I’ve never liked my birthday. I am one of the unfortunate people born on 1st January, who, if you’ve ever met someone born on the 1st of Jan, will tell you it’s not much fun. Everybody’s hungover and incredibly tired and the last thing they want to do is have Champagne, cake and buying more pressies. In fact, on my 13th birthday, I had a party and no one, apart from my best friend, turned up! It was snowing, so the excuses came in thick and fast, but it did nothing for my love of my birthday and the New year.I met Kenny on the 16 July, 1999. I was in a bar with a few friends and this guy came in. He was very tall and blond and incredibly handsome with the most amazing smile I’ve ever seen. Luckily, he was a friend of one of the people I was with, so we got chatting and ended up going out together a week later. We got on so well and had so much in common, that within three months things were getting serious and we were totally involved with one other. We went to Paris in December and it was the most romantic time of my life. He is so kind and generous and gentle (I didn’t believe that men could be like this!). We talked about our future and because we’d decided that he would move in with me in April, I knew that he would propose to me at some point the following year. I didn’t think any further than that.So New Year’s Eve 1999 came along. I had extra reason to moan because, not only was it my birthday, but it was my big 3-0!! I had my usual moan “I’m 30, how depressing, I hate my birthday…blah blah blah” and Kenny was being his usual laid-back comforting self. “Don’t worry, baby, you might be surprised,” he said.We went to my parents’ for a big New Year’s Eve party and we were having a wonderful time. The Champagne was flowing, Kenny kept saying how beautiful I was looking and I felt relaxed and totally in love. Midnight came and there was the usual “Happy New Year…..oh yes, and Happy 30th Birthday, Anna” and then we went outside to watch the fireworks. After the fireworks, you could see along the horizon various firework displays lighting the sky and it looked so beautiful and romantic. Kenny asked if I wanted to go and sit on a bench under a tree in my parents’ garden, a little away from the noise and the dancing. So, obviously wanting to be alone with him for a while and not even thinking about my birthday, we sat down and watched the bright flashing sky.”I know you didn’t want your presents until tomorrow…well, today,” he said, “but I’ve got something for you which I wanted to give you now”. In his hand, he had a largish box and, trembling, I unwrapped it. There was another box and I unwrapped it, looking at Kenny quizzically….and as I saw a little box, he took it from me and got on his knee, under this tree in my parents’ garden, the sky flashing and in the distance the faint sound of music, and said “I love you. I will love you forever. Will you marry me?” It was the most romantic moment of my life.After I recovered from the shock and said “yes”, and I’d told my parents, who were overjoyed. He said to me, “So were you surprised?” and you can imagine my reply!! It was the best birthday and New Year I’ve ever had. It makes up for all the previous disappointments and with Kenny, I know that they will all be good from now on. We are getting married on 2 September, 2000 and the reception is at my parents’ house, and we’re going to sit under our bench again under our tree. I can’t wait.
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