Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 48
“Yes Dee, I’m fine,” I said, smiling as I held my cellphone closer to my ear. “And yes, Christian is too.”
“Good, tell him I said hi.” I could tell Dee was grinning. “I miss you though. It sucks that you’re moving schools.”
“I know, I miss you too.” I sighed. “But I’m at my happiest here. You and Cheryl are the only things I miss from my old life.”
That was true. Leaving home a month ago was the best thing that had ever happened to me. With my mom out of the picture and the word incest nonexistent, I was truly happy.
“Autumn!” Christian’s aunt called. “Come. I want to do your hair.”
I smiled excitedly. “Sorry Dee, I have to go. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye. You better come visit soon.”
“Bye.” I smiled sadly.
My friends were the only things I missed from my old life. I made a mental note to visit them soon. Then smiling, I thought about ways to convince Christian to come back to our old home. He was more than happy to be gone from it, so I knew that, that would be a mission.
Getting up from the couch, I walked to the stairs. I walked upstairs and into Christian’s aunt’s room. She was there, sitting in front of a table with a mirror attached to it. A straightener was in her hand.
Before letting her know I was there, I stopped by the door and admired her. I wondered how a woman could be so nice. When Christian and I left with no destination in mind, he offered to show me his aunt that he loved. I agreed, expecting to just see her and have a casual chat. But, that didn’t happen.
Christian’s aunt, Tracy, had embraced the both of us the moment we stepped out of the car. She fell in love with me before I had spoken and made preparations for our wedding. That made Christian mention how we were homeless, and before we knew it we were telling her our life story. And before we could refuse, Tracy had forced us to live with her – not that we were complaining. Ever since that day, my life had been looking bright.
Tracy suddenly looked at me and grinned. She was beautiful. With her bright red hair and blue eyes that were replicas of Christian’s, she screamed beauty. And hot with her curvy figure, despite being in her forties.
“Sweetheart, what are you doing standing there?” she asked, still grinning. “Come here. You and Christian need to be there in an hour.”
I smiled sheepishly and made my way towards her. I wasn’t sure if an hour was enough time, so I quickly sat down in front of her and allowed her to move my hair around. The entire time, I stared at myself in the mirror. Whoever said how you’re feeling inside can affect the way you looked on the outside was right. I definitely looked brighter now.
“Are you excited for the festival?” Tracy asked as she straightened my hair.
“For sure.” I grinned. “I’ve been waiting for it ever since Christian gave me the tickets for my birthday.”
“Yeah, I love these type of festivals.” She sighed. “If only my husband was home more often.”
“You could come with us.”
“No, it’s fine.” She smiled. “I don’t want to third wheel my favourite couple. Are you guys planning on marriage anytime soon?”
I laughed lightly. She asked us that everyday, which was odd because our answers were always the same.
“Tracy, we’re still young,” I replied, admiring how she curved the ends of my hair to give it a nice shape. “We have a lot more to get through in life before we can even question marriage.”
“I know.” She sighed lightly. “But you two are perfect for each other. No couple would have went through so much for each other.”
I shrugged, even though I agreed. Breaking up with him had always been the easiest solution, but we had fought for each other. We never gave up, and here we were at our happiest. Perseverance was something I learned from this one year and a month journey of knowing Christian.
“Christian learned to really smile with you,” Tracy said, finishing straightening my thin hair. “I love you for that, you know.”
My heart fluttered. Hearing that I bettered Christian was always my favourite thing to hear. The fact that I helped him as much as he helped me meant a lot.
“He makes me happy too,” I said honestly. “And I love you, Tracy. Thank you for all of your help. We’d probably be homeless and unhappy without you.”
She kissed the top of my head. “You’re welcome. I love having you two here, so no need to thank me.”
I smiled and wondered if this was how it felt to have a mom who appreciated you. After my own mom, I had no idea what it was like. Watching as Tracy played with my hair, my heart softened. Christian, Tracy, and I seemed to be the family Stephen wanted. I hoped he was watching us now.
“You look beautiful, did I tell you that?” Christian said as I got out of his car.
I rolled my eyes, but smiled. “Yes. You’ve been telling me that for the past thirty minutes.
He grinned sheepishly and my heart softened. Seeing him in his black jeans and black buttoned shirt had me wondering how he was so gorgeous. With his blue eyes sparkling and his grin that made him seem younger, he was perfection to me.
Patting my dress down, I stepped towards him and kissed him. My lips pressed against his gently, and he kissed me back. The both of us smiled as we then moved apart when we heard fireworks. The festival seemed to be calling us.
“What was that for?” Christian asked, grabbing my hand as we began to walk to the entrance.
“I love you,” I answered simply. “And I’m happy.”
“I like seeing you like this.” His grip on my hand tightened. “Happiness looks beautiful on you.”
I blushed as we reached the entrance. Giving the guy at the booth our tickets, we went inside. Excitement filled me as I glanced at the bag Christian was holding in his other hand. In just a few hours, we would be letting go of the lantern he got me. I couldn’t wait.
Christian and I were sitting on a large rock away from the glowing Festival of Lights. We weren’t talking. Instead we were admiring the fireworks that splattered the night sky with colour. I was counting down the minutes until we could let go of the lantern that was in Christian’s hands. My heart was pounding with excitement.
“Did you ever think that you’d find love this young?” Christian suddenly asked.
“No,” I replied honestly. “But I’m more than glad I did.”
He grinned at me. “Same. If people knew how much we’ve been through, they’d think we should be joining your mom. But, our relationship has been the best thing that’s happened to me.”
I smiled, but the line about my mom bothered me. After Christian and I left, she began to go to a therapist. It was confirmed that she wasn’t mentally stable after all of the losses she faced, and even though I hated her, I felt sorrow at the news. Maybe she had made me miserable, but she had been miserable herself. With me reminding her of her old life, she just wanted someone – Christian, to make her happy. But even knowing that, it still wasn’t hard to hate her.
“Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that about your mom,” Christian said, seeing that I hadn’t said anything. “But honestly, I’m happy. I’m glad we never gave up.”
“Me too,” I said honestly. “You’re all I need.”
I laughed lightly and he frowned. Nothing was funny, but I was surprised to see how cheesy I had become. Love had a funny way of softening you up.
“Five more minutes,” Christian said, glancing at his watch.
He handed me the lantern and I held it to my chest. It was already glowing, and memories were brought back to me. My dad and I had done this too. At midnight, we had thrown a lantern into the air. He taught me to let go while doing it, and that was when I realized I needed to do that now.
My mom, Stephen, and everything that happened the past year was always at the back of my mind. I was happy. Happier than I had ever been since my dad passed away. But, that didn’t mean I wasn’t bothered by the past. By everything I had been through. Letting go like my dad taught me to seemed perfect now.
“Christian,” I said, eyes sparkling as he looked right at me with eyes that told me he loved me. “Remember how I told you my dad taught me how to let go by throwing a lantern into the air?”
“Of course.” His eyes softened. “How could I forget?”
“Well, we should do now that.” I got up and held the lantern with one hand towards him. “Together, we should let go of the past.”
Christian got up as well. “That sounds great.”
I blushed as he stood beside me. He must think I was crazy, I thought as he grabbed onto the lantern with one of his hands. But as he suddenly looked at me, his determined eyes told me that he also wanted to do this. He wanted to let go.
“One minute left,” he commented as we just stared at each other.
“One minute left,” I repeated quietly.
I stared at the sky that was now blank. In just one minute, we along with a hundred people would be letting go of our lanterns. We would be letting go of everything as well, and my heart fluttered. This had been a day I’d been waiting for.
“Ready?” Christian suddenly asked.
I nodded. I was more than ready.
“Let go!” he then exclaimed.
The both of us let go of the lantern simultaneously, and a grin flew to my face. The lantern steadily flew up to the sky, and slowly I felt relieved. I felt like I could finally forget about my old life as the lantern floated up.
Christian grabbed my hand and I laughed as more lanterns joined the night sky. The sky glowed brightly as it was now filled with many lanterns. My heart was pounding as I admired the beautiful sight.
“Your dad is a smart man,” Christian commented, also grinning. “I feel like I let go.”
“Same,” I said honestly. “I feel like life is finally good.”
Christian’s eyes softened as he pulled me to him. He wrapped his strong arms around me and I hugged him back. With him, I felt secure. With the lanterns in the sky, I felt relieved. This was how life should be. It should be spent knowing that everything is good. And that was exactly how I felt. With Christian by my side for many years to come, life was finally good.
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