Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Story - Part XIII

This was meant to be posted before the wedding, but naturally, I got a little distracted. The trouble is... I don't really know when to end this Our Story thing. Because just when I think it's ended a whole new story begins. What follows is the ending of our lives as single individuals and the beginning of our life as a couple. There are still a few more parts of "our story" I want to put on here (like the surprise Valentine's Day visit where he thought I was going to break up with him, or the proposal story), so I cannot say "the end," but even after all of those are told the story will still continue.... it's forever, ever after, right??

While she expected him Friday and planned her week and wardrobe accordingly, Daniel hardly expected to arrive when he intended to. Surprises were her favorite, he knew; and he loved giving them. So after a brief Thanksgiving dinner with his Uncle Richard and family in Enon he drove two hours North-East to Medina.

Angela played the Secret Agent in this mission, so when Daniel was within seconds of the house, she stepped into action, with Mom, of course, acting in part as well.
The dog has to be fed NOW.
There went Angela scurrying outside to feed the dog, asking for help.
All of a sudden feeding the dog seemed vital to her life, and Ashlee was rather confused. What would it hurt if she waited 5 minutes? She was scared into action when her Mom screamed, “ASHLEE!” And told her to quickly go out and help her sister, Lucy had gotten loose.
So, out she trudged in her Dad’s Carhart jacket and her little brother’s Crocs to the kennel, where she saw Lucy happily wagging her tail. Angela had disappeared. A little confused, she ran back inside (it was cold, and her feet were getting wet through the Crocs from the snow), only to nearly collide with her mother in the doorway. They looked at each other blankly, then Ashlee said, “Lucy’s fine.” Her mother stammered for words, and then Angela appeared on the staircase with a bowl of dog food (since when is the dog food upstairs??) “Could you just give this to her, please?”

Rather confused, and a little frustrated, and quite nervous, she headed back outside, gave the happy dog her dinner, and was just about to go back in, when she saw the inevitable headlights at the bottom of the driveway. She looked down at herself and laughed—the $80 black dress she had splurged on to wear for him Friday was hanging untouched in her closet, and instead of her feet being clad in her adorable new boots, she laughed at her white socks showing through the holes in the Crocs.

It was slightly uncomfortable then, waiting for him to get up the driveway. Watching, but not wanting to look. Knowing that though the headlights blinded his face from her, they illumined hers for him. When his car finally stopped and he opened his car door, she ran out to meet him, and hugged him hello. He searched her eyes for her answer, and she wanted to tell him “yes” right then, but try as she may the word would not come to her lips. Then, when it was finally there, ready to roll out, he was talking, and then there they went, walking side-by-side through the snow. Crocs and all.

They walked across the back yard, with the bright winter moon glowing above them. Daniel talked. Neither remember what about. All she could think of was getting him to stop talking so she could tell him what they both wanted to hear. Finally he did. Turning to face her he said, “One question I have for you, though. What will my relationship status [on Facebook] be when I get back to Charlotte on Monday?” She groaned at the obvious reference to the 21st century, but laughed anyway. Then with simple, sweet words she told him her answer was yes.

She will never forget the look on his face at that moment—even if he knew what she was going to say, it was priceless. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close, and for the first time understood, though only in part, what it was to have her be his. He said what sprang into his heart first, “Thank you. Thank you!”

Then they noticed the faces smeared against the glass of the family room window, watching them with keen interest, and laughed. He took her around to the front of the house, where he “found” a white rose lying in the snow (Agent Angela’s services had been employed). And again, as she hugged him, they noticed the faces pressed against the front windows. She laughed and buried her head in his shoulder. “Welcome to my family.”

                                                                        ... to be continued...

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