The rest of that week felt like it crawled by, but finally Saturday morning had arrived. And the doctor did indeed keep his promise, he signed my release papers and I was ready to leave. Emily had brought me one of my pairs of lavender yoga pants, a plain white tank and a baggy 'Baltimore Ravens' sweatshirt. I changed into them as the doctor was signing. He finished by the time I was done and Em and I gathered up our things and walked out of the hospital to her car.
We arrived back at our mother's house. Emily went in to see how Mom was doing and I walked upstairs to my room to start to pack up to join my best friends (and boyfriend) on tour. I packed a medium suitcase with clothes and slid my toiletries bag into it when I was done with the clothes. I gathered up the outfit that I would change into after taking a shower and carried it into the bathroom. I got undressed, stepped into the warm water and began to wash my hair and body. 20 minutes after I got in, I stepped out of the shower, dried off and got dressed in white skinny jeans and a pink striped henley tee shirt. I towel dried my hair and walked out of the bathroom.
I perched on my bed and picked up my notebook that I'd started writing song lyrics in. I sat cross-legged scribbling down lyrics and then picked up my guitar to strum out a tune. A half hour later, I closed up my notebook, packed it up with my guitar into its case and carried the guitar, my suitcase, extra bag and my purse downstairs to the front hall where my mom and Emily were standing waiting for me to come down.
“So, you're headed out on tour now, right?” Emily asked.
“Yeah,” I answered, “I promised Joe I'd join them on tour as soon as I got out of the hospital. And I think the taxi's waiting outside to take me to their tour bus. So, I'll see you later.”
I carried all my luggage out to the cab, climbed in, told the driver where to take me and I was finally back on my way to see Joe and his brothers. 45 minutes later, we pulled up to the front of the venue. I got out, paid the driver, gathered up my luggage and walked over to the attendant to show him the backstage pass I had. He immediately called for someone else to come out with a golf cart to take me and my stuff over to the bus that Joe and Nick shared on tour. When we got to the bus, I got out of the cart, walked over to the door and knocked. Not 5 minutes later, Nick opened it and said,
“Brianna! You're here!” He half turned back into the bus and called, “Joe? You in there? Bri's here.” He walked out to grab my bags off the golf cart while Joe walked from the back of the bus and said,
“Bri! You came!” Joe grabbed me in a tight hug. I stepped closer into his hug and we just stood there until Nick came back over from the golf cart with my bags. I took my guitar case and carry-on back from him and he carried my suitcase in. I stayed on tour with them until the last of 3 shows in Los Angeles 1 and a half months later. Little did I know but Joe had a surprise planned for me and everyone in the audience.
Halfway into the show, Nick announced the next song would be an old crowd favorite, “Hello Beautiful”, knowing full well that it was one of my favorites too. Looking back, I realize that Denise must have been in on the plan too, cause she made sure that I was backstage in just the right spot so I could see everything on stage. They sang the first verse and chorus before pausing for Joe to say,
“By now I'm sure that all of you out here have heard the rumor that I'm dating someone but no one quite knows who. Well, that special person in my life is my best friend Brianna Thomas. We were born 2 weeks apart and have been close ever since. Bri, will you come out here?”
I wasn't sure what was going on, but I walked out onto the stage with a very puzzled look on my face. As soon as I was standing next to him, Joe continued by saying,
“Bri, twice now I've thought that I've lost you. First, when you were engaged and then when your sister told me that you were in that accident. I promised myself after you came back from the hospital that that wouldn't happen again. I love you, Bri, and I won't lose you again.”
“I don't know what to say to that,” I told him on stage.
“You only need to answer one question,” he said, “Brianna, my wonderful best friend, will you stay with me forever and be my wife?”
My jaw dropped at the same time that the crowd let out a collective “Aww”. He walked over to me, got down on one knee and pulled out a little velvet box. He opened it to reveal a beautiful large diamond ring with two smaller diamonds on either side. My hands went to cover my nose and mouth in shock. I finally wiped the tears out of my eyes and said,
“Oh, my! Joe, I don't know what to say.” I paused to catch my breath before saying, “Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I know what my answer is.” I paused again, this time just to tease Joe before telling him my answer. “Yes, Joe, absolutely yes, I'll marry you.”
He stood up, slipped the ring on my finger and hugged me. Then the guys continued to sing the song they'd started before the surprise, right to me.