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"If you say so," replied Jake, wiping his face dry.

"Not a very inspiring response," mused Abby, "but at least it's a positive one. You had better go wash up, so we can go back to the others. I think they'd appreciate us being there, so they can celebrate the engagement."

"We owe them that much, and more," agreed Jake, getting to his feet.

"When do you want to get married?" asked Abby from the hall, as Jake went into the bathroom and shut the door.

She heard the faucet running as he washed his tear streaked face.

"Whatever you want, is all right with me," Jake finally replied, opening the bathroom door. "I've never done this sort of thing, before."

"Neither have I," smiled Abby, "but, my parents have. Did you know that they were our ages when they got married?"

Jake looked at her in surprise.

"No, I didn't," he answered.

"And," continued Abby, "now that I think about it, their first date took place at the same restaurant we had lunch in today. In fact, they were married that very evening. What would you say, if we went ahead and let history repeat itself? I think Mom would love it!"

"Whatever you say," replied Jake.

"When you have an actual opinion," laughed Abby, "you will let me in on it, won't you?"

When the newly engaged couple arrived back at the Johannes house, Dick stepped forward and heartily shook Jake's hand, while John, Izumi, and Terry, took turns hugging their Abby.

"Congratulations, Sweetheart," said Izumi, embracing her only daughter once more.

"Are you sure this is what you want?" asked John, seriously.

"Yes, Dad," answered Abby, "I'm sure."

"My little fishing buddy is all grown up," said the teary-eyed adopted uncle, giving her a hug. "I can hardly believe it-- our Abby is getting married!"

John pulled away from Izumi and approached Jake.

"Welcome to the family, Son," said John, stretching out his hand in friendship.

Jake mumbled, "Thank you, Mr. Johannes," and shook his hand. John could feel the tremors in the young man's unsteady handshake, and recalled his prediction that Jake wouldn't last a month on the outside. Silently, John prayed that he would be wrong.

"Mom?" asked Abby. "I was wondering if we could get married tonight-- you know, like you and Dad did."

For a moment, Izumi looked disappointed. She tried to picture a wedding held at their church, and Jake surrounded by people he didn't know, being the center of attention and curiosity. Then, Abby related to her mother the string of "Providential parallels" between herself and Jake, and her parents. When Izumi heard about the restaurant, she burst into tears and hugged Abby.

"It's perfect!" cried the mother, joyfully.

Izumi went to the kitchen and returned with a tray of refreshments, while John and Terry discussed an idea that Terry had just had.

"Is he still alive?" asked John, uncertainly.

Nineteen years ago, John and Izumi had used the justice of the peace who lived in a small room adjoining the tiny chapel near the Three Mile Bay cemetery. It was mainly a landmark that no one had the heart to remove. Also, it served as a handy place for couples to elope to, when their own church wasn't available, or they wanted to keep it a private ceremony.
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