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"Were you terribly heartbroken?" asked Charlie.

"No, I wasn't," replied Adam, honestly. "That's what bothered me more than anything else. I had been willing to marry someone I didn't love-- only because everyone else had wanted it! After that, I stopped looking for a wife. I came to believe that if God wanted me to marry, then He would make it obvious. The years went by, and nothing obvious happened, so I thought that it was never meant to be. Then, you came into my life. I don't know when I first loved you, but I know when I first let myself love you. I was playing 'Fireside,' trying NOT to think about you, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw your beautiful face appear on the screen next to me. It was the 'obvious' sign from God that I had needed."

"I swear, I had no idea about the red dress," reiterated Charlie.

"You didn't know, but God did," Adam observed.

"I first knew I loved you," began Charlie, "when your jet went down, and I thought you were on board. Up until then, I thought my feelings for you only consisted of the old crush, which I had had since I was eight years old. Did you know I was eight when Donna gave me my first Wallace Shipley CD?"

"No, I didn't know that," chuckled Adam. "Which one was it?"

"'Convergence,' of course!" replied Charlie, for ever since, it had been her favorite. "Daddy thought I was crazy for liking any musician so much, when he had only made four albums in his entire career. But, I loved every one. It occurs to me, I've got to be careful about that."

"Careful about what?" asked Adam.

"I don't want to give you a big ego," said Charlie, "after all, you're just a man-- a very special man, but still a man."

"A man in love," finished Adam.

The two fell into easy conversation about themselves and about the future, until a new concern suddenly presented itself in Adam's mind.

"Charlie, I need you to promise me something," he began. "I just remembered that many years ago, near the end of the street from where I live in Twin Yucca, there used to be a run-down house. The yard was filled with weeds, and the windows were never open. Inside, lived an old woman who's husband had been dead for several years. From the stories I heard, they were very much in love. When he died, she gave up on life. She no longer lived-- but merely existed. I need you to promise me, that when I die before you, (as I surely must), that you won't spend the rest of your life in mourning."

"I promise," replied Charlie, "but, I can't promise that I'll ever love anyone else, as I love you. You are my first love, Adam."

"There's something else I want to tell you," said Adam, forcing the words out of his mouth. He was glad that no one else was listening, for he was pouring out his heart to her. "I'm embarrassed to bring this up, but I feel I must. I know in this day and age, it's almost impossible for a man my age to have never been with a woman, but I want you to know that I am a virgin. I've been a Christian since I was a child, and I was taught that sex outside of marriage was sin. I may have more experience than you in other matters concerning a relationship, but sex is not one of them."

"Thank you for telling me," said Charlie, gratefully. She knew it was difficult for him to be so extremely honest with her. "I know it won't be a great surprise to you, but I've never been with anyone, either."

"I'm so glad I waited," said Adam, thoughtfully.

Just then, Charlie heard voices coming from the living room.

"Hold on, a moment," said Charlie, opening the bedroom door a crack to see who Vera was talking to.

"Adam!" said Charlie, after she had shut the door, "guess who's in the living room with Grandma!"

"Oh no, not a reporter!" he groaned.

"No, it's worse than that!" said Charlie. "It's Mrs. Garner!"
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