Decree of Hope

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The next morning, Abe called. “You’ve told me you were done with me more than once in the last week and a half, so I’ve been trying to let you make all the moves and not push you. But I have something that belongs to you, and I need you to come pick it up. Because I may have screwed up more than once, but you owe me that much.”

“I never meant it.” I laid out potential outfits on the bed.

“I think you did.”

I was silent, because he was right. I didn’t want to be done with him, but I refused to be a game again.

“Will you come?”

No way was I letting Abe see me like this again. “Is half an hour soon enough?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Half an hour later, I knocked on Abe’s door. He took my hand and led me inside. His kitchen and living room were separated by an open bar, and his mother stood in the kitchen mixing something. He put an arm around my waist. She stopped and stared at us. My cheeks heated up, and I wanted to get out of here.

“Kailee, I’m sorry I gave you a reason to believe I wasn’t serious about you.”

I smiled. “It’s okay.”

He shook his head. “It’s not, because you need to know you’re loved. You’re very important to me.”

His mom glared at me.


He kissed my forehead. His mom screamed in Arabic.

Ommy, I wasn’t talking to you.”

“You said you had something that belongs to me?”

He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a white gold ring with a decent size peridot—my birthstone—in the middle and a tiny diamond on either side. “I was always serious about you, and I promise you when I’m out of school and have a job, I’m going to put a diamond here.” He slid the ring on my left ring finger.

His mother exploded in a screaming rant of Arabic.

“Hey, I’ll go,” I said.

He locked his arms around me. “No. You’re my girl.”

She came into the living room, pointing her finger and yelling things I couldn’t understand. “Don’t fight with your mom for me,” I whispered.

“Kailee, both of you need to know you’re my girl. I’m not giving you up. I’m not losing you. And I’m not marrying some girl just because she’s Iraqi.”

His mother gasped. “Ommy, it won’t happen.”

“We could have gone outside,” I whispered.

“No, you needed to know that I’m not hiding you. And she needs to know you’re in my life.”

His mom stalked off to her room.

He pulled me down on the couch with him. “So you got into the fashion design school?”

I smiled. “Conditionally. I have to take some computer animation classes. The department head feels it’s important to draw images for production.”

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about it. I’m proud of you.”

I laid my head on his shoulder. “There was a lot going on.”

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