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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: Laws of the Marriage
By Edmond Ng


Hurdles. Not again! How long more is he going to test me before I can marry Belle? I thought to myself as I feverishly continue cycling the bicycle at the gymnasium.

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.

NOTE: The story in this article is fictional.

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This article has been read 1563 times
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Sara Harricharan 05/15/08
Awww, so glad that Belle was able to finally get Uncle Wil to see the connection between the two of them! I'm so happy that they were able to finally get married at the end too-this was nice! ^_^
Mary McLeary05/15/08
You tell a great story. This is sweet.
Jan Ackerson 05/19/08
Glad he got the girl at the end!

A few issues: you have some inconsistent tenses throughout, and I'd have liked to know why he called his potential father-in-law Uncle Wil.

You don't need the disclaimer at the end; it detracts from the piece.

This is sweet and a little bit tart--a nice combination.
Debbie Wistrom05/19/08
Glad your MC knew what he wanted and stuck to it. I like how you used time to help move the story along.
Lyn Churchyard05/19/08
I enjoyed this story very much, as Jan said, a few minor problems, but the story was good and it's nice to see your MC win his girl. Well done.
Beckie Stewart05/19/08
This was a cute story, but since the first grammatical error was made in the second sentence, that distracted from it. I too was distracted by him calling his future FIL "uncle". Kept waiting for an explanation for it. This is a great start and you have a very creative way of writing and should keep writing.
Edmond Ng 05/22/08
AUTHOR'S COMMENT: Thank you for your valuable feedback. This article has been written from a part of Asia where it is customary and respectful to address future in-laws as uncles and aunts, so the reason for 'Uncle Wil' in this story is purely cultural. For your information only.