Ambrose closed his eyes and plummeted into his day exhaustion.
It was like falling into an endless hole. Nothing to see, hear, feel, or experience other than the fall.
It was peaceful and easy.
Then, a name came to mind.
And it pulled him back to consciousness.
Ambrose opened his eyes.
Time is moving fast.
Next week, we will be married.
This coming Sunday.
He counted the days in his head.
Seven days plus one.
And my life will be irrevocably changed.
After this coming Sunday, I will have a wife. I will be a husband. And maybe one day a father.
I could become a father.
I need to call her.
I need to talk to her.
He pulled the phone out from under his pillow and called her number.
His heart raced as he listened to it ring.
“Ambrose! What are you doing calling me this time of day?”
“I was thinking of you.” He ached with the need to hold her. “I was thinking about next Sunday. Oh, Barbara. Is this really happening? I’m not still trapped in Mark Caten’s amusement park and hallucinating all of this, am I?”
“I hope not. I’d be sorely disappointed if this weren’t real.”
“So would I. I don’t know how my body would be able to function after such a disappointment. Do you really love me, Barbara? You won’t get cold feet at the last moment, will you?”
“After everything that you and I have gone through, I am so not going to get cold feet. Matter of fact, I might get a bad case of hot feet and go running down the aisle past all of the flower girls and just leap into your arms.”
“Everyone will be shocked and appalled and dismayed by my lack of proper wedding day decorum.”
“Except for me. I would be enthralled.”
The ache built up inside of him. “I wish you were here with me now.”
“So do I.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too, kitten. I’ll see you tonight.”
He felt like he couldn’t breathe, but he managed to say, “I’ll see you tonight.”
Barbara ended the call and put her phone back into her purse.
Only eight days and I don’t feel nervous. I wonder if I should.
There’s nothing for me to be nervous about.
I know him.
I know what kind of boat I’m jumping into. I know his strength and his weakness. I’ve seen them both.
I know he loves me.
I know I love him.
And I want him.
I want him to stay in my life.
I want to be his bride.
I want to be his wife til the end of my days.
Her father opened the passenger side door and got into the car. “Sorry, punkin. I got to talking with Darren and Rosemary. They’re so happy for you. She wants to sing for your wedding. I told her yes. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Oh, I don’t mind. That’s one of those details I kind of forgot about.”
He laughed softly. “So, did I.”
She started the car and pulled out of the church parking lot.
His phone rang. “Sorry.” He answered it. “Hello. John here.” His face lit up. “Hi! No, we’re just leaving church. Yes. Yes, I’ve thought it over. I…” He swallowed hard. “Yes. Yes, I do. I—” He laughed. “Maybe a little nervous. It’s been an entire lifetime since I’ve done this. Tonight?”
He gave Barbara a panicked look.
She gave him an encouraging smile.
“Yes. Okay. I can do that. Tonight. Yes. What time? Seven. Okay. Yes. Yes.” He laughed again. “Oh, yes. Yes, I will see you. Thank you. ‘Bye.”
He ran his hand through his hair. “Holy mackerel.”
Barbara’s heart warmed at the sight. The old ache was no longer in his eyes.
“I have a date with Mrs. Clarice Vansing tonight at 7:00. I’d say I’m doing more than okay.”
“Where are you two going?”
“I have no idea. She’s going to pick me up and take me somewhere mysterious. Is it okay if I’m looking forward to it?”
She giggled. “It’s far more than okay.” She stopped at a red light and gave his face a light kiss. “It’s about time.”