Lisa and Jason had been dating for over a year now. Lisa was hopeful that an engagement ring would come soon. Jason had never been one to really plan, always a spur of the moment kind of guy. However, he planned a get-away for the two of them to Ireland. It was going to be with a tour group where they would see some of the castles that still stand. Lisa imagined that Jason would propose on the trip. She thought of it being a beautiful setting of a castle overlooking the sea. Why else would he plan the trip, she wondered.
Lisa could not tend her garden and continue to dream of proposals; she had to get ready and go to work. She didn’t want to be late because she wanted to make sure she got the good janitor’s cart. It was an hour and half drive to the big city airport and she was sure the urinals would be bad this time of day. She packed up her gardening tools, cleaned up, and put on her uniform. She then packed and overnight bag which had a waitress uniform as well as next day clothes. Lisa had to work the graveyard shift at the restaurant and Jason had offered up his apartment so she could get some sleep before driving tomorrow. He would be at the dealership all day anyway, the apartment would be nice and quiet.
During the week that led up the big trip, Jason managed to sell three cars and convinced his father to give him his commission and paycheck early. Jason was very excited for the trip, he had been dating Lisa too long and he needed to make her his wife. He reserved them a hotel at Ashford Castle, the touring company was able to get him a discount on the room. Jason was looking forward to treating Lisa like a queen, walking the scenic grounds, and proposing under the stars. Plus, if she said yes, they could elope; get married at the castle, on the ferry boat ride during the tour, his ideas seemed limitless.
Thursday night came, Lisa was finishing her shift at the airport; Jason had her bags and met her after work. She changed clothes in the freshly cleaned bathroom, clocked out, and boarded the flight with Jason. She was so excited to be going, in eight hours she would be walking the green hills with the man of her dreams.
They slept majority of the trip and arrived at the Dublin airport at one o’clock in the afternoon; they were ready to meet the group. However, they never found the group. They decided to find their own way to the hotel and call the touring company and find them from there. Jason tried calling and was not able to get through. Maybe the hotel concierge knew the company and could help them out. Jason and Lisa headed down from their fourth floor room.
“Excuse me, ma’am.” Jason said.
“Yes?” responded the blonde woman at the concierge desk.
“Have you ever heard of the Great Escapes touring company? It is who we booked our hotel room through and we have not been able to find them.”
“Oh, that’s a scam. We have dealt with others who have fallen prey to their tricks. The hotel room is still reserved in your name.” she smiled.
“So, I assume my $300 a night was never paid, huh?” Jason snarked.
“Probably not and the rooms here cost $1200 US dollars a night.”
“Holy crap!” Jason exclaimed loudly, drawing the room’s attention to him.
“I’ll call the hotel manager. Maybe there is some way he can help the two of you.” The young woman immediately got on the phone.
Jason turned to Lisa, “I am so sorry.”
“It’s not your fault.” Lisa reassured.
“Hopefully we can get a cheaper rate so we can stay. We can always tour on our own.”
“I am sorry to interrupt,” started the concierge. The hotel has no cheaper rooms and the manager is unable to discount your room.
“Do you know of a cheaper place to stay?” Lisa asked.
“Not for several miles. However, I might be able find something. How ‘bout you two go to the hotel restaurant, on us, and I will see what I can learn.” She handed the couple coupons to the restaurant and got on the phone again.
The restaurant was cozy and low lit. It was nearly empty due to lunch being over and dinner not having started yet. Jason and Lisa chose a table and waited on service.
“Maybe we should just head home, Jason. We can see if the airline can trade our tickets for an earlier flight.”
“But I had a special weekend planned for us. Maybe we can rent a car and just drive and explore on our own?”
“I love your spontaneity, but we are awful far from home to be getting lost on a road trip.” Just as Lisa finished her thought, the manager and two security men approached the table.
“Mr. Phipps, I am Patrick Morgan, the manager here at Ashford Castle. It seems your credit card has been declined. I am going to have to ask you to vacate immediately.”
Jason felt defeated. He and Lisa headed back to the room to gather their things, Jason checking his account on his smartphone along the way. Empty. No money to eat on, to go home early, nothing. The touring company had cheated him out of everything, even his romantic weekend.
As he and Lisa were coming down the stairs, he told her about the money being gone.
“It’s all right. I have money to get us food and maybe pay the difference on an earlier flight home.” Lisa tried to console Jason, but it didn’t seem to work.
When they reached the airport, they were starving; they had not eaten since their flight. Apparently, McDonald’s was everywhere and the couple grabbed a couple of burgers and fries. After the quick bite to eat, Lisa was able to exchange the tickets for an earlier flight. However, they would have to spend half the night at the airport, as the flight did not leave till two o’clock in the morning.
It was a quiet stay at the airport and a quiet trip on the flight back to the states. Jason was not in the mood for conversation, no matter how much Lisa tried.
“I’ll just head home, Jason. You seem to want to be alone.”
“No. Come to my place. I may feel like saying or doing much, but I love having you around.”
Lisa got in her car, parked in employee parking and drove Jason to his car. She then followed him home. Once home, Jason called his father to tell him about the trip and what happened. It was a short call, but Jason seemed a little less tense afterwards.
Jason turned to Lisa, “I was planning on doing this somewhere else, but I want to marry you. And I don’t mean propose. I want to get married as soon as we can. We can go to the courthouse on Monday.”
Lisa was shocked by the impudent request. “Jason, I would love to marry you, but I need an engagement. You know, a bridal shower, bachelorette party, my friends and family to be at the wedding.”
It’s now or it’s never. I want to marry you now. I need to marry you now. I am cannot wait.”
“Why can’t you wait?”
“My 37th birthday is in three days…”
“I know.” Lisa cut in.
“If I am not married by then, I will be written out of my father’s Will.”
Lisa was never rash, she always though things through. However, something about Jason brought out a different side to her.
“Let’s get married!” she nearly jumped from her seat.
Due to state laws, they could not get married till Wednesday, Jason’s birthday. But they were married on time as far as Jason’s father was concerned.
Jason never got his money back from the scam. Lisa sold her cottage in the country. The couple did not live happily ever after, but they came pretty darn close.