Chapter Thirty-three

(Dan’s Point of View)

I woke up with Haylee sleeping on my chest, and my arms wrapped around her. I glanced over at the clock, seeing that it was already 10:30. Haylee stirred, scooting closer to me for warmth. Moments later, she woke up, blinking her eyes open.

“Goodmorning, love.” I said, combing my fingers through her hair.

“Morning, Dan.” She returned, laying the back of her head on my chest. “Well, I guess we drifted off, didn’t we?”

“Yep, I guess we did.”

“And I have a feeling it was intentional, yes?”

“Eh…”

“Yes, it was intentional.” She answered for me, sitting up and smiling. “And that’s fine. But you better go home before someone notices your car in my driveway.” Oh, I thought with disappointment.

“Yeah, I guess it’s time for me to leave anyways.” I said, standing up and stretching. We walked outside, where we had a quick goodbye. I got home, wondering if I should work on Overjoyed some. Thinking, I decided to work on the instrumental part of it. I wouldn’t be singing acapella the whole time.

The day dragged by, and I read some more of my book. It would be fun to take a walk with all five of us sometime, I thought suddenly. That night, I called Haylee to see if she could gather up Jackie and Kyle, for I would get Chris.

***

Us five continued to do things together, growing more and more into a family as the months passed. We spent every day with each other, one way or another. But I think that Halloween was the best holiday we got together for. No, we didn’t dress up, but I guess you could say that we went trick-or-treating, somewhat.

We met up at Chris’s house, where we began to walk around town, only stopping at a few houses. We were probably a huge disturbance, but nobody seemed to mind.

“Oh, look at that little kid’s costume!” Haylee said, pointing to a toddler dressed up as a dinosaur. “Look at him, he’s so cute!”

“Oh yeah, I see him.” Jackie piped in, smiling wide. That was one thing that I would never understand about girls. Kids are kids, they don’t seem very cute, even in a costume.

When we got back to Chris’s, we decided to put our candy together, since alone, we didn’t get very much. I saw Haylee sneak a blue starburst.

“Your favorite?” I asked, smiling.

She blushed in the dim light. “Yeah, I love blue starbursts. They make your tongue blue, though…” She said, sticking out her tongue. We laughed, and I decided to take all of the blue starbursts that I had gotten and give them to her. We sat on the ground in Chris’s yard, talking and sneaking pieces of candy. It was a bit colder, so we all had light jackets on. I wanted to snuggle closer to Haylee, but was dimly aware of the others right next to me. Whatever. Who cares if they see us in love? Haylee was sitting cross-legged on the lawn, so I nonchalantly wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer. Kyle seemed to be the only one to notice, for he sent me a wink. Haylee saw it too, so she just played along and laid her head on my shoulder. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Kyle scoot closer to Jackie, as well. I felt bad for Chris.

“Well, Chris, looks like you should probably find a girlfriend for yourself, mate.” Kyle teased, breaking the silence.

Chris laughed. “Am I really missing out?”

“You bet.” I answered him, making a small gesture towards Haylee. That night, I stayed at Haylee’s, loving every second of it. We fell asleep together, our faces close.

***

I got to know Haylee more than I ever thought I could know a person. At times, I thought I knew her more than I know myself. I found out that she loves the names Ace, Dustin, and Ari for boy names, and loves Hazel, Ember, and Amber for girl names. She told me how obsessed she was with writing when she was younger, and knew right from the start that the life of an author was the life she wanted. She told me how tough it was when she was young, and how scarce money was in the family. We even talked about our future together, and how our kids would grow up loving nature and traveling all around the world. Over our years together, we’ve had moments that are indescribable. I told her about my past life, too, and about how pessimistic I used to be. She helped me be more optimistic, and helped me change my bad habits. I forget how many years passed, but I can remember on June fifth, 2011, I made the decision to propose to her. I had gotten the ring a few days earlier, but just didn’t have the guts to actually do it.

It was a beautiful spring day, but the forecast was calling for rain. There were a few puffy clouds passing over the sun, but nothing else but blue sky and sunshine. Shoving the box with the ring in it deep inside my pants pocket, I walked over to Haylee’s house. I knocked on the porch door.

“Who is it?” I heard her call from upstairs.

“Mailman.” I teased. I heard her laugh and trot down the stairs.

“Hiya. I was just working on my memories book.”

“How’s it going?” I asked as she opened the screen door.

“Good. Come on in.” I followed up her up the stairs, butterflies flitting in my stomach.

The End

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