Traditions. Almost every family and country has their own unique habits that help to make holiday festivities special. Germany is no exception, especially on New Year's Eve. All around the country, families gather around their tables to see what sort of fortune they will have in the New Year. A small piece of lead is to be melted on a teaspoon and then poured into cold water to form a new shape with each shape representing a different outcome for the year. Every New Years Eve, you would get together with your boyfriend Ludwig and his brother Gilbert to see what fortune awaited you.
"Gil be careful!" You exclaimed as Gilbert nearly spilled his molten lead onto the floor.
"Relax, ________________! I'm too awesome to mess this up." Gilbert assured you.
"Right, is that why you burned the carpet last year?" Ludwig asked.
"Nien!" Gilbert shouted, this time actually spilling the contents of the spoon onto the floor. "Look what you made me do!"
"You did it yourself." You smiled, taking the spoon from him.
"I need to do it again!"
"No. We only have two pieces of lead left, one for ______________ and one for me." Ludwig explained.
"But I won't have a fortune then!" Gilbert yelled, trying to grab the little pieces of lead from his brother.
"Hey, no fortune is better than your fortune from last year." You reminded him.
"I guess…" He conceded.
Last year, Gilbert's fortune had been less than desirable. His lead formed a cross shape which symbolized an ending or death. Obviously Gil had survived the year; however, he was more cautious about everything he did. For the first month, he hardly wanted to leave the house.
In the end, nothing did happen to Gilbert this year, which convinced you even more that the fortunes were ridiculous. You had never believed them in the first place. Of course it was a fun tradition to uphold, but you never actually believed any of the fortunes you received. For example, last year your lead was in the shape of a spoon with meant people were talking about you. You immediately brushed off such a silly fortune. No one was talking about you, or at least you thought.
"Your turn, ________________." Ludwig said, handing you one of the two small pieces of lead.
Your hands brushed as he handed off the metal causing a faint blush came to his cheeks. Normally Ludwig came across as a being quite stern and strict; however, around you he always showed his soft side. It was one of the things you loved most about him.
After some time over the candle, the lead was ready to be poured into the cold water.
"1, 2, 3!"
You quickly poured the metal in and waited for it to set. After a moment or so, you pulled the newly shaped lead out of the water and examined it.
"What is it?" Gilbert asked excitedly.
"I don't know. It looks kind of like a bee doesn't it?" You asked, admiring the now cold metal. "What do you think Ludwig?"
Instead of responding, Ludwig's face paled.
"Ja, bro. You look like you just saw a ghost!" Gilbert laughed.
"I-It's nothing." Ludwig mumbled, turning his gaze from you.
"Well then, what do you think it looks like?"
"It's totally a bee!" Gilbert smiled.
"Umm… J-ja." Ludwig agreed.
"What does a bee mean?" You asked curiously.
"You're going to get married this year!" Gilbert howled with laughter.
"Really?" You asked in shock. Of course having been with Ludwig for over three years now, you had considered that he would be the man you'd marry, but based on his reaction to the shape maybe you would have to reconsider.
"West and ________________ sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!" Gilbert chanted, enjoying the new tension in the air.
"It's just a silly fortune, Gil." You murmured. "It doesn't mean anything. Anyways, judging by Ludwig's face it's not a very pleasant idea for him."
"________________, that's not it." Ludwig said, reaching for you. You brushed it off, turning to face the window.
"Then what is it? Is the thought of marrying me that unpleasant?"
"No. It's just… it's just…"
"Oh spit it out already, West. You and I both know you've been planning this for a long time." Gilbert interrupted.
"Planning what?" You asked, slightly worried.
"Well, I was going to save this until I thought of a good way of asking you, but I guess now is as good a time as any." Ludwig said, pulling something out of his pocket.
Carefully, he got down on one knee and opened a small box to reveal the most beautiful ring you had ever seen. "________________, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"
You were in such a state of shock that you could barely choke out a yes. Slowly, he placed the ring on your finger. His strong hands were trembling out of sheer nervousness. Once the beautiful ring was on your finger, he pulled you into an embrace.
"I-I guess some of these fortunes can be right after all." You mumbled into Ludwig's shoulder.
"Ja. I guess they can." He mumbled back.
"Aw, man! Your sappy romance crap made us miss the countdown! It's already the New Year!" Gilbert whined.
As Gilbert continued to complain you whispered Happy New Year to your new fiancé.
"Happy New Year, ________________." Ludwig responded as he gently placed his lips on yours as the fireworks of Berlin sounded outside to ring in the New Year.