Donny: Meat on a stick?
Savannah: Funny. Keep your meat to yourself. I want real food.
Donny: Fine, 2pm in front of the Ernst & Young building. Don’t be late.
I send him back a middle-finger emoji.
Luckily, that’s not a far walk from me. Living close to the Theater District means I’m never too far from anything in the city.
I have a small lunch, finish getting ready, then leave my apartment at 1:30. The sidewalks are packed as usual, but people stop in front of me every twelve seconds to take pictures of the buildings and screen displays, causing me to nearly collide into them.
Deciding I’ve had enough, I walk on the street to bypass the crowd and then get back on the sidewalk. Once I’ve reached where Donny told me to go, I look around and search for him. I see him in front of Starbucks, and he waves me over.
“I want you to get a good view, so stand around here and wait a few minutes.”
Narrowing my eyes, I look around in confusion.
“Wait for what? I thought you were doing a street performance?”
“I am…” he simply answers. “Is your phone all charged?”
“Yes,” I say, sliding it out from my back pocket. “You want me to record the whole thing or just focus in on you?”
“The whole thing.” Donny pauses. “Well, maybe a little of just me.” He snickers.
Laughing, I shake my head at him and adjust my purse, pulling it back up on my shoulder. Being a New Yorker means wearing comfortable shoes and a shoulder-strap bag or purse.
“Alright, see you in a sec.” Donny leans in to kiss my cheek, then flashes me a wink before he takes off. I suck in a deep breath, wondering what he has planned.
A few minutes go by when I hear a bass beat thump and vibrate against my feet. Figuring something’s about to happen now, I get my phone ready. Someone starts breakdancing on the sidewalk, and people form a half circle around him. The guy a foot away from me jumps in and starts dancing right as the song “Uptown Funk” begins playing. Just as Bruno Mars talks about Michelle Pfeiffer in the lyrics, three more people around me pop out, and it’s then I know exactly what’s happening. Flash mob.
Laughing, I back up to get them all on video, waiting for Donny’s appearance. I look around, wondering when he’s going to pop out. The dancers clap to the rhythm and get the crowd excited and involved. I’ve seen him do a few flash mob dances in the past ten years, but I recognize more faces than usual. All the dancers are from past shows Donny and I have done, and everything is choreographed so well.
Right after the chorus of the song, it blends into another one, but slower. “All of Me” plays and more performers appear, rocking together in slow movements. It’s hypnotic to see the girls I personally know twirl around, and the guys lift and swing them in circles. The smile on my face feels permanent as I watch them.
Donny finally pops out when John Legend starts singing the chorus. He looks so focused, yet he’s grinning like a fool. I shout his name and add a few hoots and hollers, so he can hear me over the music.
Right before the second verse, the song fades out once again and is replaced with a faster beat. The crowd is so large at this point, and I look around to see how everyone is admiring my friends. Donny’s front and center and marches toward me as soon as the chorus of “Marry Me” plays. The group huddles behind him as he reaches for my hand and pulls me into the circle.
“What are you doing?” I shout at him, furrowing my brows. Looking around, confused and slightly freaking out that everyone is recording this, I finally notice the performers fanned out. I shove my phone into my front pocket when I see a chair for me on the side right before Donny pushes me into it.
Just as Jason Derulo sings about being forever in love, I spot Hayden in line.
“Oh my God!” I shout, though neither of them can hear me, and giddily stomp my feet on the ground.
As soon as Donny joins him, they move together, doing the same choreography. My hands cover my mouth in complete shock as I watch the man I love move and dance with the group as if he’d been practicing it for weeks.
Amazement, stunned, disbelief. Tears pour down my cheeks as a mix of emotions roll through me. Hayden smiles at me with so much love in his eyes. I cannot believe he did this.
Toward the end of the song, Hayden walks toward me, reaching for my hand. He takes it, then pulls me up until I’m standing.