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The sixteen year old, teenage girl-- a year for every carat-- was overwhelmed. Tears came to her eyes. The sentiment of the verse had touched her more than the size of the diamond.

"What a wonderful thing to put on an engagement ring," she whispered, hugging Adam.

"It's getting really cold," observed Maggie. "Maybe we should get the ice cream, now. At least the restaurant will have central heating!"

At this remark, everyone laughed. They made their way back to Main Street and headed to Dairy Cream, the restaurant where Maggie worked. Self-conscious of the large fortune on her finger, Charlie kept her left hand hidden in her coat pocket as they placed their order. It wasn't until she was seated at the table, away from the other customers, that she felt comfortable taking out her hand.

Soon, the hot fudge sundaes arrived, along with hot coffee.

"You're going to have a hard time sleeping, tonight, if that isn't decaf," warned Charlie, as Adam sipped his coffee.

"I wouldn't be able to sleep, tonight, anyway!" he laughed.

After they had finished their sundaes, and drank their coffee, the foursome returned to the cold outside air. To Maggie's delight, Charlie asked her if she could sleep over that night. Happily, Maggie went to a pay phone and obtained her mother's permission.

Upon reaching the Overholt house, the men prepared to leave, saying their "good byes" and "good nights" to the ladies.

"You do like the ring, don't you?" asked Adam, for he had sensed a little reluctance on her part.

"It's breathtaking," replied Charlie. "Do you want to come in and see Grandma's reaction?"

"That's all right," he said, gazing into her brown eyes, "your reaction was the one I wanted. As you've probably already guessed, I'm not an extravagant man, but I really wanted something that expressed just a small measure of the great love I have for you."

"I had better go in, before I start crying again," said Charlie, excusing herself from the group.

As Maggie followed her inside the house, Charlie looked back one more time, at Adam. The loving gaze on his face flooded her soul with joy.

"Yes," she thought to herself, "you could have given me a ring made of plastic, and it wouldn't have made me any happier than I am right now!"

Inside, Charlie and Maggie found Vera asleep in her chair, her knitting laying on the floor where it had tumbled from her lap.

"Grandma?" whispered Charlie, gently nudging her hand.

"Pumpkin," she smiled, opening her eyes, "did you just come in? I guess I must have fallen asleep."

"Adam gave me my engagement ring," announced Charlie, in a soft voice.

"Oh, did he?" said Vera. "Well, let's see it!"

Charlie held out her left hand, so Vera could see the brilliantly flashing gem. The old woman's eyes grew wide with astonishment.

"Is that a real diamond?" she asked, looking up at her granddaughter incredulously.

"I'm afraid it is," replied Charlie, taking off the ring and handing it to her grandmother, so she could see it up close.
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