By Myself Chapter One
by Kate Graham
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“I do,” Maggie Rose said as she looked passionately into the eyes of her man. She had been waiting to say those two words since she was a little girl. He looked so handsome in his army suit. Jake lifted her veil and it happened. The first kiss that she had been waiting to have for so long had come. As they walked arm in arm down the aisle, she knew she had made the right choice. “I love you, Maggie,” Mrs. Rose said, hugging her precious daughter before the bride and groom left for their honeymoon. “I love you to, Mom,” she returned. “You take care of our daughter, you hear,” Mr. Rose said to Jake as they shook hands. “With my life, sir,” Jake answered. At last they hopped into Jake’s dark green Jeep, and they were off. As they headed to the airport, Maggie began to think about her new name. “Maggie Peterson,” she thought to herself. It sounded great. When they arrived at the airport, the newlyweds began the long process to get to their plane. “Are you hungry, ‘cause I could get you something to eat? Or maybe you need something to drink,” Jake said worriedly. “I’m not a baby, Jake. I’ll let you know if I need anything, or I’ll get it myself,” Maggie said, laughing. “Sorry, it’s just…I promised your dad I’d take care of you, and I mean to do that. I will do that,” he said determinedly.
Maggie smiled and put her hand on the side of his shortcut black-haired head. “Don’t worry. We’ll be together forever. We’ll grow old together, and we’ll be just like my grandparents,” Maggie said, thinking of the future with much optimism. “You’re right,” he answered. As they sat in their assigned seats on the plane, Maggie’s heart was beating quickly. The plane ride from Pennsylvania to Hawaii was over fifteen hours long, so she had a lot of time to spare. First, she caught up some sleep, since she hadn’t sleep at all the night before due to excitement, and then they talked together. “So, what’s the first thing you wanna do when we get there?” Jake asked. “Scuba diving,” Maggie replied as she put her head on his strong shoulder. “Scuba diving?” Jake asked. “What’s wrong with scuba diving?” Maggie asked. “I dunno, it’s just…in the ocean,” Jake said, almost in a disgusted way. “The ocean’s great,” Maggie said, defending one of her favorite things in God’s beautiful Creation. “From the beach, it is,” Jake said. “It’s much prettier when you’re actually in the water,” Maggie said, lifting her head off his shoulder to look into his brown eyes. “I’ll take your word for it,” he said. “Haven’t you ever swum in the ocean before?” Maggie asked. “No,” Jake answered plainly. “Have you ever swum at all?” she asked. “Yeah,” he said embarrassed. “How many?” Maggie asked, smiling.
He rubbed the back of his head and then whispered, “Three times.” “Only three,” Maggie teased, “How did your parents get you in the water?” “They didn’t. I didn’t step into the water at all until I was nineteen…at boot camp,” Jake explained. “It took me two times to pass the test.” “What about the third time?” Maggie asked. “It was our night off, and some of the other privates were daring me to jump in,” Jake said. “And you did?” she asked. “No, they threw me in,” he said. “Were you all right?” she asked. She was concerned, but she was also laughing. Jake only saw the laughing. “Well, they didn’t know that they had dropped me into fifty feet deep water, and when I went under, they thought I was joking. It wasn’t for another minute or so that they realized I was really drowning, and one of the guys jumped in to get me,” Jake explained, his red, embarrassed face starting to return to its usual self. “We’re you scared?” Maggie asked, touching his hand with her small, gentle one. “I’m a soldier, Maggie. I’m taught not to be scared,” Jake answered, now smiling. “When do you have to report back to the base?” Maggie asked, remembering her husband’s job. “Two weeks,” he replied. Due to her silence, Jake must have sensed that something was wrong. “Don’t worry. The chances of me being sent overseas are really slim right now. They haven’t sent recruits for months,” he insisted. The rest of the trip to Hawaii was quiet, but at last they made it to the airport in Honolulu.
After getting their luggage, they took a cab to their condo, where a rental car would be waiting. The jetlag was making Maggie feel very tired, even after a full nine hour night of sleep on the plane. The condo—number 197—was really big and almost like an apartment. While she took a nap, Jake went to the workout building, where he would run for a few hours. Maggie made a nice dinner for them that night—fettuccini Alfredo—and then they both went to bed. When Maggie woke up at four in the morning, Jake was already up reading in the living room. She began to warm up some water for tea and coffee, and then sat next to him on the couch. “How did you sleep?” she asked him. “Great. What about you?” he returned. “Fine, I guess,” she answered. Because Jake was in the Army, he went overseas a lot, which made him almost used to jetlag. “So, are we still scuba diving today?” she asked. “Umm…sure,” he said at last. “All right then. We’ll leave after breakfast,” Maggie said. The drive to the scuba diving rental shop was almost two hours long, and neither of them said a word the entire time. That showed how much Jake was nervous, but Maggie was determined to help her husband get rid of his fear. “Are you ready?” she asked as they stood on the edge of the boat ready to jump into the water. “No,” Jake answered at the same time he jumped in. Maggie dived in too. The water was so clear, and there were hundreds of different kinds of tropical fish swimming around her. Some were even close enough for her to touch. “That wasn’t too bad, was it?” Maggie asked once she came up to the surface.
When no one answered, she looked around the water to find Jake. The same moment she saw him, he slipped under the water and disappeared. “Jake!” Maggie yelled, diving under to save him. There he was, smiling at her under the water. She had so many feelings going on inside of her at one time that she thought she wouldn’t be able to bear it. She was relieved, angry, amused, and lovesick all at that very moment. She didn’t know exactly what to do. “Jake!” Maggie said again but now with so many feelings that Jake couldn’t tell if she was yelling or laughing. The rest of the swim was fun and interesting, and soon the now tired couple was back at the condo relaxing on the couch. Maggie had never felt so happy in all her life. Everything was going right, and nothing could put out the newly lit candle of the two young people. The two weeks went by quickly, and soon they were home in Pennsylvania once again. Jake carried Maggie over the threshold of their first home, and they spent the whole evening together, doing nothing but loving each other. At two in the morning, they finally became tired enough to go to sleep. They ended their night with the words that everyone wants to hear. “I love you, Jake,” Maggie said. “I love you too, Mag,” Jake answered.
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