Read I Do Online

Authors: Melody Carlson

I Do

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What Teens Are Saying About

“Your books are so captivating. I feel like my life is being lived out in those pages. I think that's what I love about them. No other series could teach me about life the way your books do.” –C

“I LOVE your books!!! I've just finished
Face the Music
, and it wuz awesome! I couldn't put it down. I've loaned all my books of the Chloe series to my friends, and they love them too!” –A

“Your books are so awesome! I started reading them, then one of my unsaved friends decided to borrow them, and now she's saved. I have you and God to thank for that! Your books are really powerful. I love them.” –L

“I love the characters in your Diary series. I am about to start my freshman year of college and loved
On My Own.
I feel like Caitlin is one of my own friends.” –H

“It is amazing to me how you write with such insight, as if you really are living in a modern-day world for teens. Thank you!” –D

“I love reading your books! I found myself in a whole different world. Like someone had shown me a different part of me.” –S

“You have helped me in so many ways. Just reading your books brought me closer to God. Caitlin is the best friend i wish i had.” –M

“Your writing inspires me. You truly have a gift.” –J

“I LOVE the way that you write. God has certainly blessed you with an amazing talent for writing and understanding people. I will probably continue to buy and read your books when I'm forty.” –HJK

Piercing Proverbs

Caitlin O'Conner:
Becoming Me
It's My Life
Who I Am
On My Own
I Do!

Chloe Miller:
My Name Is Chloe
Sold Out
Road Trip
Face the Music

Kim Peterson:
Just Ask
Meant to Be

Dark Blue
, color me lonely
Deep Green
, color me jealous
Torch Red
, color me torn
Pitch Black
, color me lost
Burnt Orange
, color me wasted

Saturday, October 22

My life changed today.
It's as if I got up this morning as one person and will go to bed as someone else. Okay, maybe it's not as drastic as all that. But believe me, things are definitely different now.

Excitingly different even. I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to go to sleep tonight. And ironically, here I am in my old bedroom in my parents' home, the very same place I was when I began writing in my very first diary almost five years ago.

And as a result of what happened today, I think it's time to break out a brand-new diary. Okay, this one isn't exactly “brand-new,” since it's actually one that I've been saving for quite a while. It's a rather ordinary looking diary (really, more like a journal), but my friend Josh Miller gave it to me on my nineteenth birthday, just a couple of years ago. I thought it was sweet of him at the
time, but I was also right in the middle of writing in another diary, so I tucked this special leather-bound book into my top bureau drawer-to save for another time.

Another time has come, and that time is now because:

Josh Miller asked me to marry him tonight!

Okay, okay, let's start back a the beginning of this incredibly romantic day. I'd come home from college this weekend to attend a wedding. Two friends of mine were getting hitched-willy Johnson (the manager of the incredible rock band Redemption) and Elise Curtis (mother of Redemption drummer Allie Curtis). I replaced Elise, last summer, when I traveled as a chaperone for Redemption. And as a result, these three gifted girls feel like family to me. Especially Chloe Miller, who will become my sister-in-law sometime next year. Wow, it's still sinking in!
God is so amazing!

The Johnson-Curtis wedding was absolutely beautiful. Oh, it was nothing lavish or fancy or over the top. And only about a hundred guests were there. But the ceremony felt very real to me, and the love between willy and Elise was written all over their happy faces. I actually cried-it was that sweet.

Chloe, Allie, and Laura were bridesmaids, all wearing the most gorgeous gowns designed by none other than my old best friend Beanie Jacobs. The dresses were autumnal colors with lots of beadwork and lace, but not a bit frilly. Just really elegant and classy and like something
you'd see in a movie. Beanie's majoring in textile design now and is rumored to have the kind of talent that will take her places. I'm so proud of her!

All right, I will admit that I had a brief fantasy during this particular wedding ceremony. I mean, what girl doesn't dream about her own wedding day? Especially when you hear those familiar notes of “The Wedding March” starting to play!
Dum, dum, da-dum.
I'm sure I've been humming that tune since I was a little girl putting my mom's old white negligee over my head like a wedding veil. And okay, I did wonder how I would feel to be the one standing up there in a scrumptious white gown and repeating my vows to…well, I even had a particular guy in mind.

In fact, that guy was actually one of the groomsmen standing up there with willy and looking totally awesome in his dark brown rented tux with velvet lapels. It was in that exact same moment that I realized Josh was actually staring back at me. It seemed as if our eyes locked for about five minutes, although I'm sure it was only a few seconds before I looked away. Maybe that's what made me cry.

I suppose I was sort of embarrassed to be caught gaping at the same guy I have consistently pushed away over the years. It's hard to believe that it all started back in high school, when he was a senior and I was a junior. But then our relationship went sideways, and it was time to break up.

Oh, we're friends now. And better friends than we've
ever been before. We've even had a few talks that made me wonder…but then I always remember how many times I made it perfectly clear to Josh (especially back during my first year of college when he says I broke his heart) that I couldn't be serious with him.

Not that I wouldn't have liked being serious with Josh. I mean, all you have to do is to read my other diaries to know that this guy totally gets to me. Believe me, there's always been a strong attraction to that boy. But even so, I knew that I had to keep him at a safe distance. Let's just say that it was a God-thing. Because I'd committed myself to abstaining from sex until marriage, and as a result, gave up dating in general. So there was no room in my life for Josh as a boyfriend. Consequently, I think I've really learned about priorities these past few years. God is always first, family and friends next, and then school (since that's sort of my “job” at the moment). And that's a full load. Getting serious with a guy just did not fit into that picture.

Even so, I
stopped loving Josh. And there have been times (like dozens!) when I was so scared that Josh would forget all about me and just write me off and marry someone else. I mean, there had to be hundreds of girls out there who knew what a catch this guy was. Not only is Josh cute (have I mentioned he looks like Matt Damon?) with blue eyes and the greatest smile ever, but he loves God with his whole heart, and he's the most honest and sincere guy I know. But enough about that for now-since I can feel my pulse rate increasing!

Anyway, each time I'd start to freak over the possibility of another girls snatching up the guy I loved, I tried really hard to give this fear to God. And it wasn't always easy. But it usually boiled down to trust. I knew I needed to trust God completely. I had to believe that my life and my future (as well as Josh's) were in His hands. That was my lifeline.

Back to today's wedding. Following the ceremony, we all traipsed down the stairs for a fairly no-frills reception in the church basement, which is nothing to write home about. I mean, our church is about as plain and boring as they come. It's in an old department store building down-town, but due to recent remodeling, the “sanctuary” is fairly spacious and the basement (which still smells like cardboard) actually has pretty good acoustics. That came in handy since Redemption played a few songs for the wedding guests. Just a few quiet numbers that made both Willy and Elise teary eyed.

I was slightly surprised that there were no decorations-no ribbons or candles and very few flowers. But Chloe informed me that Willy and Elise wanted to keep everything as simple as possible. “It's supposed to be low-key,” she said, as if she knew I had noticed that the room looked somewhat Spartan. Not that you need hundreds of roses or miles of satin ribbons and greenery, but I suppose that most of the weddings I've gone to have been pretty elaborate affairs-not to mention quite expensive.

“Yeah,” Allie said in a hushed voice. “Believe it or not,
the cake is from the grocery store bakery where my mom used to work.”

“It looks nice,” I said. Okay, it was a bit boring, and I suspected it wouldn't be too tasty. But it had the traditional three tiers with the little plastic bride and groom on top. And when willy and Elise sliced into it, I'm sure it didn't matter to them whether it came from Albertsons down the street or the finest French bakery in Manhattan.

And it didn't matter to me either. Mostly I just enjoyed visiting with my church friends and a few old high school buddies, and finally congratulating willy and Elise.

“I'm so happy for you two,” I told them as we hugged.

Elise was absolutely glowing. “We are too.” Then she frowned slightly. “I hope you don't feel bad that this means Davie and I will be going back on the road again.” She held up her wedding ring finger. “Now that we're no longer scandal material.”

Willy laughed. “Yeah, I'll bet some people think that this is just a marriage of convenience so that we can have Elise back as the chaperone again.”

Elise leaned over and kissed her groom on the cheek. “Let them think what they like.”

“Not that you weren't a great chaperone, Caitlin” Willy said, as if he suddenly remembered that I was still standing there. “You know you'll always be welcome.”

I laughed. “Don't worry, you two. I had to give up the chaperone gig for now anyway. My plate's pretty full with my senior year.”

“Still doing the double major?” Willy asked with a slightly concerned look.

I nodded. “Yeah. I like the pressure.”

“What are you taking?” asked Elise.

“It's kind of an odd combo. Journalism and child development.”

Willy smiled. “Well, if you graduate and end up jobless, I'm sure that the girls would welcome you back as their chaperone by next summer.”

“You can say that again,” Allie said with a mischievous grin. Of course, knowing Allie, I'm sure she'd prefer having me to her mom. Not that she likes me more than her mom, but she probably thinks she can get away with more stuff with me. Not that I ever let her. If anything, I think I was pretty strict with those girls.

Then just as Beanie and I were about to leave the reception, Josh stopped me. He and I already had one very brief conversation that had been interrupted by the photographer wanting to get some group shots of the wedding party.

“Don't leave yet,” he said to me as he waved to someone calling his name from across the room. “I want to ask you something first.”

I smiled at him. “What's that?”

“Are you busy tonight?”

I shrugged and glanced at Beanie. I'd already asked her to do something tonight, but she'd informed me that she needed to spend some time with her mom. “Not really,” I said to Josh. “Why?”

“Do you think you could grab a bite with me?” He smiled in that cute but sly way of his (like he's keeping something from me). “You know, just two old friends catching up?”

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