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Mike was about to break the hearts of all single women in Twin Yuca under the age of twenty-five. He took Sandra to the fanciest restaurant in town. When it came time to order desert, a waiter, tipped by Mike, delivered a dozen long stemmed red roses to their table.

"How beautiful!" exclaimed Sandra.

It was then that she noticed tiny messages embossed in gold, on the petals of the red roses. The messages all read, "Will you marry me?"

The couple had the whole restaurant's attention when Mike got down on one knee and presented the ring to Sandra.

"Will you marry me?" asked Mike.

"Yes!" replied Sandra, hugging Mike. The restaurant burst into clapping.

When they returned home, the couple broke the news to Sandra's parents, Horace and Millie. Sandra and Mike were heartily congratulated. While Millie cried because her "baby" was getting married, Horace called Mike, "Son," for the first time.

Late that night, Mike told his Mom, who promptly called Thomas, who was at a convention in Boise. Shirley wasn't as thrilled as the Westons over the engagement, for she wished Mike would have waited till he had gotten his journeyman's license. Even so, she was happy for her son.

When Adam heard the news, he hugged his nephew and said,

"Aside from Chad, I'm the only bachelor left in the family. I knew it would change, sooner or later. Life doesn't remain stationary."

Every girl in Twin Yucca, at one time or another, fancied themselves in love with Mike, and Charlie was no exception. She was happy for Mike and his family, and surprised even herself with how unaffected she was at the news.

Things were changing at home for Charlie. Chuck's Alzheimer's was growing worse. The fall had hastened his Alzheimer's, a fact which the doctor later confirmed. Charlie tried her best to weather through her father's changing personality, paranoid calls to the police, and erratic behavior, but it wasn't until a certain incident, that Charlie began to gravely reconsider the future.

It was February twenty-third, the morning of Mike and Sandra's wedding. Neither one believed in a long engagement, so they decided to get married as soon as the necessary arrangements could be made.

The entire Overholt family was invited to the wedding and reception, but Chuck's attendance was out of the question.

Early that morning, while Charlie was helping Chuck put his socks on, he swiftly kicked her in the face, bruising her left eye. Charlie quickly left the room and showed her eye to Vera.

"Let me get something cold to put on that eye," sighed Vera. "Are you sure you didn't set him off, somehow?"

"I was helping him put on his socks," said Charlie, fighting back the tears.

"There, there," comforted Vera, "he didn't mean to do it. You know your father would never do that to you on purpose. It's the disease, not the man."

"I know," whimpered Charlie. "But, it still hurts."

Chuck walked into the kitchen, oblivious to what he had just done.

"What happened to you?" he asked, examining his daughter's black eye.

"She ran into a bed post," explained Vera. "Now, why don't you go rest so she can get ready for the wedding?"

"Grandma, I can't go. Everyone will think Daddy's beating me!" said Charlie, after Chuck had left the room.

"I think we can put some makeup on that bruise. I once did this for Chuck when he was ten," said Vera, dabbing foundation onto Charlie's eye. "He had gotten into a fight with a bully, and came out of it with a black eye. Well, the next day he was to have his school picture taken, so I was absolutely horrified! So, I got out my makeup, and Chuckie's school picture turned out just fine. Someday I'll show it to you. There..." said Vera, dabbing on the finishing touch.
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