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Marriage Material(16)

By:Alexa Riley

With such a rough start with my brothers, who would have known how close they would get with Anderson. He’s one of them now.

“Put me down, Uncle Kent. I need to show everyone my dress.”

“Fine,” he grumbles, but does as she asks.

She does a spin, getting a chorus of oohs and aahs. Ma melts all over her, giving her kisses all over her face, making Charlotte giggle.

“Come on in. I’ll make more pancakes,” I tell everyone, glad we woke up extra early today.

“I’ll grab the boys,” Anderson says before giving me a quick kiss as he goes to wake them up. Ma and I get to cooking and in no time we have enough for everyone.

“I’ll be right back,” I tell everyone as I slip from the room. I hurry and grab the gift I got for Charlotte. When I come back I go over to her and give her the present.

“For me?” she asks as her eyes light up. She lifts the lid on the small box, revealing a gold necklace with a heart-shaped locket. “It’s so pretty,” she says as she holds it up. I show her how to open the locket and inside is a picture of her mother. She looks up at me and smiles.

“I think she’d want to be with you on your first day. Don’t you?” I tell her as I take the necklace from her and help her put it on. Both Anderson and I try to talk about her mother from time to time. I want Charlotte to know who she was, so we tell her the things we know. It’s not much, and I only have what Anderson’s told me about her, and he only knew her for a short time. But we do what we can because I’ll forever cherish Charlotte’s mother. She not only gave me Charlotte, but she gave me Anderson, too.

“Thank you, Mom.” She wraps her arms around me in a tight hold.

I hug her back, not wanting to let go, but I know I have to. I walk back into the kitchen to where Anderson is leaning against the counter, and he pulls me into his arms and holds me tight.

I watch our family laugh and eat together as I think about how blessed we really are. “Thank you for this,” my husband says against my ear as if reading my mind. “I love this family. I love you.” I turn my head to look up at him.

“I love you, too.” I lean up and bring my lips to his. I wrap my arms around his neck. “Who would have thought a guy like you would walk into this little town and give me the life I’d dreamed of?”

He hugs me close and brings his lips to my ear. “From the moment you smiled at me, I knew you were mine. You were more than just a beauty helping me in the grocery store. You were marriage material.”

He’s right, but I don’t tell him because I’m too full of love. Instead I kiss him and put all the passion and happiness I have inside me into it and thank heaven above that I’ve found my forever.