Thank you to everyone who has taken this journey with me.
A special thanks to everyone who has contributed pictures, song and works of art for this story, Tracey who allowed me to use her video-maker and anyone who recc'd this story.
I am truly thankful for all of your support.
Under the Apple Tree
~ Epilogue ~"Jesusmotherfuckingshit." In a moment of intense orgasm, my mouth. It thinks of new words that are as sinful as our acts.
He's panting in my face. His eyes are closed and my eyes are closed and I only know this because I know him. I know when his head falls into my shoulder. I know when his hands tighten around my thighs. I know when…
"I know, baby. So good," he breathes hard and is going to smirk. I know this.
I shake my head in a moment of panic and push at him a little. "No, I mean shit. There's a guy out there mowing the lawn."
He turns his head, looking over his shoulder, to the large kitchen window. A groan of irritation and then he pulls me away from the refrigerator, where breakfast was interrupted by something much more delicious.
Inside the safety and privacy of the laundry room, I laugh. He rests me on top of the washing machine and I feel ridiculously warm. My legs remember what has happened here before. His smirk must remember, too.
I push him away. "Don't even. I'm already stupid-late, Edward."
He goes again for my mouth. "Then another ten minutes won't hurt anything."
My foot on his bare stomach. "I don't think showing up late my first day will make for a very good impression."
He takes my foot and shows the bottom of it some affection. His voice whispers to it. "I thought you loved me."
I smile at his…everything. "I do." I take my foot back. "Which is why I don't want to fuck this up."
He follows me out of the laundry room and we peek around the corner before going back into the kitchen. All is clear from creepy lawn people. We scoop our clothes from the floor and our day continues on.
Kisses on the head, fingers on the cheek and, "I'll miss you. I Love you. Have a good day." Grace. Edward. "And remember to eat your lunch. All of it." Wink.
Hugs and kneeling down to make sure her bangs aren't in her eyes. "Remember Mommy is just down the hall if you need me, okay? It'll be okay. Um, sit in the front so you can see." Me. Grace.
She looks around. She likes her hands over her voice and that shit is fine. But she is still small and little people have insecurities as big as big people.
Me too. But we've done this before. We have done this before. Fuck, we have done this before. A hand and she looks up. Her eyes trust that hand and she takes it. He's braver than me and he does the dirty work. I watch as he helps her find a seat. Make a friend. Talks to the teacher and I just smile and wiggle two little fingers at two other little fingers that want my ass to not be such a coward.
I'll just be down the hall.
That sentence carries my feet in that direction, until it is settled into my seat and adjusting the little sign on my desk that says who I am. But in my bag, there is something that holds more truth. I make sure the glass is clean and that I stare at it long enough to get me through this day, before I pull out the easel and allow it to face me as I face my first attempt as a Guidance Counselor.
She didn't need me.
She was fine.
But I found myself in need of having to use the restroom too many times.
The restrooms that were located past her classroom door.
The small window that allowed a peek inside.
And kept my brain safe from the unknown for the remainder of my day.
"I didn't do anything!" I watch as he is ushered into my office.
"Fighting in the hall, Mrs. Cullen. Good luck with this one."
I want to focus on the fact that Jacob has been tossed into the chair before me and is in trouble. Mrs. Cullen. That shit is still weird. My mouth is such a girl. Focus.
When the door closes. "You know, Jake, when I agreed to let you come stay with us, I did it under the impression that it was for the better. That is what I told your mom. This makes me look like a damn liar."
He huffs and slouches. "This school sucks. There are too many little kids."
"Small town," I shrug. "And FYI, if you think you have it rough, having to share the grounds with little kids, try being me. I have to not only manage those guys, but also deal with the shit you and your stupid teen-aged friends come up with."
I put my glasses on. I can see just fine. But I am supposed to be a professional. Not his friend. And also, they have a meeting with Edward soon and I need to get used to wearing them.
"For instance," I find a notepad and his file. "Fighting in hall. Care to explain?"
He sinks lower in his chair. "Can we eat pizza for dinner?"
"This is stupid, Bella."
"The only thing stupid right now is you. Now sit up straight in your damn seat and tell me what's wrong before I send you to the Principle and then you can explain to Dr. Cullen why we have to have a discussion about it at a pizza-less dinner tonight."
Damn. I am good at this.
His face is pissy, but he listens. "I saw some kid looking at Brianna."
She has been Brianna since two summers ago. Not Bree. Brianna. Bree does not exist anymore. She is a kid. Brianna is a teen-aged girl who has made two grey hairs appear on the back of her Uncle's head. The bowl of oatmeal he eats every morning is contributed to the other name. Angel-face. Heart health and blood pressure, or some shit.
"Well, she's a very pretty girl. It's bound to happen," I shrug.
He leans forward. "She's my girl."
"You sound like a cave man, number one. Number two, if you start a fight every time someone looks at Bree, you are going to be expelled in no time and on a plane back home. Away from Bree. And then…who knows Jacob. She could find another boy."
He is hating me today. Good.
"Good. Now be a gem and get your ass back to class. No more trouble."
He stands. "You're scary, Bella."
I smile. "Really?"
"Yup." He turns for the door.
"Oh and Jacob…." I adjust my glasses. "It's Mrs. Cullen during school hours."
And when I enter another office, later on in the day, with two chocolate milks and two chicken pattie sandwiches, I am still Mrs. Cullen.
"He is with a patient I'm afraid, Mrs. Cullen."
"It's alright, Regina. I'll wait in his office." I drop her off some oatmeal cookies and walk down the hall.
Inside, I set out our lunch and take a seat in his chair. I smile at the smiles looking at him on his desk. The colorful pictures under the glass that lays on top of the wood. The post-it note he doesn't need. He'd never forget.
The door opens and he looks happy, but something else.
He sits in the chair across from me. He grabs the chocolate milk and opens it. A laugh. A sip and a head shake. "Nothing."
"Spill it, Edward."
Another sip. "Believe me, you don't want to know."
He hasn't even noticed my glasses yet, which mean, "Believe me, Yes I do."
He smiles and I am all ears. "This kid…oh Jesus," a hand to his head and I am already laughing. His voice shrinks a little. "This kid came in with a very…odd problem."
"Yes, go on. Please."
He sighs. "It's really not funny, Sweetheart."
"Something tells me otherwise, but okay, I'll shut up."
A weary eye and then goes on. "He sort of…took something he wasn't supposed to. An herbal supplement. It was for…it was for his father."
I bite my lips so he'll tell me the rest of the story.
"It gave him an erection for the last…"
And I lose my shit, laughing face down against his desk. I can't help it. I am so in need of Sunday and God and forgiveness.
He sighs. "Exactly why I didn't want to tell you."
I pop my head up from my arm. "I'm sorry. It's not funny. Not the poor kid having to deal with it. Just…." ah shit I cant stop myself. Giggles. So good. "Just your face. I could only imagine what you looked like in there." My laughs meets his desk again.
"You know how embarrassed that poor kid must have been, Bella? Having to tell your mom you have a boner that won't go away."
I try to sober up. I try to look at him, but I am eternally twelve.
"And for the record, I don't enjoy having to deal with erections before lunch time. Especially if they aren't my own."
He isn't helping. He knows this right?
I am given a shake of the head as he reaches for his foil-wrapped sandwich. Sitting back in the chair, I find my composure. "Would you like to talk about it? I could um…" I adjust my glasses. "Put my therapist hat on."
He chews. He sees my glasses. I smirk and put my shoes on his desk, crossing my legs.
He swallows. "Are we going to discuss my erections?"
I reach up and pull the pen from my bun, allowing my hair to fall around my shoulders.
"Whatever you like, Dr. Cullen."
And foil-wrapped sandwiches are nothing. And chalky-chocolate milk is nothing. And his desk, the top of his desk is everything. And my skirt was a good fucking idea. These heels are goddamn amazing around his waist. His fingers finding garters and groaning into my mouth at them is heat between my legs and my own hands gripping at his coat and tie and frantically trying to get rid of those things is all I want. Wet lips run down my neck while buttons undo themselves on my shirt. Glasses on, his face buried in my tits and my heel against his ass. And I hear the drawer, but fuck that drawer.
"No." My heel reiterates as I try to push him into me. "Just you."
"Bella," it's a warning, but I know what I'm doing. I know what I want.
I let my legs and tongue and hair-tugging speak for me. He gives in, palms on my hips and bare. Nothing keeping him from me and it's so fucking good. Just as good as this morning. So much better than in bed and playing it safe.
He pulls me forward and off the desk. My feet touch the floor and I turn around. I spread my legs and bend over. I lean on my elbows and his fucking hands on my hips is Heaven. His cock buried deep inside me is Heaven. Having to be quiet is torture. His palm slapping gently to my ass must be for laughing earlier.
I look over my shoulder and let him have his lil fantasy. He's earned it. He watches my glasses and he holds onto my hair and I want to say dirty shit to him and tell him to fuck me harder, but there are little people and nurses and shit on the other side of that door and this town looks up to him. This town thinks I am a good wife and mother and Mrs. Cullen. I make the best oatmeal cookies for the annual bake-sale.
He covers me with his weight and body as my thoughts must be his too. His mouth at my ear as I am given deep meaningful thrusts as he swallows down the noises I want to make, placing his mouth over mine and trading those noises for kisses.
And I know. When his body tenses. When his arms tighten around me. When his head falls…but this time it doesn't. His hands are cupped gently around my face and he is looking at right at me. For good reason.
Like I only have a second to decide. "Are you sure?"
I was sure this morning and shit hasn't changed. I nod.
And now his eyes close. Now his body tenses and his head falls against mine. His mouth kissing at my cheek and with anyone else this would have been just a dirty office fucking. But we are us, and it is not.
I make sure his tie and hair are fixed. His finger pushes up my glasses and my finger pokes the smirk in the corner of his mouth. He grabs it and laces our hands together. His lips touch my forehead.
"How's Grace doing?"
My face leans to his shirt. Taking a little lavender Edward for the road. "She's fine. Jacob is being an ass, though."
He only says it because of the Angel-face name. "Isn't he always."
"I think I fixed it. For now. Anyhow…I've got to get back." I tip up on my toes and find his lips. "See you at seven."
"Should I bring yellow or pink?"
I smile at his love and thoughtfulness. "Pink. She'd like pink."
A wink to me and it completes the best lunch ever.
Her small hands hold onto my shoulders as I help her into the tights. Then shoes. Her curls look adorable piled on top of her head. Pink ribbon.
"Hurry up. We're gonna play a game on stage before it starts," Bree begs.
"Hold your horses. She'll be right there."
Bree spins and twirls and laughs with the other girls while I make sure I remembered everything I was supposed to do.
"Alright. Let Mommy take a picture." She looks shy and it only makes it better.
"There's our girl."
She smiles, hearing a grandmother she hasn't seen since our last visit. And Grandpa standing next to her. And Edward looking charming and right on time next to them.
Esme gets the first kisses and hugs before we find our seats. I still haven't seen how RENT ends, but it somehow seems rather insignificant up against Grace's first ballet recital. This is the only show I want to know the ending to. My nerves are only calmed by Edward's hand holding mine. His face full of pride as he watches the curtains pull open. This, I want more of. With him.
She doesn't miss a beat. She never falls or is lost. The girl next to her does. A few times. Her ears shouldn't have let her fall or get lost. She just doesn't pay attention. Grace is just her name. She is perfect and she is full of her name.
The teacher hands them all a little bag of treats and a ribbon backstage. I sit and wait. My camera on my lap. She is full of smiles and Bree hugging her and showing off her own rewards, but that's not what I am waiting for.
Shiny shoes show themselves and no bag of treats or ribbons has shit on her daddy. Her daddy who kneels down and waits for pink slippers to find him. For pink lips to smile and brown eyes to look shy as pink flowers are extended to her and warm kisses meet her cheek with all the pride and love any little girl would want to have.
And that is what my camera waits for.
"So, how are things? The house looks lovely. The flowers are just blooming like wild in the yard."
I hand Esme a cup of tea and take a seat next to her at the table. "Thanks. Everything is good. Great actually."
She smiles. "Then why is there something behind those brown eyes, Bella?"
She is a mom. Always. "It's nothing. I'm just being a little stupid."
My hands cup the warm mug. "You ever just feel like something might drop? Like it's….too good to be true or something?"
"The old 'rug getting pulled out from underneath you'?"
I nod. "Yeah. Like that."
"Sure, Dear. We all do. That is why life is unpredictable."
I laugh a little. Her hand touches my wrist, fixing the charm I still wear. "You just live each day like it will be the last and then you have no regrets."
"I'm trying." And my mouth can't help but smile and Esme sees that shit. Her eyes and motherly Esme-self want to know. "We're trying to have a baby."
Her eyes go all wide and happy and shit. "Really?"
"Trying is the word. Don't get too excited, please."
"Well, I'm sure you'll have no problem. You're both healthy and I couldn't imagine God not wanting to bless you with one."
I can. "Just don't tell Edward I told you."
Her face scrunches. "Why would he mind?"
Do I? Fuck. "Because I'm sure he already feels enough pressure and if it doesn't happen, he's gonna blame himself."
"Why…is there something I don't know?"
Such a big mouth. "He couldn't have kids with Tanya."
Eyes wide. "They were….oh my…I never…I never knew that."
I know. "Just don't say anything. Please?"
She pats my arm. "Safe with me."
He walks in as we finish our tea. He smiles and kisses the top of my head before going to the fridge. So do I.
And I'm not talking about those smiles. No matter how much she begs.
She nods happily, sitting in his lap. The morning has brought us two new visitors. Alice and Jasper. They are on the couch, watching as Edward is about to play something on the piano. Grace just likes putting her hands over his and pretending she is the player.
He doesn't mind giving her credit.
I see Jacob sneak off with Bree and say nothing. They are going out the back door and I decide as long as they are on the porch and not in his bedroom, that shit is fine.
Everyone else's eyes are on the piano concert. Esme is taking pictures and smiling like she's never seen this before, even though, she has. She begs for it every time we are together. When the song concludes and the standing ovation stops, Alice remains standing. She smiles at Jasper and something is up. It is the same look she had when she announced they were getting married.
"Jasper and I have something to share. Well actually….Jasper, me and um…" she hold her hands to her stomach and the smile that spreads ear-to-ear finishes that sentence.
And I want to be happy. I want to be hugging her tightly like Esme and crying tears of joy and all that shit a good family member should. But, I am watching Edward watching her and how he smiles and wants to look like he thinks this is wonderful news, but I know his eyes and his smile can't hide the fears and insecurities in them.
And as we lay in bed, staring at the moon that is staring at us, I am right.
It's laced with it. "You know it might not happen, right, Bella?"
I'm glad he's holding me from behind. I don't want to see his face. "Mmhmm."
I look over my shoulder. "Are you seriously apologizing for shit that hasn't even happened?"
He hides his face into my hair. "That's the point. It probably won't."
"It's only been like a day, Edward. Not even long enough to try or to know anything. Have a little goddamn faith, would you?"
"I'm just trying to be realistic."
Jesus Christ. I roll over to face his woe is me. "I would prefer optimistic."
Like a little boy. "Tanya and I didn't work together. Chances are, we might not either. You're always telling me not to be naïve."
"And you're not. Optimism and naiveté are not the same. Not even close. And for the fucking record, I'm not Tanya. We're not…we're not you and Tanya. We're you and me."
Quietly. "I know."
I'm teasing. Sort of. "So shut the fuck up already."
He laughs. "Sorry."
"Stop saying that and just watch the moon with me. It's full and beautiful and doesn't want to hear your sob story." I kiss his face and roll back over.
I feel his arms and his laughter. "I think you picked the right profession, Bella."
Only the moon sees me smile.
I am walking to the teacher's lounge for a soda as I hear it. Metal. Loud. Over and over. A girl and begging. Other kids. My feet walk fast and towards it.
"Jacob, no! Stop it!" And she is about to get a fist to the face if she doesn't move. Oatmeal will not cure that shit.
"Move. Move." I push through the circle of kids and good thing I know how to avoid a punch being thrown and an ass-kicking being given. Bless Emmett and our history. I grab Jacob's shirt and pull hard, until he can't connect his hands to the kid he is slamming into the lockers anymore.
Another teacher helps to get things under control and I am dragging Jacob's ass all the way back to my office. He says nothing and knows he is about to get an ass-kicking of his own. I close the door with all the anger and disappointment I feel. He slumps in the chair.
"What the hell is wrong with you, kid? Did you not understand our little conversation about no hitting and getting expelled?"
He jumps up. "That kid was touching Brianna."
"I don't care. You don't hit people, Jacob."
"You don't understand. He was trying to touch her like…like…like how I touch her." His face calms down. "He was hurting her."
"Then you tell a teacher. Or me. He would have gotten in trouble. Now look at you. YOU are in trouble. Again."
He sits back down. "If someone hurt you, wouldn't Dr. Cullen protect you?"
Yes. I walk around my desk and take a seat. "Jacob…you can't hit people. You just can't. And Dr. Cullen would never…" I can't even say that bogus shit. Of course he would. He punched Emmett in the face and brawled with him over less. "You just can't hit people."
It's quiet for a minute. I rub my face. I pull out the pad of paper and his file. "What was he doing to Bree?"
This desk and these glasses have lost a bit of his trust. "I told you already."
"Well then tell me again."
His arms cross his chest. "I told her not to wear that skirt. It's too short," he huffs. "I just don't like people hurting her, Bella. Not with looks. Not with words. Nothing. She was crying because he said rude things about…about stuff he wanted to do to her and I was just trying to protect her. Alright?"
Jacob looks at the wall and I want to be pissed off at this kid. I want to keep telling him that he can't hit people. I want to tell him that he needs to go back home. But I was once a girl who needed protection and a man to stick up for her, and while he might not be a man, he is closer to it than most I have met.
I close his file.
"As your friend, Jacob, I'm proud as shit of you. But as your Guidance Counselor, you are going to spend the next two week in detention and every morning you are going to wake up an hour early, be at this school and make sure there is no gum stuck under the cafeteria tables.
"I hear the lunch ladies hate doing this and since you want to help and be such a good little protector and shit, you won't have any problem keeping their fingers safe from sticky ass gum you jerks leave under the tables. Right?"
He rolls his eyes and hates me.
His palms slap the arm rest of the chair. "Yeah. Whatever."
I plop down on the couch. Edward looks away from the TV.
"What's wrong, baby?"
"Ask me what isn't. The list is shorter."
He slides over. "I didn't realize first graders had so many issues."
I shove him a little. "I don't just deal with little kids you know."
He pulls me into his side. "Tell Dr. Cullen all about it, Dr….." he laughs. "…Cullen."
I make a face. "It's just Jacob. He's starting shit."
"No, on Jupiter. Of course at school." He's quiet and I am being a bitch to the wrong person. "Sorry. He just pisses me off.'
"What did he do?"
"He keeps getting in fights over Bree. He apparently has a serious jealous streak I was unaware of. He beat the crap out of some boy today who made her cry."
The wrong person to have this discussion with. "Why was she crying?"
"Something a boy said about her short skirt. Remind me to bring up dress codes at the next PTA meeting or some shit. Anyhow, he said something rude and I guess she cried so Jake beat his ass."
I move so I can see his face. "Huh? I tell you Jacob is hitting people and your only comment is huh?"
He shrugs. "I would do the same thing if someone made you cry."
"He's going to get expelled if he keeps this shit up."
Edward pulls me back into his side. "I'll talk with him. And Bree. And Carmen. No more short skirts."
His fingers work through my hair and it is amazingly relaxing. He slumps down so I can lay on his chest and soon our mouths have found each others. My back has found the back of the couch and my leg is over his hip with his hand running up my thigh.
"Grace is out with your folks and Jacob has football practice. We have a while, you know. Alone."
His hand goes higher to answer me. Mouth under my chin and I give him more access. His warmth and lavender suffocate me. My face is flushed and my heart thumping for him. My hands find his face and I want it against my own. I hold him there, forehead pressed to his and I don't need to say anything. He just knows it's because I love him. Because his face in my hands would be enough. He is that good and I would be just as lucky.
My heart matches my breathing as he graces my lips with a soft kiss. Then to the corner of one side. Then the other. His eyes are so heated. So alive and full and I pull him into me until I can't breathe.
I'm lifted from the couch and a trail of clothes gets discarded as we find our room. My back is laid gently on to our bed. His knees press into the mattress. Lips above my belly button. To over my heart. Until his face is above mine. Looking down. And the sun setting happens in the green of his eyes as the window lets it in.
"You want to make a baby with me, Bella?"
I take his face into my hands. "I just want you. Anything else is just a really big bonus."
And the sun disappears from his eyes as he closes them. Leans down. Into my lips and I am staring at the moon, wishing there were a man who really lived there and who hears my silent prayers for miracles before the sun will wake up again.
"I cannot believe how hungry I am." I follow Alice around as she attempts to eat half of the mall.
I shrug. "It's the kid. At least you're still skinny. I was a fat cow at six months." Truth be told, she is a little chubbier since I saw her the last time she was here. Okay, a lot chubbier. I'm being nice, though.
"Did it feel like this for you?"
It's an odd question. Not really. I'm just odd. "Yeah."
"I could go for a pizza. Where is there pizza in this place?" She pauses at the map of the mall and I wait as she looks. Over the crowd, I see the top of a familiar head. She waves to me.
I wave back, happy that we all found each other. Edward leans down so I can pull Grace off his shoulders.
"Did you have fun?"
She nods and holds up a bag. Edward takes it from her though, laughing a little. "Not yet, Sweetheart. We have to wait for Santa. Remember?"
She tells him she's sorry and of course she didn't have to. I see something new. My eyes look up to him. He knows this look.
He's not hearing it. "She wanted them."
"Mmhmm. And when she wants a pony, gonna buy that too, Mr. Softy?" I thumb her newly acquired pink, diamond earrings, that make mine look a little ratty.
"Pony?" Of course she speaks now.
I shake my head. "No pony."
Her head goes to my shoulder. "She looks tired. I think I'm gonna take off. Your sister is still trying to consume a pizza joint or something. Maybe you should stay with her."
He leans over and kisses us both. "Drive carefully, please. The roads are going to be slick."
I kiss him. "You too." Another one. "I love you."
His mouth repeats it back to my forehead.
I leave the Christmas tree lights on and curl up on the couch. Grace wasn't the only exhausted person. I yawn and smile at the same time. I stare at the stockings along the fireplace. One, two, three, four, five. Edward. Me. Grace. Jacob. Bree - because she is spoiled rotten, but does not live here. Brat.
I laugh to myself and snuggle up to the couch. I have never felt so warm and when my nap is interrupted by loud teenagers and bags and adults and all that follows a trip to holiday shop, I don't mind. Nothing cold ever warrant a complaint. I have nothing to be angry be over.
Edward looks quite the opposite. He places my feet in his lap and is about to begin a massage, but I pull them back and sit up. I lean back against the arm of the couch and open my arms.
"Want to share my blanket?"
Of course he does. He snuggles down, hugging himself to me how I would usually hug myself to him. His head against my chest and I wonder if he hears how content my heart is. I scratch my fingers to his hair and he makes noises that tells me he likes it.
And my mouth just can't shut up. I should shut up and give it to him for Christmas, but my mouth just can't shut up.
"I bought something."
"At the mall. I bought something."
He laughs but doesn't move. "That's why we went, Sweetheart."
Men. "Don't you wanna see it?"
He shrugs. "Sure."
"It's on the coffee table."
I watch his face as his eyes open and he looks that way. "I don't see anything. New, anyhow."
I point. "The stocking."
"Oh." He is quite for a moment. "Um, it's nice."
I roll my eyes. I ditch the game. Obviously it isn't going to work. You can a lead and horse and all that shit.
"I bought it for the baby."
He snuggles back against me. "Alice will love it."
Jesus H. "Not hers." I move the hand that is on my side, to below his face. "Ours."
The longest pause of all time. Happening right now. Green eyes finally look up. But he doesn't believe. I know these eyes. Eyes. How I pray they will be his.
My thumb reassures those creases in his forehead. "We work together." My hand goes over the one on my belly. "We work together."
And apparently, very well.
We stand in the doorway, peeking at the steps. Flannel covering our bodies. Warm socks on our feet. A few more grey hairs on the back of his head. Not all from Bree. She has found protection from another. Edward has finally come to terms with this, having too many girls of his own to watch out for. And Jacob, he wouldn't let a fly harm his Angel-face, who has a ring on her finger that will someday make her his wife and perhaps, they will be like us.
They will be standing in a doorway, trying to steal a peek of that first bit of happiness and excitement as little feet come running down the steps, anxious to see what Santa has left behind. Year after year.
"This is my favorite part," he whispers.
I look over my shoulder and smile.
Because they all have his eyes. The good in them. The happiness. The love. Because all of the shit that could have been pulled out from under us, never was. Because even if it did, it wouldn't matter.
We've faced it before.
And you can turn broken emptiness into a house full of this.
You can take a chance.
With your life, when another is sick and needs it. With the fate of your family, when someone needs protection and you put on a badge and do it just because someone has to. With your heart, if you can find bravery and strength to forget that it died, but remember that it can be resurrected. With your pride, if you can let it go and admit your mistakes. Turn those mistakes into a man who would do anything for the angelic girl he loves. Learn to dance and find your place, even if you are different. Even if all you have to go on is the vibration under your feet and the encouragement in your father's eyes.
Some of the most significant things we have done in our lives have been merely… because we took a chance.
Under an apple tree.
Against all the odds.
On unsteady feet.
And sometimes you never open doors that are closed. Sometimes, what you have is enough. And it doesn't matter if you can never share coffee and pedicures. That you will never have a number for advice in your contacts, because that person would never answer the phone even if you did. There's no going back to certain places. Sometimes, there's no forgiveness or second chances.
Not all of it works out. Not all of it can be perfect.
But it's part of it.
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