by Julie Moree
How do you really know what love is and how long are you willing to wait? Read now.
WRITTEN BY: JULIE WHITE
Address: 9930 Obeck Avenue
Arleta CA, 91331
It was a beautiful summer day. Jennifer and Bernard were sitting on the beach talking and having a fabulous time together. They had been going out for nearly two and a half years and that seems like enough time to know when you're truly in love.
Bernard just slipped a beautiful, 14-karat gold, ruby red ring on Jennifer's finger when who do you suppose would show up?
It was Dusty, Jennifer's very first boyfriend and true love. Jennifer was speechless when she saw him. She could not believe it was him at first. Had it really been almost seven years since she last saw him and last loved him?
"I'm going to California tomorrow. We might never see each other again."
Dusty wrapped his arms around Jennifer, cradling her as she sobbed. "Don't worry. Our love is strong. You know, I can't follow you, but I promise, as soon as I can, I will leave Tennessee and find you. I'll just listen to the sound of my heart."
Jennifer couldn't take it anymore. Her mind boggled with so many questions including one, in particular; whom did she really love?
Finally, Jennifer got up nerve to say, "Hi Dusty, What are YOU doing here?"
"I had to see you again, so after graduation, I hopped on the first plane I could and came out here to find you. You don't know how much I've missed you. By the way," he said, now glaring at Bernard, "Who's this?"
Jennifer answered, "This is my boyfriend, Bernard. Bernard, this is Dusty."
"Oh! So you have a boyfriend," Dusty said sadly, "Well I'm happy for you. Do you think I might have a moment alone with you though? You know, for old time sakes."
"Of course," said Jennifer, thinking it was just a harmless gesture and turned to Bernard to ask, "If YOU don't mind?"
"Not at all," replied Bernard giving her a kiss on the cheek, and affirming to Dusty, that she was his, "Just give me a call later. Bye Dusty."
Once Bernard was out of view, Dusty got down on one knee and proposed to her.
Jennifer responded, "That so sudden, Dusty. I mean, I haven't seen you in seven years. How could you expect me to respond to something like that?"
"Come on, Jen. Don't you remember our promise? I know it's been a long time, but ever since the last time I saw you, I haven't been able to keep your beautiful image out of my mind. That's why I did all I could do, in order to apply and get accepted into a California college, so I could be near you, and I was just hoping that you wouldn't have to leave California again. I love you, Jennifer and I can't bear to be away from you for another seven years. Please, marry me."
Those heartfelt words touched Jennifer, which made her even more baffled. True, it had been a while since she'd seen him, but she remembered that for a long time, she had felt the very same way, even after she'd met and fallen for Bernard. It was only recently that she forgotten all about the promise.
She, again, was speechless, but finally she said, "Give me time to think about it, and I'll let you know."
Dusty responded, "Thank you, Jennifer."
It was five years since she had last seen Dusty and Jennifer remembered her last minutes in his arms before the U-Haul truck pulled up to her driveway to load away all of her possessions and send her away. She hated her situation though she was ready for her new home, she couldn't bring herself to leave her love.
She vividly could see every scene of the day replaying in her mind that night.
Dusty held her in his arms, not wanting to let go, "Why do you have to leave.?"
"I know." She spoke through his shirt, "It's not fair. I love you. I can't imagine my life without you." Tears began to fall from her eyes as she sobbed uncontrollably. She couldn't bring herself to release him, but after a few minutes and a loud, 'Jenny, it's time to go,' she finally let go and watched as their fingertips separated forever.
Jennifer blinked as she watched the U-Haul truck disappearing into the distance, then her eyes consentrated on Dusty as he too was watching the truck disappear. He put his hand out as if trying to hold on and then whispered, "I'll find you. I'll always find you. I promise."
Once Jennifer arrived home, stilled stunned, she decided that she had to talk to her best friend. When Savannah answered, Jennifer said, "I need to tell you something."
"What is it?"
"Well, about an hour ago, two guys just asked me to marry them, Bernard and Dusty."
"Wait a minute," Said Savannah, clueless, "Who's Dusty?"
For the next half an hour, Jennifer spent it on the phone feeling Savannah in on all the details of who Dusty was, including the promise that was made, then said, "So, what do you think?"
"Wow, I don't know. It sounds awfully complicated. Maybe you could..."
"No. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but, yet, I don't know any more. Which is my true soul mate?"
"Well, why don't we get together and talk."
"That's sounds good. It's a little bit late tonight though. How about you come over tomorrow?"
"Sure," said Savannah, "2?"
"Okay," said Jennifer, "I'll see you tomorrow. Have a good night!"
Jennifer sat on her made up bed, contemplating what had happened in the last couple of hours. She couldn't believe it. Never in her wildest dreams had she imagined that anything like this would happen.
Finally she decided to put all her thoughts to bed and think about it in the morning.
Even while she was sleeping, her mind was boggled. She kept on having the weirdest dreams from her and Bernard to her and Dusty; none of them made sense.
The last dream before the phone rang at eight in the morning was the weirdest of all. She was at a wedding chapel in a gorgeous, long, white dress. Savannah, of course, was standing next to her, her maid of honor, just as they had talked about all along and Bernard and Dusty were out in the parking lot. They were dressed in tuxedos, dueling for her hand. Before she was able to see who the winner was, Jennifer was awoken by the phone.
"Hello Jennifer. Have you made your decision yet?"
"Not yet, Dusty. This is a tough decision for a girl. After all, you can't expect me to decide my whole life in just one night. That's sort of pushing it, especially since we've been apart for so long."
"You know, that's not my fault, if I could've gone with you, I would've. Come on, I love you."
"I know you say you love me but I want to be sure I'm making the right decision, please give me more time."
"Fine!" said Dusty, "I didn't mean to sound so hasty. I'm just anxious to know your answer. I've been waiting for so long to see you and I would like to be married before college. To change the subject though, how about I take you out to breakfast and a movie?"
"That'll be fine, however if we run into Bernard while we're out, we're just friends. Okay! I don't want to trouble him with this dilemma."
"Fine! I'll be over in half an hour."
"Okay! See you."
As soon as they hung up, Jennifer hopped out of bed and raced to her closet to pull out a pink sundress and matching sandals. Then she laid them on her bed and went into her bathroom to wash her hands and face and brush her teeth. Finally, she went back into the bedroom, pulled the sundress over her head, and buckled the sandals on her feet.
Dusty was there right after she had brushed her hair and they left to go to breakfast.
Dusty took her to Carrow's where they had steak and eggs with hot chocolate for her, coffee for him.
Jennifer could help but think of Bernard. What was he doing? Was he worried when he couldn't reach her? She prayed that he wouldn't try to get in touch with her while she was out.
"Aren't you hungry?"
Jennifer looked across the table that was now covered with food. She picked up her knife and fork and began cutting.
"What's wrong, Jennifer?"
"Nothing... Just thinking."
"Is it too tough?"
"What? Uh, No," she said, putting a piece in her mouth and chewing. They finished eating in silence and then went down the street to the movie theater.
Thankfully they didn't see Bernard but they did run into Savannah, before the movie started.
"Jenny." Savannah called out as Jennifer and Dusty turned around shocked.
"Hey girlfriend." Jennifer answered coyly. "This is Dusty. The one I was telling you about, from Tennessee. We were just going to see the latest Fast and Furious movie."
Dusty nodded, taking hold of her hand and said, "Nice to meet you. Any friend of Jenny's is a friend of mine."
"It's nice to meet you." Savannah answered, "Hope to be seeing you soon." She said, giving Jenny a wink that only she could see, "Enjoy the movie."
"Thanks," Jennifer replied as Dusty excorted her into the movie theater. The lights dimmed and Jennifer dipped her hand into the popcorn, gently grazing Dusty's hand. All at once, sparks went off in her heart and chest. This was magic and the magic kept her mind off of Bernard at least long enough to enjoy the movie. She thought it had something to do with the fast cars and hot Vin Diesel, but she wasn't entirely sure.
After the movie was over, Dusty drove Jennifer home and they sat on her porch, talking for what seemed like hours.
Dusty asked, "So, how did you enjoy the movie?"
"It was amazing. All the stunts and beautiful cars that went for 'one last ride' and of course Vin Diesel was icing on the cake. Thank you for the day. " She said, blushing, then added, "So What was your favorite scene."
"Oh I don't know," he began, "I think I especially love when the girl accepted the guy's surprise proposal after all those years. So magical."
Jennifer just sat there for a few minutes staring at him and then said, "Is that some kind of hint?"
"I don't know. Did it work?"
"I told you Dusty, I need more time?" If you have any trouble waiting, than I'm afraid, I can't say yes."
"No. Please! Don't say that? I can wait. I can. I CAN. I just..."
"Than don't push me otherwise, I'll have to say no." Looking at her watch, and yawning, "Hey, why don't I call you tomorrow? My friend's coming over, you know, girl talk and it'll give me more time to think and consider all my options. I promise, bear with me and I'll let you know soon." Jennifer leaned over and kissed him on the lips. Nothing, she thought, absolutely nothing anymore.
Dusty left, looking satisfied as Jennifer went inside to wait for Savannah.
In about an hour Savannah was on Jennifer's doorstep saying, "Hi, Jennifer, how was your date?"
"It was fine." answered Jennifer, "Come on in. I sure hope you can help me because I don't think I could live through another night after last night."
"What happened?" Said Savannah concerned.
"Nightmares, NIGHTMARES and more NIGHTMARES," answered Jennifer.
Just then, the phone rang. Reluctantly, she picked it up and said, "Hello!"
"Hi, Jen, how are you doing?"
The sound of Bernard's voice cheered her up and happily she said, "Oh, Hi, Bernie, I'm doing just fine. My friend came over and we were just talking a bit. So, what's up?"
Getting down to the point, he answered, "I was calling to see if you've made your decision. You know, since you didn't call last night and I couldn't get in touch with you this morning, I wanted to make sure you were all right."
Touched by what he said, she hesitated a moment then replied, "I haven't yet. I'm sorry. It's just a lot for a girl to think about. I do love you, but I don't want to rush into things and risk making a mistake and breaking yours or my heart."
"I understand. Take your time. In the meantime, would you like to go out somewhere tonight?"
"Oh that would be super," answered Jennifer, "What time?"
"Seven." Answered Bernard, "And don't forget to where your dancing shoes."
"Okay," Answered Jennifer.
"I love you!" Said Bernard.
"I love you, too." Finished Jennifer, "See you tonight."
"Okay," Said Bernard, "Bye."
Jennifer sat there, for what seemed like hours, with the phone glued to her ear, until Savannah finally said, "Jennifer, you there? Wake up!" She said, aiming a pillow, knocking Jennifer to the side.
Jennifer, put the phone down and replied, "Sorry, that's the trouble. I think I'm in love with Bernard but it's like I made the promise to Dusty and all these feeling are coming back. It's confusing."
"Well, let's start with a simple question. Who do you love?
"Gosh," Replied Jennifer, "Well, of course, I have always loved Dusty. For seven years before I even knew Bernard, I loved Dusty. But then again, every time I see Bernard, my heart flutters and I can't even explain it. How is this going to help anyway?"
"Well, I know it seems childish, but it always works in the movies. Let's make two piles of beads. We'll use red beads for Dusty and blue beads for Bernard. Now every time you answer Dusty, we'll put one red bead on the pile for Dusty and same thing for Bernard. Okay? Next question. Who do you see yourself spending the rest of your life with?"
"Oh, that's easy, Bernard, hands down!"
"Great," said Savannah, relieved, "That's one blue bead for Bernard."
"However," contemplated Jennifer, "I have always seen myself with Dusty." Grimacing, Savannah added a red bead to Dusty's pile. This went on for two hours and when they finally decided to stop, there was no solution.
When Savannah left, Jennifer went over to her closet and pulled out a beautiful, blue gown with matching shoes; carefully set them on her made up bed. Than she made an about face and went into the bathroom to take a nice, cool shower. After that, she pulled her gown over her head, and slipped her feet into the shoes, than she sat down at her vanity to do her hair and make up. By the time she was ready to do that, it was already six o'clock and she prayed she would have enough time.
Fortunately for her, Bernard did not mind waiting for her when he arrived at her house fifteen minutes till seven. They left precisely at seven o'clock to go to The Odyssey for dinner. They had filet minion and baked potato for the main course and chocolate cheesecake for dessert. After dinner, they went to a local nightclub to dance.
They had a fabulous time until about midnight when who, should they see with another person, but Dusty!?! It also shocked her of who she saw with Dusty, but Savannah, her best friend.
At that moment, Savannah turned around as Jennifer ran into the restroom sobbing. Savannah followed her. When they reached the restroom, Jennifer stopped, turned around, and said with tears still streaming down her face, "Savannah, how could you do this to me? You're supposed to be my best friend. How could you stab me in the back like that?"
"Dusty called me and asked if I wanted to go dancing, I figured it would be a harmless night out with friends. I guess I should have called you to make sure it was all right. I don't even know how he got my phone number. I'm sorry. Really, I didn't mean to hurt you. You are my best friend. Do you forgive me?"
"Of course you're my best friend and I do forgive you. You have no idea how it felt to see you come in here with a guy who supposedly loves me. Did he say anything about me?"
"Actually... no, not a word. He just called me, said that he didn't want to be alone and asked if I wanted to go dancing. Did you give him my phone number?"
"No, but I guess one good thing has come out of this disaster. Now, I know who truly loves me and who just wants companionship. As for Dusty, he's outta here as far as us getting married."
"That's good, your problem is solved," said Savannah, "So, do you mind if I stay with him at least for tonight."
Laughing, Jennifer answered, "Yeah, go ahead. Who better to be with my ex than my best friend?"
Jennifer dried her eyes and took off her make up which was now ruined and then the two of them came out of the restroom and walked back to the guys.
When they got there, Jennifer said to Dusty, "Could I talk to you a moment?"
"Yeah. Have you decided?"
"Yes, I have." Jennifer said, smiling at Bernard, "Yes Bernard, I will marry you."
Bernard's face turned into the biggest grin a guy could have as Dusty exclaimed, "What! But Jennifer, I love you. I can't live without you."
Jennifer took hold of Bernard's hand, stilling looking at Dusty, "Well, maybe if you wouldn't have gone around my back and taken my best friend out, I might've had a change of mind, however, as I said before, I haven't loved you for a while. I'm sorry, but I have to break our promise."
Dusty turned and started to walk away, when Savannah said, "What about me?"
He turned back and took Savannah's hand, then said, "Would you two like to join us?"
For the next couple of hours, Dusty and Savannah danced the night away; Bernard and Jennifer sat quietly, watching. At two when, they were about ready to leave, Bernard leaned over and gave Jennifer a passionate kiss that created fireworks when their lips touched.
"For making me the happiest man in the world. I love you and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you. Just one quick question though, why didn't you tell me about Dusty and the promise?"
"I didn't want you to worry about losing me," said Jennifer, "and, I guess, I knew in the end that I would turn him down and marry you. I love you and there's not that much that would make me question that, not even a promise that I made seven years ago."