“Jason, you shouldn’t be here,” Amy whispered as the too young lovers hid behind a tree in the back yard. “You didn’t see what my father did to a Hawkin the other day. He’s becoming insane.”
Jason leaned back on his heels, looked toward the back porch and then back to Amy. “I don’t care what he does too me.”
“But… I do.”
“I get that,” Jason replied. “but I can take care of myself.”
Amy frowned. Her concern was noticeable even in the darkness. Jason held her face gently.
“My Amy… this world as twisted and dangerous as it is still evolves but love stays the same.”
“If that’s how you think then meet my parents.”
Jason stepped back. He stammered all attempts to hold strong disappeared. Fear evident in his hesitation.
Staring out the window of the house Paul watched as the shadows in the yard stood silently talking.
“They will be ok, Paul,” said Stacy as she approached.
“Will they,” he replied sharply. “This isn’t pre-invasion earth anymore. Nobody is safe. Even if this boy… um… Jason isn’t some shape shifting monster how are we going to protect any more kids. He is almost a man. He has reckless passion. I can’t protect my daughter from the monster and influence of this boy.”
Stacy placed a gentle hand upon Paul’s shoulder. “She is becoming a woman too. We can’t protect her from everything…”
Paul turned from the window and stepped to the door. He slowly opened it. Stacy protest but he ignored her. She didn’t know for sure but she felt no reason to worry about her sometimes irrational husband’s actions. She watched from the covered back porch as Paul approached the couple.
“Son,” Paul began. Both young adults leapt straight. Paul had interrupted a kiss. “I caught you before you ran away this time. For a young man that wants to be brave for my daughter you are cowardice.”
“Dad, don’t hurt him.”
“I’m not going to hurt him,” Paul replied. “You love my daughter?”
Jason pawed at the ground with his black, military boots.
“Have you done your mandatory time in the service yet?”
“I have not, sir,” Jason said.
“How are you going to promise anything to my daughter when you may not make it through the service?”
“I don’t want to be a ballbuster here son,” Paul began. “The world is not for the Romantics anymore. Romance has no place inside a world of horror and pain.”
“I disagree,” Jason said as he straightened his posture and stared at the older man. “You dare to call me a coward even knowing the facts that I suffered the most horror. My parents and my sister all killed while I watched with axe in hand.”
Paul tried to respond but Jason continued. “Even after that horror I still have enough hope to speak to Amy every night. Enough hope to stand here as you insult me and promise that your daughter will be happy with me as her husband.”
Amy stood shaken by the promise of marriage.
“You would promise to be my daughter’s husband in this world?”
“What other world would I possibly be able to be her husband?”
Paul stood quiet for a long moment.
“You will have to live here with Amy. How are your grandparents?”
Paul directed the pair toward the house. Stacy was thrilled to hear the news and invited Jason to dinner.