Three month have passed since that dinner and everything was going great, Willow and I have been spending as much time as we could together, but most of that time was spent with Payton. One night a week we would leave Payton Peter and Elizabeth and go out on a date, this allowed us time to reconnect as just Willow and Cole.
On other nights after we would tuck Payton in we would sit on the couch and snuggle, other times we would talk or just sit and enjoy each other company. Our troubles with Trevor were far from over, she would tell me he would still watch her and would follow her around school, she was extremely uncomfortable with him there but she didn’t want to go to the principal, she didn’t want to get him fired. She said as long as he wasn’t attempting to talk to her or making a scene she would leave it. I wasn’t happy with her decision but I had to respect her, I knew he was just biding his time, waiting to make his move and when he did I would be there waiting to make my own move.
On this particular evening Peter invited me to go fishing with him. Peter kept his word and talked to the dean of medicine and was able to get me in. I just haven’t told Willow yet plus I had to wait for the acceptance letter. This is now sitting in the glove box of my car, waiting for the right moment.
Peter apologized for his behavior that night so many years ago, he also explained that he had a lot of time to think about it and was never really able to let go of what happened and that’s why he wanted to help. He was very grateful I was there to protect Willow, and to be there when he couldn’t be. He also said that he never told Tyler he could have Willow; that was something he had gotten into his own sick head. I was relieved to hear that he stood beside Willow through the whole Tyler trial. It was after Willow told him what had happened that he decided he needed to change and turned his life around. When Peter said I was good for Willow and Payton it was time to ask for his blessing.
Peter, really enjoyed fishing and I’m starting to see why, it was relaxing. The sun was starting to set down, the orange and reds reflected on the lake and the sounds of nature bring a sense of calm. Peter had just reeled in his second fish when I decided it was now or never to ask him.
“So… um… Peter?” I clear my throat; the nerves are getting the better of me. “I was hoping to ask you something.” Peter turns around and the biggest grin appears on his face. Maybe this will be easier than I thought.
“Ask away.” He chuckles, “But I’m pretty sure I know what it’s about and you do have my blessing.” Hearing him giving me his blessing is all I needed to hear but it’s still the right thing to do.
“Well, I want to ask Willow to marry me. I know I’ve only been back three months but I love her and Payton more than anything in this world. It’s getting harder and harder to walk away from them every evening when I know I could have Willow as my wife. I promise to take care of her, to love her and to protect her and I will provide for them. Things will be tough at times but we have already been through so much. So I have faith we can get through any trials that will come in our lives.”
Peter stops what he’s doing and walks over to me, he holds out his hand for me to shake, I oblige. “Son, we have all been wondering when you were going to ask.” He chuckles
“My Daughter and Granddaughter love you so much. I have no doubt you will take care of them. I see how much you love them. Willow has always hoped that you would come back and she never gave up on you. So I have to say it’s about time and welcome to the family.” He lets go of my hand and pats me on the shoulder, it’s something my Dad would do.
“When are you going to ask her?” He asks and I go onto explain the details. My Parents are flying into Salt Lake in the morning and we are all supposed to go to lunch together. They haven’t been able to meet Payton in person yet but they talk on the phone and Skype, they are just as smitten with her.
In the evening she is going to go spend the night with them and I’m taking Willow to our spot. Thank Goodness my Dad never sold it. Peter nods his head in agreement and we go back to fishing and enjoying the night. I was able to relax knowing that tomorrow I would get to ask the women I have loved since I was seventeen years old to marry me.
That morning I go pick up Willow and Payton. I get there an hour earlier than expected. Elizabeth answers the door and pulls me in for a hug, at first I’m a little caught off guard by her sudden assertiveness.
“Peter told me you asked him last night.” She expresses happily as she lets me go “How are you going to ask her?” She wanted all the details of how I was going to ask, so I gave her a quick description, choosing to leave a few things out.
Payton comes running into the kitchen with a twinkle in her eyes and the room lights up even brighter . She’s wearing a long sleeved white shirt with a big pink heart in the middle, followed with a green vest, and jean skirt with pink leggings and brown boots. Her blond hair is done is a zig zag of pig tails.
“Daddy!” She squeals when she sees me, that is a name that always makes my heart soar. She runs up to me and I pick her up, she has the cutest little dimples, Willow says they are my dimples, but they are really her Mom’s. Payton takes my face in both of her soft tiny hands
“Mommy is being so slow, she has gone through five different outfits.” She holds up her hand to show me the number five. “I think she looks pretty but she says she wants to look perfect.” I laugh and place a kiss to my Daughter’s forehead.
“Well, my beautiful Daughter why don’t you go back in tell Mommy, that she can wear anything she wants because she will always look perfect.” I set her back down; she puts her hands on her hips and gives me a look of disgust
“Now Dad, you can’t just tell a woman that! You are just asking for a time out!” She then turns around and runs towards Willow. After she left Elizabeth bursts into laughter and I’m left standing there wondering what just happened.
“Willow’s, always tells me that she is so much like you, but right there; that was all her Mother.” Right as I was getting ready to say something, Payton comes back and this time she has her mom in tow.
When I look up I’m stuck in place. I swear my heart stopped again, which is something that always happens when she is around. Her eyes connect with mine as she walks towards me, when she reaches me she says
“Payton came and said it was time to go. I hope this is okay.” she gestured to her clothing. Here is the thing about my girl, she could wear a paper sack and still look amazing.
Today she has on casual clothing, she’s wearing blue skinny jeans, with black boots, and she has on a green sweater, which enlightens her blue eyes. She has minimal makeup on; her lips are a glossy rose color. I reach over and place a light kiss to her cheek.
“You look stunning!”
“Awe, see I told you, Mommy!” Payton says and we both shake our heads. Willow says softly “She is too smart for her own good.”
“She has the smartest Mommy so would you expect anything else?” I question. She just smiles and then looks at her watch. She looks over at Payton who is just staring at us with a sparkle in her eyes. She is happiest when we are together and after tonight I plan to make that happen forever.
“Payton, do you have everything? Did you get your toothbrush, your PJ’s, and Ellie?”
“Yes, Mama.” She points to her purple Monster High backpack. “I also made sure to pack my book.”
“That’s my girl,” Willow says. She walks over to her Mom and says something I can’t hear and then both giggle.
“Are you ready?” I ask both my girls. They both nod and say bye to Elizabeth. Then we walk out to my car. Once we get Payton buckled in her car seat get settled I reach over and take Willow’s hand in mine. I have some serious nerves happening right now, it’s not every day someone proposes to thier High School sweetheart.