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July 30, 2021
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She will think this is stupid. He stood up and surveyed his work. This little project had taken longer to finish than expected and she would be here any minute. Our spot, he thought. The spot he first saw her, relaxed with her feet propped on a bucket, wearing flowers in her hair with overalls and boots, reading poetry about werewolves, under this tree in her family orchard. He loved her the moment she spoke. “You need a key to enter?” she had joked with a smile.

Now two years later, it was time. The struggles of loving her had been a lot to overcome but he had never questioned it. He knew they would never understand why someone like him and someone like her should be together, and he didn’t need them to. All he needed to do was convince her that forever was worth the pain.

He heard footsteps approach and ran to meet her, quickly turning her around toward the sun before she could see. He covered her eyes and walked her back towards their spot.

“What is that sound?” she whispered.

He turned her towards the tree, lifted his hands from her eyes, and watched her expression as she gazed at the cascading strands of keys hanging. When she turned back, he was on his knee. He smiled up at her and said, “Since I never plan to leave, I wanted to make sure I had all the keys I would need to unlock your heart.”

Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.
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