"Yes!" she exclaimed with tears leaking out of her eyes.
He slid the beautiful ring onto her finger. Soon, he paid the bill and they headed back to the hotel.
"What are we going to do?" she asked. "My parents don't know we've even been in a relationship. Can you imagine what will happen when you tell the staff at school? What happens when the other people at school find out? How am I going to pay for college?"
"Claire, I love you. I want to marry you. I can pay for your college. I make plenty of money. Why don't we leave earlier tomorrow, and we can explain everything to your parents when I drop you off at home?"
"You know that gun my dad was cleaning when you came to pick it up? You would be very familiar with it if we told my parents."
"We need to be honest with them."
"Okay, we'll go back early. I'll graduate in a month, so we could announce our engagement after that."
They packed their bags Sunday afternoon and left back for home. They made small talk on the way talking about the odds of her novel being published.
"I think it'll be published," he told her.
"Why are they ever going to pick up a book a teenager wrote?"
"Because it's a great novel."
"My dad's going to kill both you and me."
"Why is he going to kill you?"
"Let's start with: I'm in a relationship with my teacher. I also went behind his back to try and publish a book when he's been adamant that I get a career in science. That's the only reason he let me come this weekend."
"You're his only kid. He loves you. He'll be okay with any decision you make."
"He's going to kick me out of the house. Then he's going to kill you, and bury your body in the backyard."
"We'll be fine. If he kicks you out, you can come to my place."
"Okay," she told him sounding unsure.
"It'll all be fine. I promise."
"I trust you."
They drove the rest of the way home. As they got closer, the more nervous they were. They talked about different things on the way home trying to distract themselves from their impending doom. They arrived back at her house and got her suitcase out of the car.
As they were rolling her suitcase back up the sidewalk, he told her, "You might want to keep the ring off."
"That seems like good reasoning." She took her ring off.
They knocked on the door. "Hi, Claire. How was the trip?" her dad answered the door.
"It was great," she replied. "I think we should talk."
"All of us?" he said gesturing towards Logan.
"Yes. You might want to get mom down her too."
"Well come on in then," he said leading them to the kitchen table. "Linda, come down here," he said loudly up the stairs.
Her mom came down the stairs and asked, "What's up?"
"I think we should all talk about some recent events," Claire told them.
"Let's sit," her dad said.
"You wanna start?" she asked Logan.
"No, I think it'd be better if you explain."
"Okay, well, this started back around the middle of the first semester when I had to take a test after school from when I had pneumonia. It was all on a bubble sheet, so he went to grade it while I was still there. I took out the notebook I was writing my novel in. Yes, I know you don't want me to pursue a writing career. Well anyway, he saw the writing and asked if he could read it. I let him. He said it was very good and that he would like to help me edit it. I took him up on that offer. Since y'all don't want me to write, I said that I was going to extra help for biology. We talked a lot during these sessions about school and about different things, and we grew closer. We started a relationship about six months ago." Her parents gasped and started protesting immediately. "Okay, guys, stop. You can't argue about this now; it's already done. This weekend, we didn't go for a research opportunity. We went to see if we could get my novel picked up by a publisher. Saturday night, Logan proposed. I said yes."
"What? This is not going to happen," her dad said slamming his hands against the table.
As her dad was saying that, her mother said, "Oh, congratulations!"
"Thank you, Mom."
"You are not getting married. I will not allow it."
"Dad, I am eighteen years old. I can do this. Now, I really would like your support and blessing in this, but I am going to marry Logan."
"This is your fault," he said pointing at Logan.
"Sir, I love your daughter. I promise you I love her. I agree with Claire; we want your blessing in this."
"Todd," Claire's mother said, "they love each other. I can tell."
"Claire, I don't like the way you've gone about this," he said. "You should have been forthright and honest with us from the start."
"I knew that you would blow up like this. I know that he's my teacher, but he's the only person that has advocated for what I want to do. I want to write. I know you all both want me to be something in the sciences, but I want to write. I want to be an author. I've told you that, but you have not supported me. He believed in me even though you didn't. The only thing I'm saying now is that you will either support me in this or you won't. I've made up my mind."
"I give you my blessing," her mom told them.
"I am not giving my blessing for this."
"Todd, she's our daughter, and he's going to be our son in law. I don't know about you, but I want to continue a relationship with our daughter."
"Fine, only because I want to continue a relationship with you, Claire, I give you my blessing."
"Thank you, Daddy!" she said hugging him across the table.
"You're welcome, sweetheart." He turned and gave a stern look towards Logan. "Son, if you ever do anything to hurt my daughter, you mark my words; I will kill you."
"Yes, sir," he said taking a large gulp.
Logan and Claire were married a month and a half later on the beach after she graduated. They honeymooned in London. They even liked it so much they were moving there. He was fired from his job after he announced their engagement. He received a teaching position at Cambridge University, and she was going to Oxford University to study writing in the fall. Her novel was not picked up in New York, but Bloomsbury Publishing in London picked up her novel. Logan and Claire were content with their lives, and they enjoyed this small little piece of their forever.