Ambrose opened the box one more time and took out his mother’s ring. Even though it was certainly missing its diamond, he smiled – a soft, gentle smile.
Who am I supposed to ask for her hand? Her father or Sammy? I’ll play it safe and ask them both. But I will ask her father first.
His smile fell.
I have to talk to her father.
He’ll box my ears. He’ll call me an impudent pup. He’ll throw me out into the street and tell me to sell matchbooks at the fair.
He’ll say no.
Of course he will. Why wouldn’t he? After what I did, after how I hurt her, after I humiliated her…
I made her cry.
I broke her heart.
He won’t forgive me.
If he were a man of any worth, he would never forgive me. He would never accept me as his daughter’s husband.
But I love her.
I want to do what is right. I want to marry her. I want to make her happy. Ridiculously laughing on the floor happy. Would that be enough for him? Is there a way I can prove myself to him? What can I do? What can I say?
What if she doesn’t want me?
What if that one moment, that one mistake, that one burst of sheer stupidity, is all it takes? What if she thinks that it will happen again? It won’t! But what if she thinks it will? What if she expects it? What if she can’t get over it?
I love her.
If she rejects me, what will I do?
“Hello. This is your conductor speaking. We are now approaching Pinkerlee. Pinkerlee is a nice place to visit. But please be sure to stay away from Mark Caten’s abandoned Funorium in the bad side of town. The Funorium was built in the late 1970’s as an extravagant place to have fun with your mates. It has the world’s longest slip and slide, an advanced water park, and, most exciting of all, an indoor chain link fence maze. Yes. It is a maze made out of chain link fences. Exciting. But don’t go there. That place is haunted by 69 and a half ghosts. Creepy.”
The train started to decelerate.
Ambrose put the ring back into the box and closed it. “Doesn’t matter. I’ll ask them anyway.”
I just need to take a couple of remedial courses on how to handle a horse-drawn carriage.