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No Fear

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The walk to our spot was my favorite part of the day. No matter how many times I make this same venture into the forest, it’s different everytime. The lighting is different, the wind is blowing the leaves into a different direction, there is a new branch scattered on the railroad tracks. Something is different every time I make this journey, yet I know it so well. I know that it will take one hundred and fifteen steps to get from our car to the edge of the railroad tracks where we veer off into the woods until we meet the shore of the creek. I hear the familiar melody of the bubbling rush of the creek in the distance. Today was starting out like any other day but somehow I was seeing it all differently. The air tasted sweeter today, the sun was shining a little bit brighter, the grass seemed to be a richer shade of green. Today was an absolutely perfect day and I didn’t even know why. It was just an ordinary day, or so I thought. We reached the creek’s shore and made a left. I knew this path like I knew the string of letters creating my name. We were almost to our spot. I could barely see the rusted bridge ahead of us. I stumbled up the hill and around the huge boulders on the shore. Holding the tackle box tightly to my chest. I wasn’t allowed to hold the fishing poles anymore. Not after last time. Not after I tripped and fell off the side of the hill and into the creek, fishing poles in hand, and got one of the hooks through my arm. I remembered that day all too well. I remember the cold water rushing over my head. I remember my faint scream before it was muffled by the water pouring into my mouth and lungs. I remember the look of worry in his eyes as he dove in to save me. I remember all the blood as he took the pliers to my arm to remove the hook lodged deep into my skin. I remember feeling like I was drowning. I remember blacking out and waking up again to him huddled over me. I remember him crying and holding me so tight just saying “I thought I lost you” over and over again.

He never let me carry the poles after that. It took him a long time to be able to take me fishing again. He still didn’t let me walk next to the shore, his arm was always firmly around my waist. I didn’t mind, but I felt like a burden. We were almost to our spot when he stopped and pulled out the blanket. We never stopped here before, we never stop before we reach our spot. He pulled out his Ipod and speakers and started playing Jason Aldean’s ‘Tattoos on This Town.’ It was one of my favorite songs and he knew it. Every time we are in the car and that song comes on and he sings the line ‘Allie will you marry me’ I always look at him and say, “ You said my name wrong.” So when the line came and Matt was singing louder than ever, as always I looked at him and smiled and said, “ You said my name wrong.”

His smile grew and was wider than I’d ever thought possible. I wonder if it made his cheeks hurt. I bet it did.
“Well I apologize for saying your name wrong. I’ll remember next time. Come on lets keep going. This spot isn’t as good as ours.” His voice sounded like warm honey as he strung those perfect syllables together. So I picked the tackle box back up and kept walking. I was walking slightly ahead of him, and I wondered why he was falling behind. That’s when I saw it. The bridge. Our spot. It was different this time. There were five brand new words painted on the side of the bridge. Just like the song. Only this time it was my name, followed by the most perfect words I had ever read in my life; “will you marry me?” I spun around to see if this was true and saw him down on one knee. The moment I had always waited for. I couldn’t tell which was shining brighter, his perfect smile or the ring. I excitedly screeched my “yes of course” and jumped into his arms. Then it dawned on me. I was eighteen and engaged, and I was going to have to tell my father.





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