Monday, September 19, 2011

Chapter 2-3: Put a Ring on It

                Tanner settled into high school life fairly well. Although he wasn’t necessarily the most popular guy, his charismatic nature captivated his teachers and classmates alike. The rebellious side allowed him to cross clique lines and he found friends among the jocks, band geeks, and “bad kids”.

Shortly after starting at Stary Community, Tanner had a field trip to the mausoleum. That school really enjoyed taking kids to the graveyard for some reason. Probably to scare them into behaving or else they knew where they would end up. As he was wandering around, looking at the crypts, he had a thought that this might be the perfect place to hang out at night. Most people weren’t too interested in going into a graveyard at night. “I’m not afraid,” he thought to himself.

                As he turned around, he saw a woman swimming in the pond. He laughed to himself thinking that, although she may be crazy, they might have a lot in common because she didn’t seem afraid of anything either.

                Meanwhile, at Twinbrook Foundation, Shane was finally asked to clean bedpans. “Oh the joys of a promotion,” he mused. At least that would be more money in his pocket. As he went about his business, he heard a commotion in the hall.
                “Damn it Curt. Get off your ass and take Mrs. Sonwhun out to her car. We can’t afford a liability suit.” Dr. Dander was a surgeon well known for being extremely cautious since he was interested in making Chief of Medicine one day.
                “Doc, I’m on a smoke break. I’m entitled to two fifteen minute breaks, remember,” Curt replied, with just enough attitude for anyone to see that he didn’t care.
                The doctor pulled him to the side. “You’re not entitled to anything you little shit. Those breaks are only permitted if time and work load allow for it,” he hissed.
                “Sucks for Mrs. Sonwhun since my job description doesn’t include walking old ladies to the curb.”

                Shane took this moment to seize a chance to make a good impression. “Sir, all the bedpans on my floor are cleaned for the moment. I have some down time if you would like me to escort the woman to her car.”
                “Fantastic! Now that’s what you call initiative. We could use more people like you around here.” He chose that moment to give Curt a glare over his shoulder. “Son, Shane is it? How would you like to be promoted to paramedic,” Dr. Dander asked.

                Although Shane had just expected to get some recognition and, hopefully, give a good impression, he was not going to turn down a promotion, especially when his family needed it. They could certainly use the extra money. To celebrate, he asked Carrie to meet him at the Old Ebbitt Lounge. If there was anything he wanted to share this news with, it was her.

            “Wow, you look lovely,” Shane greeted Carrie who looked fantastic in a blue cocktail dress.

She flashed her beautiful smile and suggested they go inside where Shane ordered drinks for both of them. As he waited for their order, she gazed down at him with a faraway look in her eyes. Will he ever ask me to marry him?  They had been together for so long and had been quite happy but she wasn’t going to wait around forever.

                Later that same evening, after the bartender had served the drinks and Shane and Carrie were enjoying the night, Shane had a minor panic attack. He knew that he wanted to make Carrie his wife. She was everything to him. But what if she says no? What if the fact that we are poor and don’t even have a kitchen makes her think that I can’t take care of her? What if she…he stopped himself before he allowed his neuroticism to get the best of him. The only way he would ever know would be to ask.

                Tanner meanwhile was making the circuit at the gym. Although he loved the feel of the burn and the sore muscles, he still wasn’t an accomplished athlete yet, as evidenced by the entire gym when he faceplanted on the treadmill. His rebellious streak made him want to strike out at those who chuckled but his newly developed charismatic side was stronger so he decided to make the most of it.

                “Hi,” he introduced himself to one of the chuckling bystanders. “I’m Tanner, also known as that guy who just busted his face on the treadmill.”
                She wrinkled her nose at his odor from working out so long. “Yeah, and that guy who could use a shower,” but she smiled as she said it. Who knew? Maybe something would develop from this impromptu meeting.

                Back at Old Ebbitt Lounge, Shane was finally gathering the courage he needed to get the velvet box that was burning a hole in his pocket out into the light. The few drinks he had didn’t hurt. Sometimes a guy just needed a little assist now and then.

                “You really are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid eyes on,” he said as he stroked her cheek. He couldn’t imagine his life without her. He took a deep breath and continued.

                “I’ve loved you since high school and that love has only grown every day since then. I would be the luckiest man alive if you would do me the honor of being my wife,” he said on bended knee.

                “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,” Carrie exclaimed in total shock. Her wait was finally over but it felt like it must be a dream.
                “Is that a yes,” Shane asked.
                “Yes, yes, YES”!!!
                He slipped the ring on her finger, prouder and more exuberant than he had ever felt previously. 

                She couldn’t wipe the smile off of her face or stop looking at the beautiful diamond that proclaimed to the world that she belonged to someone. And not just anyone; the love of her life, all her life.

                They ended the date, not because they were ready to get home, but because they had closed the place down. They knew there would be many more nights together to come.

                Friday morning dawned a bit too early for Shane. Tanner was already up and ready, chatting on the phone with a friend when Shane arose from his sleeping bag. Oh no! I’ve still got a book to read before I get to work. Crap! He settled down on the edge of the tub to read, having no furniture appropriate for a study session with a medical book. 

                He finally finished but arrived to work over two hours late. Not the way to start his first day in his promotion. If it hadn’t been for the proposal and acceptance, chances were his mood would have been bad enough to be noticed at work. Luckily, he was able to hide behind his excitement.

                Though he knew that he probably outwardly appeared selfish and egotistical, Tanner was not oblivious to the perils faced by his family. In fact, he was more than aware that they were struggling for money. He knew how hard Shane was working; making it through high school and trying to fight his way up the ladder in the hospital. He knew that it couldn’t be easy trying to be a normal kid while raising your brother.

                While he had often thought about where his life may take him, Tanner had never figured out what he wanted to do. He knew military life wasn’t for him. All those rules and regulations made him shudder. He did know he wanted to make a difference somehow. How was just the question he needed to figure out. He trekked up to the graveyard to have a moment with himself.

                As he suspected, today it was empty besides the old caretaker. A quiet place, not a scary one, to think to himself and work on what his goals for the future might be. Interesting that the best view in the town is the one that can’t be enjoyed by the occupants. No matter, he could still enjoy it during his introspection. As he thought, he decided that until he could figure out what his goal was, he would get a part time job to help with the finances. What better place to do it than the place that he gravitated to. He went inside the mausoleum and inquired about a position with the caretaker. As luck would have it, he was in need of someone to do more of the strenuous work around the place and no one had been interested as of yet, due to the “location”. Tanner had secured himself a job.

                Shane knew that he wanted to get married quickly. He and Carrie had been together for so long that a long engagement was just out of the question for him. With her family’s help, and money, they could pull together a simple but classy wedding in about a month. Carrie and her mother immediately began the planning and Shane was more than happy to leave the details up to them.

                The month passed quickly. In no time at all, it seemed that the wedding day loomed on the horizon. Though he knew this was what he wanted, Shane was still nervous about the whole ordeal. Without another promotion at work, he had been unable to expand on the house anymore. How am I supposed to ask my new wife to sleep in a sleeping bag? His thoughts threatened to consume him so he quickly went back to his work, focusing on working his way further up through the hospital ranks.

                “Hey, Shane, I think we should grab a beer tonight,” Emil Drudge, a coworker, suggested. Their relationship was slowly developing into a friendship but Shane had more than enough on his mind and that left him little time to make small talk with his peers.
                “I don’t know. I’ve got a lot of stuff to get done before tomorrow. You got your invitation so you know what tomorrow is.”
                “Yeah, I know. But this is your last night single and you’ve been really quiet and, well, kind of spacey and more neurotic than usual. It would probably do you good to relax and have some fun,” Emil countered.
                “I suppose. Just for an hour or so. One beer,” Shane conceded.
                “Sounds good. Meet me at Carl’s around 8.”

                “Hey Tanner, Emil wants to meet at Carl’s for a beer tonight, you okay with me going,” Shane asked when he got home from work.
                “Yeah, why not? Besides, I won’t be here anyway,” Tanner replied.
                “Where are you off to?”
                “I start work tonight,” he answered as he headed to the bathroom to shower.
                Well, that settled it. His last excuse was blown out of the water. Looked like he would be going to Carl’s after all.

                Shane arrived, still nervous and worried about the next day and planned to hurry inside, down one drink and get back to the house to try and get some sleep, though he knew that it was more likely that he would be tossing and turning instead. As he approached the front entrance, he noticed quite a few coworkers there. That bastard! Throwing me a bachelor party the eve of my wedding! He knew that there was no way he would be slipping out now. 

                Meanwhile, back at home, Tanner remembered that the prom was that night. Crap. I forgot to ask off for it. He debated what he would do but, in the end, a school dance, even if it would be lame, won out over work.

                “Dude, what are you wearing? Put this one,” Emil said as he thrusted some clothes and what appeared to be a top hat in Shane’s direction.
                “Um…I’m good, thanks,” Shane replied, attempting to hand the pile back.
                “Do it, or we do it for you,” Emil countered, Curt appearing behind him wearing a grin that just begged Shane to defy them.
                “Fine, fine,” Shane stomped to the bathroom. He knew it would be faster and less painful to just admit defeat at this point. He decided to just make the best of it.

                “So what’ll it be Fred” the bartender asked when Shane went to order a round for the guys.
                ‘Fred,” he questioned.
                “The top hat? Oh never mind, what’ll it be? Make it snazzy, I got a bachelor party coming in.”
                “That’ll be me. Tomorrow is the big day,” he replied with a grin. He really would be marrying his best friend tomorrow.

                After Cheyenne fixed him up with a drink, Shane really began to enjoy himself. Emil was right; relaxing and just enjoying himself with some friends was a good way to take his mind off things. As the guys continued drinking, things started to get crazy. Emil was spraying champagne all over the place,

Curt danced with anyone, whether they were interested or not, poor Emil,

And the drinking continued.

                The guys danced well into dawn, until finally, they had to go.
                “Hey guys, I’m outta here,” Cheyenne piped up, ready to go home after a long night.
                “See ya,” Curt slurred as he booty bopped his way around the deck.
                “No, see YOU,” she replied, “If I’m out, so are you. Go home, get some rest, drink lots of water. You’ll all need it.”

                With that, the guys headed their separate ways. The taxi dropped Shane off at his front door, just has the sun was coming over the hills. Oh my God! My wedding is in 10 hours! How will I ever be ready and not hungover! His worrying didn’t continue, thankfully he was granted the mercy of passing out before he stressed himself into a heart attack.

Chapter 2.2                                                                                                                                             Chapter 2.4


  1. Jesus, poor Shane. :P No one ever gives him a break! And I'm starting to like Tanner more and more; I wasn't fond of him in the beginning.

  2. naw, I want moar!! Save the Avendales! Love your set design btw, those construction site ones especially :p

  3. Poor guys, a bit confused in life no doubt

  4. Lol. Being hungover is a very bad feeling that I know from past experiences. Can't wait to see the wedding!