Eliza Layton – Prologue


Tom and Jennifer were a handsome couple in a town where beauty was an anomaly.  Most people had poor hygiene, missing teeth, and were overweight.  They were the king and queen of the prom.  High school sweethearts.  They graduated top of the class.  They had plans to go off to college, a rarity in Clarity, and make something of themselves.

One hot summer night after their senior year, they sat by the lake, staring at the stars.  They sipped wine from a bottle until it was all gone.  When the last drop was consumed, they looked into each others eyes and their heads slowly drifted together.

The kissing began slowly but quickly intensified to an explosive passion.  Jennifer surprised Tom by ripping off his shirt, then hers.  The next morning, they awakened, entangled in each others arms, the birds chirping excitedly, a faint glow of light off the eastern horizon, and fog floating above the lake.  They were happy and in love and the world was waiting for their entree!

Two months later, the summer was coming to a close.  Tom and Jennifer were preparing for their college years, a new chapter about to begin.  They were excited to start this next step together.  Jennifer was going to study medicine , Tom law.  A match made in heaven!

A week before they were to embark on their seemingly prearranged life, Tom went to Jennifer’s house to pick her up for a friend’s party.  Tom arrived to find his love sitting on the porch waiting for him.

Surprised, Tom said, “wow! I can’t believe you’re ready.”

Jenny looked at him, tears in her beautiful hazel eyes and began to speak “Tom, I—”

Jenny had an abusive father and her mother died when she was young, so Tom immediately interrupted and screamed, “What did that monster do? I’ll—”

“No Tom, everything’s fine, I’m just … ” Her voice trailed off.

“What sweety?  You’re just what?”

“I’m late,” she whispered.

“You’re late?” He said with feigned surprise. “Ha, is that it?  You’re always late so what’s new about that?”

“No, you big idiot,” she screamed.  Jennifer had a bad temper but Tom ignored it knowing it was passed down from her alcoholic, angry pop.  “Not THAT kind of late … I’M LATE!!!”

Tom’s face dropped as he began to understand.  All his dreams flashed through his brain as if a movie trailer was playing in his mind.  With those two words ‘I’m Late’, he knew their dreams were shattered.  But his love for this beautiful woman burned in him like a wild fire.  He was suddenly filled with joy.

Tom got down on one knee and grabbed Jenny’s hand.  He lightly touched her chin so that she would look him in the eyes.  She hesitated but acquiesced as she always did.

Their eyes met.   He knew this day would come.  He just did not think it would be now.  The words came out slowly as time stopped.

“Will you marry me?”


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