Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)
TITLE: Laws of the Marriage
By Edmond Ng
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Belle is the woman I love, but because of the many heartaches she has been through, her father is not letting that happened again. His expectation for an ideal son-in-law is a Christian who is physically fit, educated, and with a stable career that provides sufficient earnings to take care of his beloved daughter. This is a tall order, considering I am physically frail by nature, with only high school education, and presently without a job.
"Uncle Wil, can you please spare me? I'm nearly out of breath! I can't possibly continue like this if you want to see me alive!" I struggled to speak between panting breath.
"Alright, I'll let you go for now. But don't for a moment think I'm going to let you go! It's just that I don't wish to see my daughter heartbroken again, simply because you can't take physical pressure," Uncle Wil said as he looked at me with disappointment. "You're simply too weak and I can't see what my daughter sees in you that makes her tick."
Uncle Wil is my father-in-law to be, that is, if I survive the hurdles he has set for me. At this stage, I cannot imagine how I can achieve what he expects, so it seems best for me to beg for his mercy.
"But, Uncle Wil, I love Belle more than I love myself, and I will definitely ensure she is well taken care of! I know there is no way for me to prove it to you now, but believe me I am making every effort to meet your expectations, working really hard to look for a good job, and making plans to pursue my studies in the near future."
"Very well, I'll let you marry my daughter once you've found a job and have a stable income. Until then, you'll still have to show me how much you care for her and what steps you're taking to meet my expectation!"
Six months passed.
After many applications and interviews, I have finally landed myself in a job as a junior staff in a software firm, and I am now waiting for a few more months of regular income before I seek an audience with Uncle Wil again. I have, for a long time, not been going out with Belle, although we still meet during church services and communicate secretly by phone and through instant messenger on the Internet.
Another three months passed.
On a Sunday after church service, I walked up to Uncle Wil and requested to speak with him.
"Uncle Wil, may I have a few minutes with you?" I asked gently with cordial respect.
"Yes, what can I do for you?" Uncle Wil replied as he looked at me sternly.
"I think it is now time for me to ask you for your daughter's hand in marriage."
Uncle Wil was taken aback and seemingly shaken by my request.
"What have you done to prove your worth?"
"Well, I am now working in a software firm and receiving a stable income, and I am about to enroll for a part-time course to pursue a bachelor degree."
"Is that all you've done? Is it for my daughter that you're doing this, or is it just to prove to me you are worthy of my daughter?"
Belle who has been standing next to Uncle Wil throughout the conversation can stand it no longer. She gently grabs her father's arm and spoke softly into his ears.
"Dad, please, I want to marry Adam! We are both of marriageable age, and you can't possibly expect me to wait for him to achieve all your expectations before we get married, do you?"
Uncle Wil sighed, his face revealing reluctance.
"Alright, Adam, I'll give my daughter to you, but you'll have to take care of her all your life, so don't disappoint me!"
"Don't worry, Dad! I'll take good care of your beloved daughter," I exclaimed with exuberance.
Five years have passed since my father-in-law walked Belle down the aisle, giving her hand to me. My dad-in-law and I have become friends, and I have now met all his expectations, having kept myself physically fit, attained a tertiary degree, and been promoted at work with a better income.
<i><b>NOTE:</b> The story in this article is fictional.</i>
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