Chapter 3-

"So, how's packing?"

I can practically see Parley frown. "Oh, it's so fun," she says sarcastically. "But totally worth it. I just have three more weeks to go until I'm out of school and then I can just come home for real!"

I grin. "I am just so excited! And Skylar is thrilled too. The infamous trio will be back together for high school!"

"I know! I'd laugh if we all were in a class together. That'd be hilarious. That poor teacher!"

I smile again. "Seriously." I sigh, glancing at the clock. "Hey, Parley, I need to go. Family home evening starts in a few minutes. I'll talk to you soon, okay?"

"Okay! Love you, cous! I'll be seeing you sooner than you think!"

I smile again. "For sure! Alrighty, see ya! Love you!"

"Bye!" And she hung up. I grin. Life was going to be so great in a few weeks. I'd have both of my best friends! I just couldn't wait!

An hour and a half later, we're just finishing up family home evening with a prayer when I realized that I'm going to be in high school before I know it. Finally! The idea excited me beyond anything. I mean, I love being the youngest, but I hate being treated like a baby all the time. If I was in high school, maybe a little of that would go away.

After a closing prayer, I run upstairs to my room to finish my homework. The whole time, I can't help but smile. Life was going to be perfect. High school was going to be perfect. Everything was going to be perfect. I couldn't wait. Things were pretty darn great now, but they were going to get even better. I couldn't be happier. Not that things were bad in any sort of way before, but I knew I was just going to get happier. How perfect!

I am just finishing up an essay for English when it hits nine o'clock. I yawn tiredly, printing out my rough draft as I change into pajamas. Then I quickly pack up my school things and set out my outfit for the next day. I'm just throwing down a pair of socks when I hear a knock at my door. "Come in!"

It's Ben. "Hey, we're having family prayer in five minutes."

I smile. "Okay, be down there in a minute." Ben nods and closes my door, walking towards the stairs. I quickly grab my shoes for the next day and throw them next to my backpack and brush my teeth before heading downstairs. I get to the living room where Ben and Mom wait for us, both in pajamas and ready to get to bed. I know going to bed before ten is a bit early, but we all get up at six, so it actually makes sense to me, so we can all get decent sleep.

After a minute or two, Dad joins us in pajamas. Not long after, Cassidy joins us too, her hair still damp from her evening shower. She and Ben shower at night, since they have class that starts at 6:45 in the mornings for school and they don't have a lot of time to get ready in the mornings, plus walk to school.

Once everyone is gathered, Cassidy offers up our family prayer. It's our time, as a family, to thank Heavenly Father for the blessings of the day and for a peaceful night so we may be able to be strengthened for the next day.

After family prayer, we all head to bed, or if needed, finish up work. Usually that's Ben or my mom. But tonight, after getting a bottle of water to sip from throughout the night if needed, I can see that all the lights are out. We're all going to be asleep.

I get into my room and sip some water and read some scriptures, since I'm not terribly tired. I read a lot about prayer, and I can't help but smile. Prayer has always been one of my favorite things in the world. So, after reading, I get back down on my knees again. I feel like I have more to thank Heavenly Father for. And I do.

In prayer, I thank Him for my best friends and the opportunity to be together again. I thank Him for my wonderful, strong, and loving family. I thank Him for my health and my good fortune. I thank Him for everything that is going so perfectly. And at last, I thank Him for Christ.

After my prayer, I feel sleepy at last and climb into bed, falling asleep not much later.

…

"Paige, honey, time to get out of bed."

I shake my head awake, groggy. "What?"

I hear my mom chuckle. "It's time to get up. It's nearly ten in the morning, sweetie."

I shake my head again, open my eyes, and see my mom standing in the doorway. "Oh. Right. Thanks, Mom. I'm getting up." I throw back the covers as if to confirm and my mom nods and closes the door behind her. I yawn, stretching out. I loved Saturdays. I loved sleeping in.

I dress quickly, and run a brush through my hair before heading downstairs to start on homework. I get it out of the way so I don't forget about it and so it's out of the way. Most of it is math, which I'm not much of a fan of to begin with, but I grit my teeth and work while Cassidy, who is sitting across from me, mumbling from time to time, works on biology.

Mom stops us as half past noon for a lunch of her homemade chicken and cheddar broccoli soup with her special salad and homemade dressing. Cassidy and I accept it gratefully and Ben manages to pull himself away from whatever he's doing in his room to have some as well. I love Saturdays for this reason, too. Normally, the only meal we always share together is dinner. Dad's schedule is iffy sometimes, so breakfast is a rare treat. But for lunch, it's at least most of us, which is always nice.

After lunch, Ben joins Cassidy and me to do homework, and after another hour, I am finally finished. Freedom! I'm about to go up to my room to watch a movie when the phone rings. "I'll get it!" I call out, running to grab it. I pick up to find it's James on the other end. "James! How are you?"

"Good! Hey, is Mom there?"

"Yeah, she's just working. What's up?"

James hesitates to answer. "Well, there's just something I need to tell her."

"What? You can tell me, James. I am your sister."

James hesitates again. "But I think Mom needs to hear it first."

I roll my eyes. "How about I have her pick up another line and you tell us both?"

James sighed. "Fine, Paige." I almost felt hurt, but then I heard James chuckle. I grin and run to Mom's office, opening it to find her working.

"Mom? James wants to tell us something."

Mom turns to look at me, her reading glasses hanging on the tip of her nose. She grins at me there and turns to grab the other line. "Hi, James, I'm on the other line."

"Now you have to tell us," I say, almost impatiently.

James laughs again. "Well, I just wanted to tell you both that I finally did it."

I frown as Mom asks, "Did what?"

James sighs, before saying, "I proposed."

Mom gasps as I squeal. Mom and I are freaking out and I hug her, just so happy for my brother. Then I turn back to the phone and ask, "When?"

Just as James is about to answer, Ben and Cassidy enter, looking frazzled. We can tell they want to know what just happened, but Mom and I are too intent on hearing the details. "I asked her last night."

I squeal again, but only a little one before asking, "Have you thought about when yet?"

I know he knew I meant actually get married. And he chuckles before answering, "Sometime this summer."

This time, I drop the phone, jumping up and down. My brother was getting married this summer! And one of my best friends was coming back this summer! The joy was overflowing. Cassidy gave a tired look, so I spilled the beans. "James proposed to Beverly last night and they're gonna get married this summer!"

Cassidy gasps, a smile spreading wide across her face, and Ben just grins his normal goofy grin. They aren't as excitable as I am, but you can tell for them that they are very happy, too. For the next five minutes, we're all excited and freaking out about James and Beverly being engaged, before James says he has to go and he hangs up. Then Mom hugs us all, happy tears leaking from her eyes.

This was almost as good as when David and Alyssa got engaged. Can't beat the first brother getting engaged, though. That was so exciting! And going to the wedding was beautiful and wonderful! One of the happiest days I can remember for my family. And then, a year and a half later, we got little Robert and that was fantastic too. Wonderful and happy.

Finally, we all manage to break apart. Cassidy goes to practice the violin for the upcoming concert, while Ben goes to work on his science project. Mom turns back to work, so I decide to call Skylar and Parley to tell them the wonderful news. I run up to my room and flop on the bed, dialing Skylar's number first. After a very excited conversation with her, I call Parley.

"Paige! How are you?"

I am beaming when I answer, "I am absolutely fantastic! I have some wonderful news to tell you!"

I can hear Parley smiling too. "What? What is it? Tell me!"

I giggle before spitting out, "James is getting married!"

I hear Parley squeal on the other end and I squeal too. We laugh and freak out a minute before Parley says, "Tell me the details!"

"He asked her last night and the best part is they're getting married this summer!"

Parley freaks again before she manages, "I get to be there!"

"Yeah!" I say, excitement pulsing through me like a drug. This had to be what being high felt like, though I didn't know. "It's going to be an absolute blast, Parley! I am just so excited!"

"Me too!" I hear Parley sigh happily. "This is going to be a wonderful year, Paige. I am so overjoyed! We're going into high school, your brother is getting married… Everything wonderful is happening!"

I grin. "I know! I am just so happy and so blessed, Parley. Oh, I just cannot wait!" The two of us talk for a while longer before she had to leave. Then I promise to call again soon and we hang up. Then I fall into bed happily, smiling. James was going to get married! What a happy occasion!

After an hour of thinking happily, I pull out my viola and start practicing for the auditions coming up. I wanted to try and get into the highest orchestra as possible at the high school and for once, I figured practicing at least an hour a day was going to be okay. Everyone that was doing it hoped to get into a good orchestra. So, I didn't feel bad spending my Saturday afternoon playing away.

I only stop when I head Dad get home. I run downstairs to greet him, like I always do when I am home. But this time, I am much more enthusiastic. We all know he doesn't know that James is getting married yet. By the time I'm downstairs, Mom is already kissing him on the cheek, a huge smile on her face. He sees this and looks questionably at her. "What's going on?"

Mom smiles. "Chad, you'll never guess the news!"

Dad frowns. "What?"

"James called. He proposed to Beverly!"

A giant smile breaks across Dad's face. "No way! When?"

"Last night," I pipe up. "And he said that they're going to get married this summer!"

Dad's eyebrows fly up in surprise but settle when he grins again. "A little soon, but that is just wonderful! Oh, how wonderful!" He pulls Mom in a tight hug and kisses her. Then he hugs me, which I love. It's one of those tight hugs that are so great. My dad isn't really a big guy. I mean, he's tall and stuff, but he's not huge. Medium in muscle build. Above average in height. I mean, he's a doctor, not a football player. But his hugs make me feel like I am being swallowed up, and I love it. I love my dad so much.

By now, Cassidy and Ben have come to join us and Dad hugs them too. Dad loves to share his happiness with the whole family. Dad is usually a pretty quiet soul, but whenever he is happy, he shares it with others. His family is the most important thing in the world to him.

The night is completely blissful, talking about the wedding that's to come soon. We were all pretty sure a year ago that James and Beverly were going to get married, but of all the boys, James was the shy, insecure one who took forever to do anything. We were glad that he finally popped the question.

By the time I was climbing into bed, I felt as light as a feather. How could anything in the world take away this joy? Nothing could and I knew that with all of my heart. Oh, how thankful I was! I know that nobody can have a perfect life, but this had to be as perfect as you could get, and how lucky was I to be the person with the luck?