Friday, June 03, 2016

After four years

Hi people! Guess what? I'm still alive! :) I've been really busy with school, more school, and life. I have been reading your blogs still ,though!

Here is the promised sequel to Brotherly Love . I have NO idea what is wrong with the font. It changed every time I pulled this story up. My apologies.
Enjoy! :)

The rows of wheat ran on and on, seemingly to the horizon. The grain rippled in the warm September wind, an ocean of gold. Yet Ryan Mitchell hardly noticed it. From his vantage point in the John Deere combine, he could see the vast expanse of wheat, but it was obvious his thoughts were elsewhere. He was currently deep in thought regarding Jas Bryant.  Ryan wanted to take his and Jas' relationship to the next level. She had been best friends with Hollie, his younger sister, for as long as anyone could remember. He had liked her for nearly as long. However, it seemed that she regarded him merely as her friend's older brother. She hadn't been rude to him, far from it. Four years ago, he had anonymously given her a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day. He remembered that day clearly, the look on her face etched on his memory.
Ryan, inconspicuously standing in the foyer, watched as Jasmine Bryant  looked at the package, wrapped in heart-covered wrapping paper, left in her family’s church mailbox. She turned it over in her hand. He stifled a laugh as he saw how surprised she looked. Jasmine's younger sister began pulling her to the door. Ryan quickly walked over to the door, making it look like he just "happened" to be heading out he door. 
"Bye, Jas."
She looked up. "Thanks. Bye, Ryan!" 
Kara had winked at him.

He had noticed how she lingered, wanting to stay and talk, yet Kara had dragged her away. He had stood, watching her go, wondering if she would ever return his feelings for her. 
Ryan shook his head, as though trying to clear his thoughts, and tried to focus on the task at hand, harvesting the wheat. But the air was warm and muggy, and the combine needed little guidance. He let his thoughts wander again. 
Ryan slicked his hair down for the hundredth time that evening and stared into the mirror. His mother, Annalise, and Mrs. Bryant were co-hosting a baby shower for a young coupe in their church. Ryan had decided to visit Mr. Bryant that evening, since Jasmine would be at his house. He had already discussed it with his father, who had given him his blessing. Ryan wished he could be as confident about it as his father was. A glance at the clock told him the baby shower guests would be arriving soon. Not wanting to be around for that, he hurried down the stairs. 
"Bye, Ryan!" called Hollie.
"See you later!"Ryan said over his shoulder.  

Ryan drove quickly to the Bryants' farm. He passed Elizabeth and Jas, who looked surprised to see him. Nonetheless, Jas waved. 

As he pulled into the Mitchell farmyard, Ryan began to feel even more nervous. What will Mr. Bryant think? Will he say we're too young? Will he flat-out say no? His worrying lasted as he knocked on the door and stepped inside. 
Mr. Bryant greeted him. "Hello, Ryan."
Ryan froze. Speak, speak, speak! "Hello, Mr. Bryant. Could...could I speak with you?"
Mr. Bryant grinned. "Sure. Come on in."
"Than- "
"I've been expecting this," the man said as he led the way into his study.
"You have?" Ryan stuttered. What has he been expecting? Me? That I would want to court Jas? Bewildered, he looked at Mr. Bryant, who was smiling. 
"Why don't you have a seat, Ryan," the older farmer suggested, gesturing toward a comfy overstuffed chair. Ryan, however, was too nervous to relax and sat on the edge of it, unsure of what to do next. 
"What did you mean you where expecting this?" he asked at last.
Mr. Bryant leaned back in his chair. "Why don't you tell me why you came here first."
"I came to ask your permission to court your daughter." There, I said it. He watched Mr. Bryant closely but the man looked neither surprised or upset. Instead, he seemed to be hiding a smile. 
"Which daughter?"
"Excuse me?"
"Which daughter?" Mr. Bryant repeated. "I have two, you know."
Ryan stared at him for a minute before answering, "Jasmine." Why did I just say her full name? Everyone calls her Jas!
Mr. Bryant smiled. "I suspected that. I've been suspecting that for a while, in fact."
What?! He's suspected that? Am I that obvious? What if Jas has noticed? 
Mr. Bryant was not finished. "I've been watching you, Ryan, and I can see that you are a godly young man. And I have to see I appreciate you coming and asking me. You've come a long way from anonymously giving her chocolates."
Ryan coloured at the memory of that occasion.
"But," the man said. Ryan held his breath. He's going to say no! 
"I will have to talk and pray with my wife about this. Jas is only eighteen. However," he smiled as Ryan let out his breath, "I certainly think you have nothing to worry about. When a man has to consent to giving away his daughter, he has to at least give a fellow a hard time about it." He winked at Ryan, who smiled dazedly, still in shock. Nothing to worry about...nothing to worry about...nothing to worry about... kept repeating in his brain. He was still in shock as he shook Mr. Bryant's hand and headed to his car. Once on the highway, he let out a whoop and drove home, grinning. Unless. A thought stopped him cold, and he slammed on the brakes. What if Jas doesn't want me? Sobered by this thought, he reached home much more sedately, relieved that the last of the baby shower guests was just leaving. All he wanted to do was think and pray in solitude.

The next day was Saturday, and Ryan and his father were out in the fields again early in the morning. The forecast called for rain on Monday, and, since they wouldn't be harvesting on Sunday, James Mitchell wanted to finish that day. Ryan was waiting for the grain cart when his cell phone rang. It was Hollie. Ryan answered with "What's up?" 

"Hey Ryan. Mom just wanted me to tell you that Linnea is going to be coming at noon instead of in the evening, so could you or Dad bring me with you to pick her up?"

Ryan sighed. His family was hosting Linnea Eastman, a girl from Southern Ontario, for two weeks. Her mother had gone to school with Annalise, and had recently contacted them, asking if Linnea, who was 17, could visit them for a couple weeks while Mrs. Eastman traveled South to be with her ailing father. Mr. Eastman was in England on a business trip. James and Annalise thought and was a good idea, and enthusiastically agreed. Ryan had forgotten she was supposed to come today. He sighed again. 
"Okay, I'll be home in about half an hour. We're almost done this field, and Dad can get Ian to fill in." Ian was their on and only employee.

After he radioed his father and handed the combine over to Ian, he headed home to pick up Hollie. Linnea would be landing at the Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport, a 40-minute drive from Rosthern. He supposed Hollie and Linnea would get along well. Hollie got along well with everybody, he reflected with a smile. 
Two hours later, Ryan, Hollie, and Linnea were driving home, Hollie and Linnea chatting as though they'd known each other forever. Ryan tuned them out when they started to talk about hair styles. 
At last they reached the farmhouse. Mrs. Bryant came out to greet them. 
Ryan took Linnea's bags up to Hollie's room, which she and Linnea would be sharing. 
He wondered how Linnea and Jas would get along. Knowing his sister, she had told Jas about Linnea's visit the second they knew she was coming.

Jas looked out the kitchen window as she washed the dishes, thinking about the Bryants' new guest. Hollie had known nothing except that she was seventeen. Finished the dishes, Jas texted Hollie.

So, what's she like?
Hollie replied almost immediately.  
She's really pretty. She has green eyes and long blond hair. She seems kind of shy at first but when you talk to her she's funny and...bouncy.
Jas laughed. 
Thanks. But...bouncy? What is that supposed to mean???
I don't know. Lively, I guess. Gotta go now, talk later.
Jas stared at her phone. She had never been the jealous type. Petty girls in books drove her nuts. But she couldn't help wondering if Ryan found the new guest attractive. Lately he had been acting really weirdly, seemingly avoiding her. I wonder if he still likes me, she thought, not for the first time that week. Since she'd recognized her attraction to Ryan, several months ago, she had struggled with it, wondering if he was still interested in her and if this would affect their friendship. It had been four years since he had expressed interest in her. Maybe he had "gotten over" her and was content being friends. Maybe he would fall in love with Linnea. Maybe... she stopped herself. She thought of the verses she had memorized to help keep herself in check. I the Lord will hasten it in its time. She'd used that one a lot lately.  And. she reflected, would probably use it a lot more in the coming weeks.
Despite her misgivings about Ryan, though, she had nothing personal against Linnea, and couldn't wait to meet her.
After church the next day, Ryan looked for Jas. He found her talking with Hollie outside on the church steps. Linnea was talking to an older woman as Ryan neared the girls in time to hear Jas quietly ask, "So, what about Ryan?"
Ryan paused at the corner and frowned. What about me? 
Hollie shrugged. "Stop, Jas. He's fine. Did you know that-" she whispered something to Jas that Ryan couldn't overhear.
Jas looked skeptical yet pleased. "You're sure?" 
Hollie nodded.
Intrigued, Ryan stayed and listened, concealed from view by a corner. 
The girls were walking away though, and he couldn't hear the rest of their conversation. He turned to walk inside when he saw Kara grinning at him.
"Eavesdropping, Ryan?" she asked.
He shrugged. "I happened to overhear a conversation."
Kara laughed. "I heard what Hollie whispered." 
He hesitated. The temptation to find out what his sister had told his friend was strong. "No, I'd better not," he told the 11-year old. "It's their secret."
She shrugged, said  "O.K.," and joined her friends on the lawn.
Ryan walked on, thinking. He had planned to show up at her house and ask if she'd like to go for a walk. Then he would ask if she would consider starting a relationship with him. Now he was second-guessing. Maybe she still wasn't ready. Maybe she still just wanted to be friends. No. Her parents had agreed, and they wouldn't have agreed if they didn't think it was a good idea, and his parents had given their consent as well. He remembered the verse he had prayed on so much the past year:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Jas looked up as a car drove into their yard. With surprise, she realised it was Ryan's car. Waving, she turned and ran into Kara. 
"Will you go tell Mom that Ryan is here?" she asked her.
Kara smirked. "She probably heard him coming before he left home."
"Kara!" Jas exclaimed. She knew her sister was right, if not exaggerating slightly. Ryan's geriatric car was certainly not quiet, but still, Kara didn't have to say that in front of Ryan. 
"Good afternoon, ladies." He bowed, making Kara giggle. 
"Hi, Ryan.Would you like to come inside?"
He followed the girls into the house, Jas wondering all the time why he had come. She didn't remember her mother mention that she had invited him for supper. And if she had, why not the rest of the family and Linnea? Maybe he had come to see her!
Mr. Bryant welcomed Ryan a "hello" and a smile. 
After greeting the family, Ryan turned to Jas.
"Would you like to go for a walk?"
Jas' heart leaped. He's asking me! To go for a walk. With him!
"Sure," she answered, nonchalantly, as though he asked her to go for walks with him every day. 
Ryan and Jas walked along a path that ran through the woods behind the Bryants' house. They talked about random things until they came to a bench. Ryan suggested they sit down. Heart pounding, he asked her the question.
"Jasmine, would you like to take our friendship to the next level?"
"Yes!" Jasmine exclaimed.
They two walked back to the house, where James and Annalise were waiting for them. They congratulated Ryan and Jas, and spent the next half hour talking with them abouit their relationship before Ryan needed to go home.
Jasmine felt as though she was walking on air. They were finally in a courtship, after four years. I the Lord will hasten it in its time. Jas smiled as she thought how true that verse was. 



  1. Love it! You did a great job, once again, Lauren! :D So, this actually all happened to your sister's friend's friend? :-)

    1. Thanks! No, this time it's all from my imagination. :)

  2. *sigh* Awwww, so sweet!!! ^_^ Good job, Lauren! :D

    I can totally relate to font problems. I usually have to deal with that when j copy stuff over to Blogger. :P

    1. Thanks a lot! :)
      Haha, glad I'm not the only one. :)

  3. I tagged you for the It's Showtime Tag!! If you're interested, you can see my post here: