Anabelle sighed. She covered his hand with her right hand. “Bill, I’m sorry. It hurts me to see you upset. I’m just overwhelmed. I know you want to help, but I’m just not sure how you can help me.”
Bill looked at her. “Sweetheart, you can talk to me. I will literally help you in any way that I can. I can’t do your schoolwork for you, but I’ll keep you accountable. I’ll help you with a schedule. Besides, I want to help with this whole wedding thing of ours.”
He smiled, trying to meet her eyes. “After all, we’re marrying each other. It’s only fair that we plan it together, right?”
Anabelle nodded, lifting her head and finally looking him in the eyes. “You’re right, sweetie. I think I’ve been closing myself inward, ever since you proposed. I just thought I could do all of this by myself. But, now I know that I can’t do it all alone. I don’t want to do this alone. I want you by my side, every step of the way …”
Anabelle didn’t say anymore because Bill’s lips were on hers. She sank to the couch and they feverishly made out for a few minutes.
Once the last kiss ended, they couldn’t stop looking at each other. Bill secretly hoped that she would stay the night before heading back to Dolphin Resort – He just wanted to hold her all night long and tell her that everything would be okay.
After Thanksgiving, Christmas was well on its way. The six of them had agreed months earlier that they didn’t want to exchange the traditional gifts as they had in years past. This year was the beginning of Europe, and everyone wanted to squirrel away as much money as possible.
The one main money saver was everyone was living at home with their parents already, except for Lizzy – But that would change as soon as she left LT.
By the beginning of December, though, everyone was restless. Thanksgiving had not gone very smoothly across the board, mainly due to stress. Everyone was stressed about money, primarily, but there were other factors as well. Anabelle and Bill had their wedding, Bethany was worried about her future engagement ring and wedding, Will was agonizing over how to propose to Bethany, and Lizzy and Hunter were figuring out how to deal with Lizzy’s impending final exams.
But, just days earlier, a relief mission had begun to take shape.
Over the Thanksgiving meal, Will and Bethany had been passing a scrawled note on a napkin back and forth. They felt like kids, but no one else at the table knew anything about Europe, and it needed to stay that way.
Will started it off. “I think we need to consider a joint bank account.”
Bethany was confused, but excited. “Are you proposing to me?”
Will shook his head and feverishly wrote, “Not yet! Haha. What I meant was to set one up for the six of us, to save for Europe. It doesn’t do us any good to have six separate buckets for the same adventure, right?”
Bethany nodded. “Of course. Sorry that I jumped to conclusions! I think it’s a great idea. But, what will the group think?”
Will considered that before writing his response. “Not sure, honestly. I think the best way is to ask them. Let’s call another face-to-face meeting, after Lizzy’s exams. Deal?”
Bethany nodded, but this time with a smile. “I think that’s the perfect way to handle it. We’re all mondo stressed out right now, and I think that will help. You got it, dude!”
True to their word, the FlixenFlaxen lit up with Bethany and Will’s profile pictures after the big meal but before dessert.
Hey guys! Happy Thanksgiving – Although we’re pretty sure it wasn’t the happiest for everyone. We know it’s become much more stressful since last we met. We have an idea, but we want to meet face-to-face again before sharing. Lizzy, when’s your last final exam?
Lizzy’s phone buzzed in her pocket. She knew she shouldn’t look at it at the table, so she excused herself to the restroom.
The corners of her mouth turned upward as she read the most recent message. Seeing the words last final exam were exhilarating.
She could barely keep up with herself, her fingers were flying so fast on the keypad:
New ideas are great – I’m so in. I’ve been dreaming about Europe as a means of escape recently, and it’s really been helping alleviate the stress. My very last final exam, EVER, is scheduled for Thursday, December 11th. Is everyone available to meet up that weekend? I’ll be moving back home between Thursday and Friday, and I’ll need a break from that by Saturday. Let me know – Hopefully it will work out!
Lizzy crossed her fingers after tapping Send. The waiting game had begun.
Happy Thanksgiving! Bill and I had a slight disagreement earlier today, but we’re okay now. We definitely want to meet up again. As of right know, we’re good to meet on Saturday the 13th. Hoping everyone else can make it! Can’t wait to see y’all again soon.
Bethany and Will pulled out their phones and scrolled through the calendar. They both sighed with relief – Will’s company Christmas party was the first weekend in December.
Good news! Bethany and I can make it on the 13th. Woohoo! We’re excited to meet up again, and so soon. Enjoy the rest of the weekend – I’m sure we’ll talk again shortly.
Even though everyone was separated at that moment, the six of them all had smiles on their faces. Nothing could bring them down.
The next day, the FlixenFlaxen was buzzing again.
Uh, sorry guys. Bad news. This is Bill, by the way. Since I’ve requested off work so many Saturdays in the last few months, I’m required to work the 13th and 20th of December. I’m so bummed about this! Is there anything we can do?
Bethany frowned, tapping the corner of her phone against her teeth. Will looked at her quizzically, until Bethany showed him the message.
Will extended his hand, and Bethany gave him her iPhone. After a few moments of contemplation, he started to tap on the screen.
B&W here! Bummer, Bill. Sorry about that! No worries though. We can do a Sunday if need be. In fact, why don’t we turn it into another sleepover? Only this time it’s pushed back a little bit – Start it on Saturday night after you get off work and then go into most of Sunday. We have some vacation built up as well, so we can go into Monday if we want. Just let us know – We’re flexible.
Bill smiled. But Hunter frowned.
Hey, it’s Hunter. Saturday into Sunday works, but I have to work on Mondays. Sorry!
Will and Bethany sighed. This clearly wasn’t working. They could feel the anxiety rising. Could a compromise be reached?
Suddenly, Lizzy finally felt like she had the answer.
Lizzy here. I know everyone must be really frustrated by now. So – What if we do, like, a Skype session? I know it’s definitely not the same as everyone being together in one room, but at least we’re all communicating and seeing each other’s faces while doing so …
Everyone considered Lizzy’s proposition. They’d never tried Skype before. It worked for other people, all over the world. Heck, Will and Bethany had used it several times when they first started dating, when Bethany was still a student at LT. It wasn’t the same as being all together, but it sounded like a good idea, on paper.
Everyone mulled over it. It was different, and honestly, no one was too keen on it. But, if they couldn’t meet up face-to-face again until after New Year’s, something had to give. They needed another meeting to settle the period in between, and this suggestion may be their ticket.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂