The next day Drake and Dahlia found some free time and Dahlia asked him to accompany
her to the jewelry store so that they could pick out his ring for their wedding. They walked to town, hand in hand, and window shopped at each store they came upon. Drake was explaining what items were placed in the windows for all to see. The two of them found themselves adding notations to what they would like to put in their own home. Drake opened the jewelry store door and let Dahlia enter. They went to the counter and Drake said they were here to find a matching band for the rings that he had picked out for his bride to be. The sales lady took out the order from his purchase and found a band that matched perfectly. Dahlia asked him if he liked it and did it fit alright, and Drake just gave her a big hug to show how much he loved it. She told the lady that she would take it and she pulled out her money to pay for it and then had the lady keep it put back for her until it got closer to the wedding. They all said good bye and then left the store.
With Drew’s illness, classes and tutoring the students, the two found time ticking quickly by. It was now two months before graduation, so they decided while they were in town, to go to the florist shop and actually place an order, instead of dream shopping only.
The florist was very nice and eager to help the couple. They each told about the colors they wanted and what time of day the wedding was going to be, and putting their heads together, they decided on red dahlias, that would be showing their full beauty on the day of their wedding to compliment their love for each other. They also ordered some rose petals to be placed on the church aisle where the two would be walking down to receive each other. There were going to be small white buds of different flowers that were going to have white ribbons surrounding them, and these could be hung at each pew. The cost of these flowers was more expensive than they had wished for, but they went ahead with it, knowing this would be a day they would never repeat with any other again.
After leaving there, they compared notes with what needed to be done yet. Drake had his suit, and he had her rings on hold at the jewelry store and she had her dress,and now his ring, and the church had been reserved, the minister had been talked to and had committed to the date. The flowers were ordered. All that was left was the food and the finishing of the guest lists. The guest list was going to be small and intimate. Family, and close friends from school.
Drake had Drew who was going to be his best man, but Dahlia noted that she had no one to walk her down the aisle, but she knew that Sue was going to stand up with her. The two of them looked at each other and both knew where they wanted to go, so they headed back home, and went in and told Rachel and Ralph that they were going to pay a visit to Dahlia’s father, and then they got into the family car and took off for his house.
Upon arrival, they got out and went to the door and knocked. No one answered, so they knocked again. The door opened and Drake saw Dahlia’s father standing there looking like death warmed over. Drake and Dahlia entered and helped her father back into his chair.
The three visited and Dahlia asked her father if there was anything that needed to be done around the house and had he eaten lunch yet, and her father replied, he wasn’t hungry, and the house was fine.
Dahlia wanted to help her father, but she did not know quite how to be of help. She could cook though, and maybe this was a way of showing him that she cared about him.
She asked her father if he would be willing to let her fix them some lunch, and he did not say yes or no, so she found her way into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator and cupboards to feel what was available to fix them for the noon meal. Everything seemed so empty. There was an egg box with two eggs that were stuck to the inside. When she opened the jug, she could smell that it was once milk and had now soured, and it was almost empty. There was a few slices of cheese, but she could not tell if it was outdated or not, and the cupboards were not much better.
She walked back into the living room and took Drake aside and explained the despair of the kitchen, and he immediately told her father that they were going to go to the grocery store to replenish his kitchen cupboards and fill up his refrigerator. Her father didn’t say anything, and neither did he argue, but instead he pulled out his wallet and offered them some money, saying it wasn’t too much, but here is what he had.
She gave Drake a kiss and thanked him for his help and understanding and the two headed for the store. They left him sitting at the house wondering why they were being so kind to him. After all he did not deserve even a visit.
Soon the two were back and filled his refrigerator and cupboard shelves back to a decent spot. She then proceeded to fix them lunch. She took lettuce and washed it and tore it apart, and laid a leaf on three plates. Then she washed some tomatoes and cored them out and placed tuna mixed with eggs in the cavity of each tomato. She called out to them and let them know lunch was ready and soon all were sitting at the table, eating and talking.
Dahlia could feel that this visit they paid to her father was a good one. In no time at all a quietness was turned into more laughter. He was glad for the conversation, and it took some of the loneliness out of his day. He enjoyed having his daughter in his presence.
After lunch was finished and the table cleared, they went back into the living room and all sat down. Dahlia told her father she had an important question to ask him and he said what is it. She explained that their wedding was coming up soon, in two months, and they had almost everything planned or purchased, but there was one thing missing from the wedding. Her father said nothing but was listening and paying attention. She went on to say, that their wedding would be perfect, if he would agree to walk her down the aisle.
Her father instantly teared up and tried hiding it by wiping his eyes. He told her that he never thought that this day would happen, that his little girl would grow up and become a woman and be happy. To be getting married to such a nice man and to want her own father to walk her down the aisle, could only be a miracle to him, a prayer that had been answered. He took a hold of both of her hands and said he would love to be involved, and nothing could keep him from being there. The two hugged each other, and then Drake noted the time, and said that they needed to get back to the house. They all stood up and walked to the front door together and with hugs, they left him a happier and healthier man.