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Rated G

Word Count ~440

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In high school, she’s one of those insanely popular girls that everyone likes, and not just because she’s pretty.  Some people hate her, but even they’ll admit that they’re just bitter, because she’s so sweet and beautiful and smart and perfect.  She’s that girl who gets along with her teachers and her parents and charms adults and children and teenagers alike.

When she graduates valedictorian, she goes to one of those small colleges with a great name in the middle of nowhere, and studies mechanical engineering and kinesiology, a joint degree with which she plans to go on into medical school and eventually amputee rehabilitation.  People go all soft-eyed when she tells them, so she doesn’t usually say it.

Then one night, when she’s doing a terrible karaoke version of ‘Hound Dog’ with a friend, he’s there, laughing like everyone else, only unlike everyone else, he doesn’t take his eyes off her smile.  He approaches her once she’s come off the stage, and before she knows it, it’s three months later and she’s slow-dancing with him at her sister’s wedding.

Her mother is frightened of him and his tattoos and the black stretchers in his ears, but he treats her nice and she thinks she might love him.  So when he whispers a proposal in her ear while they shower her sister with rice, with her next handful goes her caution, and she says yes.

They don’t announce it, but he buys her a pretty little grey diamond set in titanium, and it isn’t her mother who first notices, but her father.  He shakes her fiancé’s hand while her mother fans herself and tries not to faint.

The wedding is small, six months after their first meeting, and she falls pregnant before the year is out.  She and her sister give birth within days of one another, and before anyone really realizes, she’s having their second and third children at the same time, twins who take the names of their fathers.

Fifteen years later, when their oldest has packed up and left to tour the world with her band, she goes back to school, finishes her masters’ degree and eventually, two weeks after the twins have gone to colleges two thousand miles from one another, she starts her first day at work, rehabilitating soldiers who’ve suffered amputations.

And suddenly, she’s smiling again, like before the children.  Twenty years into their marriage, they feel again like newlyweds, and it’s one such of these days that he watches her awake with the widest smile he’s ever seen her wear that he falls in love with her all over again.

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