Monday, August 11, 2014

I Now Pronounce You...

My first marriage proposal takes us back to my beginning college days. I met Jake in Business Law. Frankly, I was almost dumbfounded when this good looking cowboy noticed me and said hi.

As I shoved my pretty sister in front of me, I said, “Are you sure you didn’t mean to say hi to my sister?”

Well, I had to make sure. Better to find out now before I let my heart spill to the floor.

“I meant you,” he said.


He nodded.

It was the start of a beautiful friendship and romance.

Our first date was totally romantic. His brother came to the door to pick me up because their dad insisted they make a beer run for him. After taking the case back to his house, Jake took me to a pool hall. The only way to describe the place is cliché-ish: dark, smoky, clacking pool balls, scraggly-bearded men drinking beer, and lots of cussing. I had never been in a pool hall before, and I clung to Jake in trepidation. Jake only smiled and chuckled at my naivety. I believe we left when a brawl broke out.

Being naturally helpful, Jake and I studied together. He was more into hotrods and engines than the judicial system and accounting methods. He walked me to all my classes and kissed me sweetly each time. As Magnum, P.I. always said, “I know what you’re thinking.” You’re thinking how sugary and stupid I am.

If Jake and I couldn’t get together for a holiday, he at least called. That included New Year’s Eve at midnight on the nose. We spent hours on the phone and hours studying in the student center. As spring quarter came to a close, I couldn’t think about anything but Jake. Love filled every breath, and I doodled hearts on every class paper. I couldn’t stand to not be touching him, even it meant just our knees during class.

I pictured going down the classroom aisle in my wedding dress and our law professor marrying us. My grades suffered, several of the professors even lectured me, but I didn’t care. Love was far more important, being Jake’s wife was far more important.

“Can I drive you home tomorrow after classes?” Jake asked. “There’s something important I want to talk to you about."

I opened my sister’s passenger car door, smiling. “Of course.”

His soft kiss lingered long on my lips as my sister speed off, rolling her eyes.

“He says he has something important to ask me.” I looked down at the friendship ring Jake had given me the month before and smiled. “He’s going to ask me to marry him.”

I got another eye roll.

If ever the clocks stopped ticking and the sun never set, it was that night, waiting for Jake to ask me to be his wife. A big barn-style house, eight kids, and two dogs waited impatiently for me to join them. If there were class tests that day, I’m sure I failed them. If there were new assignments, I’m sure I scribbled hearts and “I love you, Jake” across them.

Finally, we were in his car headed to my house. A gift-wrapped box sat between us on the seat. It wasn’t the size of a ring box but much bigger. I was certain he had wrapped my ring in multiple boxes to throw me off guard. His sense of humor and light-heartedness were two of the things I loved most about him.

Sweat poured from his forehead. I was beginning to wonder if he would ever get up the courage to ask me. Finally he pulled off the secluded, dirt, tower road about a mile from my house.

He turned in his seat. “First, I want to thank you for all your help this quarter. It’s been wonderful.”  He took my hand and studied it.

My heart gleefully jumped. “It’s been wonderful for me too.”

“I have to ask you something.” He swallowed hard.

I did, too, my throat dry. “What is it, Jake?” I said, my voice unusually high-pitched and intense love swelling and ready to burst from every pore. I couldn’t help but giggle.

He bit his lip. “How would you feel if I told you I was gonna get married?”

“Oh, Jake. Yes…what?” I smiled and then frowned, blinking repeatedly.

“I’m getting married,” he said.

His words floated around in my head. Married…he’s getting married…not me…he didn’t say he was marrying me. What was he telling me?  Who was he marrying?  He had spent every minute with me for months now. I now pronounce you…stupid!

Tears welled in my eyes. I had to get away. I had to run…to think. What had just happened?

“Congratulations,” I said numbly, opening and slipping out the door. “I’ll walk home from here.”

“Wait a minute,” he said, leaning toward my door.

“No. I gotta get home. Gotta study for finals.”  I drew back a sob.

“What about your thank you gift for helping me?”

I gulped. “Keep it. No problem.”

I ran all the way home, dress, high-heels, backpack and all.


Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at:

Copyright: innocent / 123RF Stock Photo

1 comment:

  1. What a tragic story! Can't wait to hear what happens 13 years later.


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