"Are you nervous?"
Daphne smiled at Norene, the roommate she'd been living with at the Cascade Falls Spa for the past six weeks.
And now, over sixty pounds lighter, she was finally going home.
"Just a bit. It's like a dream come true." Daphne answered, grinning like a schoolgirl. "I can hardly believe that my time here is almost over."
Norene stood back, admiring Daphne's slim figure. "Well, Niles isn't going to know what hit him. You look absolutely gorgeous!"
Daphne laughed. "He always says I look beautiful no matter what I look like and that he'd love me whatever size I was."
"That's sweet." Norene said. "Hey, what's wrong?" she asked, noticing that Daphne's expression had changed to one of sadness.
"That day in the living room... I fell down and hurt me ankle and it took Niles, Dr. Crane and Mr. Crane to lift me. I was so humiliated!"
Norene smiled. "Well, all that's behind you now. You're thin, beautiful and you're in love!"
"I couldn't have done it without you!" Daphne said, hugging her friend.
"Don't thank me, Daphne! You did all the work, and any minute now Niles is going to walk through that door, take you in his arms and give you a kiss you'll never forget." Norene said excitedly.
Daphne's heart warmed just thinking about that possibility. She'd seen Niles just over a week ago but she loved him so much that even a minute away from him seemed like a lifetime.
"Look at me, takin all these compliments when I haven't even mentioned how wonderful you look!" Daphne said.
Norene pulled her friend into a hug. "Thanks, Daph. Well I guess I'd better go. Mom's picking me up and then we're driving to Cannon Beach to see Fred and the kids. He thinks I've been staying with my mother all this time!"
"He'll certainly be surprised!" Daphne said.
"He sure will. The kids, too! I haven't been this weight since we got married! And three kids later, here I am!"
Norene looked in the mirror at her new figure. "I can' hardly believe it's me. When I first came here I was as big as a house."
"And now look at you." Daphne said. "Why I bet Fred will fall in love with you all over again!"
Norene couldn't help but hug Daphne again. "I can tell that you and Niles have spent a lot of time together."
"Because you always know the right things to say." Norene said.
"Oh, I'm going to miss you so much." Daphne said, hugging Norene once more. "Are you sure you don't want to stay and meet Niles?"
"I'd love to, but I don't want to keep Mom waiting."
Daphne felt a tinge of disappointment. "All right."
"Oh, Daphne I'm sorry. But Mom will kill me if I'm not ready when she gets here. I promise I'll meet Niles eventually. Maybe at your wedding!"
Daphne blushed. "Norene, he hasn't even asked me yet! And he's probably not even considerin' it, but thank you."
"Oh believe me if he loves you like you say he does, he'll be asking you before you know it!" Norene said. "And I expect to be the first person you call when he does! Any man who loves a woman for seven years without telling her. Wow! It makes my heart flutter just thinking about it!"
There was a knock on the door and then it opened.
"Norene? Your mother is here."
"Thank you, Brenda." Norene said. She turned to Daphne and smiled. "Well, I guess this is it. I love you, Daphne. You've become such a good friend and I don't know what I would have done without you."
"I love you too, Norene although I don't know exactly what it was that I did." Daphne said.
"More than you realize." Norene said, hugging Daphne fiercely before reluctantly stepping back.
Tearfully Daphne waved to her friend as Noreen picked up her bags and walked to the door.