“That’s not how it works.”
“Think about it. Getting rid of the box is plan A, right? The universe isn’t going to thwart plan A just so I’ll go with another version of plan A. This is clearly the universe calling for plan B.”
“And plan B is . . .”
“Accepting that the universe is an asshole—”
“The universe isn’t an asshole!”
“It is. Trust me.”
“How could you possibly know that?”
“I know the universe has some fucked-up plan for this box.”
“But that’s the thing!” I stare him down. “You don’t actually know. You have no idea where the universe is going with this. Maybe the whole reason you’re here is because the universe wanted you to meet me, so I could tell you to throw the box away.”
He smiles. “You think the universe wanted us to meet?”
“What? No! I mean, I don’t know. That’s the point. We have no way of knowing.”
“Well, I guess we’ll see how it plays out.” He peers at the shipping label for a moment and then rips it in half, wadding it and tossing it into the trash. At least he aims for the trash, but it lands on the floor. “Anyway,” he says. “Um, are you—”
“Excuse me.” A man’s voice reverberates through an intercom. “Can I have your attention?”
I glance sidelong at Box Boy. “Is this—”
There’s a sudden squeal of feedback and a rising piano intro.
And then a literal fucking marching band walks in.
A marching band.
People flood into the post office, carrying giant drums and flutes and tubas, blasting a somewhat off-key rendition of that Bruno Mars song “Marry You.” And now dozens of people—old people, people I thought were in line to buy stamps—have launched into a choreographed dance number, with high kicks and hip thrusts and shimmying arms. Basically everyone who’s not dancing is filming this, but I’m too stunned to even grab my phone. I mean, I don’t want to read too much into things, but wow: I meet a cute boy, and five seconds later, I’m in the middle of a flash mob marriage proposal? Could this message from the universe be any clearer?
The crowd parts, and a tattooed guy rolls in on a skateboard, skidding to a stop in front of the service desk. He’s holding a jewelry box, but instead of taking a knee, he plants his elbows on the counter and beams up at Lip Ring. “Kelsey. Babe. Will you marry me?”
Kelsey’s black mascara tracks all the way down to her lip ring. “Yes!” She grabs his face for a tear-soaked kiss, and the crowd erupts into cheers.
It hits me deep in my chest. It’s that New York feeling, like they talk about in musicals—that wide-open, top-volume, Technicolor joy. Here I’ve spent the whole summer moping around and missing Georgia, but it’s like someone just flipped a light switch inside of me.