A soldier returns home unexpectedly to propose to his girlfriend, but when he sees her in a bridal gown and their eyes meet, he turns around and starts running.
Tears streamed down Davon’s eyes as he gazed out the window, allowing the sun’s rays to caress his bruised face gently.
“Veronica…” he whispered to himself. “I… I love you so much. I don’t want to leave you. Ever.”
Finally, after a fortnight’s stay at the hospital, Davon could have his own company. No rushing in and out of the nurses and doctors. No racing of the heart and worries of being proclaimed dead. And no fear of being separated from his beloved.
Davon closed his eyes for a while, recalling the deadly combat in Syria that nearly took his life. His heart shuddered as the war flashbacks played in front of his eyes yet again. But when he remembered his hometown, his dear Veronica, his heart seemed to calm down a little.
Davon and Veronica were madly in love, and they’d been so since their high school days. She was wild, extroverted, and taking life as it came, while he was introverted, shy, and crazy about her.
Veronica was a breath of fresh air for Davon, and his entire existence seemed to be due to her. That’s how much they loved each other, and never once did it happen over the years that Davon feared anything would take his love away from him.
But everything changed when he received his army enlistment notice. Davon always wanted to serve his home country, like his late father, and he would never forget the sacrifices his father had made for their motherland.
“Maybe you could think it through? Take your time, Davon?” Veronica had asked him. She didn’t want him to join the military, but Davon had made up his mind.
“I love you, Veronica,” he had said. “And I love my country. To protect and serve this country is something my dad wanted me to do. Please. Please, let me go.”
Tears flickered in Veronica’s eyes. “You should,” she said. “I have no right to stop you; you know that. But what about me, Davon? How long am I supposed to wait for you to return safely? How long am I supposed to live with the fear that your love for our country might take you away from me?”
Davon wrapped his arms around her and kissed her on the forehead. “I will come back, love,” he promised her. “No matter what happens. I will not forget you. And I will not forget our love. Please believe in us.”
True love is patient and kind, and rash decisions only ruin it.
And then, Davon hung his backpack on his shoulders, and he was gone. Veronica wanted to run after him, stop him, tell him that she didn’t care about his patriotism and that all she wanted was for him to be with her. But Davon left to serve in the military, and she was left behind alone.
It had not been easy for Davon to leave Veronica and put his nation’s interest above his. But a heart that beats for the country possesses the courage to let go of everything. And Davon’s heart was one of those.
During his deployment in Syria, Davon and his comrades never expected their base would be attacked one morning, and that they’d be fighting for their lives. Davon jumped bravely in front of one of his enemies to protect his comrade and sustained severe injuries.
As he lay on the hospital bed now, his mind wandering to the battle scenes, Davon felt restless. He felt a searing pain in his heart when he thought about how he could have lost his life and broken his promise to Veronica.
“No, no, I can’t!” He opened his eyes, gasping for breath. “I must go back. I must tell her I love her and that I’m safe. I want to marry her.”
“Are… Are you OK?” A nurse walked into the room right then, and Davon tore the IV patches from his arm and tossed away the blanket covering his legs.
“I have to leave. I need to get home!” he cried.
“No, no, you can’t right now,” the nurse replied softly. “Sit back and rest, OK? Everything will be fine. You’re gonna be okay.”
“It’s not! Nothing is fine!” Davon collapsed onto the floor, sobbing like a kid. “I have to get home to see my girlfriend! I want to tell her how much I love her!”
“How about you start by being kind to yourself?” the nurse suggested as she helped him lie down on the bed. “If you’re too harsh on yourself, you might not get out of here soon. You must be patient. Please let me know if you want me to call her. I can arrange that for you, OK?”
“Please, yes,” said Davon. “Please. Get me a phone. I need to call her. No… I need to call my friend, Braylon. Really.”
“I’ll take care of that, OK?” she said. “Don’t worry. You need to rest.”
The kind nurse, thankfully, arranged for Davon to call his friend, and Davon burst into tears as Braylon’s voice appeared on the other end of the line.
“Hey, hi, Braylon. It’s me, Davon,” Davon said, his voice breaking. “How… how are things back home? How is Veronica?”
“All chill, mate. You OK?” Braylon asked.
“No, no, I’m not. I’m not, Braylon,” Davon whispered, tears streaming down his cheeks. “I nearly died, man. And now that I think about Veronica and the commitment I made to her, I feel terrible to have done this to her. I abandoned her and—”
“Hey, hey, Davon. You got me, alright? Don’t worry. She’s fine. And I’m glad you’re alright, too. Do you want her to call you later on this number?”
“No, don’t. Don’t do that. I need a favor, Braylon. Please.”
“Anything, mate. Just say it.”
“Thanks. Thanks a lot. So it’s just that…”
After fearing the loss of his life due to the dangers his military job entailed, Davon realized it was high time he proposed to Veronica. Either way, she had always said she wanted to marry him, and he wanted to make her dream come true. So Davon asked Braylon for a favor.
He told Braylon to get Veronica’s ring size secretly because he intended to propose to her as soon as he was discharged from the hospital. Veronica, Davon, and Braylon had been friends since high school, and they lived in their small village in Tennessee, so everyone knew everyone else.
Braylon promised his injured soldier friend that he would get the ring size and get back to him as soon as possible. And a few days later, he had succeeded in his endeavor.
So when Davon left the hospital, the first thing he did was stop by a jewelry store and buy the most beautiful ring that caught his eye.
“All the best, soldier!” He remembered the kind nurse’s words as he settled on the train to his hometown, the ring in his backpack. “I hope your girlfriend says yes. You seem to love her a lot.”
I do, Davon thought as he looked out the train window. More than my life. And I want to spend the rest of my life with her.
As the train arrived at the station and Davon got down, he couldn’t wait to finally see the happiness in Veronica’s eyes when he proposed to her. For a moment, he found himself smiling at how excited she would be.
“She’ll love it,” he told himself as he walked out of the train station, his backpack slung over his shoulders. “I’m sure she will. And I’ll promise her that I’ll never leave her alone.”
Somewhat nervous and excited, Davon arrived at his girlfriend’s house, wanting to surprise her by sitting down on one knee and holding the ring box open to say the three magical words and then a “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”
He swallowed and straightened his military uniform and walking stick that he’d been using since he was injured. He rang the doorbell, expecting to see tears of joy and happiness in Veronica’s eyes to see him home unexpectedly.
But as soon as the door was answered and Davon saw his girlfriend, his smile faded. “What in the world… what’s going on?” he asked, his eyes welling up.
“Davon… Oh no! No, this can’t be!” She slammed the door in his face, and he was hurt, very hurt. He paused for a moment. Then he thought something. And then, tossing his military cap and walking stick aside, he just ran. Davon ran as fast as he could.
“I hate you!” he yelled, dragging his feet and ignoring the pain in his leg. “I hate you, Veronica! I can’t believe you did this to me!”
When Davon had arrived at Veronica’s house, he was shocked to see her in a satin bridal dress with the mother of the man he despised. Matthew had always wanted to date Veronica, claiming he loved her, but Davon trusted Veronica’s love, so he never thought anything could hurt their relationship.
But after seeing Veronica in a wedding dress with Matthew’s mother and how she slammed the door in his face, he was furious and hurt.
“I can’t believe this! I just can’t!”
Suddenly, a shrill voice from behind attracted Davon’s attention. In fact, he knew whose voice it was.
“DAVON!” Veronica cried as she ran after him, holding up the frills of her wedding dress. “STOP! Please!”
“Leave me alone!” he cried. “Just leave me alone! I can’t believe you cheated on me, and—”
Veronica caught up with him and pulled him back. “I hate you so much, Davon!” she said, panting; then she held him tight as she kissed him. “Are you finally calm now? Are you going to listen to me or not? You know what? I don’t care. You have to listen to me!”
“What’s left to talk about?” Davon said in tears. “It’s over. Everything is over! You’re in a wedding dress. You’re marrying Matthew! His mother was there with you… at your home… How could you do this to me, Ver?”
Veronica laughed, and Davon was confused. “What are you trying to do?” he asked, baffled.
“I fell for a very possessive man!” She chuckled. “You are so silly, Davon, and that just makes me love you more. Someday when we have kids, I want to tell them how I ran after their father in a bridal dress.”
“Stop teasing me. Leave me alone!” Davon said.
She held his face in the cup of her hands and looked right into his eyes.
“I am not marrying Matthew, you fool!” she said with a smile. “This dress was just for fitting ’cause his mom is a seamstress. In fact, she’s the best one in the village. I’m sorry, but I knew you would propose to me today. I saw Braylon when he was taking the ring size, and I… I did hear him talking to you on the phone.”
“I just wanted to start the wedding preparations sooner, Davon. This is my Gran’s wedding dress, and I shut that door, well, because it’s bad luck to see the bride in the wedding dress before the wedding. But then I thought, ‘who cares about it when we trust our love?’ It was your fault you came home when I was checking the dress’s fitting!”
“Oh, God. Oh, God!” Davon sighed, covering his face with his palms. Then he wrapped his arms around her and held her for a while. “I hate Braylon! He’s such a mess! Can’t he do one thing properly? He almost made me hate you! I’m cutting him off from the wedding guest list! That idiot!”
“He’s not that bad. He did do his best, but he got caught! He’s a good friend, Davon,” Veronica said. “I was scared, you know. I have spent days and months fearing I might not see you again. Let’s not waste any more time, OK? I want us to be together.”
“Me too! I love you! More than you’ll ever know, Veronica Waters!”
“And I love you too, soldier!” she said.
Three weeks later, Davon and Veronica tied the knot in an intimate church ceremony, exchanging ‘I dos’ and promising to grow old together. And Braylon was invited to the wedding, although he had almost ruined it.
What can we learn from this story?
Sometimes, running in a wedding dress is what it takes to save your love. When Davon saw Veronica with Matthew’s mother, he was so hurt that he ran away from her. And, well, Veronica had no choice but to embark on the adventurous run to save her love.
True love is patient and kind, and rash decisions only ruin it. Davon thought his love life was ruined when he saw Veronica in the bridal dress. But that clearly wasn’t the case.
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