Chris watched Daisy pull out of the driveway. He had to admit that he did not like watching her leave, this was now the fourth time he had to watch her walk away from him, and he didn’t like it. He also didn’t like the idea that she wasn’t wearing her ring. He noticed when he got to the store yesterday that she didn’t have it on. He saw it on top of the dresser when they went into the bedroom last night. She never acknowledged it and never made a move to hide it either. It held a prominent spot on top of the dresser, like she wanted to be able to see it and admire it but just wasn’t willing to put it on.
Daisy also didn’t fight him when he followed her to the bedroom last night. When he held her in the kitchen, he could tell she didn’t want to let go, and she was comfortable. He just went with it and asserted himself in escorting her to the bedroom. He didn’t push her into anything. Instead, he listened as she changed her clothes and voiced her concern over Michael being upset over Chris’ confession about their marriage. She never flinched that he was in the room and never argued when he took of his clothes and crawled into bed with her. No, she just snuggled right up to him and continued to pour out her heart as if it was a typical night between the two of them. He loved it.
With Daisy at work, he thought it would be a good idea to get a feel for her town. Get a sense about the town that made Daisy into the woman that she was. He noticed when he pulled up in front of her shop that there was a café called Melody’s just a few doors down. He also remembered that when Daisy passed out the other day, her best friend picked up the phone and said her name was Melody, so he figured it was a safe bet that they were the same person. He thought maybe he could grab a bite to eat and meet this friend and maybe learn some insight about his wife.
He drove into town, careful to watch his speed. Good thing he did, he noticed the deputy’s cruiser at the end of the road. It pulled out behind him and followed him all the way into town. When he pulled into the parking spot in front of Melody’s it parked nearby and the deputy just sat and watched. Chris didn’t look over or even acknowledge him, he figured it best not to poke the bear or make things worse.
He walked into the small café and found an empty table near the back, taking a seat so that his back was to the door. Not wanting anyone to come in and get a good look at him. He had no idea who Melody was or what she looked like so he figured he would just ask the waitress when she came to the table. Seems, he didn’t have to wait long to find out.
A bubbly, blonde with a head full of ringlet curls sat down across from him and tried to keep her voice quiet, “Oh dear God, I cannot believe you are in my café. Is Daisy aware you are in town?”
Chris tried to suppress a smile but it was not easy, “Um, yeah, she knows but she has no idea I am sitting here right now. She thinks I am back at the house.”
“Let me get you some breakfast, hold on,” she said as she jumped up from the table and ran to the back. Returning a moment later with a tray full of food that she placed in front of him; pancakes, sausage, eggs, bacon, ham, potatoes, biscuits, gravy, and grits. “Not sure what you like but eat all you want and I can get you more.”
“Thanks,” he said sheepishly, “Tell me about Daisy, tell me what she is like and why she seems so scared. I am having the hardest time trying to figure her out, and I’m going to lose my mind.”
“Oh, she will kill me for this, though. She’s an only child and was sheltered growing up, I mean really sheltered. Her dad would try to get her to push her boundaries, but her mom would pull her right back in. She was socially awkward, I’ve been friends with her since fourth grade, so I can say that with some authority. Over the years, she has had some close girlfriends including Violet, Tangie, and Alexis.”
“Violet, as in Morgan, her divorce attorney?”
“Yeah, that would be the same one.”
“Great, so one of her best friends is helping get her out of her marriage, this is going to be delightful.”
“Chris, Daisy loves you but I think she is trying to protect her heart, and she thinks to do that she needs to stay single. She wants to be married, she is just really scared of the prospect. For the love of Pete, why do you think she owns a bridal store? She loves the idea of romance.”
“Ok, suddenly you’ve lost me. Why does she think she needs to stay single to guard her heart? I guess someone broke it?”
“Yeah, remember I said her dad kept trying to get her to push her boundaries? Well, he got her to go away to college, she was doing really well bet fell hard for this guy. He played her and dumped her and broke her heart; she was naïve and should have seen it coming but didn’t. She came back home, wouldn’t go back to finish her degree at that school. Gave up her dream of her MBA and everything because of one guy. He ruined her heart, and she built a wall and made it difficult for anyone else to get in.”
“What about Michael out there?” He said motioning to the cruiser parked out front.
“Ah, well he tried, but she only let him get so far. He is an idiot, but he kept thinking she would eventually come around. She never had any intention of marrying him, but he never could see that because he was head over heels for her. She wants a Disney Prince and Michael has no clue what that means.”
When Chris heard these words, his ears perked up. He could relate, he wanted a Disney Princess and felt that Daisy was that for him so by all means he could be her Prince Charming. Why didn’t he think of this all along? Whether she knew it or not, Melody had just provided all the information he needed to help him win his wife. He hurried and ate while Melody continued to chat; nothing important was said, but it was information that could always come in handy later.
“Breakfast was fantastic, how much do I owe you?” He asked as he reached for his wallet.
“Nothing, I just get to say I had the pleasure of serving Captain America,” Melody grinned, “Can I at least get a selfie with you?”
“Yeah sure, if you will give me one more bit of information. I want to know how to get out to the orchard for Daisy’s parents; I think it is only fair I say hello to my in-laws,” he grinned.
“Are you trying to get everyone on #TeamChris?”
“If it will work to get Daisy to stay married to me, then yes.”
Melody gave him directions and Chris gave her some money for the breakfast anyway. He then walked out of the café, tipped his hat to the deputy, got in his car and began to drive out toward the orchard. Once again the cruiser followed him, and Chris did everything he could to make sure he was obeying the speed limit and that he came to a complete stop at the stop signs.
He turned on the private drive for the orchard and noticed that the cruiser did not follow; thank goodness for private property signs. As he approached the old farmhouse, his heart began to beat just a tad bit faster. He was getting nervous at the prospect of knocking on this door and introducing himself. He had no idea how he would be received, and he had no idea how Daisy would react when she found out.
He put the car in park and turned the motor off, waiting for a minute to collect his thoughts before stepping out. As he began to walk up the steps, the front door opened, and a man dressed in khaki slacks and a denim shirt stepped out onto the porch. He was a handsome man, and Chris could tell right away that this was Daisy’s father, she bore a striking resemblance to him in the eyes and cheekbones.
As Chris took the top step, he took off his hat and put out his hand, “I’m Chris Evans, you must be Mr.Proctor, I’m pleased to meet you, sir.”
Thomas Proctor broke into a wide grin and waved off the handshake and embraced Chris immediately, “It is nice to meet you, son. Please, come in, Martha and I have been dying to talk to you,” he released Chris from the hug and turned to open the screen door. As soon as he did, he yelled into the house, “Martha, our son-in-law is here!”
Chris had to smile, he was not expecting this type of reception. And how did they know he was coming? Oh, Melody must have called ahead, he should have known. Gossip travels fast in a small town.
“Come on in here, Chris. Do you like tea? Or do you want a beer? Lemonade? Water?”
“Water would be all right, thanks. Did someone tell you I was coming?”
“No, but we had been telling Daisy we wanted to meet you, and she had been so insistent about filing for an annulment that we told her she had to introduce us to you before she did it. So, we figured with her filing any day now, she would make you come out here.”
“Oh, she’s filed already. Actually, she filed, and I came out here to argue with her reason and tore up the papers in front of her,” Chris announced and then suddenly regretted saying anything.
“She did what? What reason did she use to file?” Martha demanded.
“Oh, I shouldn’t have said anything. I think she should share that with you, I don’t want to cause a problem between you and her.”
“Just tell me this, son, did she file for an annulment or divorce?” Thomas Proctor asked.
“Annulment, but honestly she is going to have a hard time with that sticking, sir. There is a video, and we were not intoxicated, and she was not forced or under duress. It will have to be a divorce, and I think she was trying to avoid that. Probably because that will be public record and will go in the paper – I’m guessing she doesn’t want people in town knowing about this.”
“Here is my question,” Martha interjected, “Do you love my daughter? I mean, to be honest, she is not the Hollywood type. She is not the typical Hollywood beauty, and she isn’t a trophy wife but what she is, well, she is smart and beautiful and loyal and a real woman. She doesn’t deserve to be a pawn in a sick or twisted game.”
Chris leaned forward, “Mr. and Mrs. Proctor, I have no intention of playing any sort of game with Daisy. I can’t really explain this to have it make sense because, well, frankly it makes no sense. I have connected with Daisy, unlike any other woman, ever. She cast a spell on me when I met her, and I am completely captivated. I can be myself, and I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not and that is a big deal for me. Most of the people I encounter want me to be a certain way they see me on screen or how they think I will be based on an interview. Daisy has no preconceived notion of who she thinks I am so it allows me to be Chris, and that is a gift.”
“And in turn, Daisy is a small town girl who doesn’t have to fit into a mold for you, either,” Thomas offers.
“Exactly! We fit each other perfectly, and when we are in the room together, we are electric. We tried to deny it when we first met but it was no use, we were drawn to one another, like magnets. We both said we are scared of messing up the relationship. I told her I have a bad habit of messing up the ones I want to keep. I didn’t intend to marry her so quickly, I’ll be honest. But, I won’t say that I wouldn’t have married her at some point. I’m not willing to let her go because I’m afraid I might not have a chance to get her back, and I’m not willing to lose her forever.”
Martha and Thomas exchange glances, it is as if they completely understand what Chris has said. Thomas decides to go ahead and speak up, “Chris, we can be overprotective of our little Daisy. She can be a little overprotective of her own heart, and we think you need to keep chipping away at the wall she has built around it. We are very supportive of this relationship. We are hesitant with the fact that you are an actor and could whisk her away to California or wherever and away from us but it could be good for her. But please don’t break her heart and please don’t make a fool out of her, that is all we ask.”
“You have my word, I have no intention of breaking her heart. I just hope she doesn’t break mine in the process.”