Rebekka Zagami, Grade 12, Gympie State High School
Dakota Taylor walked into the Hall of Griffith University and her breath still caught. She’s been here for nearly 4 years, and still, walking back into the hall after going home for the last break of the year, made her catch her breath. Dakota sighed as she settled into her chair for the last month of her Business Degree. A pair of legs clad in denim jeans appeared out of corner of her eye. A guy sat in the chair beside her and set his books down. “Hi,” he said, “how are you?” He smiled at Dakota and she smiled back.
“I'm good thanks,” she replied, with her usual bush lilt to her words, “how about you?”
The guy grinned mischievously and said, “Well now ma’am, much better since I've met you.” He smiled again and Dakota had the impression that she was being laughed at.
She shook her head at his antics and said, “My name is Dakota. Do I get to know yours or are you just going to keep laughing at me?” she asked this last statement with a devilish grin on her face.
Rick looked at the impish look on Dakota’s face and grinned in return. “scuse my manners, name’s Rick. It’s a pleasure to meet you Dakota.” She nodded her head in recognition of his introduction and with that lowered her head to get on with her work. Rick looked at her with a look mix of surprise and admiration. Most girls he knew would have ignored their work completely to chat with him in the hope of getting a date. This girl had been polite, but had, in essence, put him in his place and not let him distract her from her work.
Rick sat beside Dakota for the rest of the term. They talked outside of class and were inseparable after only a week. They went out on the weekends, Rick showed Dakota the sights of a city she was a foreigner to. In return, Dakota took Rick home to meet her parents. Her parents fell in love with Rick immediately. This boy who lit up their daughter with only a simple smile and who made her smile constantly was a blessing in their eyes. Dakota’s father took Rick aside on the last day they were there and openly gave him his permission to be with his daughter. Rick smiled and thanked him genuinely.
2 weeks after Dakota and Rick sat their final exams, they celebrated receiving their qualifications. To celebrate Rick took Dakota out to tea. As she sat down, Dakota noticed a single white rose – her favourite – sitting on the table. To the rose there was a bow tied to the stem, on the end of the bow something caught Dakota’s eye. As she picked it up to inspect it she looked up and found Rick on his knees. As she undid the ribbon he asked, “Dakota...will you marry me?”Dakota replied, “Yes. Yes. YES!”