Wait Chapter Nine: Reflecting Memories

May 28, 2010
Mandy watched TV on the couch. She was waiting for Jeremy to pick her up for school. Tonight was the game. She was so excited not only for the game, but for the date tonight. She was going to change for the date after the game ended. She was gearing up for the school dance next Friday as well. Jeremy was her date. Rumor was going around school that they would be the ‘Classic Couple’ of the dance. Mandy knew it was highly likely. But she didn’t believe it. She had gone to dances before. She knew that the most popular couple in school always won. She didn’t think that they were the cutest couple in school. Then again, she wasn’t the majority of her classmates, so her opinion didn’t count much. Someone knocked at the door. Mandy opened it just as her uncles appeared. “Hi Jeremy,” she said. “I’m almost ready. I’ll be right back.” Mandy walked back into her bedroom to get her things together. Jeremy walked toward her uncles. “May I ask you two a very serious question?” Jack and Chris looked at him. “Sure,” they said in unison. Jeremy took a deep breath to calm himself down. “The thing is,” he began, “Mandy and I have dated for almost two years now. She is so important to me that… That I can’t picture life without her. I need your permission on this because you might think we should wait. But…” Jeremy paused for a moment. “It’s now or never,” he thought to himself. It was a little out of order of the way he had planned things. But he had to do it. “But I would like it very much if you would allow me to ask her for her hand in marriage.” Jack and Chris looked at each other. “It’s not a crazy idea, if that’s what you’re thinking,” Chris said. “Her mother and father got married when she was seventeen and he was eighteen, just like you two are right now. Her mother said something about her getting married young before she was even born.” Both uncles looked at each other again. “You mean a lot to her,” Jack said this time. “We know this because every time we mention you, she gets this sparkly look in her eyes. If that isn’t love, then I don’t know what is.” There was a short pause. “We think…” Both uncles said at the same time. Jeremy got nervous. “I knew I should have waited until we were older,” he said under his breath. “We think that we would love it if you would ask her to be your wife now,” Jack and Chris finished. Jeremy looked both of them in the eyes. “Really?” he asked, a little beyond surprised. They nodded. “You have our full permission.” Jeremy broke out into a huge smile. “Thank you so much!” he said, barely able to contain his excitement. “By the way,” Chris said. “She really wants to use her mother’s wedding ring as her own. We will pay for the engagement ring, no problem.” Jeremy shook both their hands. “Thanks again!” he told them. Both smiled at him as Mandy came back with her bag. “Ready to go?” she asked Jeremy. “Yeah,” he replied, showing no excitement on his face. “Bye, Uncle Jack. Bye, Uncle Chris,” Mandy said as she hugged both of her uncles. “Bye, Mandy. Bye, Jeremy,” they said as Jeremy opened the door for Mandy. She walked out and he followed, but not before mouthing the words “Thank you again!” at Jack and Chris. “They remind me so much of Mark and Christine,” Jack said. “They do,” Chris replied.

Mandy walked down the hall on her way to lunch. Alex caught up with her. “Are you excited about the game tonight?” she asked Mandy. “Of course,” Mandy replied. “It’s the championship game. If we win, then chances are, Jeremy will be MVP and get a scholarship for college.” “You never think about yourself, do you Mandy?” Mandy shrugged. “I don’t know about that. I get that trait from my mom. At least, that’s what Jackie says. But I hope he can get a scholarship so he can go to Franklin University.” “That’s where you want to go, isn’t it?” Alex asked her as they got in line. “Exactly,” Mandy replied. “Jeremy and I both toured the campus. I love the atmosphere there and it offers my major in both undergrad and grad school. Same for Jeremy. You and Jake want to go there too, remember? We all took that tour together and all got accepted.” Alex laughed. “Yeah, I remember.” They paid for their food and walked to the picnic bench where Jake and Jeremy were sitting. “Hey guys!” Jake called to them. “Uh, Jake. We’re not guys, you know,” Mandy said as she sat down next to Jeremy on one side of the bench. Alex sat down next to Jake and across from Mandy. “So I’m supposed to say, ‘Hey girls!’ every time I see you?” he asked. Mandy and Alex looked at each other and looked at him. “Noooooo,” they said. “You’re supposed to say, ‘Hi Alex and Mandy. You both look marvelous today.’” Both guys laughed. “Ok. I’ll have to remember that,” Jake said. They all began to eat lunch. Mandy’s cell phone went off. “I have to take this,” she said, getting up and walking toward a line of trees. “That was convenient,” Jeremy said. “Why?” Alex asked. Jeremy looked around to make sure no one was looking at them. “It’s because I asked her uncles for her hand in marriage.” Alex and Jake stared at him. “And?” they asked. Jeremy leaned closer to them. “They said that it would be wonderful if we got married and that they would pay for the engagement ring themselves. Which is why I need your help, Alex.” Jake and Alex stared at him, smiling so hard it looked like it had hurt. “Dude, that’s awesome,” Jake said. “Congratulations, Jeremy. Have you asked her yet?” Alex asked. He shook his head. “Not yet. I still have to ask her if it’s an option in our near future. If she says yes, then I’ll ask her sometime after she turns 17. I’m still planning that part.” Alex became confused. “Wait, why did you need my help?” Jeremy began to whisper. “I need to find out her left ring finger size. I know her right. But not her left.” “I’ll get that for you right now,” she said, pointing to a returning Mandy. Everyone leaned back. “Do you think the new play is going to work tonight?” Jake asked Jeremy. “Only if you can catch the pass from Max and pass to me as fast as we’ve practiced,” Jeremy replied, trying to make it sound as though they had been talking about the basketball game the entire time she was gone rather than her and Jeremy’s pending engagement. “Hey Mandy. How big is your left ring finger again?” Alex asked. “Size 6,” Mandy replied, not suspicious about the question at all. Jeremy stored the information in his head for later. They finished lunch and walked to their next classes. Jeremy was glad that he didn’t have any classes with Mandy other than lunch. Otherwise, he would not be able to focus.

“Rock Skies is down by two points, with one last play to go. Can they score enough to win the game?” the announcer said. Mandy and Alex were gripping each other’s hands, nervous as the team set up the final play. “Do you think they can do it?’ Alex asked. “Let’s pray that they do,” Mandy answered. They looked at each other. “God, please let them make this shot,” Mandy and Alex said, looking at the ceiling. “God can work miracles,” Mandy said. “Even for a championship basketball game,” Alex said. The whistle blew and the play started. Max ran down the court with the ball. He got to the half-court line and passed the ball to Jake. He dribbled closer to the net and passed the ball to Jeremy, who attempted to get closer to the net. But a defender blocked his way. He had to run back to the half-court line. He stood behind it and dribbled the ball a few times and shot the ball. Everyone was staring at the net. The ball hit the rim and rolled around the ring. Five seconds to go. Four… Three… Two… One… The ball slid through the net just before the buzzer sounded. The entire basketball team flew off the bench and mobbed Jeremy. “The Titans have done it! They won the state championship!” the announcer screamed into the microphone. “Jeremy Taylor is the State MVP!” Mandy and Alex looked at each other, screaming and hugging, jumping up and down. A large trophy was brought out to Jeremy. He hoisted it over his head as his teammates lifted him up. He leaned down to whisper in Jake’s ear. Jake ran over to Mandy and grabbed her hand. As she was led to the crowd in the middle of the court, she glanced back at Alex, who shrugged at her, not sure of what was happening. Jake guided Mandy to the middle of the mob. Without warning, some of Jeremy’s teammates lifted Mandy up. She started laughing. Jeremy handed her one handle on the trophy and they held it up together. His other hand grabbed hers. “I love you so much,” he said to her over the noise. “Me too,” she said back. Eventually, they were set back on the ground as the crowd began to disperse. They hugged each other. “That was amazing,” she told him. “Yeah. I saw you and Alex say that prayer. God is good!” he said as Alex and Jake joined them. “Yes he is!” the group shouted. “I’m going to go change,” Mandy told Jeremy and walked off with Alex to the open locker room. “You’re lucky to have a girl like her,” Jake told Jeremy, throwing his arm around him. “Yes I am,” Jeremy replied.
Meanwhile… “Thanks so much for helping me with this,” Mandy told Alex as Alex pinned her hair into a gorgeous bun. She had braided a small section of hair and put it over her head and bobby-pinned it on the other side. Her hair had been twisted into a bun, with a few curls pulled out of it. Alex worked on Mandy’s makeup while Jake helped Jeremy into his tuxedo after Jeremy took a shower. Jake and Jeremy got done before the girls and waited at the front of the gym. Alex appeared. “She’s coming,” she said and turned around. A few seconds later, Mandy appeared in a strapless olive green gown with bronze shoes and a bronze line going across the dress so it looked half Italian, half Greek. “Wow, you look gorgeous,” Jeremy said shocked at her appearance. “Thanks,” she replied, blushing through her makeup. Jake and Alex walked away. “Where’s your car?” she asked as they walked toward the parking lot. “We’re not taking my car tonight,” Jeremy told her. “Jake is driving it to my condo and Alex is picking him up from there. That’s our ride.” A sleek, black stretch limo pulled up to the curb. The driver got out and opened the door. Jeremy helped Mandy inside as the driver shut the door. “You really went over the top this time,” she told him as they got buckled and the limo started pulling away. “No, I didn’t,” he told her, wrapping his arm around her and kissing her forehead.

“Mandy, there’s something I would like to ask you,” Jeremy said as he set his fork on his plate. “What is it?” Mandy asked him. “Well, I wanted to ask you what you thought about the future. Our future. Do you think that we would get married sometime?” Mandy looked into his eyes and nodded. “Jackie told me that my mom had said I would get married when I was young. I would love to get married to somebody. So yeah, I think we would get married in the near future.” Jeremy kept his expression even. “Good to know.” They finished dinner and the limo stopped at Mandy’s apartment building. “Thanks for the great night,’ Mandy said as she put her keys into the door. “No problem,” Jeremy replied. He kissed her forehead and waited until the apartment door shut to walk away. “Now all I need is that ring and a plan to propose to her,” he said to himself as he walked down to the limo, which dropped him off at his condo.

Mandy danced around the living room. She was on Cloud Nine. Not even depression could take away this feeling. She took her hair down, washed off her makeup, and changed into her PJs. She slid into bed, a smile pasted to her face as she drifted off to sleep.

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