Authors: Robin Jones Gunn
Tags: #Interpersonal relations—Fiction, #Decision making—Fiction, #Universities and colleges—Fiction, #Christian life Fiction
As You Wish
Copyright Â© 2000 by Robin Jones Gunn
Published by Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Bloomington, Minnesota 55438
Bethany House Publishers is a division of
Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Ebook edition created 2012
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSIONÂ®. Copyright Â© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.
Scripture quotations identified KJV are from the King James Version of the Bible.
Scripture quotations identified RSV are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. Copyright 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission.
Scripture quotations identified TLB are from the Living Bible Â© 1971 owned by assignment by Illinois Regional Bank N.A. (as trustee). Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189. All rights reserved.
This story is a work of fiction. All characters and events are the product of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is coincidental.
International copyright secured. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meansâelectronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwiseâwithout the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
Cover by Lookout Design, Inc.
To my husband, Ross.
I made a wish, and you came true.
And to our son, Ross, and our daughter, Rachel.
We wished together, and then there was you and you.
Todd, you are really bad at keeping secrets, you know.” Christy Miller let go of her boyfriend's hand and stopped in the middle of their trek across campus.
“And who says I'm keeping a secret?”
Todd Spencer's wide grin and dimple were sure signs to Christy. “Your face told me. All you have to do now is fill in the details. With words, preferably.”
“I'll tell you over dinner.” Todd motioned for her to follow him.
Christy stood steadfast, folded her arms, and asked, “Where are we going to dinner? The cafeteria isn't open until Friday.”
“I know. Just come with me. I made reservations at a quiet little out-of-the-way place. Come on.”
Christy raised her eyebrows skeptically. “You made reservations?”
The hot Santa Ana winds that pushed their way from the desert to the southern California coast every September grabbed the ends of Christy's long, nutmeg-colored hair and drew the strands across her cheek like a veil. She brushed back the wisps from the corner of her mouth and
noticed that Todd was looking at her “that way” again.
She had been home from Switzerland less than a week, but already Todd had looked at her “that way” at least six times. Maybe seven. His silver-blue eyes seemed lit by some inner candle, and she felt as though he was waiting for her to come closer and make a wish before the flickering light went out. Each time Christy had seen that look, she had turned away.
This time she paused.
He's waiting for me to tell him I love him.
When no words came from Christy's lips, Todd held out his arm to her and in his easygoing manner said, “Well, actually, I sort of made reservations. Come on. You'll see.”
Christy responded by slipping her arm around his middle. Todd put his arm across her shoulders and drew her close. They walked across the campus of Rancho Corona University in perfect step.
What's wrong with me? I know I love Todd. Why won't those three simple words find their way from my heart and burst out of my mouth?
They entered the open plaza at the campus's center just as the sun slipped behind a clump of rustling palm trees. Filtered beams of amber sunlight sliced through Todd's short, summer-blond hair.
“Over this way.” Todd led Christy to the edge of the large fountain in the middle of the plaza. Since classes didn't begin until next week, not many students were on campus. Todd and Christy had the plaza to themselves.
“Do you want to sit here?” Todd asked. “Or over on one of the benches?”
“This is fine.” Christy sat on the fountain's wide edge
and crossed her long legs. “What about our dinner reservations?”
“We have some time,” Todd said. Then he quickly added, “Doesn't this fountain remind you of that one we saw last summer?”
“Which fountain? One of the dozen in Salzburg that Katie liked?”
“No, I was thinking of the fountain in Rome,” Todd said. “Or was it in Milan? I don't remember.”
Christy smiled. “When I close my eyes, this spot reminds me of the train station in Castelldefels.”
“Spain?” Todd asked. “There weren't any fountains at that rundown train station in Spain. That place was a wreck.”
“I know. But close your eyes. Listen. It's the palm trees. That's what reminds me of the train station in Spain. That rustling sound.”
Christy watched Todd close his eyes and tip his chin toward the sky, listening. “Reminds me of Hawaii,” he said, opening his eyes and looking at Christy.
The sound always made Christy think that the trees were clapping. Now she heard the echoes of Hawaii along with Todd. “You're right. It sounds like a whole row of hula dancers swishing their grass skirts.”
“Yes, hula dancers. Tall, slender hula dancers.”
Todd laughed. “Very tall and very slender.”
A gentle breeze swirled around them, spraying the evening air with a mist from the fountain. Christy tilted her head. “So are you going to tell me your big secret now? Or do I still have to wait until dinner?”
“Oh yeah, my big secret. What was it I was going to tell
you?” After a thoughtful pause, Todd shrugged. “Guess I forgot.”
“You did not.” Christy playfully grabbed Todd by the shoulders and threatened to push him into the water. Todd responded by taking hold of her shoulders. “If I go in, you're going with me.”
They laughed and play-wrestled until Todd's upper-body strength from his years of surfing enabled him to overpower Christy's best efforts. He pulled himself upright and, with his left hand, scooped a handful of water to splash her.
“Hey, don't start something you can't finish,” Christy teased, lightly splashing him back.
“Oh, you think I can't finish a water fight?” Todd scooped up another handful of water. “Just watch me.” He splashed her again and again, his laughter dancing around her, riding on the waterdrops.
Christy's next scoop of water was the biggest yet.
“Okay, okay,” Todd spouted, laughing and coughing. “You win. Truce.”
Christy blinked the beads of water from her eyelashes and brushed them off her cheek and chin.
“I got the position,” Todd said out of the blue. He used his T-shirt sleeve to mop his wet face.
“The position at Riverview Heights Church. They hired me this afternoon as their youth director. That's my big secret.”
“You're kidding! I thought you said they were going to hire someone who had graduated already.”
“That's what I thought. But they had their final meeting last night and voted. I'm the guy.”
“Wow,” Christy said. “That's really great, Todd.”
“They said they liked that I could lead music as well as teach the Bible studies.” Todd stretched out his feet in front of him and added, “I told them all about you, and they asked if you would be willing to teach the junior high girls' Sunday school class.”
“What did you tell them?”
“I said you would.”
“You said I would?”
“Yeah. I told them you were the best teacher on our missions team to Spain a few years ago and how you helped out at an orphanage this past year in Switzerland. They can't wait to meet you.”
“Todd, you told them I would teach Sunday school?”
Todd turned his full attention to Christy and seemed to try to read her expression. “You've taught Sunday school before.”
“Oh. Well, you were a counselor at summer camp a few years ago.”
“Those girls weren't even in middle school yet.”
“Have you ever taught junior high students before?”
“Well, you'll love these girls. And they'll love you.”
“Why didn't you at least ask me first? I mean, what if I don't want to teach the junior high girls?”
“Why wouldn't you?”
“I'm not saying I would or I wouldn't. I'm saying you should have asked me first before agreeing that I would make a commitment like that. It sounds like they hired you because they thought they could get three employees for
the price of oneâa youth director, a music leader, and a girlfriend Sunday school teacher tossed in for free.”