Albert walked onto the patio behind the house, since 
he had just been temporarily thrown out of Patty's house. He 
took a drag from the cigarette he held between his fingers. He 
never got thrown out of anyplace for smoking, except at Patty's 
house, since she tended to have a hissy fit ever time he took out 
his pack and started complaining about bad the smoke was for him as 
well as everybody else around him. He thought Patty was a great 
person, but could not stand her futurist beliefs which lead him always 
to the backyard like a dog put out at night. Sometimes, he just felt 
like telling her to leave him alone and let him do whatever he wants.
	He saw his best friend, David, Kelly's older brother, standing by 
the palm tree nearby. He held a bag of open potato chips, and was 
constantly shoving them into his mouth nonstop. Besides his present 
behavior, there was five extra pounds that hung around David's waistline. 
Albert could tell that he was not hungry but his eating and weight gain 
was not because his hunger increased but because he was also in love. 
David was the only person he knew whose way of being in love would 
include eating himself to death. He saw it several times before, but 
never this strong. He guessed that if he had the same habit, right 
now he would be as big as heavy as a hippo due to his love for 
David's sister.  "Lizzy?" Albert asked, naming the girl his friend 
was seeing once a week for the past few months, the supposed cause 
of his friend's eating habit.
	"Yeah," David answered. Lately he did not know what to 
make out of his relationship with Lizzy. . . .  Actually, David did 
not know what to make of it since he started dating her, somehow not 
being able to remember how they met or their first date. However, he 
remembered everything since then. And, he knew that their relationship 
was serious, how serious he did not know, but knew it was more serious 
than he got with any girl before her. It certainly was not as serious 
as his sister's relationship with his best friend. In a way he felt 
like his girlfriend and sister were forcing him to make it completely 
serious. One time his sister even told him that if he did not behave 
himself, then she would try to match make her friend and "Geek Boy," her 
ex-boyfriend, who she was somehow still friends with and whom she thought 
would make even a more perfect match for Lizzy, (although the well over 
a decade time difference was what broke up Kelly and Sam, and was 
something nobody on earth except their family could understand. He 
doubted that Kelly even told Albert yet about the family secret.)
	A few moments of silence passed between them, as Albert tried 
to think about how to tell his best friend about what he was going to 
do that night. "You really like her, don't you?" David only shrugged, 
not wanting to admit to being in love with a goody-goody like Elizabeth 
Grady.  "I really like your sister. I'm thinking about asking your 
sister to marry me," he sincerely lead up to.
	David looked at Albert as if his best friend had just said the 
sky was green and the earth was blue. It was impossible! He knew his 
little sister was a sweet girl, and if he was talking to another guy 
who wanted to marry her, he would be happy for her -- although he was 
happy for her now, if Albert was as sincere to her as his announcement 
to him. There was only one problem. . . . David could not believe that 
Albert Calavicci would ever get married . . . at least not in the near 
future. "Bingo, ya kiddin', right? 'Cause dat ain't goin' happen," 
David said, his Bronx accent strongly showing through due to his 
	"Maybe, it could," Albert stated. 
	David knew that Albert spent more time with Kelly for the 
past three months, since they started dating seriously, and knew how 
much they loved each other. But also knew Albert, since the two boys 
were fifteen. Over the eight years, he hung out a lot with Albert, 
playing basketball on the court on the corner, hanging out on the 
street corners near in David's neighborhood, going through Annapolis, 
being stationed at Pensacola. But, the single constant thread which ran 
through their friendship was chicks, their good and bad experiences with 
them, what they looked like, all sorts of issues like that. David could 
not picture his friend not being as free he always was, although he 
could pretty much swear that Albert did not go out with any other woman 
during the past few months other than Kelly. "But, not now!" Not when 
they were both still in their early-twenties, and had plenty of free 
days of youth left in them! "Marriage is very serious stuff. It's 
permanent, ya know."
	"I'm very serious about it," Albert stated. "Your sis is a 
really great girl."
	"Still, I know you, Bingo," David said, still doubting his 
friend would even propose to her. 
	"I don't think you really do, Radar."
	Albert took the ring out of the box in his pocket along with 
a piece of  red ribbon. He looked down at the ribbon, balled up in 
the palm of his hand. Kelly once explained to him that time was like 
a string of balled up yarn where the string is one's lifetime and 
can touch other parts of the lifetime, allowing one to time travel 
along the sting to any touching point. He felt like she was going to 
tell him something else, but they got interrupted and she never did 
get a chance to tell him what it was. He ended up dismissing it as 
meaning nothing important about either one of them, and therefore not 
important at all.
	As he looked down at the string again, he noticed that her 
theory could mean something other than time travel, meaning how the 
same people tend to run together at different points. He had met Kelly 
at two points in her life, once when they were kids and again in their 
present, with probably many other times in between. How was he to know 
that the spunky tomboy -- who threw the packed snowball, made more with 
slush and ice than snow, at him, the cold water hitting and running 
down his neck, the fist Christmas they spent together a long time ago 
in the city -- would grow into the sweet knockout he would, years later, 
want to marry?  Still, that's who she was, and that's what he wanted 
to do.
	He placed the ribbon through the finger-hole and tied the 
two ends together, before hanging the ring in a place on the tree 
where Kelly would obviously find it. He knew she would melt if he 
proposed to her in some romantic way -- and the thought of her melting 
into his arms that night, although he knew it would only be temporarily, 
was a good one for him, still not as big as his dreams.   
	He called everybody into the den, making Kelly stand next to 
him by the tree and the others sit around on the couch or the chairs 
in the room, with Chris sitting on the floor near his mother's legs. 
He tried hard not to gaze at Kelly's sexy figure masked with a tight, 
long, red skirt and an even tighter green sweater, finding it nearly 
impossible as she approached him. Once she was next to him, though, he 
found it easy to focus on her large, smiling brown eyes framed by her 
golden hair. 
	"Kelly, look at the tree," he told her. "There's something 
special there for you."
	She did what he told, but started looking under the tree and 
then in all places not obvious.  After endless moments of searching, 
her eyes finally rested on the ring, right next to where she was 
standing before. "Wow! It's beautiful, Sweetie," she exclaimed, awestruck 
by the golden diamond ring. She was about to put it on her left hand, 
when Albert took it away from her.
	He would have never guessed who the girl was who would finally 
capture his heart, and for a long time he did not see any benefit in 
having his heart captured by only one woman -- but that was before he 
fell head over heels in love for Kelly.  "Kelly Viaggio, will you marry 
me?" he asked, taking her hand.
	Like her brother earlier that day, she could not believe it. 
But, her heart truly believed it.  
	She also remembered how only a few months ago, her ex-boyfriend, 
who she had loved straight through high school, had also asked her to 
marry him. If she knew that she was going to get married within the 
year, she would have stacked her money on marrying the first guy that 
asked her, shy Sam Beckett, rather than outgoing, ladies man  Albert 
Calavicci. Still, the reason why Kelly had broken up with Sam was 
because she was in love with Albert ever since Sam and her moved away 
from each other. 
	She knew exactly what to do. "Oh, Albert! I will!" she said, 
bracing her arms around him, moving her body tightly into his, and 
firmly kissing him on his lips.