After they returned to shore, Sharlee started to call Alissa, but decided not to do it right away.
“Noah, I just want the two of us to enjoy our engagement privately for a little while, but I promise that later I will call my Mom.”
They sat on the ground admiring Sharlee’s ring.
“What did you say?
“Of course I said yes!”
Then Sharlee sat up and pulled out her phone. She called Alissa to tell her the good news.
“We plan to get married while we’re in Italy.”
“So it will be soon?”
“Yes, Mom. We don’t want to wait. I know we’re young, but that doesn’t mean that our marriage won’t work out. We both know it won’t be easy, but we’re tired of being apart. So please don’t even try to talk me out of it.”
“Sharlee you know that I would rather you waited a few years before you marry, but it is your decision to make.” Alissa almost lost her composure trying to hold back tears. She got herself together and continued speaking. “You have family and a lot of friends who will want to share that special day with you. That includes your Dad. Please let us be there too.”
“Yes, Baby, he will. He’s already sorry for the things that he said and the way that he treated you and Noah. He will want to walk you down the aisle. Let us make it a wonderful day for you and Noah. Just wait a few weeks so that we can plan it. You can still have it in Italy. We’ll hire a wedding planner and see how long it will take for her to make the arrangements.”
“Can you hold just a moment?” Sharlee muted the phone and turned to Noah. “My mother wants the family to be there at the wedding. She wants to hire a wedding planner and still have it in Italy in a few weeks.”
Noah had known that Alissa would want to be there. That’s why he had wanted Sharlee to call her. Even though Dale wouldn’t be pleased, Noah didn’t want Sharlee to lose out on having her family there on such an important day.
“Okay. You know you want her there too, Babe.”
After agreeing to Alissa’s idea, they began to make whirlwind wedding plans. Sharlee returned home and Noah stayed with Matthew and Kay until the day for them to leave for Italy.
“I’ve always imagined you looking like a princess on your wedding day.”
From behind, Sharlee’s dress was a bit more revealing than the clothes she usually wore. The back had a deep plunge. She had let Crystal convince her to try something different.
Their conversation embarrassed Sharlee.
Anna told them, “Congratulations to you both!” She wasn’t really surprised by their early engagement after all that they had been through. Although she wasn’t in any hurry to marry her own boyfriend. That would be a few years away, if ever.
Noah looked at her in surprise and answered. “No this is how a guy acts whose totally in love with you. People always think about sex, but even if something happened where Sharlee and I were never able to sleep together, I’d still love her just as much.”
Alissa hugged Dale. She knew this was hard for him. He had apologized to Noah and Sharlee for losing his temper, but his opinion that Noah was not the right guy for Sharlee had not changed. He just didn’t want to make things more difficult between himself and Sharlee. So he kept his opinions to himself and tried to make this a happy time for her.
“Hi David. I wasn’t expecting to see you this morning.”
David was supposed to be a groomsman in the wedding.
“I see now that deep down I was hoping that our friendship would become something more, but that isn’t going to happen. You’re marrying Noah. Knowing that is one thing, but I realize now that I can’t stand watching you marry him. I’m in love with you Sharlee. I just wanted you to know that. I sincerely hope that you and Noah will be happy.”
He hugged her and then he left the house. Sharlee saw him once more before he left for college. After that she never saw him again.
The wedding is in the next chapter.