Jim and I staggered back to the farmhouse, laughing and brushing dirt and grass off our clothes. The morning had turned to afternoon when we weren’t looking, and the house now held an ominous feeling that had not existed before. Jim didn’t appear to notice, but I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise in anticipation. Of what?

“Shawna! Where have you been?” My son’s grandmother stood on the front porch looking stern and concerned. “I thought that maybe now you’re older, you wouldn’t run off anymore. Good afternoon, Jim.” She nodded in Jim’s direction, and he nodded back with a strained smile.

Couldn’t she feel the tension in the air? “Where’s Billy?” My mother turned back to me as if about to answer, but I cut her off. “Can you feel that? The tension? The anticipation?”

Jim looked at me quizzically. “How did you know?”
“Know what?”
“That I felt that way.”
I paused, confused. “I didn’t. I feel that way.”

Then Jim did a strange thing. He turned toward me and got down on one knee. “Will you marry me?”

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