“Oh.” I tapped Cash’s arm. “This weekend, I told Wes we’d do a movie night. The Ranch said we could use the theatre.” It was amazing, with Cash at my side, how quickly the facility had dropped my volunteer suspension and welcomed me back with warm and open arms. I was now on a regular schedule there, and between my visits and Cash’s—Wesley never went more than three days without seeing one or both of us.
“Cool.” He nodded distractedly.
“You okay?” I threaded my fingers through his. “Nervous about the show?”
“Nah.” He flipped the air conditioner higher. “It’ll be easy.”
“Hey…” Edwin warned. “Don’t jinx yourself. All it’s going to take to blow this to garbage is having either of your parents on the guest list.”
“Mine are safely tucked away in Arizona.” My parents were settled into their new home in Tucson, a destination chosen for its flourishing urban gardening communities. The new location fit our relationship well. We now spoke on a monthly basis and were navigating a wobbly but warm path of rapport. Cash and I were going there for Christmas and it was all going surprisingly well. Maybe that was because my expectations were nil and their competition was weak. The more I interacted with the Mitchells, the lower my bar of parental expectations fell.
“And mine are in Egypt, according to Therma.” Cash slowed as the traffic ahead clogged to a complete stop.
“We should go to Egypt sometime,” I mused. “Bo’s family has a house there. He keeps telling me to use it.”
He nodded. “Net Jets has been bugging us for a post. We could take a comp jet and stop in London on the way.”
“I’d love that.” I grinned at him, and he leaned over and gave me a kiss. From behind us, someone beeped their horn, and he took his foot off the brake and rolled forward, then stopped again in the gridlock.
“Okay, normal person in the backseat,” Edwin mewed. “Please stop pissing me off with how incredible your lives are. I had three layovers between here and Miami last time I went home.”
“Why don’t you come with us?” I glanced back at him. “There’s plenty of room in the—”
“Okay, wait, hold that thought.” He held up a finger, his eyes glued to his phone. “And really, hold that thought because I really liked it. But shit just went bananas online.”
“Like what?” I searched for my own phone, which ended up being wedged in between my seat and the center console.
“Flipping BANANAS.” He started doing this weird flapping his hand thing, and I couldn’t tell if it was out of joy or panic. “Check Twitter.”
“Can’t you just tell me what happened?” I demanded, cramming my fingers into the tight spot and prying my phone loose.
That was definitely dread in his voice. I think. Maybe. I growled at him and reached for his phone, but he held it out of reach.
“Just look at it yourself!” he barked.
“Mother…” Cash swatted at the air. “How did a fly get in here?”
“Oh shit, and it’s trending.”
I got my phone unlocked right when Cash started to roll down the windows, and the stifling Los Angeles heat poured in. I ignored it, opening Twitter and checking the trends. #CashandEmma was the third result, and I clicked on it with trepidation. The first few tweets made no sense, then I saw one from three minutes earlier. Cash’s Twitter account. Four simple words. No hashtags or images or brand tags.
@mrcashmitchell: Will you marry me?
I looked at him, and the ring box was out, a tentative grin pulling at his gorgeous face. I looked back at my phone, then at him. “Are you serious?”
“Never wanted something more in my life. Will you marry me?”
“You’re proposing to me by tweet?” I frowned, but the smile tugged through, and this couldn’t be actually happening.
“I thought about IG, but know you’re trying to diversify your platform use.”
I laughed and grabbed his shirt collar.
“SAY YES ALREADY!” Someone yelled out, and I looked out the window to see Bo in the car beside us, Eileen beside him. I looked around and realized that every car around us was familiar, all of their windows down. My parents, somehow not in Kansas, beaming at me from two lanes over. Johno and Marissa, in a Range Rover to our left, with Paul and Dion in the backseat. Ahead of us, the curtains parted on a school bus back window, and Wesley jumped up and down in the middle of the aisle, waving with both hands. Someone started playing the chorus of “Will you marry me” by Jason Derulo, and everyone started singing along.
“There isn’t a flash mob dance planned, is there?” I asked.
“No. I didn’t want you to see my dancing and change your mind.” He grinned at me. “Please say yes. This is going to be hella painful if you break my heart in front of the entire internet.”