4 years later…
“It is without profound praise and gratitude that I welcome you new police officers, proud that you have answered the call to service and today join the ranks of Chicago’s finest. You have earned the distinction of being the best trained, best prepared police officers in the world, ready to serve and protect one of the most vibrate cities in the world where every day brings a responsibility to keep all safe- safe from crime and safe from terrorism. And though the city is on the cutting edge of technology, nothing replaces your unwavering sense of right and wrong, and your eyes and ears on the street. We remain safe because of the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the Chicago police department. We all wear the same uniform, carry the same shield. Now you are a part of the finest police force in the world. Congratulations to your families, your friends, and congratulations to you – Chicago’s newest police officers.”
Everyone stands up and cheers. I can’t help the huge smile that’s on my face. I hug Uriah and Lynn, the two friends who are in the nearest vicinity of me. Uriah is jumping up and down screaming, “We did it”.
I look at Lynn and I can’t help, but laugh. “He’s always going to be the same goofball.”
Lynn nods. “He is. I’m going to go search for Lauren and Marlene. Hopefully I can find them in this mess.” She walks away.
I search around and I see Christina and Will coming my way. Christina tackles me with a hug. “I can’t believe that we did it. We finally made it through the academy.”
“I know.” I smile. I pull Will in on our hug.
I was surprised to see Christina six months ago when I started in the police academy. We hadn’t seen each other since we were in college. Growing up changed us. She grew more responsible- more responsible for her actions. I grew up to be more forgiving. We both stood in front of one another with open mouths. It took a while for us to become friends again, but we did. Aside from Lynn and Marlene, Christina has become one of my closest friends. Eric was surprised when I told him she was here, but he still remembered her as the same girl when we were in college.
I pull away from them. “I’m going to go find my family. I’ll catch you guys later at the bar to celebrate.”
I make my way through the graduates. Eventually I meet my family outside where we all said we’d meet. My mom spots me first and points me out to my dad. I run to them with a huge smile on my face.
“Congratulations Beatrice. We are so proud of you.” My dad hugs me.
My mom pulls me to her. “I’m happy that you’re following in my footsteps. You’re on your way to doing great things Beatrice. This is only the beginning. I can’t wait to see what you do next.”
I smile. “Thanks mom. It means a lot.” I look over her shoulder and see Eric and Four standing there. They both have on their police uniforms. They both went through the police academy a year earlier than I did and slowly became friends through the academy.
I make my way over to them. Four pulls me in to a hug. “Congratulations Tris.”
Eric pulls me to him, laying the mother of all kisses on me. Normally I’d blush, but I don’t care. Eric pulls back with a smile. “Congratulations babe.”
“So I know that we’re going out to dinner with your parents. And then after that we’re headed to my apartment to change. Then we’re going to the bar with your friends to celebrate the great thing you guys have done.”
“Yes.” I laugh.
“Well before we do all that… I wanted to take ten minutes of your time. Can I do that without your going crazy on me because we’re going to be late?” He laughs.
“Yes. I promise.” I roll my eyes.
“So as of now, we’ve been together for six years. When I saw you six years ago I thought you were annoying. You were sitting next to your loud mouth roommate, who just pissed me off. Then you mouthed off to me and I couldn’t stand it.” He laughs. “But that night when I saw you ready to go out with your friends I thought you were the most beautiful girl in the world. Then when you kissed me I realized that I didn’t want to ever kiss anyone else again. When we graduated college, I planned to ask you to marry me. I went to your dad and he said yes, but he told me that I had to wait until we both had careers. I didn’t get it at the time, but I understand it now. If I had asked you right out of graduating it’s possible that by now we’d have a kid already. Since we waited we were both able to start the first steps to our career goals. But since we have both made that first step I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I’ve wanted to do that since I was 20 years old. So now Beatrice Prior, I am standing before you, begging you to be my wife.” Eric gets on one knee. “Tris will you marry me?”
I bite my lip. I look over at my parents. My dad is smiling at me and my mom is crying. I look back at Eric. He has an engagement ring in his hand. It’s not a small rock. Where the hell did he get the money for that?
Eric looks at me with wide eyes. “So will you marry me? Do me the honor of telling every unlucky bastard that you’re my wife?”
I smile down at him. “Yes.” I laugh. “I will marry you Eric.”
He slips the ring on my finger and stands up to kiss me. “I really thought you were going to say no.”
I laugh at him. “I’d never tell you no, Eric. I’ve been waiting for you to propose for two years. I’ve already started my life with you Eric. This is just the icing on the cake.”