Children Fiction posted April 22, 2015

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The Promise

by jmdg1954

Tommy ran to the crest of the hill behind his house and knelt on the ground. Using his hand, he began to brush the blades of grass back and forth, looking.  He crawled slightly to his left and then a little forward, it's gotta be here. The concentration on his face was intense. He would not fail in his search for the perfect...

"Here it is. I knew I'd find you," he said. Carefully he pulled it out from the ground. "Ah neat, there's two of'em."

With the back of his dirty hand, he wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead. The August sun was relentless showering rays of heat. 

She admired his determination. His eyebrows, just beneath his wavy blond hair, crinkled together as he fumbled with the object in his hands. He looked at it for a second and was satisfied.

"There you go," he said in proud fashion. He held it out to her. His face was looking at hers, smiling, waiting for approval. Being very careful, Nicole picked it off his palm. She did not want to ruin it. It was a dandelion ring which he made by intertwining and tying two dandelions together. To the eyes of an adult it was nothing special, just a few weeds. But to Nicole, it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

"Thank you, Tommy," Nicole said. She wrapped her skinny arms around his neck. Tommy blushed. He then went on how it was no big deal.

"No, Tommy, it's beautiful." Then she remembered the ring she made for him and held it out shyly. Her ring was made of leaf stems. She tore off all the leaves and knotted the naked stem. Tommy smiled and put it on.

"Now let's go show your mom!" Nicole began running down the hill.

"No, wait!" Tommy said running behind her. At eight years of age, Nicole was faster than the year younger Tommy. Finally, he caught up to her and grabbed her by the arm to make her stop. "Don't we have to say all that mushy stuff? Otherwise we're not officially married."

Nicole thought for a second then nodded in agreement. "You're right, Tommy. Nobody will believe us if we don't." They stood looking at each other. "Do you know what to do next?"

Tommy cleared his throat. "Uh, I think so. I went to my aunt's wedding last month. So, yeah, I know how to do this. Uh," he cleared his throat again, "Do you, Nicole, take me as your awful wedded husband?"

"Yes." Nicole said giggling. "I think you meant lawful, Tommy, not awful."

"Awful, lawful, smawful." Tommy was serious. "You have to say the words, 'I do'."

"Oh, I'm sorry. I do."

"Okay," Tommy said. "Now me. I say... I do."

They stood there for a minute, in an awkward silence. The sun beat down on both of them making their faces gleam with sweat.

"And...Uh... I think the kiss seals the deal or something. So, can I kiss you?" Tommy asked, looking down at his feet.

Nicole blushed, but knew it's for the best, so she closed her eyes and leaned in. Tommy leaned in and puckered his lips. Once they made contact they both jerked away and furiously wiped their lips with there sweaty arms. Nicole was the first to speak.

"Now should we go tell your mom?"

Tommy nods and they continue to run to the house then through the back door.

"Mrs. Fallon!" Nicole yells.

Tommy's mother was seated at the kitchen table behind piles of folded and unfolded laundry.

"Nicole, honey. Is everything alright? Where's Tommy?" she said nervously beginning to stand.

"Mom, I'm right here," he said walking in.

She eyed the two of them. When they played together, they weren't always on their best behavior.

"Mom, we got married. Now we can't move or I'd be leaving my wife behind!" Tommy said. He puffed out his chest, trying to act adult-like.

"See?" Nicole said while waving her dandelion ring around. Mrs. Fallon looks at the two best friends sadly.

"Tommy, I'm sorry," the mother said. "I'm sure you'll make new friends."

"I don't want new friends! Why do we have to move?"

"Daddy starts his new job very soon. I've told you this." She stops as the children's eyes fill with tears.

"C'mon, Nicole, let's go to my room," Tommy said. He turned his back on his mother. Once in Tommy's room, he flopped  onto his bed. Nicole sat on the floor with her legs crossed and began to play with the shag carpet.

"Tommy?" Nicole asked shyly.

"Huh?" Tommy asked while propping himself up with his elbows.

"Do you think we'll see each other after you move?"

"Of course we'll see each other," Tommy said confidently. "You're my wife and we've got the rings to prove it."

Nicole still looked worried.

Tommy slid off the bed and sat next to her. He placed her tiny hand into his.

"Hey... I promise."

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