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Resignation, Part 46

This is the latest chapter of my fiction series called Resignation.  This has been a great experience that is coming to and end.  If you want to check out any other chapters, feel free to do that at my Fiction page.

Tom pulled into Teresa’s driveway.  He checked the time on his radio, phone and, finally, his watch.  They were all the same.  Early, but fortunately only by a few minutes this time.  He thought back to that first date with Teresa.  He had always thought that being early was sign of respect for the girls he dated.  He found out that was not the case with Teresa.  He quickly learned that it was more a sign that he would be sitting there waiting on here for a while.  He had been adjusting and doing well, but he was a bit anxious today.  He sat in the car for an extra minute listening to Football Time On TSR.  Tom was a graduate of the University of Tennessee and tried to catch as much news about his Volunteers as he could on his phone.  Reed, the host of the show, was engaged in some banter with one of his guests as Tom turned off the app.  Tom hadn’t really been able to concentrate on what was going on.  He had too much on his mind.

Tom hopped out of the car and walked up the Teresa’s front door.  He gave it a slight knock before he opened it to go in.  He wasn’t sure when, but somewhere along the way he had just begun to enter Teresa’s house and wait for her in the living room.  There, the kitchen and the hallway bathroom was as far as he went.  He didn’t want to go any further, not that Teresa would let him.  She was as adamant as him that they not put themselves in any tempting positions.

“Is that you, Tom?” Teresa called from back in the bedroom.  Tom smiled.  He wondered what she would do if it wasn’t him?  Based on some of their dates at the shooting range, he was pretty sure he knew what would happen.  Besides the handgun she had a permit for, he knew that she had a shotgun for home protection.  He hated to think of the poor guy who would try to break in on his girlfriend.

Girlfriend. He still was in awe of the fact that he and Teresa were dating.  To think that it all began because of them running into each other at the Christmas parade.  Their relationship had moved along quickly.  They both liked each other’s family and, just as important, their families liked them.  Much of their time together was spent visiting each other’s families.  Everything had gone smoothly.

“It’s me.”  Tom continued to look at all of the pictures Teresa decorated with that he had seen countless times before.  He believed that he could tell the stories behind each one almost as well as she could.  He smiled when he saw the picture of them at Bald River Falls.  They were both soaked and laughing.  They had asked another hiker to take their picture and he had, shaking his head as he had done it.

Tom grew more anxious as he waited and looked around.  He knew that Teresa wouldn’t mind if he had turned the TV on, but he knew that he would pay as much attention to it as he had the radio.  He had to focus and the only way he could do that was to not focus in on the radio or TV.   There would be plenty of time for that.

Teresa walked into the room with her purse and a sweater.  He smile, knowing that she carried her purse and a sweater with her whenever they went somewhere.  It didn’t matter what the weather was like, if it was hot or cold, a sweater was traveling with them.  She set them down in her chair and made her way to Tom.

The embraced in a nice, but short, hug ending with a kiss.  Teresa reaching up and wiped a bit of lipstick off of Tom.  She smiled and let go.  Tom hoped that she wouldn’t notice that he was nervous, but he knew that would be a reach.  They had learned each other fairly well, with Teresa knowing him better, he thought, than he knew her.

“Where are we headed for dinner?”  Teresa looked over at him and he knew she was hungry.  She wasn’t like the few other women he had dated.  She had never been afraid to eat in front of him.  It didn’t matter if it was a burger or a rack of ribs, she knew how to put away some food.  She didn’t overeat, but she certainly wasn’t just a salad eater either.

“I don’t know.  I picked last time, didn’t I?”  Tom knew the answer.  He was just wanting to see what Teresa would say.  Plus, he needed to talk just a bit to build up his courage.

“I don’t think so.  I think I have picked the last three times.  It’s time you picked.  Choose your favorite place.  It’s all good.”  Teresa smile and he remembered another reason he loved her.  She was so dang agreeable.  They had a few arguments, but nothing terrible.  They didn’t agree on everything, but their values were so much in sync that they really didn’t disagree on anything major.  He knew that she kept her house cleaner than he did.  He wondered how he could make that change?

“Ok, how about The Mill?”  Tom didn’t look directly at her as he said that.  He knew what her reaction would be.

“Tom, that’s just too expensive.  You shouldn’t be spending that kind of money on me.  We should do that on a special occasion.”  Teresa smiled and stuck her lips out in a fake pout.  Tom knew just how much she wanted to eat there sometime.  They just hadn’t had the occasion to eat at a restaurant like that since they had been dating.

“You’re right.  We ought to go when for some big occasion or something to celebrate.”  Tom paused for a minute and turned his back to Teresa.  He quickly turned around and continued. “How about we celebrate this?”

Tom turned around, bending to one knee.  In his hand was a small box which held an engagement ring.  Tom grinned as he saw Teresa’s eyes grow to the size of saucers.

“Teresa, will you go to The Mill with me tonight and celebrate our engagement?”  The pit that Tom had been feeling in his stomach all night felt about the size of the Grand Canyon.  By this point, he had the ring out of the box, ready to put it on Teresa’s finger.

Teresa seemed to be in shock.  She stuck her hand out to let Tom put the ring on her finger.  She slowly seemed to be getting her bearings back.  She smiled at Tom and then responded.

“Let’s eat.”

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