"Hey, do you want to take a picture with me?" Kip asked as he held up his disposable camera.
He could have been asking if I'd marry him and I probably wouldn't have given a less enthusiastic answer.
"Sure!" I tried to hide my excitement, "Um, I mean, yeah, we could do that."
He looked around Fort Friendship, the theme area at camp where he had worked the first summer that we worked together and where I had worked (under him as the Program Director for Theme Areas) my second summer.
He pointed to the top level, "Why don't we go up there?"
"Yeah, that's cool!" We made our way up to the top of the stairs as Kip handed the camera to Katie, another staffer, to take our picture. I put my hands behind my back, ready to do the typical "We're not close enough friends to touch, but we still want a picture together" pose, when he reached out and put his arm around my waist. I just about died from lack of blood anywhere but my face.
"Ready?" Katie called, "One--two--three!" and snapped the shutter button.
"One more?" Kip asked, somehow managing to keep a straight face as he tickled my side. I wriggled like a two year old, partly from being extremely ticklish, and partly out of such amazing joy that he seemed to be flirting with me...me!
"Alright, one..." I took a breath, trying not to laugh during the picture,
"...two..." I focused on a spot somewhere behind Katie's head and all of a sudden became very aware of Kip's shoulder next to mine and his hand on my hip,
"...three..." I didn't even see Katie anymore, as my focused changed from the spot behind her head to a spot much further away, into the future even. Everyone was smiling, and girls in blue dresses holding bouquets dashed across a crowded hall as a camera bulb flashed in the next room.
The thought came to mind from nowhere, and completely without reason--this was, after all, only the second time we'd made any sort of physical contact, and it's not like we even kept in touch during the school year, or our weekends off from work even. Still, the thought was seared in my brain, showing unjustifiable relation to fact despite all circumstances pointing to the opposite:
I'm going to marry this man someday.
And today, five years later, I am.