"Okay, this calculus problem makes
absolutely no sense to me." Sara ran her fingers through her hair in
frustration as she stared vacantly at her text book. "I just can't
wait for this semester to be over. Actually, I can't wait for all of
college to be over."
"At least you're in college."
Stephanie looked back down at her book and tried, once again, to read the
passage of Hamlet she'd been pouring over for nearly an hour. "At
this point, I just want to make it out of high school. I'm eighteen!
I'm an adult, I shouldn't have to be bothered with all the immature children
that crowd the halls of Albanyville
High!" Sara put her pencil down
and looked over at Stephanie. She bit her lip and hesitated a moment
before she spoke.
"Steph, what would you say if I told
you I was going to try to get Dane to marry me?"
Stephanie sat straight up in her seat and quickly
pushed her books aside. She knew she'd have be very cautious in her
response. "Well, first I'd ask you if you've lost your mind!
Look, Sara, don't get your hopes up for anything as far as Dane's
concerned. You know his opinions on marriage. He's not the marrying
type! You'd have a better chance of getting him to a monastery than to the
"Oh, but I think I can get him to
marry me. I know he loves me very much! He's always telling me how
special I am to him and how much he loves me and doesn't want to be without
me. Sure, it might take some effort to convince him. I know he's a
huge flirt and he loves all the attention he gets from other girls, but I know
he loves me and wants to be with me."
Stephanie thought for a moment about her previous
conversation with Dane about his feelings for Jillian. Sara was way too
caught up in Dane to even think rationally about him. Stephanie knew that
if Sara kept seeing Dane, there was no way to avoid her getting hurt.
"Look, I know Dane cares about you a great deal, but you know what kind of
man he is! One woman will never be enough for him. You know there've
been others even since you two have been together. Dane is not going to
marry you! Gosh, I don't think Dane is gonna marry anyone!"
Sara stuck her bottom lip out defiantly and
crossed her arms over her chest. "He will, too, marry me! I can
get him to! I don't care what you say, you don't know him as well as I
do." Stephanie shook her head in defeat. She knew there was no
talking to Sara as far as Dane Manchester was concerned. She wouldn't
listen to reason.
"Hello, ladies!" Douglas spoke up
as he walked over to the table. Stephanie was relieved that he'd arrived
just in time to break the tension that had formed between them.
"Hello, Douglas," Stephanie
"I-uh-I," he stammered. "I
just wanted to know if you got the flowers I sent you." Stephanie was
shocked and taken aback. The lilies had been from Douglas, not Reginald! She fought to hide her disappointment.
"Um, yes I did. They were
lovely." She tried to hide her discomfort as she fiddled with the
straw in her soda. "There was no name on the card, so I had no idea
who they were from."
"Hey, maybe I should leave you two
alone." Sara quickly got up from the table as Stephanie shot her a
look of disapproval. "You need to talk." She swiftly moved
away leaving the awkward duo to look at each other in silence.
"Well, I'm sorry, that was my
fault." He finally broke the quiet as he sat down beside her.
"I actually forgot to sign the card. It was kind of a spur of the
moment thing and it totally slipped my mind."
"Well, that's quite alright."
Stephanie began to warm up to Douglas as the shock began to wear off.
"I was just a little surprised they were from you. I had no idea that
you were, um, interested."
"I am." He smiled at her
nervously and reached out for her hand. She didn't pull away.
"I've thought your were beautiful and charming for a long time, now, but I
never had the courage to say anything until the other day. I really would
love to get to know you better. You know, maybe go out. See what
Stephanie thought for a moment. Sure, I
want Reginald, but what if Momma's wrong? What if I can't get him away
from Jillian? A girl like me has to have options. Besides, Douglas
is a successful lawyer and Momma thinks the world of him. He wouldn't be
bad for a consolation prize. "We can do dinner
sometime." She finally spoke up. "In fact I'd love
"G-great!" He tried to hide his
shock. He just knew that someone as lovely and popular as Stephanie would
never be interested in him, but here she was agreeing to go on a date!
"Um, so I'll call you and we can make plans?"
"Sure," she smiled at him. Keep
your options open, Stephanie. Keep your options open!