The Girl Next Door

Hello Friends! Tonight’s image is titled “Surprise Visitor” for the bumblebee hiding under the flower and really has little to do with the story. However, if you want to purchase a copy please see the instructions at the bottom of the page.

He sat down somewhere between his yesterdays and his tomorrows. Something has changed and he was trying to figure it out. Before today she was just the bratty girl next door. The one who made mud pies and climbed trees. The girl who just last summer beat him in a wrestling match and made him say uncle before she would let him up. But today when she walked by in the school cafeteria she didn’t smell like mud pies and she didn’t move like a wrestler. She smelled like strawberries and seemed to float as she stepped. Things would be different from now on. A few days later he swallowed the lump in his throat and asked her to the dance. The first dance was awkward but eventually they moved as one. Sometime later that night she gave him his first kiss beneath the tree that they used to play in. It was just a little peck on the cheek but it made him feel like superman. That night he took his pocket knife and carved their initials into the tree. The heart shape wasn’t perfect but it was there. As time passed she would wear his spare jersey as she cheered for him at the high school football games. She maintained the yellow ribbon around their tree the whole time he was in the army and every day she touched their initials inside the misshapen heart and paid attention to the “4 ever” just inside the V of the heart. “A promise is a promise she whispers. One day when she came home from work and went out to check the yellow ribbon she found an engagement ring threaded through it. She heard his voice voice from the back door say “A promise is a promise “. After that day they were never separated again. By the next Spring they were married beneath that same oak and raised a family.

The little girl sat at the picnic table beneath the large lower branches looking at the odd somewhat heart shaped scar on the trunk. Her grandmother came out and sat next her. Looking up with her big blue eyes she asked about the Valentine carved into tree as her brother bounded from a branch. The grandmother smiled and said “Why don’t I tell you while we make a mud pie for your grandfather”.

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