Ringing up love at Walmart
Veronica Pena and Albert Gonzales will marry in November 2013. Theirs is the winning entry in the Wilson County News’ “Love Story” contest.
May 24, 2012, 9:54am
By Veronica Pena and Albert Gonzales
I’m engaged; every time these words leave my mouth, an unknown feeling comes over me. A feeling of excitement, joy, and happiness, which cannot be contained.
If someone would have told me two years ago that I would be engaged at the young age of 21, I would have thought of them as insane! Life is a mystery, plans change, and love finds you when you least expect it.
One day, class ended late, which meant I was running late. I sped home, changed into my work clothes, grabbed an apple, and was out the door. There was no time to style my hair or apply makeup; I felt like a mess. Thankfully, I made it to work on time. At the time I was working at Walmart and going to school, so my time was pretty much occupied.
The day went on as usual, nothing out of the ordinary, until I had this one nice customer. He was tall, had a beautiful smile, and had dimples. I tried not to stare; after all, I looked horrible. He made some small talk as I processed his transaction; at the end I told him to have a good day and he left.
For the next month, this young man did a lot of shopping at Walmart, each time paying at my register. He would make jokes and shine his bright smile and be gone.
One day the line was long, it was close to leaving time, and I was beat. At the end of the line, I saw a familiar face. Something seemed different with him. He was not talking, and rather quiet. At the end of the transaction, he almost whispered, “Has it ever occurred to you that I come shopping just to see you?” I was completely caught off guard. I began to blush; not wanting him to see, I said, “Good night, sir,” and quickly turned away. Replays of that moment were in my mind for the rest of the night.
Weeks passed, and I had not seen his familiar face. I could not deny that I missed his visits. Did I offend him? Did he give up?
I would dress up my uniform in hope that he would show up, but nothing. I would tell coworkers of this mystery guy that never appeared again, and they would ask me every day if he came by.
Finally, as I was leaving work, I caught a glimpse of him walking out the door. I walked beside him, and asked, “Where have you been, stranger?” A surprised look crossed his face; he smiled and explained he had been busy with school and work. He asked if I was off, and I answered yes. He then invited me to dinner at a nearby Chili’s. I agreed; after all, I did not want to take the chance of not seeing him again. Since that day, Albert and I have become inseparable.
A year later, we decided to go New York City for Christmas. It was amazing and romantic. I loved everything about the city, and spending Christmas with Albert. It was Christmas Eve and we were in the middle of Rockefeller Center, when he knelt down and asked me to marry him. I shouted, “Yes!”
We will tie the knot in November 2013. I can hardly wait.
My Prince Charming was not riding a white horse, but shopping at Walmart.
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Small Town Girl
May 25, 2012 4:01pm
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