Chapter 14: Ruca, Maté, and Guests

Joe noticed Milly’s necklace. “Rich, is that your lucky gold coin hanging on Millaray’s neck?” “Yeah, like you said, that coin has a story of friendship behind it. I wanted that story to continue, so I gave it to her.” Millaray blushed bright red. A moment of silence filled the room, and Rich noticed. “What?” He asked not understanding why the room had turned from lively conversation to quiet. The two fathers looked at each other, looked at the coin, and exploded in laughter. They Laughed and laughed. They were so loud, that the people in the neighboring homes peered out of their windows to see what was so funny. Their laughter was contagious, so Milly started giggling without even knowing why. “Bahahahahaha! Richard! You really did it. Hahaha!” Exclaimed Joe. “I did what!” Rich was growing impatient with their teasing. Joe gained his composure and explained. “When a man gives a woman a gift of gold in the Mapuche culture, that act is considered a marriage proposal.” Rich’s jaw dropped. In disbelief, he turned to Maiten. “It is true, Richard. Do you wish to marry my Millaray?” Maiten asked with slight test, but mostly out of his own amusement. Milly chimed in. “Yes, he does! We’re getting married where we first met, and Izzy will be the ring bearer! It’s gonna be perfect.”

Rich can’t help but remind himself of a funny coincidence in a passing thought. He played his father’s words in his head again. “Being rich means having everything you ever wanted; you can make that happen with money!” He chuckled as he glanced at his lucky coin on Milly’s neck. He was amused that his dad wasn’t wrong, and his words rang true. Rich realized he was being given the opportunity to have everything he ever wanted by gifting a coin. As he thought more about the concept, he felt there was something wrong with how this had panned out. He wanted to be Millaray’s friend more than he wanted to be her husband, and he wanted to earn that friendship, not buy it.

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