Lila went to college not expecting to meet Nick and her world to change.
| Write a story about Mr. and Mrs. Claus first meeting, going on a date, falling in love, or getting married.|
Written for "The Whatever Contest." "The Whatever Contest -- Closed for Now"
Nate, one of the house parents introduced them as she came down the stairway. She never thought in a million years that she would be interested in 'that' type of guy. You know the type..they go to college on their parents dime and then just slide all the way through. They pay people to do their work and then they still get a job in their family business. Geez, cynical much she thought to herself, she had never even seen this guy before, she didn't know why he was bringing up such strong feelings for her.
Maybe it wasn't him at all, maybe it was her mothers voice in her head telling her she was worthless, she couldn't do anything, she would never amount to anything. She had last seen her mom when she was 9 years old before she went into the foster system but her voice seemed clear as day.
Lila had worked hard to get into this college on an academic scholarship. A sponsor covered her room and board just barely. She was so grateful to be there though, she didn't need much, a peanut butter and banana sandwich once in a while. She had worked at a work program through her high school in childcare to save enough money for basic expenses. She would be sharing this big old house with 8 other college students and 2 house parents.
At the evening meeting everyone introduced themselves and talked about their major in school as well as going over the rules of the house. Lila glanced over at Nick, he smiled at her and she could have sworn he had a twinkle in his eye. He was handsome with brown wavy hair. He was clean shaven but she thought he would look nice with a beard as well. He was well dressed but casual.
When I talked about going in to child psychology and how I thought it was important to make sure children feel safe and loved and worthwhile, he silently nodded. Nick said that she sounded like a perfect candidate for his family's business however he never quite gave her a straight answer as to what that business was. He described his family business as a way to give children and families hope for the future and stoking the imagination of those young and old. When he spoke to the group,Lila felt like he was talking just to her. She shook her head as if to literally shake the foolish thoughts away.
Later in the evening, whether it was from boredom or excitement Lila was restless and tippy toed into the common area of the house. No one was in the living room but there was a light on in the kitchen and she followed it. Leaning over a book, drinking a steaming cup of something that smelled wonderful, there sat Nick. Again, she could swear his eyes twinkled again as he looked up at her with a lopsided grin. He offered her a cup of hot chocolate and she felt like as she drank it her worries and inhibitions fell away and the two poured their hearts out to one another until the wee hours of the morning. They talked excitedly about how they wanted to change the world so it was a better place for children and their parents and how they wanted a sense of safety and compassion for them instead of the chaos the world had become. Every night for months they spoke of these things and kindness and love for your fellow mankind, Things that Lila thought were no longer important to anybody but her.
It didn't take long to for Nick to know he had found in Lila the kind of person whom he could love forever. Of course his family could be a little intimidating but he didn't need to fill her in just yet.
Lila and Nick spent all of their extra time together. They were both academically adept so they made quick work of homework that was difficult for their peers. Slowly but surely they stole each others hearts.
Winter break was in 2 days and Lila dreaded, she feared that she would be the only one there during Christmas break. Of course she would never want Nick to stay away from his family.
That night before Nick was to leave for his family's house, he came and asked to speak to her. He was dressed in khakis and a red sweater and his smile added a warmth to his deep brown eyes that seemed to take away all of her pain and fears, past present and future.
At that moment, Nick Claus bent to one knee and asked Lila to make him the happiest man on earth by becoming his wife. Marry me and we'll move forward and change the world together her told her. So many things went through her mind. Was there really anybody this good in the world?
Through a film of what she can only describe were the happiest tears she ever cried, Lila accepted Nicks proposal, Little did she know the role she would expected to fulfill as Mrs. Claus.