9.51 The Beginning of the End

At last, it was finally Jonathan’s birthday. He invited as many family and friends as he could cram into the house. The first guest to arrive was his friend Warren, aka “wolly mammoth.” He had been missing in action lately, so naturally Jonathan gave him a hard time.

“Excuse me, sir, can I see your invitation? I’m not sure you’re on our guest list.”

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Warren sucked his teeth. “Quit playing, man!”

“Dude,” Jonathan shouted with arms in the air. “Where have you been? I didn’t think you were going to come.”

“Man, you know I wouldn’t miss your birthday party.”

“Ok, ok…so, what’s her name? That is the only excuse I will accept for your string of absences.”

“Sheryl. And she is fiiiiiiiiiine!”

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“I bet she’s not as fine as my girlfriend!”

“Well…Skyla does have it going on! I ain’t mad! Anyway, just show me to the food, and I know y’all have some, ummmm, refreshing beverages up in here.”

“You know it. Right this way,” Jonathan said and turned around to see Skyla standing there. “Sky! Hi! When did you get here?”

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“Hmmm, around ‘my girlfriend is finer than your girlfriend.’”

“Oh, he he, you heard that?”

“Mmmm hmmm,” she said and came closer. “What’s that on your face?”

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“You see it?!”

“Barely. Are you growing a beard?”

“Yes! I’m gonna look so cool.”

“As long as you don’t grow it as thick as my dad’s…you can’t even see his lips!”

“And you wouldn’t want me to hide my lips, would ya, he he.”

She rolled her eyes. “Goofball.”

“Hey…you say that like it’s an indictment!”

“There’s my birthday nephew! Happy birthday,” Emerson said.

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“Uncle Emerson! Thank you! Skyla, this is my uncle. This is my girlfriend, Uncle Em.”

“It’s very nice to meet you, Skyla.”

“Nice to meet you too, Emerson.”

“Excuse me, sorry to interrupt,” said a male voice. “I’m Vincent, meatball’s friend. Any friend of Tony’s is a friend of mine, so I’m gonna be your bartender today free of charge. Happy birthday, my friend!”

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“Wow! Thank you, Vincent! I’m glad to finally meet you. Tony always speaks so highly of you.”

“You as well,” Vincent said. “Well, I’m gonna get to work. Enjoy the party.”

“Thanks. Actually, let’s get this thing going right now. Come on, you guys.” Skyla and Emerson followed Jonathan into the kitchen were everyone was gathered. “Attention, everyone. I have something I’d like to say before I blow out these candles…”

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“First of all, I just want to thank you all for being here. I know usually this would be a huge family event, but tonight, I’m not the heir of a huge, wealthy family. Tonight, I’m just a 18-year-old having fun with his friends. To my homeboy, Tony…we call him meatball…thanks for always being there. Love you, man!” Everyone said, “awww.”

“To my girlfriend, sweet Skyla…come over here so everyone can see how pretty you are!”

“What are you doing,” she whispered through her teeth.

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“I’m just telling everyone how I feel about you. I haven’t said this to you before, but I’d like to tell you in front of everyone. I love you, Sky!”

Everyone applauded and said “awww” again.

“You make me so happy, and making you happy makes me even happier!”

“Jonathan…”

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“The first time I saw you, something struck me, and I knew you were mine. I want you to be mine forever so I can spend eternity making you smile.”

“Oh, Jonathan,” she said with tears in her eyes.

“So, I know we’re young and have the rest of our lives ahead of us. If I give you this ring, will you promise that one day, when we’re ready, you would marry me?”

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He slid the ring on her finger, and he could hear everyone commenting on how sweet the moment was. Once the ring was on her finger, she held up her hand and looked at it through teary eyes.

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“Of course I promise!”

Everyone cheered and congratulated the young couple.

“That was so beautiful I could cry,” Janessa said.

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Julian beamed broadly at the sight of his son’s tenacity and decisiveness.

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“Man, he’s real serious about this girl,” Warren said.

“Gives you something to look forward to, huh,” Tony said.

“Whatever. I’m not there yet.”

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“Ok,” Jonathan yelled. “Let’s get this party started!”

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“I’m a young adult! Woot!”
“I’m a young adult! Woot!”

Everyone got cake, and then Juliette wanted to make an announcement…and everyone got nervous.

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“Hello everyone. Ummm…I know I usually don’t say nice things, but I’d like to say something nice tonight, so listen up! I just want to say congratulations to my brother and Skyla. I’m sorry I got mad at you all when you first met. I knew that he was going to like you because you’re just too darn likable, Skyla! Even though I wanted you to be my friend, I was glad that you and him started hanging out because you’re just the kind of person my brother needs. The future of this family is safe now! The end…that’s it…thank you.”

Everyone applauded Juliette and went back to their cake.

“Bet you weren’t expecting that, now, were ya,” she said.

“Not at all! Ummm…thanks. Really.”

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Viviana arrived at home just in time to get a slice of cake and say happy birthday to her first grandson. She smiled to herself as she was grateful to witness another birthday and wondered how many more she would witness.

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“Jonathan,” Janessa said. “That was so sweet! Skyla is so lucky.” It almost made me wish that someone would propose to me.

“Nah, I think I’m the lucky one. She’s so amazing!”

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“Little brother isn’t so little now, huh,” Juliette said.

Jonathan was a little embarrassed. He had never received so much attention from both sisters. “You girls are so sappy,” he said and walked away.

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Skyla was nearby, and he hugged her lovingly, and his sisters watched him.

“Ugh, they’re so stinkin cute,” Janessa said.

“Yeah…they really are!”

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Janessa groaned and turned to her twin. “Why am I jealous of my little brother? I don’t even want to be married to anyone!”

“What’s that you say? Love is powerful? Like the sun?”

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“Of all the times you choose to listen to me!”

“Hey…that was a good one. Maybe love can change you.”

“Grrr!”

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As the night went on, the spotlight was on Skyla, and everyone wanted to talk to her. Good thing she wasn’t a loner.

It was getting late, and some of the guests had begun to leave, so Jonathan rescued Skyla and said goodnight to her.

“I hope I didn’t embarrass you,” he said.

She smiled and said, “I forgave you when I saw this beautiful ring.”

“I’m glad you like it. I’ll get you an even better one when I propose to you properly.”

“Jonathan, you don’t need to buy me a better ring. This one is even too much.”

Nothing is too much for you, Sky.”

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