you thinking? No, too specific. More Singapore noodles?Before I could interject with my less than brilliant question he had broken his façade and turned to look me square in the face.

“Want some water, honey?” I asked, surprisingly nonchalant.

“Farrah. You know I love you, right?”I silently questioned his motives and sanity. Of course I knew this to be a fact of life. Birds fly, fish swim, I love my Matthew and he loves me. But his tone had left something to be desired, why question one of the truest statements in the world? I began to tread into his dangerous waters and would have answered his question but he hurriedly continued, as if reading off lines of a script and I had missed my cue.

“Because I do, I really do. But, do you know how much I love you?”I was quicker to answer this time, “More than the sun.”He smiled honestly and I could tell he’d abandoned script.

“More than a flower loves the sun. Farrah, you are the joie de vivre. From the first moment I met you I was captivated by your charm and your sense of humor. I stood dumbstruck; mesmerized by that childlike naivety, the spontaneity, and the optimism that brightens my every day. But you are so much more; it was your personality that kept me standing by your side. I’ve never been with anyone so conflicted! There you are, so carefree and yet incredibly thoughtful, naïve and yet intensely perceptive, seemingly simple and yet so complex. You are the joy in my life and I want you to be the joy in my life for the rest of my life. Farrah, will you marry me?”