Samantha sat in the dirt, hidden behind a bush. Her eyes scanned the woods, ears attentive to the slightest of sounds. There was nothing but the quiet of the forest, the pleasant smell of fall in the air. Thanksgiving was just a few weeks away, and most of the trees had already lost their leaves. Sitting beside her quietly was her best friend and boyfriend, Mark. They had met in elementary school and grown up together. But it wasn't until after school when Samantha began student teaching that they had begun dating. The two shared many interests, but the biggest was deer hunting. They enjoyed countless hours putting up deer stands, checking trail cameras, scouting deer and hunting. Both were hopeful that today the one they had been waiting for, the one they called the "Monster," would arrive.
Not many girls would jump at the chance to go deer hunting with their boyfriend. But, Samantha was no ordinary girl, and Mark knew it. In his pocket was something Samantha knew nothing about; if today went as planned, he wouldn't have to wait much longer to give it to her. The two of them together in the woods, doing what they loved in the place where they found peace . . . it was the perfect way to pop the question.
The minutes creeped by slowly, and still there were no sounds to be heard. They had already gone out once that morning without any deer sightings. The thought crossed Samantha's mind that maybe they should just chalk it up to an unlucky day and head home, when suddenly she heard a sound. Was it a squirrel? Or something bigger? She tensed and waited . . . it happened again. Seconds later, Mark began to half-whisper, half-shout, "Hurry up, grab your gun!" Samantha saw what Mark saw, a large buck. The buck paused and then started to walk away. Samantha slid a bullet into the chamber of her gun with a loud "click." In the eerie silence, the noise seemed to amplify, echoing through the trees. The deer slowly turned to look at her. Aware of Mark breathing down her neck, urging her to hurry, she raised her gun. Time seemed to slow down, and as if in slow-motion, Samantha lined up the buck in her sights and pulled the trigger.
When she opened her eyes, she found that she had dropped the buck dead in its tracks. Mark grabbed her, hugging her and proudly exclaiming that she had killed the biggest buck yet. After they took a few photos for bragging rights, Samantha turned to grab the deer's hind legs to load it up, when Mark spoke. "Wait a second." She turned to see him standing there, a small ring box in his hand. As he opened the box and asked her to marry him, Samantha instantly felt tears of joy sliding down her cheeks. A huge smile quickly swept across Mark's face as he embraced her and asked, "So I take that as a yes?"
Through lots of tears, laughter, and smiles, it didn't take long for Mark and Samantha to spread the news. One year later, on October 22, 2016, Mark and Samantha joined hands and repeated their vows at their outdoor wedding on their farm. The joy they had felt on the day of their perfect engagement had only grown with anticipation, and the two of them now look forward to spending the rest of their lives together, doing what they love, as husband and wife.