Daisy's Decision (Dixon Brothers #4) - Hallee Bridgeman

Rare moments in life, we stand at the very top of the mountain. Looking all around in every direction from that lofty height, glorious beauty fills our eyes. The clouds look like a white ocean at our feet. Our hearts race. A light-headed feeling overtakes our senses from the thin air, the chill, the silence. We barely notice our shadows as pure golden sunlight, unfiltered by the clouds below, bathes our bodies like a halo. Even so, our skin turns to gooseflesh. Though exceptionally uncommon, these mountaintop moments do happen and—if we allow them to—overshadow the bulk of the time we exist down in the terrestrial valleys.

Sleeping, waking, showering, sipping our morning cup, eating, taking in the news, cleaning up after ourselves, commuting, working, pondering, planning, teaching, learning; these make up just a few items in the long list of daily mundane tasks we perform while living down on the surface of planet earth. Then, suddenly—and very rarely—utter astonishment coupled with the tiniest sliver of anxious exhilaration completely overtakes us when life suddenly flings us out of our prosaic workaday experience, hurtling us all the way to the mountain’s peak in a single rush. Our middles become a flock of butterflies, and our knees turn to water. We barely notice even the most important everyday item from the low valley below as the astounding beauty of that moment cuts to the front of the line of our priorities. Life transports us to the mountaintop in that single heartbeat when we first lay eyes on that one person, that one who God has made especially for us.

For Daisy Ruiz, she first found herself on the mountaintop at the tender age of twelve.

Kenneth Dixon—who went by Ken and never Kenny—and his two brothers joined their youth group. She learned Ken’s name just as soon as possible and later learned that his brothers went by Jon and Brad. So-called identical triplets, she had to admit she often had trouble telling Brad from Jon or Jon from Brad. However, she never once had any problem identifying Ken.

Something about the way Ken moved, or how he sounded when he spoke or laughed, or the way he smelled always differentiated Ken from his look-alike brothers. Even at fifteen, his arms and chest rippled with muscles beneath his preferred polo style shirts. As far as identical, at least in Daisy’s opinion, Ken looked much more handsome than either of his ordinary-looking brothers.

Her father led the youth group and hosted the high school class each week on Wednesday nights in their home. By the second week, Daisy had enveloped the inside cover of her science notebook with variations of “Daisy Dixon,” and she very, very much wanted to feel those muscular arms embracing her while those incredible eyes stared deeply into hers.

The problem, as Daisy saw it, was that Ken Dixon barely noticed her. He was so much older at fifteen, a Sophomore in High School already, and surely just viewed her as a little girl in middle school.

He acted like a perfect gentleman with her parents and mostly stayed quiet in the group. Fairness forced her to admit that Ken handed out this trademark introspective silence pretty equally. He didn’t really reserve his reticence for her exclusively. Occasionally, he did have an interesting way of filling in the silences with a baritone word here or there whenever one or the other of his brother’s paused while speaking. His brothers would do the same to him, so Daisy rightly assumed this syncopated synchronized speech pattern had something to do with them being triplets.

That first summer, the brothers went on a mission trip to Egypt and spent five whole weeks building a school. Daisy took that time to study. She read a lot and watched a lot of videos trying to get some ideas about how to get Ken to notice her. Brad or Jon—she was never exactly sure which—often included her in their discussions. As a rule, unless she spoke to him first, Ken never even spoke to her after she greeted the brothers at the door. In seven months, Ken never once initiated a conversation with her.

Knowing Ken would return to Bible Study in her home just before school started, Daisy began to pray. She prayed that God would give her some inspiration, like He had Ruth. If not, Daisy prayed that God would at least ease the ache she felt in her heart every single time Ken failed to notice her new hairstyle, or her new dress,