Fantasticoe -- Fall 2011
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The Strange Engagement of Michael and Jocelyn

by Jordan Martin

Michael Harrison was ready to conquer his long time fears of commitment. His girlfriend, Jocelyn Mercer, was his one true love. He had realized that she was the one for about a year now. He decided it was time to buy Jocelyn an engagement ring. Michael had been browsing the internet for a good deal on rings, because no college kid has the money for an amazing ring. On Kay Jewelers website, he found the perfect ring for only $400! He could not pass up the deal.

But how in the world was he going to explain to his parents that she was the one for him and that no matter what, he would always love her? He figured he would just think of something, or maybe not even tell them. Jocelyn would want to say something though.

 

One day Michael and Jocelyn were sitting on Michael’s bed in his dorm room and Jocelyn couldn’t help thinking how small and messy his room was. She could see the boxers laying near the door, all bunched up in a ball, it was disgusting. She could also see into Michael’s and his roommate’s closets, there were clothes everywhere. Some on hangers but most were scattered about the room. Michael’s desk chair had clothes piled on the back and Jocelyn was very tempted to get off the bed and hang all the clothes up, but she wouldn’t because his bed was the most comfortable bed in the entire world! How could a bed that looks this sketch, because it’s so old, be so comfy. She thought. Michael looked at her and she turned her head slightly and a piece of her brown hair fell in her face. Michael grabbed it and stuck it behind her ear.

Then Michael started speaking.

“Joss, do you want to go to the mall? Who am I kidding of course you do,” said Michael.

“What’s up Michael? You never want to go shopping,” said Jocelyn.

“Oh… you know… I just wanted to look at some things…”

“Are you going to make me buy ‘things’ from Victoria’s Secret again?” Jocelyn laughed as she said this. “I don’t know how much money I have with me.”

“No, not Victoria’s Secret. I just really want to go to the mall, trust me you’ll love it.”

They walked to the car and Michael could hear Jocelyn was out of breath, it was hard for her to walk at the same pace, because her legs were so small compared to his. He wasn’t the tallest guy, but he was a good five inches taller than Jocelyn. They got to Michael’s black Chevy Cavalier and drove to the mall. They sat in silence and listened to Michael’s iPod, it was playing all classic rock, like usual. Michael purposely played Aerosmith so they would eventually listen to their song, “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing,” he thought it would be fitting.

 

When they got to the mall, they started walking around. Jocelyn was still utterly confused as to why Michael of all people would want to come to the mall. All of a sudden Michael stopped and turned to face Jocelyn within an eighth of a second. He had the biggest and the cheesiest smile in the whole world. Jocelyn couldn’t help but smirk at his face; it always made her laugh when he did that. Michael grabbed Jocelyn’s hand and pulled her toward Kay Jewelers. She finally caught on and her face instantly lit up like a Christmas tree.

Michael saw her face and looked into her strange brown eyes. He couldn’t explain why they intrigued him so much; they were different from any other eyes he had seen. Her eyes were a light brown and they shone bright in the sunshine. They had specks of black and were about as big as a puppy’s eyes.

They were in Kay looking through the glass cases at the engagement rings, and Michael saw the one he had been looking at. He pointed it out to Jocelyn and he could tell she loved it just by the way she looked back at him. Her eye had a glint to it and she they were the size of an anime character. Her smile was stretched across her face, from ear to ear. Her whole body now had a gravitational pull towards the ring, and Michael knew that he did an amazing job picking it out.

The guy behind the counter noticed their exchange and immediately put on his best sales face. He had on a suit and tie and he had the hair of Pauly D from Jersey Shore.

“Can I help you two with anything?” he asked.

“Yes, can we see this ring?” Michael pointed to the ring.

“Good choice, would you like to see what it looks like on?” he asked Jocelyn.

“Oh, sure, but it probably won’t fit, and it will look awkward on my tiny fingers.”

“It doesn’t matter what size, but sometimes it helps to see what it looks like against your finger.”

She put it on, and even though it was huge, she knew this was the ring for her.

“What do you think?” the salesman asked.

“I think we’ll take it,” Michael said, wrapping his arms around Jocelyn’s small waist and rested his head on hers.

They paid, and the salesman rambled to make small talk. Jocelyn was too deep in her thoughts to pay attention to Michael and the salesman’s banter. She just kept thinking “Oh my God, we are getting engaged! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” She didn’t realize she was getting pulled away until Michael snapped his fingers in front of her face.

When they were in the parking lot, about to get in the car, Jocelyn thought she saw something in the sky, but it went by so quickly she wasn’t quite sure. It looked almost like a flying green Frisbee with a dome on top.

As Michael started the ignition he was just thinking, “How am I going to tell my parents? How am I going to propose? Why did I decide to buy the ring? I don’t have the money to be buying things that expensive! But I love Jocelyn, and I will make it work.” He wasn’t afraid of telling her parents, or his dad, but he was terrified to tell his mom.

 

                They were driving back home to tell their parents when they began to discuss their theories on how each parent was going to react.

                “I feel like my dad is going to be upset, for some reason, but I don’t think he’ll be too mad to pull out his shot gun so don’t worry about him,” Jocelyn said.

                “I’m not worried about your dad, he loves me, so I have nothing to worry about,” Michael said.

                “I don’t know how Mom is going to react; I think she’ll be happy.”

                “Your mom will be in tears because she is so happy. It will be ok Joss,” Michael said comforting her.

                “I have a bad feeling about my mom though,” Michael sounded scared, “so we should try to tell my dad first… because if we tell them at the same time I think that he’ll just say whatever Mom does.”

                “Okay, that sounds good,” Jocelyn said.

 

They went to Jocelyn’s dad first, to get the initial “blessing”.  They all were sitting in her dad’s living room and it was really awkward. There was a football game on the TV, but it wasn’t the Bears so no one was really invested in it. Jocelyn and Michael were sitting on her dad’s ugly, green couch. The middle cushion was sagging inward and was uncomfortable to sit on. Her dad was sitting in his big red chair, that he usually slept in. Jocelyn kept looking at Michael to try to talk with him without any words. She tried and tried to get him to say something to her dad. But he was scared, even though he said he wouldn’t be scared at all. They had small chat here and there about college and how classes were going. But Jocelyn always had a look of anxiousness whenever there would be an awkward pause in the conversation. Michael had a scared smile on his face and Jocelyn kept nudging him to get him to start saying something. Jocelyn’s dad was really confused at their faces.

“What’s going on guys?” he said.

“Nothing Dad… nothing at all.” Jocelyn was so nervous and had no idea how to go about telling her father.

Jocelyn’s dad murmured something under his breath, something that sounded like “she better not be pregnant…”

Her dad went outside for a smoke break, because he couldn’t stand the tension in the room. Jocelyn and Michael followed him outside.

“Dad, can we talk to you for a minute?” Jocelyn asked.

“Sure Babyduck, what do you want to talk about?”

“… Um… we’re getting engaged…”

“Oh my god! Congratulations! I am so happy for you guys! Come here son!” he pulled Michael in for a big bear hug.

Jocelyn stood there looking at her dad and Michael with her mouth agape. “Woah,” she said, “What just happened? You are happy for us? We definitely didn’t expect that.”

“Of course I’m happy, Babyduck. Michael is a good guy and they only one I can tell loves you and will take care of you as much as I do,” Jocelyn’s dad said.

“Thank you so much, Mr. Mercer,” Michael said with a grin on his face, “I will take care of Jocelyn and love her as much as I can.”

“Please just call me Ben. So how did everyone else take it?” Ben asked.

“You’re the only one we’ve told so far Dad,” Jocelyn said.

“Wow! Really? That’s pretty cool,” Ben said, “I feel special.” He laughed.

“Yeah, I think we are going to tell Mom next,” Jocelyn said.

“Good luck with that,” Ben said as he laughed harder.

 

Jocelyn told her mom alone, just the two of them. They were in the kitchen of Jocelyn’s house and she thought that it would go well.

“Hey Mom, um can I talk to you? Or are you busy?”

“Yeah you can talk to me, I’m not really busy. What’s up?”

“Michael and I, are um, getting engaged…”

“Congratulations.” She sounded annoyed.

“Mom, are you happy for us?”

“Why wouldn’t I be? I mean you are only eighteen and I want you to focus on school.” She started lecturing on staying focused in school and ended her lecture talking about paying for school and continuing on with community service.

“Mom, we are not getting married until after we graduate and have a place to live,” Jocelyn said. She was irritated with her mom for ranting so long about things not pertaining to the situation.

“That’s very mature of you two, but I’m just not sure…”

“It’s not like it is set in stone, who knows maybe it won’t last! But I know that I love him and that I want to be with him for the rest of my life, and nothing is going to change that. I can’t see myself with any other person,” Jocelyn said. Her eyes were beginning to tear up.

Her mom saw and said, “I’m sorry if I have hurt your feelings, I just don’t want to see you end up like me and have to live pay check to pay check. I want what’s best for you. I am happy that you have found Michael, though.”

Jocelyn felt a lot better after that, but she still expressed a little doubt.

 

They were unable to tell Michael’s parents that weekend. Jocelyn was not happy. It forced her to stress out about every single thing. She couldn’t be happy and excited about the upcoming engagement, because his parents not knowing were really getting to her nerves.  Michael was wondering as to when and how he should propose to the love of his life. He figured he would on their second year anniversary, but he thought that it might be predictable and they had a very strange encounter on their first anniversary.

They were at their favorite spot, in the middle of nowhere in a meadow full of wild flowers. It was a dark night because it was a new moon. It was surrounded by many different kinds of trees. The wild flowers looked beautiful in the summer, because there was a type of flower for every color of the rainbow. They had stumbled upon it one day while hiking through the woods behind Michael’s house.

Michael looked down at Jocelyn’s head on his shoulder, occasionally checking to see if she had fallen asleep. Michael loved the feel of her against him. As they watched the stars, Michael saw something fall out of the sky.

It seemed to be a shooting star.

“Make a wish, Joss,” Michael moved slightly so Jocelyn was able to see the falling object, still holding her close, because he couldn’t bear letting her out of his arms.

“I will if you will, Michael.”

“I don’t need to wish for everything because all my dreams came true when you said ‘yes I will go out with you.’ I love you, Jocelyn, more than anything or any other person. You are the only person I will ever want to be with.” Michael leaned in to kiss Jocelyn, but it was broken by the sound of a crash and the smell of smoke.

The crash echoed throughout the entire meadow. They found the source of the crash quite easily because a smoke stack was climbing towards the sky making it hard to see the stars. They followed the smoke, and found a green Frisbee shaped object with the dome on top of it. Michael saw Jocelyn hesitating and shaking, but Michael continued forward towards the Frisbee thing, and heard a small noise.

“Hello?” Michael asked cautiously.

“Help please.” Someone whispered. “Help. Help. Help.”

Michael followed the voice and saw it was coming from a small alien. He had a very big head for his size. The little alien was green all over. He had too many eyes to count, so many that they couldn’t tell if it had a mouth or not because the eyes covered the entire head.

“Please help me.”

Michael was looking at the alien and didn’t hear anyone speak.

“I can speak with my thoughts. It can be easier that way. Please help me.” Michael and Jocelyn were stunned into silence. Michael had no idea what they got themselves into tonight. Michael just wanted to try to celebrate their anniversary peacefully and romantically. “I also can hear your thoughts so please just help,” the alien actually spoke out loud this time. Michael helped the alien out of the crater his spaceship had created.

“Thank you, kind sir,” the alien said, with exquisite English.

“Er… no problem,” Michael said.

“I’m so sorry,” the alien said, “you must find me excruciatingly rude. My name is Xaerzeo, and I live on planet Xenoh. I was not meaning to land on your planet, and I apologize for the intrusion, but it was an emergency. I seem to have run out of fuel.

“In case you are wondering why I was remotely close to your little planet, I was heading towards my home planet. You see, I haven’t been home in a very long while, and Xenoh is in a state of terror, for there seems to be a war about to break out. I’m the peace keeper on my planet between our two races because I am the only one born to both races. I must get home immediately. Do you know how to get to the nearest gas station?”

 “Of course, I have worked at the nearest gas station almost all my life.” Michael told the alien the directions and pointed him in the right way.

“Michael, I thank you generously. If I am ever to be on your planet again I will give you and Jocelyn anything you desire.”

“Xaerzeo, can I ask you a question before you go?” Michael asked.

“Sure Michael, whatever you wish.” Xaerzeo answered.

“How on Earth, excuse me, in the universe can you speak with your thoughts and hear with your thoughts?”

“Oh, well, I guess that’s a good question. Since you Earthians don’t have powers like this… Well all species have special powers. Each planet has something different. Xenoh’s people can speak with their thoughts and can also GIVE special powers away. Like for instance I could give you confidence to make whatever decision you secretly desire. So we are kind of like your people’s genies but, we can talk with our minds. You can imagine my planet is a very quiet planet. No one actually speaks. We are taught to, but no one does.”

“Oh. Huh… weird. I wonder if we have a special power here on Earth and no one notices because it’s so common…” Michael wondered out loud.

“You will all find out eventually, sometime in the near future. Anyway I best be on my way. My people do need me; I am a peace keeper after all. I will see you eventually Michael and Jocelyn. I will certainly come back to Earth now that I have met the both of you and seen how friendly your people can be.” With that last word, Xaerzeo took his leave.

Michael and Jocelyn watched as the alien tugged his little Frisbee shaped spaceship towards the nearest gas station. They stood there holding hands, watching him until he was completely gone from their sight. They lay back down and looked up at the stars and wondered where in the universe planet Xenoh was. Michael thought it was past Orion’s Belt. Jocelyn thought it was near the Big Dipper.

 

Michael hadn’t thought about that day in a long time. When he saw the green Frisbee in the parking lot of the mall, he wondered if the little alien was back, but thought it was unlikely. But as he was standing alone outside his dorm back on campus and thinking about that night, he saw the Frisbee again. It floated right before his eyes.

The spaceship had to be about five feet from the ground just hovering at eye level for Michael. The little dome opened up and Xaerzeo stood up.

“Well hello, Michael.”

“Hi, Xaerzeo.”

“Have you thought of what you wanted from me since my last visit to your planet?”

“I have, but what happened with your planet?” Michael asked.

“As soon as I stepped out of my space ship, I walked up to the Line of Division. My planet has a certain line that if anyone shall cross from either side will immediately be sentenced to death. Since I was born of both races on my planet, and the only one known to be so, I walked down the middle of the line. Everyone on my planet was either on one side or the other, getting ready for the upcoming battle. I asked for their differences to subside and allow me to speak. I apologized for being gone for so long and for not being there sooner. They listened to my entire speech, of friendliness from your planet, and how most of you get along well with other races, besides a few small groups of extremists. They ended up seeing it my way and eventually each and every one of us, crossed the Line of Division and shook each other’s hands. It was very heartwarming. My planet has never been desegregated before. And it only took a matter of minutes for them to get over their differences. The two races were unhappy with every decision the other made. I guess it would have been like your planet’s Civil War. I must have willed my speech to win over the people and to make peace completely. It was a very beautiful day. From that day forward we have gotten along perfectly with absolutely no extremists. And I’m hoping to keep it that way.”

“Wow,” Michael said, “that’s really cool how just one of you can make that big of a difference. Change is needed on our planet. We need someone like you to help us through every difference in the world.”

“Thank you, Michael. What is it that you would like from me?”

“I have just recently bought Jocelyn an engagement ring, and have not given it to her yet. I also have not told my parents that we are getting engaged. I don’t even know how I’m going to do either…”

“How about I give you some self confidence, so that you can tell your parents without breaking a sweat, and propose to Jocelyn in a unique way that she will never forget. And on top of all that, diamonds are worthless on my planet so, here, take this.” Xaerzeo handed Michael a very big diamond that could be cut into thousands of little diamonds if that was what he so desired, but he thought about what he would do with it, and decided that he would make one big diamond in the center and two smaller diamonds on each side of the center.

“Xaerzeo, how can I ever repay you for all that you have done?” Michael asked.

“You have already done so much for me that I couldn’t possibly ever ask anything else from you. I will always keep an eye on the two of you and I hope that the both of you have a long and happy life. I will see you soon, maybe at your wedding… ”

And with that, Xaerzeo almost disappeared into thin air. Michael was aware of what he was searching for though, so he found the green Frisbee very quickly. He watched it until it was out of sight. He suddenly felt very strong and confident. Michael made a quick trip home and told his parents, without the need of Jocelyn by his side.  It went smoothly, so to speak.

He sat his parents down across the table from himself. He looked them each in the eyes and told him what his plans were.

“Mom, Dad, I am going to marry Jocelyn. I love her. She is the only girl I foresee myself ever being with. I hope you guys can see that she is the one for me and will approve of this. If you think we’re being irresponsible, love struck teenagers, you are wrong. We are being very mature about this. We have planned to not get married before we graduate college. We both want to wait until we both have jobs and a place to live. We also want to have are finances stabilized before we do anything. I personally don’t want to be in debt when we first get married,” Michael said this with the outmost confidence. His parents had never seen him so confident in his whole life.

“I guess that’s okay, as long as you guys both feel the same. And at any point if you guys feel uncomfortable about anything, you don’t have to go through with it. What we’re trying to say… is that we support you with whatever your decision may be. We love Jocelyn too and are excited for her to become a part of the Harrison family.”

Michael was relieved. Jocelyn would be happy he finally told his parents. And that they were happy for them. He said goodbye to his parents, because he had class the next day. He thought long and hard on the ride back. He finally figured out how he was going to propose to Jocelyn.

Michael decided he was going to take Jocelyn back to that spot and propose. They had fallen even more in love that night and Michael decided that he would try to recreate that night, besides the alien, as best he could. This time though, he would make it even more romantic. There would be roses and the petals of roses spread out on a blanket on the grass. There would be a picnic of Jocelyn’s favorite meals and Michael’s iPod would be playing Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” on repeat. When they had finished eating, Michael would start to dance with Jocelyn and when the song was over, get down on one knee and propose marriage to Jocelyn taking her hand in his and placing the ring that he had picked out on her left hand.

“Maybe one day we will meet again Xaerzeo,” Michael said quietly to himself, “if you can possibly hear this, I thank you for all you did, and if you do stop by our wedding, you will be greatly accepted.”