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Abby got out of the car and walked to where her father stood. She turned and waved good-bye to Tyler, as if asking him not to hang around. Taking the hint, Tyler got back into his car and drove away.

"Well," smiled John, "do you have anything to tell your father?"

"How did you know that Tyler proposed?" asked Abby, in astonishment.

John hurried his daughter into the house.

"Izumi! He did it! Tyler asked Abby to marry him!" cried John, happily.

Izumi came into the room with a sober face.

"Just wait till I call Terry!" said John, running to the telephone.

"You'd better put down the phone, Dear," warned Izumi. "I think you're a little premature."

"What do you mean?" asked John, the telephone receiver still in his hand.

"Look at her face," advised Izumi.

For the first time since she had come home, John took a good look into Abby's face. Her subdued demeanor made his heart fall to his toes.

"You didn't accept him, did you?" asked John.

"I told Tyler I had to think about it," replied Abby, quietly.

John hung up the phone. Izumi walked over to her daughter and lovingly put her arms around her. Seeing his two girls side by side, John had to smile, in spite of his disappointment. They looked so much alike.

"Well," he sighed, "at least you didn't turn him down. But, I don't understand, why do you need to think about it?"

"Please, Dad," asked Abby, "give me time to think. I need to know my own heart better."

Abby turned to go to her room.

"Sweetheart," said Izumi, touching Abby's hand, "don't marry him if you don't love him."

Prayerfully, Abby went to bed. She remembered the frankness in Tyler's face when he asked her to become his wife. Her heart had skipped a beat, when he had said the words, "I love you."

"But," she wondered to herself, "do I love him?"

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts... and lead me."
~ Psalms 139:23, 24 ~

"The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just."
~ Proverbs 3:33 ~

end of chapter
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