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      Eighteen Candles

     


As they sat under that shady oak tree hand in hand, she couldn’t help but remember the days when she only thought of meeting the boy of her dreams. The boy that would sweep her off her feet, like in the fairy tales she grew up reading. She never thought that he would be the boy that she had known her entire life, the same one that read those fairy tales too her. Their fathers had grown up together on Long Island, in New York, and moved to Florida together to be roommates. Each of them settled down, and raised their own families, but forever remaining best friends.           

Growing up, Abby always spent time at the Peterson home. The Peterson’s had three boys; Kyle, Austin, and Jack. Abby and her twin brother, Andy were five years behind Jack, the youngest out of the three, but Jack always included them. Abby and Jack were always very close, and as they grew older, became the best of friends and were never apart. Abby was your everyday girl, she liked to go to the mall, and hang out with friends, the only difference was she was a bit of a country girl. She rode horses, liked to barrel race, and was getting very good at roping calves. She spent quality time with her family, and the Peterson’s.           

Into her teenage years, Jack was always the one that would scare off any boys that might come her way. She thought he was just protecting her, because she knew that’s what her father wanted him to do. She had always had a slight liking towards Jack, but thought that nothing would ever happen, with there being such a big age difference. He was completely out of her league, so she kind of got over it, and accepted that all they would ever be was “friends”. But as the years went by, she dated boys, but she could never picture them in her future. She eventually came to the conclusion that maybe if she stopped looking for “Mr. Right”, he would appear. Boy was she in for a surprise!           

On her 18th birthday, Abby went to her Grandfather’s farm, to tend to her horse, Carolina. As she rounded the corner on the side of the barn, she noticed a balloon tied to the tractor. On the ribbon there was a note that read, “Go to the kitchen, and open the fridge.” She walked up the dirt path to the house her Grandfather had built over fifty years before, and into the house. As she walked into the kitchen, her Grandmother giggled and politely moved over so that Abby could open the refrigerator door. Inside there was a cake iced with green frosting, her favorite color. Across the top of the cake, in pink letters, was a lyric from her favorite song,                                   

“Your heaven on MY eyes,                                   

 and hell on MY heart.                                   

Happy 18th Birthday Abby”

Suddenly she knew exactly who had left her that cake, and she couldn’t help but smile. As she turned around, her Grandmother pointed out the kitchen window, where Abby could see the back of Jack’s head. She ran outside, too see him holding a bouquet of daisies, hand-picked and tied with a ribbon. She ran up to him and jumped in his arms, knowing that while she was trying to find “Mr. Right”, he was there the entire time, she had just been too busy thinking of the complications. She asked him why he had waited so long, and he simply said that he was obeying her father’s wishes, for him to wait until she was 18. As they went in for that first kiss, both of their families came out of the house, shouting and congratulating the new couple. They had been in on the whole thing.           

After everybody had settled down, they had a barbeque to celebrate Abby and Andy’s 18th birthday. Of course they both got tons of great gifts that she adored, but the best gift was more of a feeling, a feeling that she loved. Afterwards, Abby and Jack walked to the barn, where they saddled up Carolina, and Andy’s horse, Huck. They rode through a field of flowers that took them to the oak tree that they had climbed together throughout their childhood. Jack tied up Carolina and Huck, and took out a blanket out of one of the saddlebags. He placed it on the green grass, and together Abby and Jack sat on it talking, hand in hand for hours. When they returned back to the house, it was dark outside, and everything was cleaned up. Those who were still there were sitting on the living room floor playing a game of Scrabble. This would definitely be a birthday she would never forget.

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