Apparently, all this was just a cover-up for what he was actually planning. My entire family was in on it, too.
This morning at 9, my mother came in and told me that I needed to get up and get dressed, since a couple of my sister's friends were coming over at 10 to practice for Bible quiz and I was supposed to coach them. I had forgotten about this, so my response was "It's my birthday. Let me sleep in." Mother decided not to push it for fear of giving something away. At 9:30 she came in, said "Okay, you're up, good," but I hadn't actually bothered to brush my hair, get dressed...anything. A few minutes later, my dad comes in and said, "This came in the mail."
It was a letter from Ben, that I very conveniently only glanced over once before opening the envelope. Otherwise it might have dawned on me that a stamp was missing on the envelope, so therefore it couldn't have come through the mail. I opened it up to find this:
I read the poem out loud to my parents, who had both entered my room at this point. The second half of the letter was a poem, which read thus:
Hnecca* is the place where this might rest.
It is a gift of silver, part ninety-seven at best.
It emphasizes your loveliness, this laqueus**.
My gift to you is a necklace.
*Old English for "neck". **Old English for "lace", or something like that.
At the bottom of the letter were the words: "P.S. (On back)" I flipped the paper over to find these two words:
For a split second I was completely confused, and then I realized that BEN IS AT MY HOUSE. My hair is a mess, I'm still in my pajamas...and Ben is downstairs!! My mom and dad started laughing first, and then I heard my sisters laughing really hard downstairs. I grabbed a sweater and threw it over my pajamas real quick, then went to the top of the staircase to see Ben waiting for me downstairs. At this point I was in so much shock and laughing/crying too hard, I actually had to stop and sit down at the top of the staircase to catch my breath. I finally was able to get my bearings, head downstairs and give Ben a hug.
I then quickly got dressed, brushed my hair and put on a little bit of makeup before going back downstairs and joining Ben and the rest of my family. We had breakfast together, then Ben and I played charades with Shannon and her friend Laura. Mom let me know that she recruited my friend Tabitha to coach Bible quiz practice so that I didn't have to.
After charades, I opened my presents. Ben got me this beautiful bouquet of flowers: