Well, it’s Wednesday and time to add to our collaborative community story.
We’re following a flashback of our main character, Samantha.
Here’s where we left off.
How did an in-control woman lose so much control…
As I lay there just staring, Chad woke up. He rolled over, kissed my arm, then propped his head on his hand and kissed me. “You okay?” he asked.
“Yes,” I responded. “I just have to pee,” I added as I bolted up and grabbed a blanket to hide my nakedness on my way to the bathroom. I threw in a towel for Chad.
When I was returned, Chad was already getting dressed. “I knew it,” I thought to myself. He asked me again if I was alright, then said he probably should be going. “I don’t want to give the neighbors anything to talk about,” he said as we walked toward the door. “You do know I love you,” he said as he kissed me goodnight.
As his tail lights faded down the street I convinced myself my actions ruined a perfect relationship. I put on some floppy sweats, made myself a cup of tea and wrapped myself in a blanket on the couch. The minute hand on the clock inched ever so slowly … 12 after … what seemed like forever … 13 after … another eternity … 14 after … And with each minute, another argument raged in my mind. What we did was right. What we did was wrong. What did I do? What am I going to do? Why did I listen to him when he told me he loved me? He’s leaving next week. Is he going to leave me now? What did I do? When was daylight coming so I could call Bernie? I needed her and I needed her now.
Shortly after 8 o’clock I made the call. Her mom answered and got her. She was still half asleep when she answered, but as soon as I said “Bern” she knew something was wrong and immediately became much more alert and awake. “What’s wrong, Sam? What’s wrong?”
As I started to blurt out “I think I messed …” she cut me off. “I’ll be there in a half hour.”
She walked in the door and found me crying, all curled up on the couch. I reached up to her and really burst into tears. She sat down next to me and hugged me. “Calm down, Sam. Tell me what happened.”
Through a box of tissues I told her everything — from dinner to dessert. She never said a word, just kept the tissues coming. After I finished my tale, she said, “Did it feel right?”
“Yes,” I sobbed. “No.” Then I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know.”
“Well, do you love him?” she asked.
“Yes, but that’s the problem. I don’t know if he still loves me.”
“What makes you say that?” she asked. “Did he say something?
“No,” I whimpered. “He said he loved me, but he went home.”
“Okay,” Bernie said, “You’re thinking too hard. You guys have been going out for a year…”
I interrupted her. “I know, but we never went all the way. He knew I wanted to wait and I thought he wanted to wait. But we got caught up in the moment and one thing led to another … and now I’m afraid he’s gone.”
“That’s silly,” she said. “I’ve seen you two together. He not only loves you, but he respects you too. That’s more than a lot of guys…”
“But,” I interrupted again, “that’s the problem. I don’t know if he will still respect me.”
“Well, maybe you should talk to him,” Bernie offered. “Come on, enough of this pity party. We can change the past. You know that, hell, you told me that, remember? But you still can control the future. You’re the same fun-loving girl you were yesterday,” she added, then put on an infectious smile and added, “only today you’re a woman” as she poked my arm.
She was, of course, right, but I was positive Chad would soon be history. He was leaving for Ohio next week and I would quickly become a memory.
When Chad called later in the day, the first thing he said was, “Are you okay? I sensed something was wrong when I left last night. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Do you want to talk?”
“No, everything is fine. Last night was … well … special,” I gushed. “I’m okay, just a little tired. How about a rain check?”
He tried to convince me to go out, but I continued to say no until he finally said “Okay, Sam, but remember, I love you!”
That was Sunday. He tried again Monday and Tuesday. Each time, I found an excuse. I knew we should talk about Saturday night, but I wasn’t ready. And with each passing day, I started insulating my heart from breaking.
Wednesday night Chad showed up at my door. He gave me a kiss, say hi to Mom and Dad, and tried to whisk me out the door. “Let’s go for coffee,” he said. At first I resisted, but Mom started asking questions so off we went to the diner.
“Something is wrong,” he said as the waitress brought our coffees. “Is this about Saturday?”
“No, nothing is wrong,” I insisted.
“Bullshit!” he said, catching me off guard because I don’t think I had ever remembered him saying anything even remotely off color.
“No, no, everything is fine,” I said. “Saturday … was … was … wonderful. I guess you … I guess I thought you should spend some with your family since you’re going to Ohio next week.”
“I spend enough time with my family,” he said. “I want to spend my time with you. But there is something else going on. I know you wanted to wait and I’m sorry we didn’t. I wanted to wait, too. But it doesn’t change anything. I love you, even more.”
“I know and … it … was … great,” I stuttered, grasping for each word. “I’m not sorry we made love…”
He interrupted me. “Yes, we made love. We did not just have sex.” He put his hands on mine. “Sam, I love you.”
With that, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a little box. I opened it. It was two silver rings studded with small diamonds and soldered together with a big gap in the middle. I just looked at him with a quizzical expression on my face.
“That’s the wedding ring I picked out for you,” he said, as he reached into his other pocket and pulled out another little box. I opened it. It was another silver ring with a diamond proudly standing in a simple yet elegant setting.
“That’s the engagement ring I picked out for you,” he added. Then he put the two settings together. “A perfect fit,” he said. “Just like you and me. They were made for each other. Just like you and me.”
I was speechless.
“Samantha Marie Casey, will you marry me?”
I was still speechless as the conversation at the table started to draw some attention.
“Samantha Marie Casey, will you marry me?”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m positive. Samantha Marie Casey, will you marry me?” …
There you go, readers. What’s next? What’s Sam’s decision?
All you have to do is put down your thoughts and get them to me. You can post your ideas as comments on the blog – but remember everyone will see them, so the “surprise” factor might get lost – or you can e-mail me directly at email@example.com. Each Wednesday I will continue the story on the blog, along with that week’s attribution and periodically update Reveille/Between the Lakes readers. The complete story thus far is available on the blog under “Story.”
I hope we can have some fun with this.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: It is easy to stay encouraged when you learn to compliment yourself.