Julian was finally able to execute his plan after being delayed by the deaths of his uncles. The next week, after it seemed that the family was in better spirits, Julian decided it was time. He organized a family get together at a new lounge in Newcrest called Black Diamond.
When he felt the time was right, he gathered everyone on the patio.
“May I have everyone’s attention, please? Gather around. I want to say something. First of all, I just want to thank you all for coming out tonight. I know we suffered losses, and some may feel that the timing isn’t right to be out partying together…Anthony, my heart goes out to you and your family who are at home. I really appreciate you being here tonight. I could have waited until a more proper time, but I can’t wait any longer…”
“Life has a way of showing you things…especially when people die. You begin to examine yourself and your relationships. I haven’t always done what people thought I should do, but I’m grateful to be part of a wonderful family who allows us to be who we want to be and make our own decisions. I’m grateful for my parents who taught me many things about life, and my father who taught me about this great family and what it means to be an heir. I’m also grateful for my sisters and little brother whom I love. I’m the most grateful for this beautiful woman behind me…”
“She’s the reason we’re all here tonight. She is my best friend.” He paused and turned toward her. “Once upon a time, you walked out of my life–and rightfully so–and my life was in complete disarray. Things happened, and in the end, I found myself madly in love with you. I was a fool once, but not anymore.” Jeannette was touched and began to cry.
Julian continued, “I took you for granted. I toyed with your emotions. I even tried to fill that space in my heart that is perfectly molded for you with someone else. You were right…everyone was! We were meant to be together. As wonderful as you are, and as rotten as I’ve been, I can only think of one thing that could ever make up for all the plumhead things I did.” He got down on one knee and pulled out a ring from his pocket. “Would marrying me do the trick? I would like the opportunity to spend the rest of my life loving you. Please marry me!”
As much as Jeannette had prepared for this moment in her mind, rehearsing how she would reply, dreaming of how he would ask her and where, and what she would feel like, none of that prepared her for the overwhelming joy (and shock) she felt in that moment. She was speechless and surprised. Her eyes were wet and jaw dropped. She was like a beautiful statue standing there.
Julian continued, “I want you to be part of this family. Together, we can continue the legacy and make it even more epic! Please, be my wife, Jeannette.”
She calmed herself enough to accept his proposal, and everyone cheered and congratulated them.
Sasha got out her phone and sent a message to her friend Dexter.
Julian was beaming. Although he was halfway through his young adult years, he felt like he had just become a man, completing a rite of passage in some way. If it was possible for all previous heirs to be smiling and nodding approvingly, he felt like that was happening too.
He saw Brady standing quietly by smiling at him. “She said yes, dad!”
“I am very proud of you, son. Congrats! And, welcome to the family, Jeannette! I was always rooting for you,” Brady said.
“Thank you, Mr. Pruett.”
“Please call me Brady…or dad, but never Mr. Pruett.”
Allen made his way over to his sister and her husband-to-be.
“I am very happy for you, Jenn. You take good care of my sister, Julian.”
“I will. I already am.”
“Where’s mom,” Jeannette asked.
“She probably ran in the bathroom to go cry,” Allen said.
“Aww, ok. I’ll go find her. Excuse me, guys.”
When Jeannette stepped inside, Ciera was on her way back outside. Jeannette met her with a hug.
“Congratulations, Jenny! Finally! I am so happy for you,” Ciera said.
“Thank you, mommy!” Jeannette broke away from her mother’s arms and let out a loud, happy sigh of relief. “How is it that I’ve been dreaming about this for forever, but now that it’s happened, I still can’t believe it?”
“That’s how these things are, darling.” Ciera began to get emotional.
“Oh, don’t worry about me,” Ciera trying to shoo Jeannette away.
“After more than 30 years, I’ve been ok, you know? But…it’s times like these…when I feel so proud of you…” She trailed off as the tears began to roll down her cheeks. “It’s times like these that I start to miss him all over again!”
“If he was here, he would be extremely proud. And, he would love Julian!”
Jeannette smiled. “I know he would.”
Click here to read the rest of Sasha’s text conversation with Dexter.