Under The SkyBy: Western Press
Meri decided to put her ring on when she went to dinner. She had butterflies in her stomach, but she knew that once everything was out in the open it would be better for her and Daniel.
When they arrived at the restaurant, the hostess seated them in a quiet corner where they could have a conversation. It almost seemed to Meri that the hostess was aware of their need for privacy. Their waitress came and took their drink orders and to tell them about the special for the day. When she returned with their drinks, Daniel took a deep breath.
“There is something that Meri and I need to discuss with the two of you,” Daniel said. “We have been seeing each other for about three years, and we have fallen in love with each other.”
Meri couldn’t help but notice the dark look on Harold’s face. Amanda just sat there staring, not sure what to say.
“I know this comes as a shock to the two of you, but we really want the two of you to be happy for us,” Meri said. “Daniel has asked me to marry him, and I have agreed.”
She held her ring up to show them that they were serious. Amanda started to cry, and Harold was obviously not happy.
“We really want the two of you to be involved in helping us prepare for a wedding,” Meri said. “We have agreed that we will wait until after I take my state exams, but once I get my license I plan to look for a job in Memphis. Daniel has too many years on his job for us to live anywhere but here.”
Neither Amanda nor Harold made any move to congratulate the two. Amanda was in shock and didn’t know what to say, but Harold was disappointed that the two of them felt the need to keep such a secret from their parents. And Harold knew his son’s past with women and he was afraid Meri would get hurt. If this thing between Daniel and Meri ended badly, it would also put a strain on his marriage to Amanda.
They somehow managed to get through their meal, but the situation was uncomfortable. Meri told her mom that she planned to stay in Memphis so that she could study for her exam, and also look for a job. Amanda was a little disappointed, but she knew it made good sense, since the state exam was given in Memphis.
Meri wished that her mother was more excited. She really needed to have her advice on planning a wedding. And she and Daniel wanted both of their parents there. They both desperately wanted their parent’s approval, but they knew they had to give them a little time to adjust to the idea.
One day Meri came up with an idea that she thought might help bring their parents around. She called her mother to tell her she had passed her state exams, but she also needed her help. She asked Amanda if she would consider coming to Memphis and helping her shop for a wedding gown. There was a temporary silence at the other end, but finally Amanda agreed. They planned to get together on Saturday while Amanda had the day off.
When her mother came to Memphis they agreed to meet for lunch before going shopping. She needed to talk to her mother and make her understand that Daniel was right for her. Meri told Amanda that she and Daniel had developed a friendship with they all went on the family vacation to Florida. At the time they hadn’t made any plans to see each other again, but then they ran into each other at a dairyette that was close to the college. Meri even told her mother about the pregnancy and the accident that ended it. She hoped that Amanda would understand that if the relationship made it through that, then it was likely they would be happy forever.
Amanda could see how much it pained Meri to tell her about the pregnancy. She could also see how Meri smiled at the mention of Daniel’s name. She looked at Meri and she realized that her daughter had grown into a beautiful young woman. She appeared to be in complete control of her life, and she knew what she wanted. She loved Daniel, and she had been willing to open up about something so personal as a miscarriage to win her mom’s approval. How could she not be happy for her daughter? Her daughter had stuck to her guns about completing her education before getting married. She was a grown woman who had made smart decisions for her life, and she must somehow make Harold realize that Meri and Daniel belong together.
Meri and Amanda left the restaurant arm in arm, heading toward Davis Bridal. Amanda was looking forward to seeing her daughter find that perfect gown. She knew that Meri would be beautiful, no matter what gown she chose. Love looked good on Meri. Amanda hoped that Meri and Daniel would find the same kind of happiness as she and Harold. She looked forward at the future and smiled. Their family get-togethers would definitely be interesting!