At five o'clock, Phil went to the club with a bouquet of red daisies. He wanted to take Abigail Joy out to dinner.
Phil walked in and saw Abigail Joy, on the computer. He went behind her and covered her eyes.
"Guess who?" he asked mischievously.
"Hum, Justin Timberlake,' she guessed, laughing.
"No, but just as much musical talent," he said.
"No clue," she said. "You have to give me a hint."
"It's the man who bares a great gift and sees an angel inside of you," he aid, tenderly.
Abigail Joy turned and smiled at him and hugged him. "Phil, what a sweet surprise," she said.
"For you, beautiful flowers for a beautiful lady," he said.
"Oh, thank you," she said. She kissed him.
"I was thinking that if you were done, I can take you to dinner," said Phil.
"Sure!" she replied sweetly, "I would love that. Let me just get my things from my office."
With that, Abigail Joy went to her office and collected her coat and purse. As she locked the door, she ran into Lucy, Abigail Joy's co-worker.
"And where are you off to?" she asked, mischievously.
"I'm having dinner with Phil Stubbs," she replied.
"Phil!" she said, excitedly. "That super-cute new head soccer coach?"
"Yes, that's the one," she said as she pulled out her compact and re-applied her lipstick.
"He's really cool, and the kids like him," Lucy said as the two walked down the hallway.
"Me too," she said. Then, she looked worried.
"What's wrong?" asked Lucy.
"Well, I'm afraid I'm getting too close to him too quickly," she said. "I mean, I don't want him to find out-"
"Stop, sweetie," Lucy said. "Just live your life. Do what you feel in your heart to be right."
"Even if it hurts someone I love?" she asked with tears in her eyes.
Lucy gave her a hug and said, "You're not hurting anyone, and you're not compatible of doing that."
Abigail Joy's eyes cleared and she smiled at Lucy.
A little while later, Phil and Abigail Joy found themselves setting on a patio at the Brentwood Restaurant. Glass and candles and flowers covered the patio.
"Wow, this restaurant is so lovely," Abigail Joy. "It's perfect."
"So are you," he said.
Abigail Joy blushed and said, "I'm not perfect. Why do you embarrass me like that?"
"Like what?" he asked.
"Saying I'm perfect and I have an angel inside of me?" she asked.
"Because you are!" he said, grabbing her hand. "You are so amazing."
Abigail Joy looked at him.
"I mean, you really care about other people, you don't judge people," he said. "You don't care about money, you look to the person. I really admire that."
The two looked into each other's eyes, with much intensity.
Suddenly, a string quarter began playing "Vivaldi".
"Would you like to dance?" Phil asked, as he extended his hand.
Abigail Joy smiled her famous grin and said, "Yes, I would."
The two walked to the center of the dance floor and began dancing. Phil and Abigail Joy had their arms wrapped around each other and they two looked deeply into each other's eyes. Soon, the two felt like they were the only two in the restaurant.
"I think, I mean, I know, I'm in love with you," breathed Phil.
"I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I love you, Phil," Abigail Joy replied.
Gently, Phil took Abigail Joy's face in his hands and kissed her. Abigail Joy felt reluctant about kissing him back but she pushed those thoughts aside and kissed him back.
"Phil, do you think, it's possible to fall in love with someone after a few days?" she asked.
"I think anything's possible after meeting you," he replied.
Abigail Joy smiled and held him close to her. She laid her head on his chest and started to feel worrisome. She couldn't let herself fall in love with him, she just couldn't. She knew that the secret she held so close to herself would ruin anything she had with Phil. And she didn't want to put him through that. Perhaps, she loved him too much.
For the next six weeks, Phil worked hard at his coaching job. He made time everyday to practice with Amy and help out the other kids. Also, Abigail Joy and Phil became closer and closer. Abigail Joy's influence on Phil was strong and noticeable. For example, Phil did not bring up any schemes for more money and he put more effort into working at the bowling alley. He was getting more respect from Ed, Eli, and everyone else.
One particularly night, after blowing was done, Phil and Eli sat down and had pie that Eli's girlfriend had made them.
"Not only is my girlfriend beautiful, but she can bake," said Eli as he stuffed a forkful of strawberry pie in his mouth.
"Much like Abigail Joy," replied Phil. "She made me brownies yesterday and they were good."
The two men sat and ate. But Phil seems preoccupied.
"What's up with you, man?" Eli asked.
"Nothing," Phil quickly said as he shrugged his shoulders. "Well, actually-"
"I knew it, man," he said. "You have something up your sleeve."
"I do," he replied. Phil was nervous about what he wants to say. "I want to marry Abigail Joy," he said fast.
"What?" asked Eli.
"I want to marry Abigail Joy," he said loudly.
Eli nearly choked on his pie and said, "You want to marry a woman you've only known for six weeks?"
"Yes, what's so wrong with that?" asked Phil defensively. "I love her very much."
"It's more than love, Phil," Eli said.
"I know," he said. "But it's more than that, she's not like any other woman I've been with before. She's smart, she's sweet, and she cares about people. She can look inside to somebody and make a change in him or her. She made a change in me."
Eli looked serious at him.
"I mean, I've changed so much," he went on. "I've become more responsible, I'm not scheming for money, I'm coaching soccer, I'm helping and watching a little girl become more confident and it's all because of Abigail Joy. I want to make her as happy as she has made me." Phil stopped eating and looked down.
"Oh, man, I'm sorry, Phil," Eli said, seriously. "I never realized it."
"I never realized what can of person I can be until I met her," he said. Phil had tears in his eyes.
Eli looked at him and said, "Phil, are those tears I see?" He was funny.
Phil's eyes cleared and he throw a towel at him. The two laughed the whole night.
Phil decided to ask Abigail Joy to marry him on Valentine's Day. That night the two had dinner with Carol and Ed and Eli and his girlfriend and take in a show at the Stuckeyville Performing Arts Company. Phil had not told Ed he was going to propose marriage. The two didn't bring up the conversation they had when Phil first mentioned he and Abigail Joy were dating. In fact, the two never talked about. However, whenever anyone mentioned the two, Ed would keep quiet and turn away, like he really didn't want them to date.
night, the six went to the show first. It was a wonderful performance
of "Love Story". Then, they went to dinner at the Floret
After dinner, Abigail Joy and Phil walked around in a park, where a snow had began to fall.
The two sat down on a park bench.
"You know, when spring comes," explained Abigail Joy. "I walk in this park and look at the flowers."
"You like flowers?" asked Phil as he wrapped his arms around her tightly.
"I love them," she said. "I've been trying to get the Boys and Girls Club to give us some land where I can begin the garden club outside and plant flowers."
"Sounds wonderful," he said.
Phil couldn't take it anymore. He went into his hand and took out a ring, it was his great-grandmother's and he found it in his parents' house. Phil looked at her and said, "Abigail Joy,"
"Yes?" she said.
Phil took her hands in his and said, "I love you so much."
Abigail Joy felt tears come to her eyes.
"I've changed so much," he continued. "You did something to me that no one could do before. You have made me so happy and I want nothing more than to make you happy."
Abigail Joy's tears come down harder.
Phil got down on one knee and asked, "Will you marry me, Abigail Joy?"
Abigail Joy got up and walked away, crying.
Bewildered, Phil got up and went to her. "What's wrong, honey?" he asked, softly.
Abigail Joy kept crying.
Gently, Phil placed his hands on her and said, "Please, tell me what's wrong."
Abigail Joy responded by burying her tear-strained face in his chest. "Phil, I love you so much," she spitted out. "But I can't marry you."
"Why?" he asked after he pulled her from him so they were looking face-to-face. "Why can't you marry me? I don't understand."
"I'm dying, Phil!" she yelled.
Phil felt the color drained from his face and his breath still.
"What?" he asked, quietly.
"I'm dying," she said, quietly