Charles waited outside Laura’s house in anticipation.
He knew this was a bad idea. Sitting down on a park bench he’d thought hard, arguing with himself whether to call her up or talk to her in person.
What if she slams the door in my face again? He’d thought uneasily. But his mother’s words echoed in the back of his mind, you’re not a quitter, Charles! Don’t lose hope, don’t give up.
And so he didn’t.
After over an hour, he finally made up his mind and walked up to her door and knocked. Breathing in he thought, here we go…
It was Laura who opened the door, dressed in a beanie, gloves and ugg boots. She seemed surprised to see him, opening her mouth as if to say something, but instead smiled warmly.
However, it was Charles who spoke first, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
“Hey” he said waving awkwardly. “I was just passing by; I thought I’d stop to check how you were doing.”
“I’m okay. I was actually going to visit your place, to… you know, to check how you were doing” she chuckled.
“Well these three weeks have been crazy for me. I haven’t been that well.”
“Oh! You looked exhausted, yourself.” replied Charles, smiling sheepishly.
“Well, I guess that’s because I couldn’t sleep, you know, because…” Laura stopped, abruptly and asked, “Oh why don’t you come in?”
Charles moved forward then hesitated, “I guess we should head out for a walk. The weather’s surprisingly pleasant today.”
Laura nodded and the two began walking along the cobblestone path.
“So, I was saying…” Laura continued,
… I should’ve been myself all this while. I should’ve told you how I felt about parties right after the very first party you invited me to. I shouldn’t have expected you to be like me or to share my dreams. But I wasn’t thinking right, I guess. I don’t know what I was thinking at all.”
… But it was only for you, you’re the only reason I did these things I hate.”
“I’m sorry Laura. I should’ve never asked you to do anything you hate! Frankly, I don’t want you be Mrs. Laura McDougal. I want you be Laura Croft, the officer who captivated my heart. I want you to be the tough gal who arrests the bad guys and saves the day. I want you to be you… Will you do that? Not for me of course, but for yourself?”
A wide smile spread across Charles’ face and he pulled Laura into an embrace, whispering in her ears,
Laura pulled away and asked with a concerned look,
“Then we won’t get married! I’ll wait”, he replied smiling.
Laura felt her cheeks get warmer. She’d never felt so special before.
Charles nodded then went on to say, “You know let’s not worry about that. I mean, we have the rest of our lives to sort these things out. Why don’t we take a break for now, and enjoy ourselves while we can? We could do something fun, take a little risk, be a little adventurous!
Laura was surprised. She’d never expected Charles to be the one suggesting fun activities. “I didn’t know you could think of having fun. I thought you were all about planning the future and working hard to achieve your goals.”
A chuckle escaped his lips, “Well you know they say true lovers are the ones who bring out the best in each other. You are my true love Laura. You are the one who showed me how to have fun and how to live for the moment!”
“Well I’m flattered!” she smiled, blushing like a school girl. “So when are we leaving for Granite Falls?” she asked excitedly.
“How about this weekend?”
Laura smiled and nodded in agreement.
They spent the rest of the day together. Time seemed to slip away and the sun had set before long. Yet neither of them wished to leave and go their own ways.
They were sitting on a park bench, chatting the entire evening. It was Charles who finally said, “It’s getting dark, I guess we should head home now.”
Laura stood up with a jerk. “I guess not” she said playfully and crouched to gather some snow in her hands. Making a snow ball, she exclaimed,
Charles stood up the instant he realized what was going to follow, “Laura no way! Stop!”
Charles said, covering his face in defense.
The snowball bolted towards him and hit his left shoulder. “Ouch!” he cried out and sat down on the snow pretending to writhe in pain. “That hurt!”, he wailed, rubbing his shoulder.
Laura ran towards him, afraid she’d gone too far. But she was taken by surprise, when Charles pulled her close and kissed her passionately.
“You scared me!” she yelled, pulling her face away.
Charles only chuckled and the two embraced before saying their goodbyes…