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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Huh? (01/21/10)

TITLE: Burst of Bravery
By Marita Thelander


When someone turns nineteen it can seem rather uneventful. Eighteen, now that’s a different story. You’re considered an adult and you can register to vote. Woohoo! (Not that your vote actually counts.) Along with registering to vote, if you’re a guy you have to register for the draft, too. Okay, not so woohoo.

When you’re eighteen you can skip class and write your own note. Now that perk came in handy. “Please excuse my absence from fourth period history. I had an appointment during my lunch hour and was unable to make it back in time for class.”

What was my appointment, you ask? It involved French fries and a chocolate milkshake, but let’s just keep that information between us, okay?

Eighteen is a carefree time, but the anniversary of my birth that marked my nineteenth year is a different story. No balloon bouquet from mom attached to my favorite candy bar, accompanied by a giant pepperoni pizza, and a six-pack of Dew for me to share with my friends at high school. No family meal where I get to choose the menu, which has been lasagna for the last four years. I had chicken strips in the cafeteria. Ugh.

It’s hard to be excited about a birthday when you live half-way across the state at Bible College, but before I depress myself, something special did happen on my nineteenth birthday. Tyler drove three hours after work to come see me. I must confess though, I was a tad-bit disappointed when I didn’t see any flowers or a gift.

We strolled through the campus hand-in-hand and he let me ramble on about how hard college is compared to high school but I could skip class most anytime and not be in trouble. At least not until exams came and I didn’t know what the ‘html’ everything was on the test (html is my new bad word. Mama wouldn’t be happy, though). I don’t skip classes anymore.

I knew Tyler couldn’t stay long, but he sure brightened up my birthday. Later we sat on the steps outside the dorm, snuggled up (in public) and chatted. That’s when Tyler weirded out on me. This is how our conversation went.

“Chelsey, your eyes are like doves and your cheeks are beautiful with earrings.”

I rolled that phrase over and over in my mind unsure what to do with it. My cheeks are beautiful with earrings…seriously? He continued.

“You’re like a lily among thorns. Your hair is like a flock of doves…I mean goats.”

“Huh?” I turned and looked at him.

“Sheep? Maybe it’s sheep.”

“You have stolen my heart; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine.”

“Huh? What? Since when do you drink wine?”

Tyler’s face burned he got so flustered. Then it hit me. “Have you been reading Song of Solomon?”

“Well…yes,” his head hung in defeat.

“Shame on you, Ty,” I giggled.

“I just wanted to tell you how beautiful you are and…” He squirmed and blushed. I felt sort of sorry for him. “I miss you so much, Chelsey. I can hardly stand it.”

“Awe, Ty-ty, that’s so sweet. I miss you too. You have no idea how much you brightened up my birthday. It could have been brighter with some flowers though.” I couldn’t help but tease him.

“I didn’t drive up here just because it was your birthday.”

“I wish you would relax, Tyler. I know we only have a short visit before you have to drive back home and you’re wasting it being all Song-of-Solomony. What’s up with that anyway?”

“Just tell her you love her, kiss her, and get it over with, man.” Somebody above us had their window open and was listening the whole time.

I thought Tyler was going to cry. “Walk me back to my truck?”

Then I thought I was going to cry. What should have been a perfect birthday present, turned disastrous. When we got to his truck Tyler suddenly had a burst of bravery.

“Chelsey, I love you and I wanted to come here tonight,” he pulled a little blue velvet box out of his pocket. “And ask you to be my bride.” I gasped at the shimmering beautiful solitaire diamond and squealed.

“Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.”

It looks like nineteen will be an eventful year after all.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 01/29/10
Young love:) There's nothing like it. I love the Song of Solomon quoted. That kid did some homework. Awesome story.
Patricia Herchenroether01/29/10
Great little romance. For some reason, I got the impression that the mc was a male-maybe because of the draft info?

The boyfriend's dialog was right on for "Huh" and hilarious. Nice story.
Noel Mitaxa 02/01/10
Very "engaging" sketch across the emotional cocktail of the age. Hope, humour, anxiety, wistfulness, frustration - well done.
Glynis Becker02/02/10
Aww, the trials and tribulations of young romance...what a sweet story!
Beth LaBuff 02/02/10
LOL, Mari! A memorable 19th, to be sure... and "html" LOL! :)
Celeste Ammirata02/02/10
Cute little, well written romance. What a guy that Ty is.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz02/02/10
I really enjoyed this. It was cute.