Here is the story...
Last Wednesday, November 9, 2011 (11/9/11) was what I thought to be just an ordinary day. I had been at work all day. Derek had the day off as he'd just gotten off a 24 hour shift at work.
Our plan was simple. I was going to head over to Derek's apartment after work to make dinner then we were going to go work out together at the gym.
However, I got a text around 4 pm from Derek. "Hey Em! Josh and Noura want to take us out to dinner tonight. Can we go?"
I said, "Sure!" Suspecting nothing.
I headed over to Derek's apartment right after work. When I got to his place, I noticed he had just cut his hair. Sexy! But I didn't know why he got it cut?!? I had offered to do it a few days prior, but whatever.
I asked Derek what the plans were for the evening. He said, "We're going to meet Josh and Noura in Downtown at this restaurant called the Perch. Apparently Josh says it's a great place!"
It was about 6 pm as we headed out the door of his apartment. As we climbed into his big black truck, he had me map the directions to the Perch on his iPhone. We headed to Downtown and I had to read him directions the WHOLE way. Little did I know that Derek was using this "I'm-lost-so-please-help-me-find-my-way" act as a scheme to throw me off his sneaky trail!
When we finally reached the Perch, Derek parked in a lot and we crossed the street to the restaurant. As we were crossing the street, this creepy man was walking really close behind me. I kept getting closer and closer to Derek because I was nervous and wanted him to protect me, but he kept discreetly pushing me away. I would try to get closer yet again, and he'd push me away again! I was really bugged that he would do that, but didn't dwell too much on this. I later put two and two together and realized he was SO scared that I was going to feel the large box in his jacket pocket that he wanted to keep me as far away from him as possible.
We finally got to the restaurant! BTW... creepy man followed us all the way in. So weird.
There was a security guard at the bottom of the building. He approached us and asked which floor we wanted to go to. Derek said, "We want to go the Perch. The restaurant?" The security guard let us into the elevator and directed us to the 15th floor.
Once we hit the 15th floor, another set of security guards asked us where we wanted to go. Once again, "the Perch please." They directed us around the corner to the restaurant doors.
At this point I am thinking, "Ok Josh and Noura. Was it really necessary to invite us to a restaurant that is on the 15th floor of some old brick building, in the middle of DTLA, that requires large security guards to let people pass?"
We head to the front desk and three hostesses and the general manager look at us and say, "Hi, reservation please?"
Derek says, "Yes. Party of 4 for Josh?"
The general manager says, "Oh yes. Of course! Your party is actually on the upper level of the restaurant. Please follow me."
We walk up a back staircase to the "upper level" of the restaurant. AKA. The Roof!
At this point I am thinking: "Ok, why would Josh and Noura invite Derek and I, to dinner on the roof of the restaurant?! Why. Why. Why. Why?!?" I still wasn't suspicious though.
Let me tell you. When you think you're the smart one, and when you think you know everything before it happens. That is PRECISELY when you will be the one who is in for a surprise.
As we finally got to the roof, my breath was taken away at the beautiful Downtown LA skyline. I could see every building lit up in the night. I could see the reflection of the US Bank building, a special building for Derek and I, against another building. I could see Pershing Square, the very place where Derek and I first started to flirt. It was a BEAUTIFUL sight. Then in the far corner of the roof was a little fire burning in a pit with little couches set up around the fire. The general manager of the restaurant kind of slid into the background as Derek led me to the fire. At this point I knew we weren't meeting Josh and Noura for dinner anymore.
Derek and I just stood in each other's arms looking out on the beautiful city. It was BEAUTIFUL and SO romantic. I was in heaven :).
Then Derek turned me around to face him and began to say some of the sweetest things to me. The tears started to flow. Not a huge surprise to anyone who knows me well ;).
That is when Derek Tafua got down on one knee and said "Emily Ainian, will you marry me?"
And of course my answer was "YES!"
After that, we kissed. A lot :)
Then we came down to have dinner and to my surprise, yet again, there was a bucket of sparkling cider and a bouquet of roses awaiting me.
Derek planned this entire evening down to a T! And might I add. He planned it ALL at 2 pm the DAY OF! When he found out I had been a "snoop-a-doop," as he has now dubbed me, he knew he had to change his plans. And fast! He wanted to surprise me and he SURE DID!
I heard about everything he had to do that afternoon as we ate dinner, and I was in complete awe. Just to prove to you how well Derek had planned and coordinated this evening, as we went down the elevator at the end of the night, the security guard on the floor level saw Derek and I step out and he said, "I knew she'd say yes, man!" EVEN THE SECURITY GUARD WAS IN ON IT!!
Derek, you made me the happiest girl in the ENTIRE world that night. And you make me happy every single day. Thank you for being the kindest, most selfless, and loving man. I love you so much and cannot wait to be your wife.