Forever Yours, Stan

photo of red rose

( Intermediate Level )

As Gretchen walks through her door, she throws her keys on the small table by the door and starts thumbing through today’s mail. One particular piece of mail caught her eye.

She hung up her coat and walked to her cozy chair in the living room. She plopped herself down and looked at the envelope that she found interesting.

On the return address was the name of her high school. She had no idea why they would send her anything after all these years.

She proceeded to open it and unfolded the contents. It was an invitation to her twenty-fifth high school reunion. “Wow, has it been that long?” She whispered to herself.

She sat the invitation down and went to the kitchen. She warmed up a cup of this morning’s coffee in the microwave, grabbed a yogurt out of the fridge then headed back to her favorite chair.

While she was in high school she focused on her education. She hadn’t time to participate in any school events other than competitions.

She wanted more for herself than her parents had when they were her age. They confessed to her that school was not important to them at that stage in their lives. Their futures were secure, taking over their family business.

Her dad’s family-owned an import-export business and her mom’s family was in the construction business focusing on residential homes.

Her parents were slightly disappointed that she didn’t want to involve herself in either of the family businesses but made a career path of her own.

She became a successful lawyer at a local law firm and hopefully will become an equal partner one day. Until then she would work in the trenches proving not only to herself but to her soon-to-be partners that she had what it takes.

She stared at the invitation once again. She smiled at the thought of getting together with old classmates. Then she remembered this one particular guy. Stan. He was smitten with her but she blew him off over and over again.

She let out a sigh and then stood up to go to her bedroom closet. Up on the top shelf were her old yearbooks from every year of high school. She grabbed the one from her graduation year.

Again she headed back to her chair and turned on the side lamp. The sun was beginning to set and it was getting dark. She began to thumb through all the pages remembering all the events and the people.

Then she began to read all the things people wrote in her yearbook. Some of the people she remembered and some she did not.

As she found herself through to the back cover there in the largest print was Stan’s message to her.” One day, Gretchen, you will think of me. When you do, I will be here. Forever yours, Stan.” Next to his name he had drawn a rose.

He probably married shortly after graduating and had children. She decided to RSVP for the invitation. She would soon know.

How silly teenagers could be? No one really didn’t know what true love was at that age. Plus she was so deep into her studies she didn’t understand why he thought this way about her.

It is a little over a month until the reunion and she didn’t want to dwell on it. She had plenty of work to keep her busy until that night.

Since it was in the neighboring city, she could book a hotel room that was reserved for this occasion. Checking in on Thursday, the day before and you have the option to stay until Sunday.

She decided to do this. It would be a mini-vacation for her. She had plenty of vacation days coming to her so the very next day she would put in for these days off.

Like most women. She knew she needed to go clothes shopping, have her nails done, and have her hair cut and styled. Nothing too drastic because she wasn’t the type of person to sit in front of the mirror for hours fixing her hair.

The next day she sent back the invitation with an RSVP for one. When she arrived at work, the first thing she did was ask for these days off. Her boss was surprised since she has never taken a day off unless she was forced to.

He gladly gave her those days off and said if she wanted more just let him know. He would approve them straight away. She declined, “Honestly, I feel I may get bored and want to come home earlier.

The month went by at a steady pace. Gretchen had gone shopping for a dress to wear for the reunion plus bought a few other outfits for the weekend.

It was years since she enjoyed the time to herself. She was looking forward to this. She didn’t want to admit she was curious about Stan. What he was doing in his life and if he actually remembered her.

Finally, the Thursday before the reunion. Fortunately, she was able to leave by noon. Gretchen had worked very hard for the past month to get everything done for her boss.

She wanted to enjoy this time off without getting emails or phone calls from work asking where this was or where that was. Deep inside she felt this still may happen but she kept her fingers crossed.

She headed to the airport before the late afternoon rush hour. It would be less than an hour flight and arrangements were made for her to be picked up at the airport and brought to the hotel.

She arrived without any issues. Her hotel room which the reunion committee had made arrangements was absolutely wonderful. A day spa, swimming pool and plenty of shops and restaurants nearby.

She was a bit tired when she arrived so she ordered room service for that evening’s meal. She had worked half the day and then went home to pack for the trip. She knew she had plenty of time to explore the area in the next few days.

Before she fell asleep that night she pulled out the yearbook she had packed. She went through it looking at the pictures of who she remembered, hoping to see them tomorrow night.

Of course, it has been twenty-five years and everyone is older but maybe they would not look so different. She hoped at least they would have name tags on if she didn’t. She closed the book, turned off the bedside lamp, and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning she slept in longer than usual. She didn’t need to set an alarm clock for once. She ordered a light breakfast and showered afterward.

The festivities didn’t start until seven that evening so she could go out exploring. She planned on being a full-fledged tourist, taking pictures, and seeing as much as she could in the short time she would be there.

Her day was filled with adventure. She visited a photography museum. She ate at a small out-of-the-way venue that served the most wonderful salmon with lightly seasoned carrots and a side salad.

Gretchen arrived back at the hotel around three in the afternoon. This gave her plenty of time to rest and get ready for tonight’s events. She found herself a little nervous and she didn’t understand why.

Was she anxious to see Stan? That would be crazy,” she thought to herself. She never gave a minute of her time when they were in school together. “Why would still he be thinking of her?”

She decided to take a long hot bubble bath to relax and unwind from the day. She had taken so many photos. She was the typical tourist, even though she was just in the next city over from hers. It had been many years since she stepped foot in her hometown. So many things have changed.

Old buildings were torn down and new ones were built. Shopping malls, cinemas, galleries not mention the restaurants. They even built a park near the heart of the city. She would have loved having this when she was younger.

An hour had slipped by as she looked at the time on her phone. She needed to get ready. She already had her dress and heels laid out by the bed.

She didn’t want to rush. She hated rushing around to do anything. Even for work, she was usually fifteen to thirty minutes early every day. This way she had time to go through her office emails and have a cup of coffee before work started.

The time had come for her to leave. She called for a taxi and waited patiently downstairs. Her dress was a simple teal-colored dress with black heels. She put her hair up which showed her gold earrings and matching necklace.

She never overdressed. Simple was how she liked things. No-fuss. Even throughout her educational career, while other girls dressed to impress the guys she didn’t want to bother.

As the taxi pulled up to the venue, her heart started beating faster. “Now this is just silly of me.” She paid the driver and got out. She looked around at those who were lingering outside but didn’t recognize anyone.

She made her way into the front of the building where a large table was set up. Two women manned the table handing out name tags and welcoming everyone. She smiled and thanked them and headed towards the music.

Seating arrangements were made prior so she needed to find where she was to sit. Gretchen walked around a bit before she found her name card. Her table was near the dance floor and band.

She peeked at the other name tags and recognized one name. Millie’s. She was in Physics with her. She remembers how they studied together since neither of them was strong in this subject.

The alumni started coming in now. All she had just done, was a search for their name cards. She scanned the groups as they came in but hadn’t caught a glimpse of Stan.

Would I be able to pick him out of a crowd? Probably not. I do remember those crystal blue eyes though. I would spot them anywhere.”

The dinner was about to be served. The waiters were busy asking everyone if they wanted beef, salmon, or chicken. Others came around pouring drinks. Champagne would be served after dinner.

The band continued throughout the meal. Some chose to dance, others just listened and enjoyed their meal.

Millie had brought her husband and Gretchen thought he was a nice man. Millie told stories of high school and the teachers they liked and disliked. Adding exaggerated reasons.

“Was there someone you wanted to see here tonight?” Millie asked Gretchen. She hesitated and told her the story of the yearbook and Stan’s message.

“Don’t give up hope yet. Many are still coming in. Not everyone stayed in this city as I did so I imagine they had to work then travel to get here.”

As soon as Millie uttered those words, she noticed a man walking up to their table from behind Gretchen. She smiled as soon as she saw those crystal blue eyes. This had to be Stan.

He was dressed in a black suit with a teal-colored tie. She noticed this straight away. As if he coordinated with Gretchen on her dress color. In his left hand, he held a single red rose.

Millie nudged her husband to look at what she was seeing. As soon as he did, Stan reached their table and held out the rose. Gretchen looked up and immediately recognized those eyes.

He bent down to kiss her on the cheek as he handed her the rose. He whispered, “I am still forever yours.”

The rest of the evening they spent catching up on their past. Gretchen discovered he had never married either. His work and ambitions never allowed this. Plus, he knew one day, his path would cross Gretchen’s and he could finally sweep her off her feet.

Written By: Angel

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Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

What woman out there would not appreciate that fairy tale ending? What can I say, I happen to be a romantic at heart.

If you appreciate what I do and would like to support me:


caught her eye – idiom: to get someone’s attention, especially by looking at them

cozy – adjective: giving a feeling of comfort

plopped – phrasal verb: to sit or lie down in a heavy or careless way 

reunion – noun: a social gathering attended by members of a certain group of people who have not seen each other for some time

confessed – verb: admit

secure – transitive verb: feel safe and happy and are not worried about life

import-export business- noun: Exporting is sending goods out of your country in order to sell them in another country. Importing is bringing goods into your country from another country in order to sell them

residential – adjective: designed for people to live

career path – noun: job(s) that lead to a position of longevity

work in the trenches – phrasal verb: working in the most difficult parts of a job

soon-to-be – adjective: planned or destined to have a specified position or quality in the near future

smitten – adjective: strong feelings of attraction

blew him off – idiom: to ignore or intentionally avoid a person

thumb through – phrasal verb: to turn the pages quickly 

RSVP – verb: respond, please (French)

dwell – intransitive verb: to remain for a period of time

option – noun: a thing that is or may be chosen

drastic – adjective: have a strong effect

fingers crossed– idiom: hope that nothing will happen to bring bad luck

rush hour – noun: a time during each day when traffic is at its heaviest

full-fledged – adjective: full status

out – of – the -way – phrase: a place that is far away from areas that are the central part of the city

venue – noun: the place where something happens, especially an organized event

lingering – adjective: lasting for a long time

manned – adjective: to staff or occupy

peeked – verb: look quickly

glimpse – verb: see briefly or partially

exaggerated – adjective: represented as larger, better, or worse than in reality

ambitions – noun: desire to do or to achieve something

sweep her off her feet – idiom: to make (someone) suddenly become very attracted to one in a romantic way 

Question ( s ):

Are you romantic?

Does your high school have reunions? Have you attended any?

Do you keep in touch with those you went to school with?


( Intermediate Level )

High school is the time of your life when you discover yourself. You hang out with friends, have a girlfriend and if you are lucky, be part of the popular crowd.

Billy Randall was just this. He was a promising young athlete. He made the varsity football team, and with that popularity follows. Not to mention, all the girls wanted the chance to date a member of the football team. It had not taken him long to have a girlfriend by his side.

You had to prove you had extraordinary talents, as a freshman, to be on the varsity team, which was reserved for juniors and seniors and an occasional sophomore.

Billy’s passion for football had started at a young age. He remembered the day when he received his first football. It was on his fifth birthday.

His dad and he would play for hours every Sunday. Tossing around the football at each other. Billy would tell his father, one day, he was going to be a professional. He would play on an NFL team.

Billy’s high school football team had an exceptional winning season. They had one game left in the season. The championship game against a rival school. This Friday would determine the overall season champions.

The day before the big game, Thursday, it was traditional to have a homecoming dance. At this dance they would vote for a king and queen, usually, those who were the most popular were voted for.

Of course, Billy had asked his girlfriend, Amber, to go with him. She, like Billy, held special popularity status. She was the head cheerleader for two years in a row.

Thursday night came quickly. Billy was given permission to drive his dad’s car to the dance. His father had given him strict instructions.

You may pick up Amber, and go directly to the dance. Once the dance is over, you are to come directly home after you drop her off at her home.”

Billy was a little annoyed that his father made such a rule. He felt he was responsible enough. After all, he was on the varsity team and always kept his grades up at school.

The night had come for the homecoming dance. Billy had borrowed his dad’s blue tie and sported his favorite dress shirt along with a new pair of dark blue pants.

Like most moms, Billy was busy taking pictures and telling him how handsome he was. She took pictures of him alone, then with his dad, and of course one with her.

After all of mom’s excessive picture taking, Billy had made his way to the front door. He gave his mom a hug and told his dad he would be home right after the dance. This was a promise.

He arrived at Amber’s house about twenty minutes later. She was so beautiful. She wore a long blue gown that had matched Billy’s tie. Her hair was pulled up into a bun with ringlets cascading to her shoulders. Billy smiled and told her how beautiful she was.

Billy and Amber arrived at the dance. His fellow teammates were already there. The two made their way over to the group. Everyone was having a great time. They danced and talked endlessly.

The time had come where they would announce the winners of the homecoming court. Everyone gathered by the stage. All the votes had been tallied and the announcer held the results in her hand.

The announcer looked around the room keeping everyone in suspense. She then said, “The homecoming king is Billy Randall!”

The crowd clapped and whistled as Billy made his way to the stage to receive his crown. His teammates had given him high fives as he passed them.

Now for the homecoming queen,” said the announcer, is Amber Smith!” Her friends, too, ran up and gave her big hugs, congratulating her.

Each, now, wore their crowns to the dance floor where it was customary for the newly crowned to dance a few minutes alone with spotlights on them. Others could join after a few moments.

As Billy and Amber danced he said to her,” This night is magical. Thank you for coming with me. Whoever thought I would be a king and here dancing with such a beautiful queen.”

The night had come to an end. The team had their championship game tomorrow night so each said their goodbyes. Walking out together, Billy yelled, “See you at the game tomorrow night!”

Billy opened the car door for Amber, he waited for her to slip in, then he shut the door. He made his way over to the driver’s side. As he got in, Amber said, ” I will never forget this night.”

They pulled out onto the street heading towards Amber’s house. As they talked aimlessly regarding the night’s events, Billy had pulled up to a red light and stopped.

They were talking about how much fun they had. Laughing when they spoke of someone’s dancing skills.

Billy had not noticed the light turned green until the car behind them beeped their horn. Billy signaled to the driver an apologetic wave and proceeded forward. This was a mistake. He had forgotten to look both ways.

What was a fun-filled night ended in tragedy. Billy and Amber were hit by a drunk driver speeding through, what was now, a red light for that driver. Glass shattering, the sound of metal bending and screams were heard.

Many stopped and tried to help. By the time the paramedics arrived, unfortunately, it was too late, Amber and Billy did not survive.

The drunk driver survived with only a few scrapes and bruises. He was, obviously, unaware of the tragedy that had just occurred. He would wake up later, in the hospital, in handcuffs.

Parents of both Amber and Billy were notified, later in the evening of the accident, by the local police. Each disbelieving what they heard. Eventually realizing their children would not be coming home.

It was too late to cancel the championship game since the opposing team would be traveling from another city. Tonight’s championship game would not feel the same.

The community was still in shock from the evening before. They lost two promising members of their community.

There was a mix of emotions throughout the town. Some were angry towards the carelessness of the drunk driver as others felt sadness for the parents whose children were taken.

As the bleachers filled with onlookers for both teams, the team had gathered in the locker room. The team captain spoke, “We lost an important member of our team. He is here with us today, in spirit. He would not want us to give up. Let’s win this one for Billy.”

As the team entered the field, everyone stood. In one hand they held Billy’s jersey number pasted on a bright red piece of paper, the same color as the team’s jerseys, and in the other hand, a peach-colored rose for Amber. It was their way of showing Billy and Amber would be missed. It was difficult for everyone to hold back their tears.

Both coaches had walked to the center of the field. Here they would, usually, have a coin toss to see who would have possession of the ball first, but instead something different happened.

Billy’s dad walked slowly onto the field with his head down, making his way to where the coaches stood. He had asked to speak to the crowd. He stopped and gazed at everyone sitting in the bleachers, trying to gather the courage to speak.

After a few minutes he began to speak, his voice quivering and holding back his own tears, “No matter how we try to protect our children, things can happen unexpectedly. Your outpour of love to myself, my wife, and Amber’s parents has not passed unnoticed.”

“I am here today to ask that you remember Billy and Amber, not as victims but as two young people full of adventure. They would have wanted you to remember them as kind, and determined, and being the best they could be.

Let them be role models to everyone. And parents, life is unexpected sometimes, remember to tell your child you love them and are proud of them….. before it is too late”.

He, then, turned and walked silently off the field, looking towards the ground. He could no longer hold back his tears.

Written by: Angel

If you appreciate what I do:

Follow me on:

Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5


varsity – noun: the principal sports team representing a high school 

popularity – noun: being liked or admired

extraordinary – adjective:  unusual or remarkable

reserved – adjective: slow to reveal emotion or opinions.

passion – noun: strong, controlled emotion

professional – adjective: belonging to a profession

NFL – noun: National Football League consisting of thirty-two professional teams

exceptional – adjective: outstanding

rival – noun: competition

traditional – adjective: habit or long-established

permission – noun: consent or authorize

annoyed – adjective: irritate

sported – verb: wear or display

excessive – adjective: more than necessary

ringlets – noun: curls of hair, corkscrew-shaped curl

homecoming court – noun: a group chosen to hold various titles at the homecoming dance, for example, the queen, king, prince, princess, duke, and duchess

tallied – verb: calculate the total number 

high fives – noun: a gesture or greeting in which two people slap each other’s open palm with their arms raised

customary – adjective: usual practices 

aimlessly – adverb: without purpose or direction

apologetic – adjective: regretfully excusing an offense

proceeded – verb: continue a course of action *this word is often confused with precede which means come before*

tragedy – noun: suffering, devastation, or distress

paramedics – noun: a person or people trained to give emergency medical care 

unaware – adjective: no knowledge of a situation

disbelieving – adjective: expressing disbelief, questioning, or understanding

opposing – adjective: in competition with a specified subject

carelessness – noun: negligence

onlookers – noun: observer

outpour – verb: flow

unexpected – adjective: not expected


Were you ever on a school sport team?

Is popularity important to you?

Do you think laws are strict enough to prevent drunk drivers in your country?