Harry Wilson was sitting on his living room couch with his lovely wife, Allison.  It had been a long day, and it was about to get longer.  The happily married couple was waiting for their daughter, Lynn, who apparently had some very exciting news. Lynn was twenty-one years old. She was studying architecture in Stanford University. Lynn came home only one weekend every two months, so that's why Harry was overjoyed about his daughter's visit.
"Mom, dad!" Harry heard Lynn's sweet voice.
"Lynn!" He yelled as he wrapped his arms around his little girl.
"Hi, darling." Allison said.
"What is the great news you have for us?" Harry questioned.
Lynn sat on the couch and made herself comfortable. Then she began speaking.
"Well," She paused for a moment. "I came here to announce my engagement," she said lightly.
"Engagement?" Harry said, puzzled. "You're getting married?"
"Yes daddy. Isn't that wonderful."
"Aaaaahhhhhh!" Harry screamed as he fell hard against the wooden floor.
"Honey." Allison yelled, running over to her fainted husband. She slapped his cheeks several times until he opened his deep blue eyes.
"Oh Allison, you will not believe it! I had a silly dream about Lynn getting married!" Harry let out a bellow of laughter.
"Daddy," Lynn began. "I am getting married. To George." She finished.
"What?" He stuttered. "You're in no condition to get married. You're grounded," Harry commanded.
"Dad, you can't ground me." Lynn started yelling.
"She's right, Harry. You're over-reacting." Allison agreed.
"But she can't get married!" Harry stomped his foot against the floor.
"Listen, father, I sincerely thought that you would be happy for me, but I was dead wrong!" Lynn shouted. She ran to the closet, grabbed her blue-gray jacket and ran out the front door.
"Lynn! Wait!" Harry yelled, but it was too late. His precious daughter was gone. She was out of his life forever! "Allison, what have I done?" He sobbed sadly as he lay his head against her shoulder.  That night, Harry had trouble sleeping. He couldn't get Lynn out of his mind. She was his only child, and now she was leaving him for some George guy.
"If I get my hands on the man who's taking my little girl from me, I'll squish him like a beetle!" Harry whispered to himself. "No. I can't do that because then Lynn will be even angrier with me." He sighed softly.
There had to be something he could do to convince his daughter that she was making a mistake, Harry thought. There had to be a way.  The next morning, Harry woke up at eight a.m., which was an hour later than his usual routine.
"Good morning, Harry." Allison said when Harry walked into the kitchen.
"Good morning, Allison. What's for breakfast?" He asked, kissing his wife on the cheek.
"Pancakes." She answered.  Allison was a rather attractive woman. She had a tall, slender body, and shoulder-length brown hair. She was in her mid-forties, but that didn't stop her from looking good, Harry thought as he sat on the sofa, with the newspaper. A few minutes later, he walked over to the coffee table to get the remote control when something caught his eye. On top of the television set stood a silver frame with a picture of Lynn in it when she was about seven years old. Harry walked over to he picture and picked it up. He stared at it for a few minutes, and then he hugged it affectionately.
"Dad, what are you doing?" Harry heard the gentle voice of his daughter.
"Lynn!" He shouted happily, and ran over to give her a real hug.
"I came over to apologize. It was very rude of me to walk out on you yesterday." Lynn atoned.
"No, it was my fault. I blew the whole thing out of proportion," Harry exclaimed. They hugged tightly, and were joined by Allison a few seconds later.
"So, the wedding is on!" Allison shouted in her usual cheery voice.
The wedding, Harry thought. Oh no! He had completely forgotten about it.
"Um, sweetie, are you sure that George is the right boy for you? He may seem really nice now, but maybe he's an egotistical maniac," he proclaimed.
"I'm certain." She gave her father a suspicious look. "I love George and he loves me, that's all I need to know." Lynn said.
They went over to the kitchen and sat at the table. Allison put another plate down for Lynn.
"When do we get to meet him?" Allison asked.
"Is tomorrow good for you?"
Harry almost choked on his pancakes when he realized what the women were talking about. He didn't want to meet this man. The man who was stealing his pride and joy from him. Why, he'd rather do his own laundry then meet him.
"I'm sorry. I can't. I have to work all day tomorrow." Harry lied.
"Harry?" Allison gave him an incredulous look.
"Okay, fine. Invite the creep over." Harry mumbled.
"Excuse me?" Lynn looked at her father.
"Oh nothing, Lynn. Nothing at all."
The next evening, Harry was so nervous that he began chewing on a pencil, which wasn't very usual or very productive.
"Harry," Allison called. "I'm going upstairs to take a shower and get ready. Please turn the oven off in fifteen minutes." She ordered and then headed for the bathroom.
"Yeah, sure." He replied.
Harry had not been listening to his wife. Instead he had been focusing on what he was going to say to George. About twenty minutes later, the doorbell rang. Harry walked to it calmly, and opened it. On the front doorstep stood Lynn and George, holding hands and smiling. George was a tall, slim man with
curly, light brown hair. His eyes were light blue, just like Harry's.  According to Harry, George was a rather goofy-looking guy.
"Come on in." Harry said what he really didn't mean. "You must be George?"
"Hi dad!" Lynn said joyfully. "What's burning?" She added.
"Oh no! The oven!" Harry panicked. He raced into the kitchen and turned it off, but there was still a lot of smoke, so he ran back to the hallway to get the fire extinguisher. He was running in such a panic that he didn't notice all the shoes in front of him. He accidentally tripped over them, and fell flat on his face. Several minutes later, Lynn who was bent down beside him awakened him.
"What happened with the fire?" Harry asked clutching his nose, because it ached greatly.
"Don't worry. George put it out." Lynn replied.
Harry Wilson felt like a looser. He had made a complete fool of himself, right in front of George.
"Come on daddy. Mom and George are waiting in the dining room." Lynn said softly.
When they entered the room, they sat at the table and said grace before eating.
"Mrs. Wilson, you are a fabulous cook." George commented.
"Thank you, George. You can commend Harry for the burned chicken." Everyone laughed except Harry.
"Oh, George, I'd appreciate it if you called me mom." Allison said nudging Harry in the stomach.
"Harry." She said, gritting her teeth.
"George, you may call me dad." Harry said apathetically.
"Sure, mom, dad." George let out a smile of delight. Harry couldn't believe what he had just said. George truly was a nice guy,
Harry had to admit, but he just wasn't ready to give Lynn away.
"So when is the big day?" Allison queried.
"December 12th of this year." George replied.
Harry spit out his sparkling wine when he heard what George had said. "Lynn, that's only four weeks away." Harry complained.
"Yeah, isn't that excellent? And we're having the wedding right in the backyard of this house!" Lynn announced.
"What?" Harry said perplexed.
"That's fantastic!" Allison gave hugs to both of them.  Harry placed his elbow on the table. Great, he thought. First he steals my
daughter and then he steals my house! Harry decided to stop thinking and go along with the idea.  One day was swallowed by the next, and Harry was getting very frustrated.  Everyone was focusing on the wedding. Nobody even noticed him. The house
looked very disorderly. There were flowers all over the floor, presents on every table, and so many shoes lying around that Harry had tripped at least three times!
"What am I going to do?" Harry muttered to himself.
Finally it was the day of the wedding.
"Ding, ding, ding, ding!" Harry heard wedding bells ringing. When he opened his eyes, he realized that it was the phone ringing.
"Wait a second." He said to himself. "I was having a dream. A dream! It was only a dream!" Harry declared, slapping his hands together. He answered the phone, and was elated to hear Lynn on the other end of the line.
"Hi daddy." She said.
"Hi honey." He replied.
"Dad, I have some very good news." Lynn said enthusiastically.
"Well what is it?" Harry asked, excited.
"I'm engaged."
Harry took the phone away from his ear and let out a loud, lengthy scream.

by Lydia Sekulic


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