Over the Moon by Sarah

Challenger: Becca
Rating(s) of the fic you want: T (Teen 13+),
Which brother do you want your story to be about?: Zac
Genre you want your story to be: Comedy or Drama

Three specific things you want your fic to include:

  • The beach
  • a full moon
  • a surfboard

Three things you do not want your fic to include:

  • Any of the real girlfriends
  • girlfriend bashing
  • Violence

I’ve the queen of stagnant. I just don’t like change. I have a philosophy about everything and it should stay that statement forever. When my friends asked me what I was going to do with my life…I told them I live day by day. But how could I just live like that? Everything was going to be changing soon, but would I be ready?

Here’s my philosophy about summer: it can never last enough. I had been one of those people that had grown up with the everlasting fall and winter. It lasted at least 8 months out of the year, and then it got unbearably hot. Every time my boyfriend Zac was up here for his visits in the winter within in our 3-year courtship, he was amazed at the snow we got. My state totaled around a 40” average every year, but when he would walk outside in the middle of a foot downfall, he would not believe that this type of weather even existed. He would just lie in the snow and let it all fall him and he would not move until he was covered with a thin sheet of white. Once he was inside, he thoroughly enjoyed a nice steaming cup of cocoa and snuggled up close to me. How those times are gone.

Summers down south are absolutely spectacular. A bit dry for my taste, but I prefer being warm than being stuck in the cold for the remainder of the year. I have never been the best at tanning, but I love the crisp, dry feel of the sun on my skin. It gets red and Zac had to end up peeling my skin off, but how great of a boyfriend that will do that for you? That is like, beyond the level that a normal boyfriend would do. He is too damn good to me.

“IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII’ve gotta get out of here!”

“Are you quoting ‘Rent’ again?”

“I can’t help it, Renata’s got me addicted,” I referred to Taylor’s girlfriend’s unhealthy obsession.

“I thought you said you weren’t even into musicals.”

“Well you thought wrong, so nyah,” Zac stuck out his tongue in his gleeful ornery state. He’s getting into one of those moods; I can feel it.

“You are the biggest nerd I’ve ever known,” I sighed, smacking my forehead lightly.

“I’m getting summer fever, major,” he laughed softly as he ran his hand through my hair. Drawing me close, he threatened my lips with a tiny nip and I giggled softly, almost spilling my pink lemonade that was sitting between us. We were both in shorts and I was in a tank top, anticipating the warm weather of my home state.

“So am I, but too bad for me. Zac gets to go home and hang out in the nice, hot air while I’m here dealing with all the rain we get in the summer. I’m sorry to be so whiny,” I brushed my hair behind my shoulder, “But I really do envy your weather.”

“All that dry air? I love the moisture up here,” he smiled, running hand up my arm, “I mean, you have a wonderful world up here.”

“But I want to be a part of it,” I grabbed his hands, almost like I could not breathe without him, “Of your world. I want to be a part of everything that you do.”

“I know you do,” he smiled softly, “We will, in time.”

At that time, we didn’t even care if we were in the muggy weather. We fell asleep in that moment. And that was just the way I liked it.

*~*~*~*~*~*

The next morning, only one thing was on my mind. Comfortably numb. It’s a feeling I’ve dreamt about for so long, but have not felt. Now it is the feeling that overtakes my body.

I looked over at that body of Zac and smiled lightly. God knows why he picked me. I have decided to keep his “staying overnight on a Catholic campus” a secret. As soon as I got back from my shower (which I admit from being sticky on a warm late May morning is the best thing for the spirit) I head-banged my hair dry. Not completely dry, just enough to release the beast and feel sexy. I did feel sexy doing it. He decided to crash here after a trip to Pittsburgh and he wasn’t feeling his best. He fooled me; it looked like he was in full spirits last night when he was awake. The sweat was now pouring off his forehead, but I dared not move the covers.

I feel like I’m taking care of him, even sitting here, stroking his hair and kissing his forehead, like a mother would. I would do everything in my power to take care of him…and like we planned, for the rest of our lives. Everything planned out like I wanted it to go.

Tomorrow, I would be graduating college. My last night in the dormitory will frighten me because it is not the most comforting feeling that you know this is the last time that you will see these walls. My room was pretty much a deconstructed construction site, boxes everywhere with my belongings and my deep ebony bachelor’s robe hanging on my closet door. The time was approaching quickly. Change…the scary beast that it is.

“Zac?” I whispered into his ear as I worked my way out of his arms softly.

He made a bit of a grunting noise and rolled around, slapping his arm over his face.

“I’m going down to the dining hall to get you some hot tea and toast, okay?” I told him softly as he kicked a little bit of the covers off.

“Okay, be quick though, okay?” he groaned gently. I went to go down to the dining hall and couldn’t help but feel sorry for my boyfriend. All alone up in the dorm room…what was I to do?

Slipping my hand into my pocket, I fingered the inside of it after pushing my I.D. aside. A very unconventional idea from the queen of predictability. Was I prepared for anything ahead? I’d just have to see.

“A cup of tea…and some food for my poor sick boyfriend,” I told Sharon, who was sitting at the podium with the register perched on top of it.

“Sure, Grace,” she smiled, quickly scanning my card and I scooted along to the backroom, quickly grabbing a teabag with green tea in it and filling it with nearly boiling water. Squirting some honey in the bottom, I waved to a couple of my friends who passed me by and went to mixing up his green tea. On my way out, I stuck 2 bagels into the toaster and grabbed a banana. I put cream cheese on my bagel and butter on Zac’s. I sighed. I was hoping he would feel better tomorrow.

Walking back up to my room, I unconsciously migrated to my secret corner…a secret corner I had not visited for 3 years. Walking down past my room, I went down another flight of stairs and stuck my key into the lock. Going onto the boys’ floor, I trembled. I remembered the last time I was here. I just happened to be a tiny bit drunk and completely tipsy. My memory was fuzzy, but I remembered my boyfriend at the time, Rich, throwing up in the middle of the hallway in the middle of the night, underneath a bright full moon. He tried to help me clean it up but was completely and utterly pissed at me, almost thinking that I had done it, and pretty much left me in the middle of the hallway. Zac, who was training to be an R.A. at the time, came to my rescue, but looked down on me firmly.

“What is going on here?”

“My boyfriend…” I pointed back to his door, knowing that if he leaned down and smelled my breath, I would be in huge trouble. God, was I really going to rat out my boyfriend who had treated me like crap and actually expected me to help him cheat on his finals?

Of course I was.

“Yes?” he looked down on me, holding a clipboard and I was wondering why he looked so damn professional. Mind you I was a little tipsy, and blonde, so I didn’t quite know what to expect out of this guy. His hair was a deep, dirty blonde and his brown eyes glared down at me, almost snubbing his nose at me from the superior stance he held.

“My boyfriend has alcohol in his room,” I said calmly, looking down at the floor, which was completely covered in Rich’s vomit, “I saw it.”

“And has he been consuming alcohol tonight?” Zac looked at me firmly, even though I didn’t know his name.

“Yes, but only off campus,” I looked at him firmly.

“Were you drinking as well?” he looked me deep into the eyes.

“No,” I lied softly, “He threw up in the middle of the hallway and I was trying to help him clean it up. He’s in his room.”

He immediately walked past me, then turned back, “What is your boyfriend’s name?”

I paused before I began, looking up at him. My boyfriend was a jerk anyways, “Richard Ashland.”

“Thank you,” he smiled deeply at me and walked past me. I brushed off my skirt and desperately needed a shower after that, but I thanked the strange R.A. in training and escorted myself carefully back into my room.

Rich, then, quickly transferred to another girl and another school before cursing me out and paying his fine for drinking and keeping alcohol in his dormitory.

At the beginning of the next year, R.A. Bustin-Bad-Guys came up to sit next to me while I was eating my spinach salad, “Hey…no hard feelings, right?”

I looked at him like I had never seen him before, but I suddenly remembered him vaguely in my slightly drunken stupor, “For what?”

“For busting your boyfriend,” he looked at me sincerely, “I prefer not to be Papa Zac. Makes me feel stiff…and old. Zac, by the way. Zac Hanson. I’m an R.A. now.”

“Uh…no hard feelings, he was a real jerk,” I looked at him softly. My hair was falling out of its ponytail and his face looked like he was even surprised that I was still attending this college.

“I let you off easy.”

“What do you mean?” I leaned over to him closely as he dug his fork into his chicken pasta.

“I knew you were drinking too.”

“You…you did?” I said softly.

“You had more puke on you than around you.”

“Yeah, Rich kinda threw up on me.”

“I didn’t want to bust you…besides, you didn’t have any proof,” he looked at me, “But you owe me.”

“What do I owe you?” I smiled in his general direction, only now realizing how handsome he really was.

“A date. Show up to my floor program on Friday.”

“What kind of floor program?”

“Movie night and pizza.”

“Sure,” I smiled softly, “Oh by the way, I’m Grace. Grace Landers,” and offered my hand to shake with his.

I went to that floor program…and then on a date…and 3 years later, we are still together and he is still an R.A.

Sneaking back onto the floor where that miserable occurrence had happened, I knew for a fact that Rich had moved back on campus since then and I quietly knocked on his door. Balancing the bagels and the tea was a feat, and then Rich answered the door.

He paused and looked at me almost like I was invisible in front of his door. He finally replied, “Grace? Is that you?”

“Yeah, present,” I smiled sheepishly.

“Well, come on in,” he smiled and I stepped into his tiny dorm room. It still had the surfboard in the corner, the one favorite I knew he cherished from his time surfing as a kid in California. It seemed like the room hadn’t changed very much, but I knew he had.

“So, are you still with Zac Hanson?”

“Yes, I am,” I smiled softly, “I’m surprised you’re even talking to me after I ratted you out.”

“Me too,” he ran his hand through his thick brown hair, “I mean…I was pretty pissed at you for a while there. But I realized you only did it for good reason.”

I bit my lip softly; well maybe I didn’t want to get caught, but I wasn’t going to just tell him that.

“I was a mess back then,” he looked at me, “I mean…I was bad off. I was heading down a bad path. I stopped drinking after that. I’ve been sober for almost 2 years now. Definitely a change for the better.”

“Really? That’s great!” I smiled at him, “I would hug you, but my hands are full with Zac’s food.”

“You guys are graduating tomorrow, right? I’m coming.”

“Yep, that’s awesome that you’re coming,” I smiled back in his direction. I knew he had quite a bit a ways to go to catch up and graduate because he transferred, but it was still really good that he was talking to me right now. Who would have thought?

“I better be going,” I sheepishly replied, “Zac’s not feeling too hot, so I got him some food.”

“Oh, well I better let you be on your way, I’ve got to get packing and head home for the summer.”

“Have a nice summer, Rich,” I said genuinely, getting up from his reminiscent bedroom and looked at the board again, smiling at what was on it…not noticing it when I first came in.

A cross. He really had changed…maybe it was my turn now.

*~*~*~*~*~*

“How are you feeling?” I asked him. We were both in our black bachelors robes and had already switched our tassels to the other side of our caps. Both of us were awaiting our families’ arrivals, and they already knew the big surprise in store, but we hadn’t seen each other throughout the whole ceremony. Embracing tightly, kissing lightly, and my nervous stature were making me quiver in my heels. He was so incredibly talented. Graduating with a 3D Media major and music minor…what a man.

“I’m feeling good, much better than yesterday,” he smiled at me, completely beaming. He had on 2 chords, and with my lonely zero number, I didn’t feel any less accomplished. I worked my ass off for 4 years and still did it. And now I was about to top it off.

“Zac, could I ask you something?”

“Shoot it at me,” he smiled and I saw our families coming in conjunct towards us. This was the time.

I grabbed his hand and walked up towards the stage where we were just walked previously to receive our degrees and smiled brightly.

“What are you doing, Grace?” he looked at me oddly. I searched my surroundings and all my friends around me were silently looking in anticipation.

Grabbing the microphone quickly in my hand, he looked at me like I had suddenly grown antlers. I’ve never been the biggest risk-taker in the bunch and well…he’s definitely called me predictable. I’ve played it safe too long.

“You know how you always told me to lighten up and go for it?”

“Yeah,” he looked at me with a slightly nervous look on his face.

“Hello everyone,” I spoke into the microphone and smiled brightly, “Congratulations to all the graduates today!” everybody clapped brightly. I knew Zac had no clue this was coming…I had even talked to the program designer and asked her to put this in the program so that everybody knew what was happening. Zac was infamous for never reading programs, even for his performances in choir. What a man I tell you, what a man.

“Now it is time for the end of our graduation program!” I smiled softly.

“Grace…what are you doing?” Zac grumbled into my ear, grabbing my arm tightly.

“Taking a risk, trust me,” I whispered back into his ear, then turned back around to the crowd, “Zac Hanson has already been introduced at this year’s valedictorian, but there is a lot more to him than that.”

“Grace…” he was beginning to get really angry with me but I tried to play it off the best I could.

“He is a very determined worker and student. He’s been R.T.A. for the past 3 years. He’s worked very hard to get to this point. He’s also very kind, thoughtful, and has held concerts in Cecilian Hall to donate money to local charities that many of your fellow sons and daughters have attended and participated in. You all should be very happy to have this man,” I gestured over to Zac, “as such a wonderful representation of our college life. Now there is one more thing that I would like to say.”

“Grace, I…” he was flabbergasted as all the people were now turned around and staring at him. He was looking towards the crowd with his cheeks slightly and he was very bashful when it came to publish appearances and taking credit for his doings. During this downtime, I got myself prepared and got down on one knee.

Like he was ever going to expect this.

I was still holding the microphone in my hand, shaking it lightly, as I began to talk again, “I love this man more than anything I could have ever imagined. He has been my friend, my confidante…my everything. I don’t want to ever let that kind of person go out of my life,” and then I grabbed his other hand to try to get him to turn around, “Zac…”

He turned around and opened his mouth, covering it quickly with his hand and that’s one thing I was never so surprised to see. He was never ashamed to cry.

“Will you marry me?” quickly putting the microphone down and pulling out a black box with the golden band inside, opening it lightning quick. I smiled. I picked up the microphone again and awaited his answer, letting his hand go.

“Grace…what…”

“We belong together,” I told him softly into the microphone and he just stared down at me, stepping closer to me, “I know this is worth it. I have not been a big risk-taker in my life, but I would gladly die for what we have. So…what do you say?”

He stood there, thinking, for at least 30 seconds, then quickly whispered, “Yes.”

“Could you say that again? I don’t think everybody heard you,” I stood up and the microphone sound became muffled between our bodies.

He took it quickly from my hand and yelled it in, “YES!”

Everybody immediately clapped and hollered and my tears were coming down my face as I shyly put the ring on his finger and kissed him. At that moment I knew…I had made my jump.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“I never expected that,” he laughed later after our family dinner. Immediately after graduation, he took me to Kay Jewelers and we decided together on the perfect engagement ring for myself. He felt bad that he didn’t get to ask me first, but I tried to tell him not to feel bad. It was meant to be this way. The jump, the leap of faith that I needed…was right in front of me and I didn’t even know it.

“I know you didn’t,” I laughed softly.

“Next time, I’m reading the program,” he laughed even harder as I reminisced at the program that was now on the wall, circled at the bottom: “Engagement Proposal: from Grace Landers to valedictorian Zachary Hanson.”

“So…what do you want to do for our senior trip?” I told him gently.

“I don’t know, why don’t you pick, risk-taker?” he rubbed my shoulder softly, brushing my long blonde hair out of the way.

“Why don’t we go to the beach? I’ve never been there,” I kissed him gently.

“The beach?” he looked at me, “Wouldn’t we have to plan ahead?”

“Nah, let’s just go.”

“To which one?”

I smiled and got up, immediately packing a bag of clothes out of my luggage from the dorm, “I don’t care. Let’s just go now. Right now before the old me comes back and puts a stop to it.”

“Wow…” Zac smiled, immediately wrapping his arms around my shoulders, “What sparked this over the moon change in you?”

“Well, everything’s changing all around us…and maybe I am finally ready to do it as well,” I looked back at him, giving him a quick peck on the lips. I knew after graduation nothing would be the same…and now, I was finally ready to go with the flow.

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