Sarah was so happy because Brad finally declared his love for her and the holidays seemed to float by. She turned around in her bed and smiled knowing she would see him again soon. Her laptop beeped and smiling she opened it up knowing it was Brad. It had become their daily ritual, video chatting every morning and night.
She wiped her webcam free of smudges, smoothed out her hair and pinched her lips a bit before accepting the call. They talked at length as they always do and ended the call missing each other even more.
“Sarah” Jules called out before entering her room.
“Hey, thought you were going out with Randy.”
“Yeah, I wanted to ask if you wanted to tag along so you can stop thinking of Brad all the time”.
“I don’t think about him all the time but I guess it won’t hurt to come with you guys. Can I call Helen?”
“Sure. We will meet at the Manhattan Beach, been a while I surfed”. Jules said as she walked out of the room.
Two hours later they met up with Randy and Jules at the beach. She wasn’t a very good surfer but Jules and Randy helped her and she loved every feel of the waves against her skin. Some hours later they took a little break to rest. Jules and Randy went to get drinks as she sat with Helen.
“You know, Randy really grew up well and not just his facial features. I was almost tempted to touch him just to know how his skin feels but that was all for you, the way he was holding you in the name of helping you perfect your surfing skills”.
Sarah couldn’t help laughing. “Who knew you would ever find him attractive. To think you always made fun of him in high school, though in your defence he was scrawny and annoying then. If you like him so much now tell him” Sarah said and shrugged it off.
“Well, he is still in love with you”.
“I don’t think so and even if he is, it’s a waste”.
“What are you girls talking about?” Randy asked as they approached with the drinks.
“Nothing” said Sarah.
He knew it wasn’t nothing but he let it slide as he didn’t want to push. He still couldn’t believe he gets to hang out with Sarah all the time now and he wasn’t planning on ruining it. The day soon passed and they all had so much fun.
“How was your day?” her mom called out from the kitchen when she entered the house.
“It was fine mom. Where’s Jules?”
“She should be in her room”.
She got to her room and as she shut the door, wondered if Helen was right that Randy still loved her. She was right about how he looked, he really was handsome and she won’t deny enjoying being held by him closely in the waters today. Randy was really nice but it was a pity that she didn’t love him. She loved Brad and would always love him.
Randy was thinking about her too. The way she looked in her surfing gear, the way her eyes lit up anytime she rode a wave and how her hair became a deeper hue of blonde when it was soaked wet. She was really beautiful and he wondered if she even knew how much he loved her and if he would ever stop loving her.
School soon resumed and they were all back for the autumn quarters. Brad was in his final class, Randy, Sarah, Helen were now in upper-class and Jules was in her sophomore class. The annual sorority/fraternity mixer was held for the newcomers and it reminded Brad and Sarah of how they met.
School passed by almost too quickly and it was soon time for the annual Mausoleum Halloween hunt/party. They had fun as always.
Around late November Sarah’s mom prepared a special thanksgiving dinner and invited the kid’s home. Randy and Helen were invited too. After dinner Sarah’s dad asked Brad about his plans after school.
“I have some law firms in mind. I always wanted to work at any Wall Street firm in New York but now I have to think of Sarah too and I’m thinking of working with a firm in San Francisco. That way she would still be a bit close to home”.
“What exactly are you saying Brad? What are you up to?”
“I don’t know yet but you will know soon” Brad said with a smile. He excused himself and went to join Ryan and Randy to play computer games.
“What was that about?” Candace asked as she came around to his seat and kissed her husband.
“I think he has the right intentions for our daughter. He almost hinted at marriage but not directly. I like him” he said smiling.
“I told you he was a good boy and I think they are good for each other.”
The girls soon joined the boys after cleaning up the kitchen.
They drove back to school the next day. The autumn quarters soon came to an end and it was time for the annual Christmas party. Brad went with Sarah as usual and they all had fun at the party. They decided to take a walk later on after dancing a bit.
“I still can’t believe you won’t be here at this party next year. I just have a few more months with you. I get scared thinking of what will happen after you graduate next year”.
He walked silently beside her and listened to her as he linked his hands with hers. It still amazed him that she doesn’t know the effect she has on him or the fact that he could do anything just to be with her always. He pulled her to a stop and turned her to face him.
“From your words I’m guessing you think this will all end once I leave. Sometimes your innocence is charming but sometimes it’s annoying, makes me feel like I don’t show you how much you mean to me. I didn’t want to tell you this yet but I guess I should, I already applied to some firms here in San Francisco. Will be hearing from them next year after my exams. I figure that way I won’t ever be far away from you”.
She threw herself into his arms and kissed him like her life depended on it.
“I don’t understand” she managed to say after she broke the kiss. “You always wanted to work on Wall Street”.
“I did, but now I have you and you always told me you loved San Francisco. The firms here pay as much as Wall Street and I could visit New York anytime but I do have to see you everyday”. He said and pulled her towards him and kissed her again.
“I love you so much Brad”.
“I love you too. Always”.
Sarah and her family spent Christmas and New Year in Europe. She talked with Brad everyday and although she had a lot of fun she kept counting down the days before she would see him again. The spring quarters soon began and everyone was back in school. Sarah was happy to be together with Brad again although she didn’t see much of him anymore as he was always busy getting ready for his final exams and graduation. He got some letters from firms that showed an interest in him so all he had to do was ace his exams. By early May he was done with his exams and was waiting for the results. Sarah was preparing for hers so she didn’t get to spend much time with him as much as she wanted to but she wasn’t worried about it because she knew he wasn’t going anywhere.
By early June she was done with her exams and Brad’s results were out and as expected he aced it. He also got a letter from the “Locke, McKnight, Specter” firm he wanted to work with that he was among the few shortlisted for their interview in mid July after their bar exams. His mum was happy for him though she would have preferred him to work in New York.
Tara and Callie flew in for his graduation and even Sarah’s parents and Ryan were there. Brad graduated with honours and they were all happy for him. His mum threw a graduation party for him at the Mandarin Oriental hotel San Francisco and some of his friends were there too and they all had so much fun.
His mum and sister returned to LA the next day with Sarah’s parents because Ryan’s graduation at Berkeley was coming up in a few days. Ryan graduated with honours too and his graduation party was at the Ritz Carlton hotel San Francisco. His parents were very proud of him especially his dad because he would work in his father’s company. Tara and Callie flew back to New York after the celebrations but Brad stayed back because his bar exam was coming up soon.
She wanted to stay back and help her son get a nice apartment but Sarah promised to help and she trusted that she had a nice taste and Brad would probably love Sarah’s help more.
They started looking at houses immediately after his exam and they soon felt like they had seen every apartment in town. They saw four apartments and decided they wanted a house. They saw more houses and later narrowed it down to two. One was a large stone house in Pacific Heights and the other was a quaint Victorian with a mother-in-law apartment on Vallejo Street in Cow Hollow. It had the advantage of being close to the water, had a view of the bay, and the Golden Gate, and what Sarah liked most about it was that anyone that visited could use the mother-in-law apartment and still feel as though they had a certain amount of distance and independence. And did she mention it was close to the water? It was perfect.
The price was right and the owners were willing to sell. The whole place had been freshly painted and looked cheerful, clean and bright. There were beautiful hardwood floors and the main part of the house had three bedrooms, two on the top floor with a spectacular view, and one just below it which he could use whenever his parents came to visit.
There was a pleasant country kitchen, not like he was such a great cook. The living room looked out on a small, well manicured garden. They just had to buy the furniture’s needed to fill up the house but that would be a gradual step.
She loved it; he could see it in her eyes. He loved it too, something about the house was just right and he couldn’t wait to see her reaction when he asked her to move in with him. They settled it one afternoon and the realtor dropped off the keys to Brad that night at the Hotel Vitale where they were staying. They went furniture scouting the next day and also bought most of the things needed to make the house homely.
After a week the house was ready for him to move into it. His result was out too and he passed. The interview was in a week’s time and by then he would already be in his new house.
Sarah helped him move his things although the rest would be coming soon from New York. He took her to a romantic dinner that night. After dinner they drove to his house. As they stepped into the house he pulled her towards him and kissed her so lovingly she felt her knees buckle.
“Mmm! What was that for?” she asked as she rubbed her lips still reeling from the kiss.
“I was just saying thanks”.
“You should say thanks more often” she said then kissed him again.
“Sarah” he held her at arm’s length as he called her name.
“Yes” she answered looking at him puzzled.
“Come. I have a gift for you” he dragged her to the living room and told her to wait for him. He went out of the house to his car and came back with a shoe box and inside it was the Loubotin shoe that he saw her admiring one of the days they went shopping.
“No, you didn’t!!” she said both happy and shocked that he even noticed her interest. He looked so abstract that day.
“Yes, I did.” And as if he read her mind he added; “I notice everything about you and I want you to have anything you want that I can give you”.
“Thank you” she said then hugged him and kissed him.
“Test it; I want to be sure it’s your size”. As she tried it on the left pair slipped on without any trouble and as she tried the right she felt something inside it and turned the shoe to see what was inside and as she brought it out it was a key. Confused she looked at him and he bent down and held her hands.
“Say you will move in with me, please”.
With tears in her eyes she jumped into his arms and they both fell on the floor.
“Yes, I will move in with you Brad” and with that she crushed her mouth down on his.