When Malcolm Clayton dropped to his knee in the middle of the Arlington Square Ice Rink on Friday night to propose to Kayla Perkins, the crowd applauded.
When she said yes, Clayton, 35, jumped to his feet and cheered.
“That was perfect,” he said. “I’m on top of the world. In heaven.”
Perkins, 22, a 2009 Douglas High School graduate, was left shaking and in tears.
“It’s the happiest I’ve ever been,” she said. “I’ve wanted to marry him since I met him.”
The couple met three years ago at Walmart, where they both worked. As their friend Danielle Millard tells it, “Kayla talked Malcolm into walking her to her car one night, and then every night after that.”
They went on their first date to the ice rink. While they fell in love quickly and wanted to get married right away, Perkins’ parents wanted her to wait. Despite her objections, Clayton honored those wishes, taking time to show her family his true intentions.
He spent the next two years paying off the ring and decided to present it to her at the opening night of the ice rink, which is operated through the Carson City Parks and Recreation Department, and is scheduled to run through Feb. 9.
“That’s where it all started,” Clayton explained. “And that’s where I wanted to make it official.”
He told Perkins he had to work that night, and mutual friends agreed to take her skating. He arranged for rink officials to dedicate Jason Derulo’s “Marry Me” to Perkins while he skated out to meet her.
A group of family and friends gathered to watch.
“These two people are two of the most kind, amazing people I have ever met in my life,” Millard said. “They are perfect for each other. I have never met two people who deserved love more than them.”
Off of the ice, after showing off the ring and hugging friends and family, the two had a moment alone.
“You look perfect,” he whispered to her. “I love you so, so much.”