Jeff was one of those really cute, awkward geniuses. I love him for that, but romance made him nervous and bumbling, so he hadn’t proposed yet.

We were walking home from the lab one evening and the campus was just glowing. He was talking about the order of the universe, and I was just enjoying time with him.

Suddenly a skateboarder rushed by me with no warning, only to trip over a crack in the pavement. He would have landed hard but he crashed right into a poor guy eating his lunch. The guy threw his sandwich everywhere, and the campus squirrels immediately ran up and pilfered it. They startled a nearby magpie, who flew right above me, dropping something I assumed was poo. I instinctively ducked and turned around, my hands over my face.

I heard a quiet plunk and a fizzing sound, like soda. Slowly I looked up, and there was Jeff, offering me a glass of champagne with a silver ring fizzing at the bottom. He smiled and waited.
“Hold on,” I said. “Let me catch up. I cannot believe that just happened.”

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