When New York allowed same-sex marriage, I watched Scott soaking up every article in the paper, every program on TV that dealt with the topic. A couple of weeks later I found myself going through his very meager collection of jewelry, spotted a ring I thought fit him, and hid it in my wallet. The next day I explained to a jeweler exactly what kind of wedding band I wanted for my lover. A week later, he called to tell me I could pick it up.
I chose a dark-gray box lined with black velvet. I carried it home, smiling like an idiot the whole way. I was nervous, not absolutely sure I had interpreted Scott’s interest correctly, but I wasn’t going to chicken out either. After staring at the gleaming band for a long time, I hid the small box in the back of my sock drawer.
Smiling to myself, I got up and headed for the kitchen. It was still a few hours till Scott would be home, but I wanted a head start. I also needed to keep myself occupied, otherwise I knew I’d freak.
I turned on the radio, then hummed along with the music while I peeled potatoes, prepared the fillet steaks, and set the vegetable mix to thaw.
I never asked Scott to marry me. Something happened that evening, something that left me scared, terrified for a long time. Scott wasn’t there to catch me, which made it so much worse.