“Is this seat taken?”
Stephanie looked up from her book. She had a blanket spread out and was reading a novel for her Lit class. The man standing in front of her had the sun to his back and his face had a shadow over it. But the manner of his body posture and his voice were familiar.
“Grant? What are you doing here?” She looked in disbelief as he took a seat next to her on the blanket. With her classes and his getting reassigned, they hadn’t talked in over three weeks. Stephanie was starting to get worried about him.
“I got restationed. My nine months are over. I got reassigned at Edwards.”
“But that’s nearby.”
“Yes, it is.”
“Are you telling me that you are going to be nearby?”
“Are you living on base?”
“Nope. I got a little apartment near the base.” He smiled at her. Then he moved a piece of her hair, which seemed to get lighter per day, back behind her ear. “I would like to take you to dinner and show it to you if you are free on Friday night.”
“How about tonight?”
Grant smiled at her. “That anxious to see me?”
“You wouldn’t believe it.” She dropped her book and wrapped her arms around his neck.
That night at the apartment, after a tour, Grant and Stephanie curled up on the couch. “I didn’t realize just how much I missed you.”
Stephanie laughed. “If it wasn’t for my classes, I would have gone crazy.” She leaned in and kissed him. “How did you manage to get stationed here?”
“I told them my fiancwas in school out here.”
“If you’ll have me, Stephanie.” He got down on his knees and took her hand. “I haven’t had time to get you another ring, but I want to marry you Stephanie Lawrence.”
“I don’t need another ring, Grant. I just need you.” They kissed each other.
“What about your education?”
“Well, we will see what happens.” She looked at him very seriously. “You don’t want to get married today do you?”
“No. But I was thinking of the summer. If you want to continue with your classes, I have no problem with that. But that is your choice.”
“Then I guess we have a wedding to start planning.”
“How about we start planning other things first.”
“What we’re going to do for dinner tonight?” He laughed and then got serious. “Okay the truth of the matter, is that I think if we go home at Christmas with the wedding planned, our families will think we got engaged today.”
“But we did get engaged today.” She giggled.
“I was thinking we would tell them after I got you a nice ring. Maybe around Thanksgiving.”
“Stacie and your parents might be a little upset about us rushing into an engagement.”
“Alright. I won’t even call Annette or Carol.”
“Good.” He kissed her again.
“By the way, I have a something to tell you.”
“What?” He stood up and started for the kitchen.
“You asked how I would feel if I met my husband at 6. Remember?”
“I realized that I did.”
“How?” Grant stepped closer to her.
“I started riding the bus when I was in first grade. You sat with Jason Killian, right behind me.”
As he looked at Stephanie’s face, a smile began to form on his lips. “I forgot about that.”
Then she smiled. “I am starved. Feed me or I might just change my mind about this engagement.”
He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her up. Then he hugged her and kissed her one last time. “I love you.”