After swim practice, I drove home, got a shower and grabbed a quick lunch. I took my dress, shoes and everything to Hope's. Mom was going to meet me there later to take pictures and see us off. Hope and I went to get our hair and nails done. I had my hair styled up in ringlets that fell down the base of my neck and back. Then we got our manicure and pedicure. Hope and I had a great time joking around and talking about things to come. We speculated where the guys were taking us for dinner. When we got back to Hope's we had about two hours before they were picking us up. We went to her room to put on our make-up.
"Grace, can I ask you something?"
"Yeah." I said giving her a look like, when have I never not told you everything?
"Have you and Jake, you know...how far have you gone?"
"We have made out, but if you are asking have we had sex, no. I mean, we have had times that one of us had to stop, or we could have. Why? Have you and Tim?"
"No, but we want to, we just haven't done it. I mean, I want to commit myself to him that way, but I also want to wait. It is just so hard to stop...we have...but I don't know how much more I can take."
I began to tell her about our very intense make-out session a few weeks ago. I also told her about him spending the night. Then I told her about our conversation and how that conversation changed our relationship and moved it to the next level. "It is more important for us to respect our desires to wait than to give in to a few minutes of physical desires. That one conversation was one of the best thing to happen to us since we started dating."
"Tim has not pressured me, I know he wants to have sex, but he has told me he would wait until I am ready."
"Then you might want to talk to him and tell him how you feel honestly. Let everything out and be true to yourself."
"You know what?" She asked.
"If I would have had a biological sister, I don't think she could have been any better than you!"
"Awww. I feel the same way!"
We continued getting ready. Hope looked like a model in her red dress. She was positively gorgeous. She wore her hair up in a loose bun. She also wore Mrs. Gilcrest's pearl earrings, necklace and bracelet. I loved my dress as well. It was off the shoulder and fitted in the bodice area and then flowed out to the ground. Jake was right, the lilac color looked great against my tan skin. Hope helped me fasten my amethyst necklace and I added the drop amethyst earrings Mom had bought to match the dress. We took one last look at ourselves in the mirror.
"We look HOT!" Hope said.
"Well, I don't know about hot, I would say classy."
"You might think classy, but when the guys see us, I bet they will say HOT!" Hope said as we both laughed.
Mrs. Gilcrest knocked on the door. "The boys are here."
We took a deep breath and walked out to the den where they were waiting. I wondered if they were as nervous as we were?
When she saw me, Mom got tears in her eyes. Jake looked up and sharply inhaled and mouthed, "WOW!" I am sure Tim had a similar response to Hope, but I only had eyes for Jake.
When Jake came to take me in his arms, he leaned down and whispered, "You took my breath away." All I could do was smile.
Tim and Jake put our wrist corsages on and we pined their boutonnieres in place. We gathered inside and then outside to get our picture taken for what seemed like five hundred times. Then we piled into Tim's SUV. We drove to Jake's house and I figured Jake forgot something until he came around to my side of the car and opened the door.
"What are we doing here?" I asked.
"You will see."
Jake led the four of us into the dining room where they had totally transformed it from a normal dining room into a room draped in flowing fabric and flowers, jazz music was playing and there were candles lit on every flat surface in the room. Hundreds of candles reflecting off of mirrors that were evenly spaced around the walls. The table was set with our caesar salad and drinks, table wine or what we call sweet tea all around. Jake led me to my seat and pulled out the chair, while Tim did the same for Hope. Jake excused himself and came back just moments later to take his seat next to me.
"WOW! When did you do this?" I was amazed at the transformation and the thought that went in to this.
"Today, Tim and I worked on it all day." Jake said.