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The Road To Somewhere
Chapter 3

September 2001

"Elise?" Chris asked quietly. The two were out for a nice dinner after a long week of work. Elise looked up from her plate.

"Yeah?" She smiled. He looked nervous. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing. I just have a question," He answered and reached into his pocket. Chris pulled out a small black box. "Elise I love you so much," He opened the box and revealed a small silver diamond ring. "I never expected what I felt when you walked into my office that morning for the interview. You've been a blessing in disguise with everything; in the office and outside of the office. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"

"I … wow," Elise paused. "Yes." She answered quietly. Chris moved his chair closer to her and reached for her left hand. They didn't speak as he slipped the silver ring onto her finger. "I wasn't expecting this." Elise sighed.

Chris squeezed her hand. He leaned over and kissed her cheek. Elise quietly admired the ring and smiled when she looked over at him.

"I love you." Chris said.

"I love you too." They would never get tired of hearing the other say that. Elise knew she hadn't felt this way about anyone since Michael and it had been a long road for her to get to this point. But it was going to be worth it in the end; a lifetime with Chris.


October 2001

"So are you ready to meet my Mom and sisters?" Chris asked. The two were in Pennsylvania for a week long vacation and for Elise to meet his family. Elise and he stood on the front porch of his Mom's house waiting for someone to answer.

"They aren't all going to be here are they?" Elise asked. Her nerves increased tenfold at the thought of that.

"Don't you see the cars?" He asked as the door opened. Chris' youngest sister was the one who opened the door. "Taylor!" Chris shouted as she launched herself into his arms. Chris laughed as she kissed his cheeks. "How are you munchkin?"

"Good." The eight-year old answered. She smiled at Elise who was now behind Chris.

"Tay, this is Elise." Chris introduced, "Elise this is my little sister, Taylor."

"Hi Elise," Taylor reached out to give her a hug.

"Hi." Elise said and returned the hug. Chris set his little sister down just as his Mom appeared in the doorway. Chris gave her a hug and kissed her cheek.

"I've missed you." He said.

"Missed you too Chris. Now is this Elise?" She asked curiously.

"Yes." Chris answered with a smile. He reached for Elise's hand and she gladly took his. Chris squeezed her hand before dropping it.

"Welcome to the family." Beverly smiled. "Now come in so you can meet everyone else." Elise hesitated and looked back at Chris.

"I'm right behind you." He said reassuringly. Elise followed Chris' Mom inside. "So what have you been doing in school Taylor?" Chris asked his little sister as the two of them walked inside.


The week spent in Pennsylvania went by really fast and before the two knew it they were landing in Wisconsin to spend some time with her parents. It was Chris' turn to meet the folks. As they stepped out of the terminal Elise looked around for her parents.

"They're over there Chris." Elise waved over to where her parents were standing. Chris followed with both of their carry-on's. "Hi Mom. Dad." Elise gave both of them hugs and a kiss on the cheek. "This is Chris."

"It's nice to meet you finally." Chris said as he shook her Dad's hand. They talked for a few minutes while they waited for their bags to come from baggage claim.

"So have you guys set a date yet?" Elise's Mom asked as they walked out to their car.

"We were thinking the end of May." Elise answered. She pulled her jacket around her tighter. Chris helped her Dad put the bags in the trunk and then they all got in.

"That'll be nice." Her Mom stated. "Do you know where at yet?"

"No. We haven't gotten that far into detail yet. We may start after Thanksgiving." Elise answered. She looked over at Chris and smiled. Chris put his hand out for her to take which she did. "I love you." She mouthed.


Elise walked into her parent's living room and watched Chris for a minute. Her parents were at work for the day and the two of them were left at their house to fend for themselves.

"Chris," Elise paused and waited for him to look up from where he was reading. She was standing a few feet in front of him. "Would you mind …" Elise bit her lower lip, "Going with me to visit Michael?"

"Do you want me to go?" Chris set the book down on the coffee table. Elise nodded. She watched Chris stand up. "Okay." He smiled. Chris walked over to her; he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her.

"I haven't been since his funeral." She stated quietly. Chris nodded understandingly.

Chris drove, while Elise directed him to the cemetery in West Allis. Twenty minutes later Chris parked the car and the two of them got out. Chris allowed Elise to lead them to the gravesite; he gave her the space she needed. She stopped in front of the marble headstone. Chris stood a few feet back and watched her. Michael Aaron Schaefer…

"Hey Michael …" Elise said softly as her voice trailed off. She sat down on the grass and pulled her knees up. Elise's hand reached out to touch the engraved M. "Sorry I haven't been by … it's just hard."

She sighed, "I moved to Florida. Just like we were going to do; Jon and Kacie moved too. I got another job. It's for a clothing line, I get to design. Michael … you would have loved it in Florida." Elise was quiet for another minute.

"I'm getting married," She started. "You'd like him. Michael, he's just like you. We're thinking May will be nice for the ceremony, but nothing is set in stone." Chris continued to watch as she talked quietly. Elise stood when she was done and waved Chris over.

He walked over and she wrapped her arms around him. Elise rested her head on his chest and they stood there, together, with their arms wrapped around each other; over Michael's grave.

"I'll take care of her Michael," Chris said to himself. "I promise."


January 2002

Chris and Elise had set the date of the wedding ceremony to be May 30th. They had reserved a small chapel outside of Orlando for the ceremony and the reception was going to be held at a hall nearby. On this day they were out looking at invitations and cakes.

"So what do you think about this paper?" Elise asked as she pointed to an off-white shade. "I like this Chris."

"It's nice." He nodded as he continued to flip through one of the many books. "What colors would we use with that?"

"Black or a dark gold font would work nice with that." Elise answered. The designer in her was kicking in. Chris nodded. "Miss.?"

"Yes?" The lady who worked there asked.

"What color font would you suggest with this paper? And do you have a choice of fonts we can pick from?" Elise asked.

"Any color would work with that, since it is off-white." She suggested, "The fonts are in this book. We can do anything you want." She set the font book down in front of Elise and Chris. "I would suggest picking out what you want it to say first and then try it out with the different fonts."

"Okay, thanks." Elise nodded. They looked through the books of poems, sayings, and other things for a few minutes. The two would read aloud the ones that they liked to each other.

"What do you think about this Elise?" Chris asked and read, "'Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one's house, it would be utterly scorned.' It's from Song of Solomon."

"That's cool." Elise stated, "I really like that. Keep it in mind." The two were at the shop for another hour before deciding on the invitation and RSVP card. After, they went to a local caterers shop to check out cakes.


By late February the invitations had come in, and been sent out. Chris and Elise had picked out their cake, and had moved on to other important things for their big day. Elise had been busy designing her dress and picking out the material for it, while Chris stayed busy with *N Sync and the clothing line.

Before they knew it their day would be there.


May 2002

"What?" Elise asked with a laugh. She was content just sitting on the couch in her apartment watching TV. Chris was standing in front of her with a pout gracing his face.

"Let's do something." Chris stated.

"Like what?" Elise asked curiously. Chris pulled out a handkerchief from his back pocket and waved it in front of her face. Elise raised an eyebrow.

"You trust me right?" He asked.

"Of course. Now what are we doing?" She asked as he tied the piece of cloth around her eyes. Chris pulled her off the couch and led her outside to his car.

"Just trust me." Chris helped her into the passenger seat. He kissed her cheek when she was all buckled in. It was a thirty minute drive before they pulled up to their destination just out side of Orlando.

"Are we there?" Elise wondered. Chris shut the car off and walked around to help her out. After he shut the door, Chris walked her to a certain spot in front of a house.

"Welcome home." He pulled the blindfold off. Elise squinted and waited for her eyes to adjust.

"Really?" Elise asked in awe of the home before her. It was a moderate sized brick two-story home. "It's beautiful. Can we go in?"

"Of course." Chris answered. He took her hand and led her up the steps of the front porch. Chris unlocked the front door and led her inside.

Elise smiled at the site of the staircase right in front of her, with its oak rail and white spindle's. Chris pulled her towards the living room, towards the left of the foyer. Elise dropped his hand and walked over to the mantle on the fireplace. It showed off the same wood as the staircase railing, and its bricks went up to the ceiling.

"I love it," Elise smiled when she was the picture of the two of them already placed on the mantle. "Can we move in after we get married?"

"Yeah." Chris nodded.

On either side of the fireplace was a doorway that led into the family room. Elise walked through the doorway, as the flooring changed from hard wood to ivory colored carpeting. There was another fireplace, this time the mantle was white, to her left. And to Elise's right was a built-in entertainment center.

Elise continued on through that room, and walked out another doorway into the breakfast area. This small room had a door out to the sunroom as well as the covered patio.

"The garage and laundry room are that way." Chris pointed in front of where they were standing, "And then there is a bathroom and closet there." He pointed to the hall that led back towards the front door.

Elise walked through the breakfast room and into the kitchen. The kitchen cabinets were oak with a green marble countertop. Elise looked at the built-in appliances and black stove top, before walking into what would be the dining room and back into the foyer.

"This is so nice." Elise gushed as she walked towards the stairs. They walked up the stairs and Chris showed her three bedrooms and a bathroom.

"And this," He paused as he opened another door, "Is going to be our room." Elise smiled seeing that the room was already furnished. The wood furniture was also oak, with a deep blue bedspread on the bed, and carpeting to match.

"I love it." Elise smiled and kissed him. "The whole house … I just don't know what to say."

"I'm glad that you like it." Chris kissed her again. "Are you hungry? I made some sandwiches. They are in the fridge."

"Sure." Elise followed him out of the room and back downstairs, "Let's eat in the sunroom." Chris got the food out of the kitchen and met up with Elise in the sunroom. They sat down on the ground and looked out into the backyard.

"I was thinking we could use what furniture we already have, or look for new stuff. It's up to you." Chris said. Elise nodded. "Next week … it's come up so fast."

"I know." Elise stated. "It's going to be so cool though." They were quiet for a few minutes as they ate.

"I was thinking …" Chris started, "I would like to try and have kids right away."

"Really?" Elise sounded shocked, "You don't want to wait?"

"No." Chris started, "Since we are going to be taking a break in a few months, maybe we could try then." He shrugged.

"Okay." Elise nodded.