Room for Just a Little Bit More(10)

By: Beth Ehemann

“Did you hear me?” Lucy squeaked from the backseat.

I turned to the side so I could hear her better. “I’m sorry, baby. What did you say?”

“What is Chocolate Fest?”

“The Chocolate Fest… Well, it is what it sounds like. Long Grove is this little town that’s full of shops and restaurants and toy stores.” Their faces lit up when I said toy stores, but I just kept going. “During the festival, they close off all the streets and people set up different carts and they sell all sorts of chocolate desserts and chocolate-covered things. There are magic shows and dancers and pony rides. It’s gonna be so much fun!”

Piper gasped. “Pony rides?”

“Yep, pony rides. Do you like ponies?” I asked.

“I love them.” She sighed.

I looked over at Kacie, who glared at me out of the corner of her eye. “Absolutely not,” she warned sternly.

“What?” I laughed innocently.

“I know you, Murphy. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is absolutely, one hundred and fifty percent no.”

She called me Murphy. That had the same effect on me as when I said something about the barn to her.

“There she is!” Piper yelled as we pulled into my parents’ property. My mom was standing on the porch, watering her flowers. When she saw us pull up the long driveway, she put the watering can down and waved at us.

Kacie parked her Jeep and we all hopped out as Mom made her way down the steps. Lucy and Piper ran right over and threw their arms around her waist, nearly knocking her down.

“Hi, girls!” She bent over and hugged them back. “How have you guys been?”

“Good,” Piper answered.

“We’re gonna live in a castle!” Lucy yelled in excitement.

My mom’s head snapped up as her eyes darted back and forth between Kacie and me. “Something else you forgot to tell me?”

Kacie crossed her arms across her chest and cocked her hip to the side, staring at me. “Go ahead, big shot. Tell her what you did.”

“I didn’t do anything.” I laughed, narrowing my eyes at her. “When we told the girls we were getting married, to make it easy for them to understand, I compared us to Cinderella and the prince.”

“So then,” Kacie piped in when I refused to tell any more, “they started dancing around and cheering that we’re all going to live in a castle. I stopped them and explained that no, we won’t be living in a castle, and all they had to do was look at him and…” She paused and motioned for me to finish.

“And I promised them a castle.” I shrugged.

“Brody Michael!” my mom shouted. “You can’t promise things like that to little kids. They’re never going to forget it.”

“Thank you,” Kacie said to her, clearly feeling vindicated.

“You know me, I never think that far ahead. I’ll figure something out. Just watch me.” I waved off both of those skeptical women as I walked past them into the house. “I gotta take a leak real quick and then we’ll go.”

When I came back outside, Lucy and Piper were hanging upside down from the swing set my mom had put in. My mom and Kacie were sitting on the wicker couch on the porch, facing each other and holding hands.

Kacie had tears in her eyes. Mom’s face was soaked. That couldn’t be good.

“What… uh… Are you guys okay?” I stuttered nervously.

When Mom heard me, her face instantly softened into a smile and she stood and walked over to me. She cupped my face in her hands. “My sweet, sweet, romantic boy. Kacie was just telling me about your proposal. Amazing, Brody.”

I felt my face flush. “Thanks. I wanted it to be special for her.”

“Well, I’d say you nailed it.” She sniffed. “Let me run in and grab my purse.”

Once she was inside the house, I looked at Kacie, who was wiping her eyes with a tissue. I smirked at her. “I sure did nail it that night, and I’m not just talking about the proposal.”

“Brody!” she scolded quietly, looking toward the door to make sure my mom was gone.

“Sorry, I can’t help it. I’m all revved up.” I walked over and sat next to her on the couch, leaning in to kiss her neck.