Common Interests
By Mandy

Chapter 1

“Wow you can really dance!” Patrick complimented Velma when the song ended and they stopped dancing. Velma blushed slightly. She kicked the ground with her shoe. “Thanks,” she said in a low tone. “Would you like to sit down?” Patrick asked referring to the table where the rest of the gang was already sitting down at. “Sure,” Velma answered following him back to the table.

“There’s nothin’ Scoob and I like better after solving a mystery then getting some grub”, Shaggy smiled as the waitress came by with their food. Shaggy and Scooby dug right in and Daphne giggled at the sight of them shoveling food into their mouths.

Velma seemed almost a little embarrassed by her friends’ actions but she didn’t show it. Daphne could tell an awkward silence was building up again so she tried to get a conversation started. “So, Patrick where do you live?” Daphne asked. “Yes,” Velma spoke wanting to know herself. “Not too far from the museum, only 3 blocks. I live in a house, it’s not huge but I’ve got enough room,” Patrick answered. “Sounds nice,” Velma replied. “It is,” Patrick said. 

A slow song started to play and Velma started to get a little nervous. She really wished Patrick would ask her to dance but at the same time she almost dreaded it. She knew if he did all eyes would be on the two of them. But just then Patrick did ask her to dance. “Uh.. uh.. sure,” Velma said. All thoughts of declining his offer went out the window when he stood up and outstretched his arm. Instinctively she put her hand in his and stood up. He led her out to dance floor where dozens of other couples were already gathered. Velma felt like a teenage girl going to her first dance and from the look of Patrick he was feeling the same way.

He cautiously placed his hands on her hips and she slowly put her arms up onto his shoulders. Velma could feel the eyes of the gang watching the two but she tried not to think about that and just enjoy the moment. She looked into Patrick’s eyes and he smiled a shy smile. She smiled back as they twirled around the floor. 

“I really had a great time tonight. I’m glad I got to go out with the real you,” Patrick said. “That wasn’t me. Actually I don’t think it could be anyone. I can’t see how anyone could function in an outfit like that,” Velma replied referring to the red outfit Daphne had insisted she wear. Patrick smiled. The song ended and the two just sort of stood there for a second before returning back to their seats.

“Ready to go gang?” Fred asked a few minutes later. It had been a long day and they all needed some sleep. Everyone stood up and headed out to the Mystery Machine parked on the side of the club. “After you,” Patrick said letting Velma climb in first. Shaggy and Scooby climbed into the back as well.

Shaggy sat on the bench next to Velma and Patrick pushing the two uncomfortably close. Velma could feel her face turning as red as her skirt as she looked at Shaggy with a very weird expression on her face. “You ok Velms?” Shaggy asked when he noticed her staring at him. “I’m fine. Why do I look like I’m not ok?” she asked him. “No. It’s just. Oh never mind,” Shaggy answered. They pulled up to Patrick’s house within 10 minutes. 

Velma and everyone else looked out at it. A gate enclosed the front yard and a screen porch hid the front door. “Velma, will you walk with me?” Patrick asked. Velma looked up at Daphne. As if to ask what should she do? “Go,” mouthed Daphne making sure no one saw her say this. Velma followed Patrick out of the Mystery Machine and through the front gate. 

Fred was nearly in Daphne’s lap trying to get a good view. “Fred! Give them some privacy”, Daphne scolded him. She turned around and found Shaggy and Scooby directly in her face. “You too”, she added. Scooby whimpered and went to the back of the Mystery Machine, Shaggy followed him, and Fred returned to his seat. “Thank you,” Daphne replied. 

Patrick opened up the porch door and walked through. Velma followed. She looked around at the screened in porch. A bench sat on the opposite wall and a few shelves on the wall contained some books and a few other nick knacks. Just before he unlocked the front door he turned back to face Velma. 

He looked at her nervously not sure what to do. He started to lean in, slowly. He got closer and closer and Velma’s heart started pounding so loudly she was afraid he would hear it. His heart pounded just as hard as he finally leaned in faster and placed a kiss on her lips. He immediately pulled away unsure of her reaction. Should he have asked her if would be ok to kiss her? Velma’s eyes were closed the moment his lips met hers and she opened them again.

An awkward silenced followed it. They just stared into each other’s eyes until Patrick spoke. “I.. I wanted to do that all night,” Patrick confessed. “Maybe I should have asked you first…” he added. “No. I liked it. I figured that was the reason you wanted me to walk you in. I kind of figured you’d be able to find your way in and that there was another reason,” Velma told him. 

“And I wanted to ask you something else,” Patrick said. “Sure anything,” Velma replied. “It’s a shame the exhibit got destroyed but we did get the costumes back in our possession and I was thinking, hoping, you’d want to work with me and get the exhibit back open,” Patrick told her. “It was a horrible thing. And I’d love to reopen it. But it took 2 years to complete it the first time,” Velma reminded him.

“I’m going to hire some people to come help. We’ll have it up and running within a month. Well that’s the way I’ve planned it,” Patrick told her. “Sounds like a plan,” Velma said with a grin. Patrick loved her smiles. She always smiled with her whole heart, from ear to ear. “I’ll see you tomorrow then?” Patrick asked. “Sure will,” Velma answered. “Around 10 a.m.?” Patrick suggested. “I’ll be there,” Velma said. 

“Goodbye Patrick.” “Bye Velma.” Velma walked to the screen porch door and opened it. She gave one more glance over her shoulder before she walked down the steps and through the gate. She closed it behind her. Shaggy opened up the van door and she climbed in. Shaggy closed it after her and Fred took off towards the headquarters. Velma sat down and let out a sigh. Tonight had been incredible and now she had the chance to work alongside Patrick.

When they reached headquarters, they all headed inside. Fred and Shaggy headed to their rooms. Velma was about to head into hers when Daphne pulled her aside. “So.. what happened?” she asked. Then she stopped herself. “Oh Velma, force of habit I’m sorry. If you want to keep it to yourself its ok,” Daphne apologized. “No, it’s ok. I’ve actually been dying to tell someone,” Velma said. She walked to the couch and sat down, Daphne sat down next to her. 

“Well we walked into the screened in porch and he was about to open the door but then he turned around to look at me. And I kind of knew it was coming but nothing could have prepared me for it. He kissed me! It was so short but gosh I’ll never forget it. He said he’d wanted to do that all night. Poor guy was so nervous; I just hope he didn’t hear my heart beating,” Velma told her friend. Daphne smiled. “Velms got herself a boyfriend!” “Well not yet. I mean it’s not really official or anything,” Velma told her.

“He also asked me to work with him in restoring the monster exhibit. He hopes to have it open again in a month,” Velma added. “That will give you two a chance to really get to know one another,” Daphne told her. Velma nodded. “I really like him Daphne. I just hope I don’t screw it up somehow,” Velma said. “How would you screw it up?” Daphne asked. “Well I just don’t have a lot of experience in this department; unlike you. You had the boys practically falling over you from the sand box,” Velma answered. “You’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it. And remember just be yourself. That’s who he likes. And I’m sure you two will have plenty of scientific things to talk about,” Daphne told her. 

“I’m sure you’re right. I’d better get to bed though. I have to be at the museum at 10,” Velma said. “Night Velma,” Daphne said as she watched her friend head to her room. Daphne headed to her room too. The next morning Velma was one of the first people awake. She put on her robe and walked into the kitchen to pour herself some cereal.

Shaggy and Scooby were already seated at the table inhaling their breakfast. “Morning Velma,” Shaggy spoke when she sat down with her bowl, in the seat next to him. “Rorning Relma!” Scooby replied. “Morning guys, did you leave anything for Fred and Daphne?” Velma asked jokingly. Shaggy’s eyes grew big. “Uh sure we did, right Scoob?” he asked his pal. “Ruh uh” Scooby agreed. Velma shook her head. She finished her cereal and was putting the bowl in the dishwasher when she saw Fred and Daphne walking into the kitchen. 

“Hope you two aren’t hungry,” Velma said. She walked back towards her room, going into the door next to it to take a shower. “What did she mean by that?” Fred asked. Daphne pointed to the table. It was full of plates stacked upon plates. Shaggy quickly piled them all up and stuffed them in the dishwasher. “See you later,” he called as he and Scooby rushed out. Daphne opened up a cabinet. “There’s some cereal left,” she said handing Fred a box. He took out a few bowls from the cabinet and the milk from the fridge. 

A half an hour later Velma came out the back, her hair neatly combed, and she her normal sweater and skirt. “Ready to go Velma?” Fred asked her. “I sure am. And you know you don’t have to wait for me or anything,” Velma told him. “Velma, you don’t have to worry. I’m not your father,” he replied. “Oh don’t even mention my dad. I was never on any real dates; one of the reasons was him. He wanted to meet my dates and insisted on knowing everything. I found it easier just to not go out on any,” Velma said.

Velma followed Fred out to the Mystery Machine and climbed into the passenger seat. Silence filled the entire ride to the museum. But Velma did thank him for the ride when she climbed out. She walked up the steps to the museum. She was surprised to see Patrick waiting at the front desk. “Morning,” he said. “Good morning,” Velma replied with a smile. 

“Are the workers here yet?” Velma asked. “No. They should be here around 10:30,” he answered. “I just figured we’d be able to do some of it alone before they got here,” Patrick added. He led the way to the room where the exhibit had once been. “Wow this room seems so bare,” Velma said looking around. Except for dozens of boxes in the center of the room the room was empty. “The glass cases arrived,” Patrick said pointing to a dozen tall boxes located in the middle. 

Velma walked up to one of the smaller boxes and took the tape off of it. She opened it up. She couldn’t see anything except packing peanuts. “May I?” she asked. Patrick nodded. She pulled out the packing peanuts and lifted the costume of the Black Knight Ghost out. Holding it reminded her of the battle they had recently fought. 

She placed it back down. “How did you figure on setting up the exhibit?” she asked. “Well I was hoping to put it back the same way it was unless you had something else in mind,” Patrick answered. Velma walked to the other side of the room, next to one of the windows. “I was thinking of changing them around. Placing them in different places than they were in the beginning,” Velma suggested. But then quickly added, “But it is your museum.”

“No, I like that idea. Gives people a different view,” Patrick said as he walked around the room. Velma could tell he was already planning out which exhibits to put where. Velma was happy he liked her idea. She started unpacking some more of the costumes and was still in the process of doing so when the workers arrived. They started to unload the glass cases and Patrick told them where to place them. 

Velma was squatting down next to a few boxes putting together the costumes of the Skeleton Men when she noticed Patrick right next to her. She jumped a little having not realized he was there. “I’m sorry did I frighten you?” Patrick asked standing up. “Oh no. I didn’t know you were there. Want to help me with these?” she asked him. “Yeah,” Patrick answered. He picked up one of the completed skeleton men and walked over to the display case they were going to be put in. Velma finished the second one and followed Patrick. “I like it better this way,” Velma said. “I do too,” Patrick agreed. 

By 6 o’clock that evening they had completely finished two exhibits. It seemed like they had been working all day and had barely done anything. But the condition the costumes came back in weren’t in the best condition. So they had actually done a lot. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” Velma said as she walked out of the building. She wondered if he’d kiss her again.

She saw the Mystery Machine pulling up. “I had fun today,” he replied. He walked her down to the van and placed a peck on her cheek. She started blushing immediately because everyone had seen it. Velma climbed in and gave one last glance to Patrick before she shut the door and Fred drove off.

She couldn’t believe how much fun she had had that day. And that was just the first day. She and Patrick had so much to talk about. She could talk about things the rest of the gang would be clueless about. She had no idea what was coming over her. She had never felt this way about anyone before. It was more than just a crush. 

When they arrived back at home, Velma headed to the kitchen. She didn’t feel tired, though it was still early. Shaggy went out for a walk with Scooby, Daphne sat on the couch reading her new romance novel, and Fred was changing the oil on the Mystery Machine. Velma helped herself to some leftover chicken and fries, from the night before, and warmed it up in the microwave. She sat down at the table and leafed through a science magazine on the table. 

She hoped the remainder of the month went as well as that day had gone. She hoped it would get better with each passing day. Maybe she could even go to a science fair with him. The gang didn’t find too much interest in it and she found herself going alone a lot of the time. Shaggy tried to be a good friend and go with her but he got kicked out for eating the experiments. 

She finished her food and then headed to her room. She wasn’t sleepy but she could use this time to think. She took out her sketch pad and a pencil and worked on some more sketch exhibits to show Patrick in the morning. She had a lot of ideas floating through her head and she needed to put them down on paper.

Chapter 2

Velma woke up the next morning with the sun in her eyes. It poured in through her window and filled the room with light and warmth. She got out of bed and went to sit at her armoire. She opened up a couple of drawers and pulled out a skirt and a sweater, and some socks. Her brush lay on the nightstand next to her bed. She got dressed and sat on the edge of the bed, reaching for her brush. 

She brushed her hair and put on her socks. Her shoes sat next to her bed on the floor as they usually did. She got up and went to take a look at herself in the mirror. What did Patrick see in her? She was so plain and predictable. Maybe he saw more potential in her then she herself did. She finished getting ready before heading out to the living room area. 

The rest of the gang, minus Scooby, was already sitting on the couch. Velma heard a noise coming from the kitchen and saw Scooby’s head pop up behind the open fridge. “Morning Velma,” Shaggy said seeing her walking into the room. Fred and Daphne followed in unison. “Morning gang,” Velma replied back. “Can I ask you all a question?” she asked. 

“Sure,” Fred answered. “Am I too predictable?” Velma asked. The gang exchanged glances. “Why do you ask?” Daphne asked. “Are you worried about Patrick again?” Velma nodded her head. “Come on. Its time for a girl talk,” Daphne said leading her friend outside. Once they were outside Daphne turned to Velma. “What’s going on?” she asked. “I took a look at myself in the mirror today. And I mean a really good one. And I realized I’m so predictable. I have everything so neat and orderly. I even put my shoes in the same place every night.”

“Is that such a bad thing?” Daphne asked. “I don’t know. It’s just I like the way I am. I’ve never had any reason to change but now that Patrick’s come along I wonder what he sees in me that’s so wonderful. When I look in the mirror all I see is plain old me,” Velma answered. “Patrick likes you for you. He doesn’t want you to change or be someone you’re not. You’re our Velma and we love you the way you are. Patrick’s a special guy and he isn’t the type you need to impress. Just be yourself and everything will be fine. Trust me,” Daphne told her.

“Thanks Daph,” Velma said giving her friend a hug. “You’d better get going,” Daphne told her. Velma lifted Daphne’s arm and looked at her watch. “Oh my gosh! I have to be there in 10 minutes!” Velma gasped. She ran back into the building, and Shaggy drove her over to the museum. “Can you be back here at 6?” she asked when they arrived at the museum. “Sure thing,” Shaggy said before driving off. 

Velma rushed into the building and walked into the exhibit room. “Ahh there you are,” Patrick said spotting her. “Which exhibits are we working on today?” he asked her. “Well… I… I drew up some drawings last night when I got home. I was thinking along the lines of this for the Black Knight Ghost,” Velma said opening up her notepad and showing Patrick the picture. She flipped to another page. “And this one for the 10,000 Volt Ghost.”

Patrick studied the pictures for a few minutes. “I like them. I like them a lot. I didn’t think to do them like this. Good work,” he told her. Velma smiled; her work was appreciated as usual. “I thought to put the Black Knight right here. At the entrance,” Patrick showed her standing in the place where the exhibit case would go. “And then the 10,000 Volt Ghost over here by the outlet. I’ve rigged it so it lights up even brighter now,” Patrick told her. “I just…” he started to say.

“You used the electromagnetic radiation to focus more energy into the current which sends it into the tungsten filament. Then the current is focused into the middle of the bulb where light is given off. And if done correctly will result in a brighter light,” Velma finished for him. Patrick looked at her with fascination. “That’s exactly correct,” he complimented. “It’s nice to have someone here who knows what I’m talking about,” he told her. “I know exactly what you mean. The gang just doesn’t get it,” Velma agreed. 

“You know you look really cute when you’re talking in science lingo,” Patrick said walking up closer to her. Velma giggled at the compliment. “Thank you,” she replied. 
“I don’t even feel like working today,” Velma told him. “So let’s not,” Patrick suggested. “But the exhibit.. we have a deadline,” Velma reminded him. “One day won’t set us back. I want us to spend the day together going around town and I have a surprise planned for tonight,” Patrick said. “But Shaggy will be here at 6 to pick me up,” Velma told him. “No he won’t. The gang knows about my plan. I told them I’d have you home at a decent hour tonight,” Patrick spoke. 

“This is very spontaneous,” Velma replied. “That’s the fun of it,” Patrick told her. “Come on. My car’s out back.” Velma followed Patrick out the back door and into the parking garage. Patrick’s car was a white Mitsubishi Eclipse. Patrick pressed a button on his key chain and the doors unlocked. Velma climbed into the passenger side as Patrick got behind the wheel. He backed the car out of the parking space. As he did Velma noticed the plaque that read Patrick Wisely Museum Curator. “So where are we off too? Or is that a secret too?” Velma asked. 

“No. Right now I don’t really have a destination in mind. Thought we’d see where we ended up,” Patrick answered. They exited the garage and headed down the road, not sure where it would take them. Velma liked this side of Patrick. That he could be cool and fun and spontaneous. They continued on for awhile until it was just about noon. Velma spotted a little diner on her side of the road and suggested they stop to eat. Patrick pulled into the diner’s parking lot and parked right outside the building. 

He and Velma proceeded to walk into the building. They were greeted by a waitress. “You two can have a seat anywhere,” she replied. Velma took a good look around. Only a few other booths were occupied by people. The rest were empty. “How about here?” Velma suggested sliding into a booth right next to the door. “Ok,” Patrick said sliding in the other side. “You know Patrick I never knew there was this side of you before. I kind of like it,” Velma told him. “I have to tell you I’m not usually like this. I like things in a certain order. But you make me feel different, Velma. You make me feel like I could do anything,” Patrick said. 

“I’m the same way. I have everything in a neat order back at home. But I thought maybe I was just too predictable and just too plain. I really don’t see what you see in me. I’ve had lots of other guys come around, ok well not a lot but a few. And they’ve never stayed very long and I also figured it was something I did wrong. Something I did to scare them away. So I tried to avoid dating and men altogether. But now that I’ve met you, my feelings are changing. I still feel weird about all this though,” Velma told him.

“But see that’s why I like you. All the other girls I’ve known were always trying to impress me. Trying to show me how much possessions they owned. How expensive their cars were, what neighborhood they were from. But you, you don’t do any of that. You’re just Velma, there’s no secrets, and I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Patrick replied. “You don’t know what it means for me to hear you say that. I spent the whole morning sulking in my room thinking I wasn’t good enough for you. That I.. I was just too ordinary for you,” Velma spoke.

She felt slightly embarrassed after hearing herself speak those words. She didn’t want him to feel sorry for her. “I was worried I wasn’t good enough for you,” Patrick replied. “I thought, why would she be interested in me, I’m just some museum curator. And her life is filled with adventure and intrigue,” he added. “But you have a brilliant mind. It’s something we have in common and we’ll never run of things to say. Unless it gets awkward again,” Velma said. “Well we just have to make sure it doesn’t,” Patrick said placing his hand on hers, which rested on the table. The waitress came by then to take their order. “How’s your grilled cheese?” Patrick asked.

“I don’t like to brag but it could win a blue ribbon,” the waitress told him. “Sounds good, I’ll have that,” Patrick said. “And for you?” the waitress asked Velma. “I’ll have the same. And a chocolate milkshake please,” she answered. “Make that two chocolate milkshakes,” Patrick said. “I’ll be back with your order shortly,” the waitress said walking away.
“Do you think we’ll be done with the exhibit in time?” Velma asked. “We’re getting allot done and if we keep it up we might even be able to reopen it sooner,” Patrick answered. “I’ve even started publicity. I’ve ordered some posters and banners and told the newspaper so I’m sure we’ll have plenty of coverage,” he added. “I’ve also planned a benefit party for that evening. Proceeds will go to renovating some more parts of the museum.”

“Here ya go,” the waitress said as she placed their food and shakes in front of them. “Enjoy,” she muttered before going to tend to other customers. Velma was so hungry she wanted to dig right in but remembering her manners she slowly took a bite. She opened up her straw and stuck it in her milkshake. She took a sip but the shake was so thick she had to purse her lips to be able to get any out. Patrick looked at her and Velma looked at him and she burst out into laughter. How silly she must look! “I might have to wait for that to melt a little,” she spoke. She poured some ketchup on her plate and dipped a french fry in it. 

By the time she was finished with her food and her shake, which after a few minutes had melted slightly, it was almost 1 o’clock. “Velma, do you want to go to a movie?” Patrick asked her as they were paying their check. “Sounds like a plan to me,” Velma answered. She handed him 5 dollars to go along with the bill. Patrick had insisted on paying for it himself but she wouldn’t let him. She agreed to let him pay for the movie though. 

The Coolsville Theater was a 20 minute drive from where they had stopped and when they arrived they parked in the parking lot before walking into the building. The movies playing that day were posted above on a screen. “How about The Revenge? A friend of mine told me it’s a good date movie because..,” he started to say but stopped in mid-sentence. “Because why?” Velma asked. “Oh he just said his girlfriend really enjoyed it,” Patrick said. “The Revenge it is,” Velma replied.

They got in the short line and within 5 min. the line had almost reached outside. “What movie?” asked the teller. “Two for The Revenge,” Patrick said handing the woman money. The machine popped up two tickets and she handed them to him. “Want to get some popcorn?” Patrick asked her. “I’m going to freshen up. Why don’t you get some popcorn and drinks and I’ll be right back,” Velma suggested. 

“Ok,” Patrick said. Velma headed towards the bathroom while Patrick got into the refreshment line. Once in the bathroom, Velma walked up to one of the sinks and looked into the mirrors above it. She smoothed her hair down and straightened her outfit. “Velma?” questioned a voice. Velma spun around and was face to face with Patricia Darcy. Patricia and Velma went way back. They had gone to high school together and though the girls occasionally talked, they hadn’t really become friends.

“Hi Patricia,” Velma said. “Who are you here with? Not alone I hope. But that would be kind of pathetic,” Patricia asked. Velma scowled at her. Same old Patricia, she never changed. “No, I’m no a date,” Velma said matter-of-factly. “With who? Anyone I would know?” Patricia asked. “Patrick Wisely, the Coolsonian Museum Curator,” Velma answered. 

“Oh. Well I mustn’t keep my date waiting. We’re going to see Love in the Summer. Nice to see you again Velma. Bye,” Patricia said walking out of the bathroom. “I’m sure you were really happy to see me,” Velma replied after she was gone. She composed herself and headed out to meet Patrick. She spotted him paying for the refreshments and she went to help him. “I’ll get the drinks,” Velma said. “I got a large popcorn. I hope that’s ok,” he replied. “That’s fine. I’m not really sure how much I’ll eat,” Velma told him.

They gave their tickets to the man who ripped them in half, giving half back to Velma and putting the other half in a box. “Theater 12 is the second theater on your right,” the man told them. They got in just as the previews started. They found 2 seats towards the middle of the theater and sat down. Most of the previews were boring but Velma mentioned to Patrick she saw a few movies she’d be interested in seeing. Then the lights slowly dimmed until they were off completely and the feature film started. 

The opening scene was a suspenseful one and Patrick looked around him and saw all the girls clinging to their guys. Suddenly, unexpectedly, someone popped out of the darkness surprising Velma and she dug her nails into Patrick’s shoulder. She hadn’t realized what she did at first. “I’m sorry,” she told him putting her arm down. “Here is this better?” he asked putting his arm around her. She nodded her head. “Much better,” she whispered.

By the end of the film, Velma’s head was resting on his shoulder. She was wide awake but it was so comfortable and he didn’t seem to mind. The lights came back on as the credits came up. “Did you like it?” Patrick asked her. “I did. Kept me on the edge of my seat,” Velma answered.

They went back to the museum for awhile to kill some time. Around 6:30 Patrick and Velma headed to the car. “Now for this ride, I need to blindfold you,” Patrick told her. He took out a black blindfold. He tied it in the back. “Can you see anything?” he asked her. “No. But if you wanted to blind me you could have just as easily taken off my glasses,” she joked. Velma had no idea where they were headed. Awhile later the road started to get bumpy and rocky. Patrick stopped the car 5 minutes later. He got out of the car and walked around to her side. 

He helped her out. He reached behind her head and untied the blindfold. “Take a look,” Patrick told her. Velma opened her eyes and took in the view. They were high above, overlooking the city of Coolsville. A few blankets were set on the ground and Patrick went to the trunk and took out his telescope. “This is the surprise. The Leonid Meteor shower is tonight, they said the best time to view them is just after the sunset,” Patrick told her. Velma’s eyes widened. “Oh Patrick! This is a most wonderful surprise. I nearly forgot the meteor shower was tonight!” she exclaimed. 

She walked a little closer to the edge and looked at the city below. From where she stood the city seemed so small. Even the tallest skyscrapers seemed mere children’s toys from up above. Velma walked back and sat down on one of the blankets. “All we have to do now is sit and wait,” Patrick said taking a seat next to her. Velma turned her gaze to the clear night sky. 

Stars littered the sky and the moon was full that evening. Suddenly she saw something. Four stars shot by. They were only visible for a few seconds and then disappeared into the silent darkness. “And so it begins,” Patrick said. As they lay there waiting for more, the talk of their past came up. “So you’re originally from Coolsville?” Patrick asked her. 

“Uh huh. Born and raised. How about you?” Velma asked him. “I was born in White Hall, Pennsylvania actually. Moved here when I was 10,” Patrick answered. “Pennsylvania huh? What was it like growing up there?” Velma asked him. “It was a small neighborhood I grew up in. Only had about 150 people living there and everybody knew everybody else. 

Sometimes that was a good thing but other times it wasn’t,” Patrick said. “Did you grow up with the gang?” Patrick asked her. “Yeah, we all grew up in the same neighborhood. We started Mystery Inc. back when we were kids,” Velma told him. “School was fun. I always enjoyed it a little more than everyone else,” Velma joked. “I was president of Science Club as well,” she added. “Really? Me too,” Patrick said. 

Velma looked into his eyes. They had so much in common. They would never run out of things to talk about. Suddenly the sky started to glow bright. Velma’s eyes turned upward. Dozens and dozens of meteors were shooting across the sky. “The shower’s on.. make a wish,” Patrick told her. Velma closed her eyes and made a silent wish to the stars. 

“It’s amazing how specks of dust can seem so magical,” Velma said in a dreamy sort of voice. “Tempel-Tuttle is a magnificent comet. We won’t pass through another dense Leonid stream for another 33 years. It’s hard to believe even though they are only size of sand grains or marbles that we can still see them,” Velma said using her knowledge of the meteors. “The Leonids.” she was starting to say when Patrick placed a kiss on her lips.

“I’m sorry but when you start talking about science I can’t help myself,” Patrick told her. “How did you guess my wish?” she asked him as she leaned in again and started to kiss him back, wrapping her arms around him. The first kiss she’d had her eyes closed but this one her eyes were wide open. She wanted to stay in the moment forever. And when they pulled away she secretly wished they never did. 

Patrick placed his arm around her and she rested her head down on his shoulder. “So does this mean you’ll be my girlfriend?” he asked. Velma lifted her head up and looked into his eyes. “Jinkies,” she whispered. “Yes,” she answered.
“Thanks for everything Patrick,” Velma said when he dropped her back at home. “If you want me to pick you up tomorrow I can,” Patrick told her. “I’d like that. What time?” she asked. “10.” “I’ll be ready.”

Velma unlocked the door, walked in, waving to him before she shut the door. She glanced at the clock on the wall as she fumbled around in the dark. She walked towards her room and nearly stepped on Shaggy asleep on the floor. Velma turned on the light next to the table. It was only then that she noticed Fred and Daphne asleep on the couch. “Oh crap,” she said out loud. 

“What are you guys doing out here?” Velma asked. “Definitely not waiting for you,” Daphne answered. “You guys were waiting up for me?” Velma asked. “Well we were, but we also were watching a movie and fell asleep,” Daphne said pointing at the television.

It was on but the screen was fuzzy and gray. “I’ve got to get some sleep. I’ll tell you about my day in the morning,” Velma said. She turned out the light, stepped over Shaggy and Scooby, who was lying next to his pal, and proceeded to her room. She changed into her nightgown, climbed into bed, and was fast asleep. 

Chapter 3

Over the next few weeks, Patrick and Velma worked hard at the museum, and their relationship continued to blossom. The afternoon of the reopening was a mix of trying to get a lot of little things done and making sure everything was in order for that night. “I’m so nervous,” Velma confided in Patrick. 

“I know everyone is going to love it but I worry. And it’s also when we reveal that we are indeed a couple. I know a lot of people know but not all the reporters do. So that’s going to be another story of the night,” Velma added. 

“I think they’ve figured it out,” Patrick told her. Velma laughed. “You’d be surprised,” she said. “Look at the time! I have to go. Fred will be here soon. I need to go pick up my dress and get ready for tonight!” Velma panicked. Patrick placed his hands on her shoulders as if to relax her. 

“Take it easy. You’ve got plenty of time. Now go on and make yourself look beautiful for me,” Patrick said. “Oh Patrick,” Velma said blushing a teensy bit. 

Velma gave him a hug goodbye and walked out of the exhibit, into the main lobby, and finally out the door. Fred was already waiting for her and she rushed down the stairs. Velma took one last look at the museum, as the van pulled away. That night it would be bursting with activity. They picked up Daphne and set off for the dress shop. “I don’t have to go in and watch you two try on a million dresses do I?” Fred asked when he had pulled into the parking lot. 

“No. We’ve had these picked out for a week now. We just have to go in and get them,” Daphne assured him. “Oh Daphne, Velma. I have your dresses right here,” said a woman when they walked through the door. She took two dress bags off a rack and handed one to each of them. “Thanks again Janine,” Daphne said. “Have a good time tonight,” Janine told them. “We will,” Velma replied back. They walked back outside, got into the van, and headed home.

“Come on Velma. Won’t you give me just a tiny preview of the exhibit?” Shaggy asked on their way out the door later that evening. “We’ll be there in 10 minutes. I think you can wait that long,” was Velma’s response. “Come on Scoob,” Shaggy called. Scooby bounded out the door and into the Mystery Machine limo with a box of Scooby Snacks in his mouth. “Hey! Don’t eat them all!” Shaggy exclaimed climbing in after him. Velma was the last one in and so she shut the door and then they were on their way.

The rest of the gang talked excitedly the whole time, but not Velma. She was too nervous. She could feel the butterflies building up in her stomach already. When the limo came to a stop she took a look outside. The museum was packed with people. As soon as the driver opened the door, camera flashes started going off. Velma was the first one out and the crowd cheered.

Patrick was waiting at the bottom of the stairs and walked towards her. He held out his hand and she placed her hand in his and they started to walk hand in hand up the stairs. Reporters and cameras quickly surrounded the two. “Velma are you two going out?” “Velma is Patrick your boyfriend?” “Are you two an item?” The questions came slewing out, and Velma felt a little overwhelmed. Each wanted to know the same thing, but had a different way to reword it. 

By this time the rest of the gang had exited the limo and Daphne gave a smile to her fans as they mingled with guests. Velma looked at Patrick who gave her an encouraging nod. “Yes, Patrick and I are dating,” she said into the 5 microphones tilted towards her. More pictures. More flashes. More questions. “There you have it folks. Both of Mystery Inc.’s ladies are taken. It’s a sad day for all bachelors,” a reporter said into a video camera.

Patrick and Velma made their way to the top the stairs where a podium stood. The rest of Mystery Inc. made their way up to join Velma and Patrick. “Now we’ll proceed with the reopening of the exhibit,” Patrick told the crowd. Everyone started heading inside. A man handed a pair of big scissors to Patrick. Velma put her hand on top of his and together they cut the red ribbon stretching across the entrance to the exhibit.

Everyone started passing them, eager to see the exhibit. Velma and Patrick stayed behind for a few minutes, but it wasn’t long before reporters returned asking more questions. “How long did you two work to complete the exhibit?” a reporter asked. “We worked close to 3 weeks. We had some help too,” Velma said. “Patrick what’s next for the museum? Any new exhibits you can tell us about?” asked another reporter. 

“Nothing at the moment but I am hoping to renovate a few more rooms with the help of my partner here,” Patrick answered indicating Velma. Velma smiled. “I’d be happy to help. We had a lot of fun working on this exhibit and we hope everyone enjoys it,” Velma replied. The reporters left, then, to go interview some guests.

The gang walked up to them. “Like wow it looks better than it did before,” Shaggy said. “Yeah great job,” Fred replied patting Patrick on the back. “We’re glad you like it. I was so afraid people wouldn’t like it,” Velma spoke. “I had to reassure her everything would be fine,” Patrick replied. “Hey a couple of lights are out on the 10,000 Volt Ghost,” someone said coming up to the group. “I’m on it,” Velma said following the person. 

“So Patrick it is really serious between you and Velma?” Fred asked in a low voice. “Yeah. The past 3 weeks have been great. We’re going to the science festival next week. It’s wonderful to find someone who likes that kind of stuff,” Patrick answered. “I’m so happy Velma found someone. Since her last love encounter didn’t work out,” Daphne said. “Ever since then she’s been doubting herself and trying to avoid relationships. That is until you came along,” she added.

“I usually drive women away. As soon as I start talking about science or my museum they flee,” Patrick said. “But when I talk to Velma she seems so interested and she listens to everything I say,” he added. “What happened in Spooky Island?” Patrick asked. Fred indicated to Patrick to look behind him. He looked over his shoulder and noticed Velma walking towards them. 

“All fixed. Did I miss anything?” she asked. “Nope. Just getting better acquainted with Patrick,” Daphne answered. “Velma, Patrick can we get your picture over here by the Black Knight Ghost?” asked a photographer. “Sure,” Velma answered. The rest of the gang left to talk with some other reporters and fans. 

“If I smile any more I think my face might freeze like this,” Velma said through her teeth. Cameramen continued to take pictures. “Enough pictures for now,” Patrick told them waving them away. “Thanks. You’d think after awhile they’d have had enough,” Velma replied. A man came over the speakers and announced the benefit would be starting soon. “Everyone please head to the banquet hall,” he added. 

Patrick took Velma’s hand and they followed the crowd to the makeshift banquet hall. They sat at a table near the front as everyone else found a seat. The band started to play a song and couples flocked to the floor. Patrick and Velma stood up and made their way to the dance floor. “Tonight’s going wonderful,” Velma said as she looked around the room at all the happy faces.

“Yeah, and without you none of this would have been possible,” Patrick told her. “You helped a little,” Velma said jokingly. The auction held that evening raised nearly $10,000 dollars for the museum.

Velma decided to stay, even after the last of the guests and reporters had left. “Go ahead. Patrick will drive me home,” Velma insisted. “Alright, see you later,” Daphne said. She followed Shaggy and Fred out of the room. Velma looked at Scooby, who still stood in the room. “Go on Scooby,” she told him pointing to the door. Scooby whimpered but ran out of the room to catch up to the others. 

Velma walked around to the tables picking up cups and other garbage. “You don’t have to do that,” Patrick said. “It’s ok. I don’t mind,” Velma replied. Silence filled the next few minutes. Patrick said the first thing that came to mind. “What happened in Spooky Island?” he asked. Velma’s eyes widened. As soon as the words left his mouth he wished he hadn’t said it. 

“Who told you?” she asked. “I’m sorry I should never have said anything,” Patrick apologized. “It just sort of came up,” he explained. “It’s ok. I don’t really want to talk about it,” Velma told him. “I understand,” Patrick said. Velma sighed. “Alright here goes. When we had a mystery in Spooky Island I met someone. His name was Ethan and he was in a rock band. We hit it off right away or so I thought. We stayed in touch even when we got home. Unfortunately my busy schedule and his hectic tour schedule were in constant conflict. One day he called to tell me it wasn’t working out. That he’d met someone new. I cried for days after that. It was a few weeks before I even went on another mystery,” Velma told him.

“Oh Velma, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up,” Patrick said. Velma looked at him with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes. “Its just now I’ve got you and I’m happier then I’ve been in a long time. “I’m so afraid I’ll mess up or do something wrong and scare you away,” Velma told him. He took the cup she was holding in her hand and set it down. “I’m not going anywhere,” he replied giving her a hug.

She held onto him and the tears spilled down her cheeks. When they pulled away she quickly wiped her eyes, clearing away the tears. “I know how you feel. I’m waiting for the day you get bored with me and start distancing yourself just like the others,” Patrick replied. “I’m not like the others and I could never find you boring. You’re one of the most fascinating men I’ve ever met. You understand me better than anyone ever has,” Velma told him.

“Tonight was a big success,” Patrick said. The only evidence of the museum’s big night was the tables, chairs, and decorations in the room where they stood. “I hope you don’t think just because the exhibit is complete that you can get rid of me that easily,” Velma said. Patrick turned to face her. “Velma there’s something I’ve wanted to tell you for awhile now. I was just waiting for the right moment.”

“Velma, I love you,” he blurted out. “Jinkies,” Velma responded. “I love you too.” She leaned in and placed her lips against his wrapping her arms around him as their kiss intensified. She ran her hands through his hair as she traced her jaw line with his hands. When they pulled away Velma sighed with happiness. “Just when I think life can’t get any better, it does,” Velma said. “Uh huh,” Patrick agreed.

“I’ll see you tomorrow then. Maybe we can meet for lunch at the Café?” Patrick suggested when he drove her home. “Yeah, how about noon?” Velma asked. He gave her a kiss good night, waited until she got in, then continued on his way home. The next morning Daphne Fred, Shaggy, and Scooby were all eating breakfast when Velma walked into the room humming.

“I take it someone has a nice evening,” Fred said. “I had a wonderful evening. I’m meeting Patrick for lunch at the Café,” Velma spoke. “Well you were going to meet him for lunch. We got a call this morning for a mystery. But it’s not too far. The old factories by the dock,” Daphne explained. 

“Velma walked to the other room and dialed Patrick’s number. He picked up on the second ring. “Velma, hi,” he said excitedly. “I’m afraid I’ll have to cancel our lunch date. A mystery just came up. But I do want a rain check,” Velma explained. “Sure. Good luck with the mystery. I’ll talk to you when you get back,” Patrick told her. When Velma hung up she went to gather a few things and headed on the road with the others. 

“I’m thinking we all split up. That way we can cover more ground quickly,” Fred suggested. “What do you think?” he asked the rest. “Sounds good,” Daphne agreed. “Like yeah what said. Right Scoob?” Shaggy responded. “Ruh huh,” Scooby said nodding his head. “What do you think?” Fred asked Velma. “About what?” she asked back. “About us all splitting up,” Fred answered. “Oh yeah.. Um.. that’s fine with me,” she told him. She had clearly been lost in her own world and had left her mind to drift. 

The mystery was not a very difficult one but did take 5 days to unmask the villain. “All of the clues point to Mr. Matthew Johnston, the warehouse owner. He used the disguise in order to scare off investors looking to buy the old factories,” Velma said as Fred and Daphne removed the mask revealing their conclusion true. “I would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids and that dog of yours,” were Mr. Johnson’s last words before the squad car door was shut.

“And there you have it. Mystery Inc. does it again. The Seaweed Serpent will no longer be terrorizing the dock. This is Jim Newman for CL Radio. Tune in half past the hour for another news update,” said a broadcast being played in the diner as the gang walked in. They decided to stop in and celebrate.

“I’ll be right back,” Velma told the group after they had ordered. Shaggy stood up to let her out. She walked to the pay phone in the back. “I wonder who she’s calling,” Fred said sarcastically. “Fred, she’s probably calling Patrick. Duh!” Shaggy replied not picking up the sarcasm in his friend’s voice. “I know Shag that’s why I said it,” Fred told him. Shaggy looked at him confused. “You know like a joke,” Fred added. 

Shaggy looked at him blankly for a moment and then the light bulb turned on. “Ohhh! You meant is as a joke because it’s obvious who she’s calling,” Shaggy said. “Yes!” Fred told him. Daphne and Scooby let out snickers. 

Patrick was sitting in his living room watching t.v., when the phone rang. He reached over to the table and picked it up. “Hello,” he said into the phone. “Hi Patrick,” said a voice. He immediately recognized Velma’s voice. “Hi. How are you?” Patrick asked. “I’m fine. How are you?” she asked back. “I’m good. I’ve missed you,” he answered. “I’ve really missed you too. We just finished up the mystery,” Velma said. 

“Yeah I heard about that on the news. Congratulations,” Patrick replied. “Thanks. We stopped at a restaurant to celebrate and then we’ll be heading home. Its getting late but I can’t wait to see you,” Velma told him. “How about using that rain check for tomorrow?” Patrick suggested. 

“Alright. Do you want to pick me up? Say around noon?” Velma asked. “I’ll be there. I love you,” Patrick answered. “I love you too. Bye,” Velma said. She hung up the phone and walked back to the table. Shaggy started to stand up. “It’s ok Shaggy. I’ll just sit on the end,” Velma told him. 

Chapter 4

The minute Patrick arrived, Velma ran out to meet him. He held out his arms and she ran into them. He held her in his arms, breathing in her familiar scent. “It’s only been 5 days but it feels like an eternity,” Velma said as she climbed into the car. “It feels like an eternity when you’re in love,” Patrick responded.

The diner was slowly filling up when they arrived. They walked through the door hand in hand. “Oh ick! Will you just look at those two,” a woman said to herself. That woman was in fact Steph Calvin, a well-known gossip columnist for the Coolsville Times. She even went out on assignment for the local television stations as well. She hated Mystery Inc. with a passion. She was so sick of writing about all the good they did. All the mysteries they solved, the awards, the commendations they received. It sickened her.

“And now Velma’s gone and gotten herself a boyfriend. Well isn’t that sweet,” she said as they sat on the same side of the booth, towards the back. “I think its time to end this little love fest, as much as it greatly pains me. Ha! Ha! Yeah right!” She opened her purse and took out her cell phone. She dialed a number and held it to her ear. “Hello Renaldo, its Steph. I need to ask you for a big favor. It’s been awhile since I’ve ruined someone’s reputation and I think I’m due for another one,” she said into the phone.

Renaldo, her assistant, was a short, bald man of 38. He was loyal to Steph and anything she asked for her delivered. “Who is it this time?” he asked. “Velma Dinkley, Mystery Inc.’s brain. I’m sitting here looking at a sickening sight. She and her boyfriend are playing kissy face,” Steph answered. 

“I’m seeing a big scandal. It will be in all the newspapers, on television. I want you to find out all about her. All her juicy secrets. And if you can’t find any, which is likely, make them up. I want her reputation ruined and this relationship with her fellow is over. Oh I’ve got it! Make up a story about her cheating on this new man with other guys. I need pictures, video, and the works. How soon could you get it out?” Steph asked.

“If I work the rest of the day and tonight I can have it as the breaking story on the news and on the front page of the newspapers,” Renaldo told her. “Perfect. I knew I could count on you,” Steph replied hanging up. A wicked grin appeared on her face as she looked towards Velma and Patrick.

“Here you got some sauce on your face,” Velma said wiping Patrick’s cheek. “Oh real smooth Patrick. Let your girlfriend see you making a slob of yourself,” Patrick replied. Velma giggled. “How did I find someone as pretty as you?” he asked. “Patrick you’re making me blush,” Velma told him. “And you look cute when your face is all red,” he added. “Do you want anything for dessert?” Patrick asked her. Velma picked up the dessert menu. “Want to split a sundae?” Velma asked. “Yeah,” Patrick said. “We’d like a sundae with 2 spoons please,” he told the waitress when she walked by.

Steph got up to pay her check. She gave one last glance to the couple before she paid and left. 

“Here you are. A sundae with 2 spoons, enjoy,” the waitress said placing the ice cream platter in front of them. “We will,” Patrick replied picking up a spoon. He scooped a little ice cream on it and brought it to Velma’s nose. Within a matter of seconds her nose was covered in vanilla. “Patrick!” Velma said startled. She dipped her finger in the ice cream and smeared it across his cheek. They both looked at each other and burst out laughing. 
She dipped her spoon in the vanilla and brought it to her lips. “Mmmmm,” she said as she took a bite. 

“Thanks for lunch. It was delicious,” Velma said. “You’re welcome,” he replied. “Oh I almost forgot. My parents asked me to invite you to dinner one night. I was wondering if you’d like to go tonight, unless you have other plans,” Velma mentioned. “If you call sitting at home reading a book plans, then I have plans. I’d love to meet your parents,” Patrick told her. “They’re really excited to meet you,” Velma said.

“Velma, dear it’s so good to see,” Marilyn Dinkley greeted her daughter. “Hello mother, hello father,” Velma said greeting her parents. “This is Patrick Wisely,” she added introducing him. Harold Dinkley studied the young man his daughter had brought before them. Velma knew the evening would consist of her father asking Patrick thousands of questions. She’d given him forewarning though. Harold held out his hand and Patrick shook it.

They all walked into the living room. Velma and Patrick took a seat on the couch while Velma’s parents sat down on the two chairs to the right of the couch. “Dinner will be ready soon,” Marilyn said. “It smells very good Mrs. Dinkley,” Patrick complimented. “Thank you Patrick,” Marilyn told him. “So Patrick, where are you from?” Harold asked. “I grew up in White Hall, Pennsylvania and moved here when I was 10,” Patrick answered.

“What do your parents do?” Marilyn asked. “They moved back to White Hall a few years ago and now own a bookstore,” Patrick answered. Marilyn left to check on the food, returning a few minutes later to announce it was time to eat. Velma and Patrick went into the kitchen to help her bring the food to the table. 

During dinner the questions continued. Harold started asking the bigger, more important questions. “What do you see for the future? Do you plan to spend the rest of your life working in the museum?” Harold asked. “I’m content working there now. I’ll probably keep working there unless I find something else better,” Patrick answered. “Do you love my daughter?” Velma’s father asked.

Velma eyed her father. Why would he ask such a question? “Yes sir, I do. Very much,” Patrick answered. He places his hand on Velma’s. “Well Patrick, you seem like a very nice young man. I’m so happy our Velma has found a good one,” Marilyn complimented. “Thank you ma’am,” Patrick replied.

“They really like you,” Velma told Patrick on the way home. “I was so nervous. You told me your father was going to ask questions, but after tonight I feel I have no secrets,” Patrick said. “That’s Daddy alright. Every boy I brought home was drilled by him. They never met Ethan though. It was over before I could bring him home, Velma replied. 

“I’ve got meetings tomorrow morning and they should last through the afternoon. If I get out of them at a decent hour, I’ll give you a call,” Patrick told her at the door. “Who are you meeting with?” Velma asked. “The museum committee about new exhibits and some other things for the museum,” Patrick answered. “Sounds like fun. I guess I’ll talk to you tomorrow. I love you,” Velma said placing a kiss on his lips. “And I love you,” he replied. 

“Hey Velma,” Shaggy greeted his friend when she walked into the living room. “Hey Shaggy,” Velma said. “So how did it go with your parents?” Daphne asked walking into the room. “It went very well. My father asked just about every question he could but I think they really like him,” Velma answered. “I’m sorry guys but I am beat. I have had such a long day. I’ll see you all in the morning,” she said. She walked past the living room and headed to her bedroom. She fell asleep rather quickly, totally unaware that it might be her last good night’s sleep in a long time. 

Velma awoke the next morning to the television blaring from the living room. She put on her robe and walked out to see what they were watching. Scooby lay on the ground but Shaggy, Daphne, and Fred sat on the couch. “Morning every…..” she started to say and stopped when she saw their faces. They held solemn, serious expressions. Shaggy, known for his constant goofing off, was still as a statue watching the t.v. “What’s the matter?” Velma asked. Daphne pointed to the screen. It was only then that Velma glanced at the t.v.

She gasped. “If you are just joining us we’ve been following this story all morning. Velma Dinkley, best known for her role as Mystery Inc’s brainy nerd, is not as innocent as she has wanted us all to believe. As these photos and video will prove, she’s not been truly honest with us, herself, or her new beau Coolsonian Museum Curator, Patrick Wisely,” said the reporter. Velma plopped down on the floor next to Scooby.

They started to play footage of Velma partying and making out with at least 4 different men. “She claims to be involved with Mr. Wisely but this video proves otherwise. This footage, shot just days before the reopening of the Coolsonian exhibit shows Velma getting very smitten with these two men whom she picked up from a bar. She was allegedly thrown out of the bar and left in a cab with these them. Eyewitnesses saw them disappear into a hotel room and they did not come out for a couple of hours. Here is Joshua Pratchett with some of those eyewitnesses.”

The view changed to Joshua standing next to a man. “Sir you were there the night Velma Dinkley was in the bar. Can you tell us what you saw?” Joshua asked the man. “I sure can. Velma was dancing on tables and she was getting real rowdy. The owner of the bar had her escorted out and I saw her get into the cab,” the man told him.

“What is this?” Velma exclaimed as she rose to her feet. “I didn’t do any of this, I swear,” Velma exclaimed. Daphne ran up to give her friend a hug. “We know. We know,” she said. “Who would do such a thing?” Fred asked. “Oh god Patrick!” Velma cried. “He must think this is true if it’s all over the news. She ran into her room and shut the door. She flung herself on her bed and started to weep. 

“How are we ever supposed to get out of here?” Shaggy asked. He looked out the door at the lawn which was covered with news reporters and cameras. Flashes kept going off. “Someone should go and talk to Velma,” Fred said. The two guys looked at Daphne. “Yeah I guess it would have to be me,” Daphne said as she walked towards Velma’s door. She knocked softly. “Go away,” Velma cried from inside. Daphne was not about to take no for an answer. She opened the door and walked in. 

“Come to kick me out of the gang?” Velma asked sitting up and rubbing her red, swollen eyes. “Velma, now come on. We’d never do that,” Daphne answered. Daphne’s cell phone rang. She reached into her pocket and answered it. “Hello?” she said. “How’s Velma doing? Is she enjoying this? I would love to know if my work is appreciated,” said a voice. “What? Who is this?” Daphne asked. “Your worst nightmare, later,” said the voice and hung up. “Velma! That was the person on the phone, whoever set you up. The voice sounds oddly familiar,” Daphne said as she jumped up with a start.

The two girls ran out of the room to tell the guys. Shaggy walked over to Velma and gave her a big hug. “Don’t worry Velma. We’re going to get this straightened out,” he told her. “Thanks. I’m so lucky to have you all,” Velma said. The phone rang and Fred went to answer it. “Velma, it’s Patrick,” he replied handing her the phone. 

“Hello,” she said into the phone. “What’s all this about? I’ve been pulled out of my meetings 5 times already. The museum is swarming with reporters and television crews,” Patrick told her. “I… I’ve been set up. It’s not true,” Velma told him. “But they have footage of you.Velma I thought I meant something to you. How could you do this?” Patrick asked right before Velma hung up on him.

Velma collapsed to the floor. All the wind had been knocked out her with the last thing Patrick had said to her. The room was spinning and no matter what Velma did she couldn’t stop it. Her world was coming to an end. She was nothing without Patrick. She ran back into her room, and this time she locked her door.

Eventually Fred just took their phone off the hook. It was constantly ringing and no one but reporters and tabloids kept calling anyways. The doorbell rang about an hour later. Fred looked through the peep hole and saw Patrick fighting off reporters. He opened the door just enough for Patrick to get in then slammed and locked it again. 

“Where is she?” he asked. Fred pointed to Daphne who sat outside her friend’s door. Daphne saw him walking towards her and she ran to him. “Why are you here?” she asked angrily. “Haven’t you done enough?” “As soon as she hung up I realized I’d made a big mistake. This is Velma we’re talking about. I know her too well. She’d never do anything like this. But now I fear she won’t ever want to talk to me again,” Patrick told Daphne. “See if you can get her out. She hasn’t eaten a bite of anything all day,” Daphne said.

Patrick walked up to the door and knocked. “Daphne can you please just leave me alone?” came a voice from inside. “It’s not Daphne and I won’t leave you alone,” Patrick replied. “Patrick? Please just go,” Velma told him. “Velma please. You don’t have to say anything, just listen. The second you hung up on me I realized I’d made a big mistake. I let the media fool me into this false accusation about you. I know you so much better than they do. I know you would never ever do anything like this,” Patrick said. He could tell she was listening so he continued.

“I was such a stupid fool for even believing those stories for a second. It’s so easy to make fake videos and pictures. I should have immediately known. I’m so sorry. And if you can’t forgive me, I’ll understand. But I want you to know I do love you,” Patrick said. Velma opened the door and walked straight into his arms. He held her tightly to his chest as she sobbed. 

“Velma I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Patrick repeated. “Oh sweetie I know. You don’t have to apologize. I love you,” Velma said. “We’re going to find out who’s behind this. First I think we should go and talk to the press. If we can get them on our side it will be better,” Patrick told her. Velma nodded her head. She took his hand and the two made their way outside to talk to the reporters.

Chapter 5

As soon as they stepped outside the door they were surrounded. They couldn’t move anywhere. “We’ll talk if you would all just give us some space,” Patrick told them. They obediently backed up. “Are you still with her after everything she’s done?” “Velma, why did you do it?” “Is Patrick not making you happy?” “What do you think this will do to your reputation?” The questions started pouring in. 

“Yes, I am still with Velma,” Patrick said. “I didn’t do anything of those things portrayed in that horrific video they are showing. Anyone can see that it’s someone dressed up as me. My skirt is a totally different style, and that orange sweater? They got that wholesale at K-Mart,” Velma replied. “As for Patrick making me happy, he makes me very happy. I’m very lucky to have him.” “Oh and yes about my reputation, I will not sit here and let it get tarnished by someone’s idea of a funny joke. We are going to get to the bottom of this. I ask anyone with any information to please contact us. There is a reward,” Velma replied. 

“That’s all we’re saying for now,” she added as she and Patrick headed back inside. “Well we did some damage control. Now it’s up to them,” Patrick told her. Velma sat down on the couch and Patrick sat down next to her. “I’m trying to think of possible suspects. But it could be anyone. We may have thousands of fans but there are many people who dislike us,” Velma said. 

“It’s a woman. If that narrows it down any,” Daphne replied. Velma lifted her finger to her mouth, her usual thinking position. “I’m thinking it must be someone with television and newspaper connections. Someone who has a lot of influence,” Velma said. “That could be any news reporter or journalist,” Fred told her. “Who’s a woman,” Shaggy added. “Yes who’s a woman,” Fred replied.

Fred hung up the phone hoping the calls might stop. As soon as he had set it down, it rang. “It couldn’t hurt,” he said as he picked it up. “Hello? Yeah she’s right here,” Fred replied. He covered the phone with his hand. “Put it on speaker phone,” he whispered. Velma pressed the speaker phone button and Fred set the phone back down. “Hello this is Velma, who’s this?” Velma asked.

“I…. uh… I know who did it. I work for her. But I don’t want the reward money. I don’t want it to leak out that I told you who did it,” said a voice. “Who is it?” Patrick asked. “Steph Calvin. I work for her. I’m her assistant,” the voice answered. “Now I know the voice. It was her! I got into an altercation with her awhile back. I don’t like her very much and I know for a fact she would have it in for us,” Daphne said. “What’s your name?” Velma asked. “I don’t want anyone to know,” the voice answered back.

“We’ll need you to go on t.v. and tell what you know. Steph won’t touch you. She’ll be in jail by then,” Velma told him. “I’ll be going to jail with her,” the voice said. “And why is that?” Velma asked. “I put together everything. After I released the information I had second thoughts but she threatened me so I had to do it,” the voice answered. “What is your name?” Velma asked again. “My name is Renaldo Sims. I’m Miss Calvin’s personal assistant,” he replied.

“Will you meet us here? At the Mystery Inc. headquarters and tell everything you know to the reporters?” Velma asked him. There was a long pause on the other end of the line. “I will. But when I do Steph will make a run for it,” Renaldo answered. “No she won’t,” Daphne spoke. “I’m already on the phone with the police.” “I’ll be there in ten minutes. If you need to arrest me I’ll go without a struggle,” were Renaldo’s last words before he hung up.

Daphne hung up a few minutes later. “Steph’s in custody,” she announced. “That was quick,” Shaggy said. “They got an anonymous tip from someone else as well,” she told him. The gang walked outside to wait for Renaldo to arrive. “Who are you waiting for?” asked a reporter. “Why don’t you stick around and find out?” suggested Fred. Renaldo pulled up in a van a few minutes later. Reporters quickly swarmed him but he managed to make his way to the gang.

“Velma, who is this man?” asked a reporter. “He’s here to prove my innocence,” Velma answered. All eyes, microphones, and video cameras were on Renaldo. He cleared his throat and began telling his story. “And so I couldn’t sit back and watch another person suffer out of something I did. I couldn’t hold it in any more and I knew how this poor young lady must have been feeling and I knew it needed to stop here,” Renaldo said. 

“Sir I’m afraid we’ll need to take you down to the police station,” an officer said cuffing him. Velma went to intervene but Renaldo shook his head. “I’ll pay the price for my crime,” he said. Velma and the rest of the gang watched him drive off in the back of a squad car. This time around Velma heard news reporters reporting good things. Her reputation was saved and her relationship with Patrick was even stronger now. 

“Velma I don’t know what I would do without you. I’ve never met anyone quite like you. You are so smart and so funny. I could never get bored when I’m with you. Life is new and exciting and I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner with you right by my side. I want to know if you’d like to come to Philadelphia with me to meet my parents,” Patrick said. “I’d love to meet the parents who raised you. They have to be the kindest, most loving people on the earth,” Velma told him.

Over the course a month the allegations over Velma were soon forgotten and life went back to normal. Velma and Patrick were seeing a lot more of each other and Velma helped out at the museum in addition to solving mysteries with the gang. Daphne and Fred went on double dates with the couple, but Shaggy and Scooby stayed home. “To avoid the icky love stuff,” or so Shaggy put it. 

One evening Patrick invited Velma out to dinner. No, this wasn’t a rare event; they spent a lot of time together, especially going out to dinner. No this time it was slightly different. Apart from the diners and fast food restaurants they usually went to this one was a black-tie kind of restaurant. Velma had Daphne take her shopping to pick a new dress out. 

Velma was in no shortage of dresses but shopping was one of Daphne’s many hobbies and she loved to help Velma find something to wear. Three hours and four dress shops later, they finally settled on a beautiful red dress. It had sequins on the upper half and the bottom just reached Velma’s heels. 

Velma twirled around in her mirror giving herself a once over. She felt just as nervous as she had on prom night. The only difference was she actually had a date, which made her a little more nervous. She checked her makeup one last time and walked out into the living room. She was surprised to see Patrick had already arrived and he was waiting for her. Patrick looked at her. He couldn’t believe how beautiful she looked that evening.

“Velma, you look lovely,” he complimented as she walked towards him. “Thanks,” Velma replied. “You kids go on and have fun,” Shaggy said with a laugh. Patrick and Velma walked out the door as the gang looked on. “Why won’t you tell us where we’re going?” Velma asked him as they were driving. “Because that would ruin the surprise,” Patrick answered.

Patrick pulled up to the curb. Velma looked out the window at where they were. A man came over to Patrick’s side. “Here’s your ticket sir. Give it to the valet after dinner,” the man said. Velma got out of the passenger side and stood on the curb. Patrick got out and joined her as the man got in the car and drove off. Velma looked up at the sign of the restaurant and gasped. “The Glass Dove..” she said as she and Patrick proceeded to walk inside.

“Patrick are you sure we’re at the right place?” Velma asked. The Glass Dove was the most expensive restaurant in all of Coolsville. Many times had she driven past it and wondered what it would be like to eat there. “Name sir?” asked a tall, surly looking man asked. “Wisely,” Patrick told him. “Yes, here it is, dinner for two. Right this way, I’ll show you to your table,” he told them.

He walked into the dining room and Velma and Patrick followed him. He led them to a small intimate table located near one of the restaurants four aquariums. Patrick pushed Velma in when she sat down and went to take a seat. “Patrick this place is magnificent. I always wondered what it would be like to eat here,” Velma told him. “And now you can find out,” Patrick said. A waiter came by with two menus. “My name is James and I will be your waiter. Take a few minutes to look at the menu and I will be right back,” he told them.

Velma opened up the menu and almost fainted at some of the prices. There was no way she could order any of this. She glanced up at Patrick who seemed intrigued with the menu. She looked back down and started looking for the cheapest thing she could find. “Patrick I feel bad ordering any of this. It’s all so expensive,” Velma said. “Don’t worry about the price. I want you to order anything you want,” Patrick told her.

It took her a few more minutes but she decided to get steak and a baked potato while Patrick had decided on lobster. Velma took in the sights of the restaurant. All the excitement, the harp player, and the atmosphere it was all so overwhelming. She turned back towards Patrick and saw him shifting uneasy in his chair. She placed her hand on his and noticed then how sweaty it was. “Are you alright?” Velma asked him. “Hmm..? Oh yes I’m fine,” Patrick answered. “Jinkies this place is incredible. I can’t believe you’d take me here. No one’s ever done something like this for me,” Velma said. 

The waiter brought their food and they started to eat. Velma could feel Patrick watching her but she kept eating. She looked up a few times and their eyes met and she would smile at him. “Want to try some of my steak?” she asked him after she’d eaten more than halfway through it. “Sure,” Patrick said taking a few pieces from her plate. Patrick held up his plate, and Velma took off a few pieces of lobster. “Mmmm,” she said popping the pieces into her mouth.

Patrick finished the few bites of steak and then pushed his plate aside. “Velma, can I ask you something?” he asked. “Sure Patrick what is it?” Velma asked back. Patrick reached into his pocket with his left hand, with his right he held onto Velma’s hand. “I know we haven’t known each other very long; a few months. But these have been the best months of my life. Before you came along I thought the museum was my life but now that’s all changed. Would you look at this and tell me what you think?” Patrick asked taking a small box out of his pocket and placing it in her palm.

Velma removed the cover and found a slightly smaller one inside. She removed the box and opened it revealing a sparkling ring. The stone in the middle was a blue sapphire with two smaller diamonds on either side of it. While Velma examined the ring in the light, Patrick had gotten up and kneeled down in front of her. “Velma,” he said. Velma turned to him. He took the ring out of the box and held it out to her. 

And suddenly Velma knew what was happening. Her heart started to pound uncontrollably when Patrick started to speak again. “Velma I knew from the moment I saw you that you were the one. I know I’m not very experienced in this but I do know how I feel. And the way I feel is I love you with all my heart. Will you be my wife?” Patrick asked. Velma’s eyes filled with tears as she whispered, “You bet I will.”

Patrick placed the ring on her finger. Velma looked down at it for a moment and stood up and kissed him with so much passion he almost fell over. He held her in his arms as the rest of the restaurant exploded into applause. Patrick pulled her back to look at her. She burst into tears. “Velma are you ok?” he asked her. She shook her head yes. “I’ve never been this happy!” she exclaimed. 

They sat back down and the waiter brought them each a piece of chocolate cake. “It’s on the house. Congratulations,” James told them. “Thank you,” Velma said. She picked up her fork and scooped a small piece into her mouth. “It’s very good,” she said. She looked down at her ring, held it up to the light so it sparkled and shimmered. “When I saw that ring I just knew it was the right one,” Patrick told her. “It’s so beautiful. I could stare at it all day long,” she said smiling. She picked up her napkin and dabbed at her eyes.

“I want you to come in with me, to tell the gang,” Velma told him on the way home. “Of course, and you’ll want to call your parents,” Patrick said. “Oh they’ll be thrilled. And you can call your parents too,” Velma replied. “I actually called my Dad the other day telling him I was planning on asking you to marry me. You know to see if he had any fatherly advice,” Patrick told her. “And did he?” Velma asked. “He told me to get married and give him a grandchild as soon as possible,” Patrick answered with a laugh.

“I think you’d make a wonderful father,” Velma told him. “And you are going to be one incredible mother,” Patrick said right back. They walked hand in hand into the Mystery Inc. headquarters. It was just after 9 when they walked through the door and the gang was watching a movie. Scooby heard them come in and ran to greet them. “Well look who’s back,” Daphne said with a smile. “Gang, Patrick and I have something we’d like to tell you,” Velma spoke as she and Patrick walked over to them. Fred paused the movie, all eyes were on them.

Velma held up her left hand, the ring glistened. “We’re engaged!” she exclaimed. Everyone immediately jumped to their feet and smothered the happy couple in hugs. “As soon as you said you had something to tell us I just knew it,” Daphne replied giving her friend a big hug. “Congratulations,” Fred said shaking Patrick’s hand. Shaggy skipped the handshake and gave Patrick a hug. “Dude like this is the best news since they decided to build a Snack Shack like 3 blocks away,” Shaggy said. 

“Let me see this ring,” Daphne said holding up Velma’s hand. She examined the ring for a minute, and then turned to Patrick. “Excellent choice,” she said giving him a thumbs up sign. “So have you decided on a date?” Fred asked. “Jinkies no! We haven’t even started to think of one. And I have to call my parents and then we’ll be heading to White Hall to visit Patrick’s parents,” Velma answered. 

“I’ll call from my bedroom, you pick up here. I want you to be on the line when I tell my parents the good news,” Velma said as she ran to her room. “Alright pick up!” she called a few moments later. Patrick picked up the phone and headed into the kitchen. “Hello?” asked a voice. It was Velma’s mom. “Mother, it’s Velma, I’m sorry to call so late,” Velma said. “Oh no dear it’s alright. Is something wrong?” Marilyn asked. “No, something wonderful happened. Patrick asked me to marry him tonight and I said yes,” Velma told her.

The line went quiet for a few minutes. Then Velma heard her mother calling for her father. A few minutes later Harold got on the phone. “What’s this about you being engaged?” he asked. “Patrick asked me to marry him tonight,” Velma answered. “Well congratulations! I can’t believe my little girl is getting married!” he exclaimed. “Tell Patrick I send my congratulations,” he added. “You can tell him yourself, he’s on the phone as well,” Velma told her father. 

“Patrick, welcome to the family,” Harold said. “Thank you sir,” Patrick responded. “I’ll let you two lovebirds go. I’m so happy and I have a feeling your mother will be up all night calling everyone she knows. Good night,” Harold replied hanging up. Velma hung up the phone and walked back into the living room. “Should we call your parents? Or just wait until we see them in two days?” Velma asked. “Let’s wait,” Patrick answered. 

Chapter 6

“You sure you packed enough?” Daphne joked referring to Velma’s three suitcases. “I know we’re only going for 2 days but a girl can never be too prepared,” Velma told her. “Yeah I know what you mean. But if it was me one of these suitcases would be filled with makeup,” Daphne said. “What time is Patrick picking you up?” Daphne asked. Velma looked at the clock on the wall. “He should be here any minute,” Velma answered.

I still can’t believe you two are engaged. Maybe this will push Fred into a bigger commitment,” Daphne said. “Need some help?” Shaggy asked appearing at the door. “Sure Shaggy. Thanks,” Velma answered. He picked up two of the suitcases and Velma picked up the third. She followed him out to the front door. Velma looked out the window to make sure Patrick wasn’t out there waiting. “Good, he’s not early,” Velma said.

“You have a great time and make sure you call us,” Daphne replied giving her friend a hug. “What if a mystery comes up?” Velma asked the group. “We’ll find some way to manage without you, though very difficult,” Fred answered. Velma cracked a smile. “Oh Freddie,” she said. A beep sounded from outside. “That will be Patrick. I’ll see you all on Saturday,” Velma told them. Shaggy helped her take the luggage to the car and the rest of the gang came to see the two off.

“Ready to go?” Patrick asked her. “As ready as I’ll ever be,” Velma told him. She gave one last wave to the gang before Patrick drove off. “What time does our flight leave?” Patrick asked. “In exactly 1 hour and 35 minutes,” Velma responded. “Good, we have plenty of time,” Patrick said. He glanced over at Velma who was staring out the window. “Don’t worry about my parents. My Dad is nowhere near similar to yours. They are so happy to be meeting you,” Patrick reassured her.

“My Dad can be pretty strict at times but he does it because he loves me. He was always like this because I’m the only girl, only child. My mother used to be the same way when I was younger. But over the years she’s loosened up. She’s realizing that I’m growing up and I’ve got my own life now. 

They wanted to protect me because I was so smart and gifted. They wanted to keep me under their wing forever but my mom was the one who finally noticed I was becoming a young woman and I needed room to grow. I guess dads are always like that with their little girls,” Velma said.

“And you’ve grown into a very lovely young woman,” Patrick told her. “My Dad was always pressuring me to get into tools and wood shop and that sort of thing. He had no interest in science and didn’t understand why I spent so many hours with my nose in a book when I could be outside helping him work on the car. My Mom understood my passion. She helped it grow by buying me all the latest books and science kits. My Dad didn’t really agree with it but he didn’t discourage me either,” Patrick said.

Patrick pulled into the airport parking lot and found a spot close to the front. He ran inside for a cart to put their luggage on. He, himself had brought two suitcases. Velma lifted her luggage onto the cart and helped Patrick with his. They pushed the cart in together and got it checked in. They took out their tickets and headed to Terminal A-7 which was where they were boarding their plane.

Velma found two open seats near the front and the couple sat down. An older woman looked at them and smiled. “Are you two on your honeymoon?” she asked politely. “No,” Velma told her. “Oh I’m sorry. You two just look so much in love,” the woman responded. “We’re engaged,” Patrick told her. “Ah! Well congratulations,” she said. Velma and Patrick adlibbed thank yous. 

“Flight 763 to White Hall, Pennsylvania is now boarding. Please have your tickets ready,” said a voice over the loudspeaker. Velma and Patrick headed towards the gate with the rest of the people waiting for the flight. They handed their tickets to the flight attendant and boarded the plane. “Do you want window?” Velma asked Patrick when they found their seats. “You take window. I get a little dizzy at high altitudes and not looking out the window helps,” Patrick told her.

“I never knew you had a thing about heights,” Velma said as she sat down at the window seat. Patrick took the seat next to her. “Well I can fix that,” Velma replied as she shut the shade. “But you’ll miss the view,” Patrick told her. “I think I’ll enjoy the view in here a lot better,” she said placing a kiss on his lips. “Ladies and gentlemen please make sure your seatbelts are securely fastened, we are about to take off,” said the pilot over the speaker.

Velma held Patrick’s hand as the plane started to make its way towards the runway. She squeezed it tighter as the plan started to gain speed and barreled down the runway. Within a matter of seconds they were in the air. “And I never knew you had a thing about planes taking off,” Patrick told her as they continued to gain altitude. “I really don’t but it’s such a rush,” Velma replied. 

Once they leveled off the captain removed the fasten seatbelt sign. A screen came down in front of everyone and the stewardess started to hand out headphones. “The flight is only an hour and 30 minutes and they’re showing a movie?” Patrick asked. “We don’t have to watch it,” Velma answered. “I was just about to whip out my Science Illustrated magazine,” Patrick told her. “You brought that with? Is that the special edition one?” she asked. “Yes,” he answered. “Yes take it out,” she told him. He removed it from his carry-on bag and pulled down his tray.

He opened to the first page and could tell Velma was already intrigued. “Flip to the jokes section,” she said. Patrick found the page number and turned to it. The jokes in this section were by far some of the funniest ones. “Here’s a good one. How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the bulb has to really want to change,” Velma said. She and Patrick laughed at it.

It was so funny that most of the jokes listed on this page no one else but them would find funny. “Here’s another one. Two hydrogen atoms bumped into each other recently. One said: "Why do you look so sad?" The other responded: I lost an electron. Concerned, One asked Are you sure? The other replied I'm positive,” Patrick read. “Cute,” Velma said. They continued to flip through the rest of the magazine while the other passengers got wrapped up in the movie.

“Thank you for flying. Have a nice day,” the stewardess said as everyone walked off the plane. “You’re parents are meeting us here?” Velma asked. “Yes, and there they are,” Patrick said. Velma looked to see an older looking couple walking towards them. “Patrick it’s so good to see you again. You don’t visit often enough,” Patrick’s mother said giving her son a hug. “Hello son,” his father replied. “Oh how terribly rude of us, I’m Elaine and this is my husband Bill,” his mother said turning to Velma. Velma smiled. “So Patrick anything you want to tell us?” Bill asked. “Yes there is. Velma and I, we’re engaged,” Patrick announced.

Elaine’s eyes widened and she grinned from ear to ear as she smothered her son in kisses. “You’re family now,” she said giving Velma a friendly hug. “Us Wiselys aren’t half bad,” Bill replied. “It’s very nice to meet you. Patrick’s told me so much about you,” Velma told them. “Patrick goes on and on about you. He just keeps telling us about all the great things about you so I told him you must bring her to visit,” Elaine said. 

“Let’s go and get your luggage,” Elaine replied. The two followed behind her with Patrick’s dad trailing close behind. Once they had their luggage and it was put into the back of Patrick’s parents’ truck they were on their way. Patrick and Velma sat in the back. It was tight quarters but Velma didn’t mind it that much. She stared out the window the whole time taking in the sights of Pennsylvania.

Twenty minutes later they pulled up to a small, yellow farmhouse. “It’s not much but its home,” Bill said. He helped the kids get their things and went to unlock the door. “I’ve always wanted a porch. We never had one when I was growing up,” Velma said as she dragged her hand along the banister. 

“You’ll be staying in my room,” Patrick said bringing her luggage into the room. “I’m taking the pull out sofa bed in the living room,” he added. “Now tomorrow I plan on taking you out and showing you off to all of my friends. Think you can handle that?” he asked. “I think I could bare it for you,” Velma said with a smile. “Mom says she making dinner and she’ll call us when its time to eat. Have fun unpacking,” he told her. “Oh yes. I shall have to find a way to contain all my joy,” she replied. 

Velma unpacked pretty quickly and used the rest of her time to explore the room. Since it had been Patrick’s before she found trophies and medals hanging around, mostly from science fairs and festivals. She came upon some pictures of her fiancée. A handful of pictures were placed around the room, in frames. She looked at each of them, smiling to see Patrick look so young. Even back then he was cute. 

A knock came at the open door and Velma turned to see who it was. “Time for supper dear,” Bill told her. She followed him to the dining room table and sat next to Patrick. Elaine came out of the kitchen carrying a roast with slice potatoes. She set it down in the center of the table and Bill start to carve it. “Here you go,” he said to Velma handing her a plate filled with roast and potatoes. “Thank you,” Velma responded.

She couldn’t wait to take the first bite. It smelled so good and her mouth was beginning to water. She picked up her fork and stabbed a piece of roast. She placed it in her mouth. It was just as she had pictured it tasting; delicious. “Mrs. Wisely it’s delicious,” Velma complimented. “You don’t have to be so formal dear. Just call me Elaine,” Patrick’s mother replied back. “Ok,” Velma said nodding.

After dinner Elaine brought out a chocolate cake. “I’ll have you know she slaved all day in the kitchen to make that cake,” Bill said. Elaine turned to Patrick and Velma. “I think your father is going senile,” she told them. “Hey, I heard that,” Bill exclaimed. “You were supposed to dear,” Elaine said giving him a peck on the cheek. Velma loved the way Patrick’s parents were still so much in love and didn’t feel embarrassed to show it.. Velma’s parents were somewhat different. They loved each other, they did but they showed their love differently from the Wiselys’. 

Velma finished off two pieces of cake before she’d had her fill. She and Patrick went out to sit on the porch while Elaine, who insisted she needed no help, cleared away the dishes. “It’s all so beautiful here. Not like the city back home,” Velma said as they stared off into the distance. “I never knew how bright the stars were,” she added gazing up. “I like to come out here to get away from the noise and all the lights and pollution. Growing up here was fun. We don’t have a neighbor for half a mile,” Patrick told her.

The next afternoon Patrick borrowed his parents’ truck and took Velma into town just as he had said he would. They stopped at the ice cream parlor for some shakes. A few people came up to them as they were drinking their shakes. “Patrick, man it’s been too long. How the hec have you been?” asked a guy. He stood near their table with a girl and another guy. Patrick stood up. 

“Hey Phil, I’ve been good,” Patrick said giving him a hug. “And who is this pretty young lady?” Phil asked. “This is my fiancée Velma,” Patrick said introducing her. “Fiancee?! You are engaged?” Phil asked astonished. “Yes,” Patrick told him. Phil extended his arm out to Velma who gladly shook it. “Wow, I’ll have to go home and tell mom the news. We never though it a million years you’d ever settle down. Congratulations to you two,” Phil said. “How’s Maggie and the kids?” Patrick asked. “There doing well. In fact number 3 is due this winter,” Phil answered. 

“Wow. That’s good news. Tell Maggie I said hello,” Patrick said. “Will do. You folks take care,” Phil replied. He and his group left the parlor. “Is he the same age as you?” Velma asked. Patrick nodded. “Jinkies he’s married and he has kids. Is there nothing else for you farm people to do out here?” Velma said jokingly. “Nope. You graduate, God willing, you get married and you procreate,” Patrick told her in the same joking manner. 

For the rest of the day, Velma was introduced to so many people, her head was spinning. The town was small, but not that small. And everyone seemed to know everyone else, and everyone else’s history and past and anything going on with them. “It’s very good to see you again Patrick. I hope I get an invitation to the wedding,” an older woman said. “I’ll see what I can do Mrs. Wing. Take care,” Patrick told her.

“Looks to me like we’ll be inviting the whole town,” Velma said as they walked around in town. “We don’t have to you know. Just some people,” Patrick replied. “How would we choose? Everyone I’ve met today seems nice and decent and friendly,” Velma told him. “Well when the time comes we can decide,” Patrick said.

“We’re surely going to miss the both of you,” Elaine said giving both Velma and Patrick a hug before they boarded their plane bound for Coolsville. “You come out and see us whenever you want,” Bill told them. “We’ll all see each other again at the wedding. And we’ll let you know when we’ve chosen a date. As soon as we get back to Coolsville that’s what we’re going to figure out,” Patrick replied. “Last call for boarding,” came a voice over the loudspeaker. “You two better get going,” Elaine said. Velma and Patrick headed towards the gate. 

They gave one last wave to Elaine and Bill and headed towards the plane. “I’m glad we came. I think we’ll have to visit a lot more often. I enjoy the countryside. I may be a city girl but I can deal with peace and quiet for a few days,” Velma said. “And now we head back to Coolsville to begin the next chapter,” Patrick replied. “Wedding plans,” Velma said with a smile. He placed a kiss on her lips as they were boarding the plane. 

The End

Fast Nav  Back to the HUB