Chapter One

"Will you marry me?" The eagerness in his eyes made me want to vomit.

"Do you enjoy rejection or something? For the fifth time, no, I won't marry you."

"Oh, lovely little Lydia, your stubborness means nothing to me! By the end of the semester, we WILL be married."

"Under coercion, and only because I want an A in Health. But if that actually means something to you, who am I to judge?"

"So that's a yes, then?"

"No. Leave me alone, I'm trying to eat, and the thought of being your wife is really interfering with that."

For a second he looked genuinely crestfallen, but then that self-assured smile spread itself across his face. "Just you wait, my lovely Lydia. By graduation, you will be in love with me."

Not deigning his remark worth a response, I just rolled my eyes and turned to my friends who were sitting beside me in the school cafeteria.

"Please remind me why I waited until I was a senior to take Health class," I complained to my friends. Elizabeth gave me a sympathetic smile, but Charlotte was wearing her trademark mischievous grin.

"I don't know what you are complaining about, Lydia. I'd love a chance to get to know Ben McAdams. He's kind of cute, in that slacker, stoner sort of way."

"Thanks, that's really helpful," I answered sardonically. "You know the only reason he is taking Health as a senior is probably because he failed it the first three times he tried to take it."

"Exactly. He's such a mystery. I mean, everyone always kind of thinks of him as this burnout or whatever, but no one really knows anything about him."

"Well, I am not about to be the person to discover these supposed hidden depths in Ben McAdams. Honestly, Char, you are such a romantic. You'd love nothing more than for me to find out that he is some burdened soul, overlooked and cheated by society, when in reality, he is probably just what he seems: a slacker."

"It could be worse, Lydia," Elizabeth intervened. "After all, when we got that assignment in Health class, I was married to Donald Hegaski. At least your intended seems to use a toothbrush regularly."

"You're right, Elizabeth. Dental hygiene should always be the main criteria when choosing a husband."

"When it's for a high school Health project, that's probably not such bad advice," Elizabeth retorted, in a definitive voice that told me that she was tired of my pity-party. And with that, she turned to topic to the Homecoming dance.


"So, Lydia, why didn't you tell your family about your upcoming nuptials?" my dad asked halfway through dinner tonight. Immediately I froze.


"Well, this nice boy named Ben came by a few hours ago to ask for your hand in marriage. Considering that I had never seen nor heard of such a young man, you can imagine my surprise." My dad was trying to hide a bemused smile, but was failing miserably. Knowing that I was being teased for Ben's antics did not do anything to endear me to the cretin.

"What?" I screeched. Why did Ben insist on being such a nuisance? It's not like this was actually part of our assignment. We just had to plan a wedding and prepare a budget of our expenses. It had something to do about understanding how serious getting married was, and how we shouldn't just agree to get married for the hell of it. The whole exercise seemed ridiculous to me; it's not like I would blithely decide to get married in the first place. And definitely not to Ben McAdams.

"Well, if he is asking for your father's permission, he seems like the right type of man for my daughter," my mother added, and her smirk told me that she was in on the joke.

"I cannot believe he actually came over here to ask for your permission. Not only is that whole concept entirely out-dated and slightly disturbing, but that is just so creepy! This is just a stupid Health project, and he is acting like it's the real deal. God, I just can't believe him!"

"I can't believe anyone would agree to pretend to marry you," my brother quipped.

"Shove it, Ryan," I said roughly, and pushed myself away from the dinner table.

"Oh, come back here, Lydia! We were just teasing!" my mother called, but I had more important things than finishing dinner to take care of.

I picked up the phone in my room, prepared to dial Ben's number when I realized that I had no idea what it was. With an angry growl, I walked back down to the kitchen to look up his home number. My family collectively gave me a confused look, and if I wasn't so angry, I would have laughed at how related they all looked.

With his number in hand, I stormed back up to my room. I didn't need an audience when I talked to my husband-to-be.

"Hello?" a small voice answered.

"Um, hello? Is Ben there?"

"This is Jesse."

"Ok? Is Ben there?"

"Uhh, I dunno. I'll go check."

I heard Jesse, who sounded about five, scream Ben's name.

"Hello?" his most unwelcome voice finally answered.

"You know, I really didn't take you as an oldest child, Ben. Aren't the oldest children supposed to be responsible?" I tried to infuse as much venom into my voice as possible. I wasn't feeling too sympathetic.

"I'm not the oldest child, actually. Who is this?"

"This is Lydia. The girl whose hand you asked for in marriage this afternoon. Five times, to be exact"

"Oooh, lovely Lydia!" he said, and I even though I couldn't see him, I could hear the smirk that was spreading across his face. It made me sick.

"Why would you ever think that it's acceptable to come talk to my father about marrying me? As if that's not paternalistic as it is, it's just downright stalker-ish for you to come to my house uninvited and very very unwelcome. You do realize that this is a Health project, right? We don't have to actually get married. You don't have to propose. You definitely don't have to ask for my father's permission."

"Well, considering how obstinate you were in your refusal of me throughout the day at school, I figured, like all women, you simply wanted a larger gesture of affection. The first step is asking for your father's permission, naturally. You'll be glad to know that he sad yes with hardly any explanation."

"What? No, I am not glad to know that! And I really detest that you think that I'm just being coy! Trust me, Benjamin, no matter how grand the gesture, I will NEVER want to marry you. So hire a skywriter, spell it out in rose petals, ask me on national television, the answer will always be no! No." I should have hung up there, it would have sent a much clearer message, but for some reason I stayed on the line.

"Rose petals? That's so cliche, my lovely Lydia! No, no, my proposal will outshine your suggestions by miles. You'll be so swept away, and half in love with me already, that yes will be the only word left in your vocabulary."

"First of all, I'm most definitely not YOUR Lydia. Secondly, I don't think you outshine things by miles. Watts, maybe. I guess flux if you take area into consideration."

"Nuh-uh, you can totally outshine things by miles. Lightyears is a measure of how fast light travels, and thus a measure of distance. Just like miles."

I rolled my eyes, but conceded the point. "And if yes was the only word left in my vocabulary, I wouldn't make a very good wife for you anyway."

"I don't know about that, my lovely Lydia. I bet there are a lot of men who would absolutely love a wife who only said yes."

"Ugh, you pig!"

"But I'm glad that you are already considering what it would be like to be my wife, my lovely Lydia."

"What? I am NOT!"

"You just said it yourself. You said you wouldn't make a very good wife for me if you only said yes. Clearly you have been giving some thought to our marriage."

" was completely hypothetical and for the sake of the argument!" I spluttered, completely off-guard.

Ben, however, took that to mean that he had won the argument. "See you tomorrow at school, my lovely wife-to-be!" he said, and even his voice sounded victorious.

And as I hung up the phone, I was beginning to doubt whether that he hadn't made his point a little bit more clearly than I had.


A/N- It has been a long long time since I have been on FictionPress, and it seems the Document Manger is way less user friendly, so I apologize that the formatting of this is a bit odd. Anyway, this is my new stress reliever: a very light, silly, dialogue driven story to help me procrastinate from studying. Hope you enjoy it!