Epilogue ~ Josh Speaks

Now, I love my wife more than anything in the world, but let's face it, she tends to talk a bit too much. She does not know it just yet, but I'm having the final word in this whole story about our history. With a little persuasion on my part, you know a little kiss here or there, and showing her my dashing smile (yep, I still got it), I'm sure she'll include this in the final cut.

So, where should I start? I guess I'll begin with why I fought so hard for Princess. Most guys I know would think that I was, well, for lack of a better word, retarded for going for nearly a year without hooking up with a single girl, even when I didn't know for sure that Princess loved me. Every time I explain to people that I loved Princess, they scoff and want a better reason. But I can't give them one because there isn't.

My love for Princess was so strong I simply couldn't even imagine being with someone else. Once you have found the best, you only want the best. Princess is, without a doubt, my one true love. It still is a wonder to me that of all the guys she could have had, she chose me. *Me.* It just goes to show you anything is possible.

When we got to California, we realized things were not going to be easy. I, for one, had to talk to the administration about enrolling again the next semester. They weren't too pleased with me after I just left the school for a month, but they eventually agreed that if I took classes over the summer to make up the credits I had lost, then not only would I be able to continue going to school and play on the baseball team, but they would also renew my scholarship. The only thing they would not give me was free housing, but that was fine with me. I was looking forward to living in an apartment with Princess anyway.

Princess lost a lot of credits also since she left NYU in the middle of the semester. While her GPA did suffer, thankfully it was still high enough for my college to accept her. She too signed up for summer classes so by the time the fall semester rolled around, we had as many credits as we were supposed to. Her biggest problem was paying the tuition. Her father and Amy gave as much as they could, but it only covered a little over half of the tuition. I was proud of her, though, because instead of sitting in a corner and crying like she would have when I had first met her, she prepared paperwork to take out loans. However, the day she was going to go file for the loans, she received notification that her tuition had been paid in full.by the Morrisons.

I'm not going to lie; it irked me a bit for Princess to be receiving money from them. I mean, she was really close to marrying their oldest son. Princess called them right away and Mrs. Morrison (she tells me to call her Vanessa, but it's still too weird) explained that they would always consider Princess a part of their family. Kay had told them she was in a bit of a bind with money so they decided to help them out. Princess thanked them like a billion times, but promised she would eventually pay them back, even though Mrs. Morrison insisted it was not necessary.

Things were pretty peaceful for the next year or so. Princess and I moved into an apartment just a few blocks away from the campus and I honestly can say that with each passing day, I grew more and more in love with her, if that was even possible. No matter how many times I saw her walk into a room, my heart still pounded just as hard each time. She just seemed to have this power over me that was endless. Not that I minded, though. I love every minute of being in love with her.

Princess also did a lot of growing up in the first few months we lived together. She would be the first one to admit she was kind of spoiled. She rarely ever had to cook or clean for herself when she was younger. We had many small arguments over her leaving her dirty dishes in the sink or leaving her dirty laundry on the floor. I'm not the neatest guy in the world, but I mean, it's kind of ridiculous when you can't see the carpet in your bedroom because it's covered with clothes. After a while, she did learn how to pick up after herself and those small arguments ceased to exist. I'm telling you, the Princess I know now is much more mature than the Princess I had first knocked down in the hallway.

My birthday, March 15th, of the following year was a big day in my life. I got called into my coach's office after I pitched a no hitter in that day's game. Sitting in one of the chairs was a sporting scout for the Staten Island Yankees. Now let me tell you, as a HUGE fan of the New York Yankees, it was a big honor to even just meet the sporting scout of the minor league team. Picture how excited I was when he offered me a contract. Man, I don't think I ever agreed to something so fast in my life. All I could think of was that my dream was finally coming true.

Princess was great about it all. That night, not only did she cook me my favorite dinner (cheeseburgers with a side of fries), not only did she agree to move back to New York with me, but she also agreed to become my wife. My proposal was not a planned one so I can't say it was very romantic. We were lying in bed that night after further celebration and I realized that if one part of my dream was coming true, why shouldn't I attempt to make the other half come true? Princess still laughs whenever she thinks about how I proposed.

"Hey, Princess, you awake?" I asked, nudging her shoulder her slightly.

She yawned loudly. "Yep."

"Good cause you see, I was kind of thinking that I want to marry you." She rolled over to face me and I could tell she was trying not to laugh. "What's so funny?"

"I never expected you, Mr. Romantic, to propose this way," she admitted.

I scratched my head. "Yeah, I guess that wasn't very romantic, was it?"

She giggled slightly. "Not really."

"Oh, okay," I said, stretching casually and then reached into the top drawer of the nightstand next to me. I took out the engagement ring I had bought months before, but because I had never been able to think of a romantic way to propose, I had not been able to use it yet. "Then I guess you won't be wanting this."

Let me tell you, she put that ring on so quickly I'm pretty sure her speed must have broken the sound barrier. It made me feel really good though. The ring had a very small diamond on it because, let's face it, I couldn't afford anything too extravagant, so I was a little worried about what her reaction would be. When I told her of my worries, she, well...she called me stupid.

"Do you really think I care about how big of a diamond there is on it?? All that matters is the meaning behind this ring; the love that it represents. For all I care, it could be a piece of tin foil," she exclaimed.

"Well, in that case, I think I can still return it," I offered as a joke and went to grab her hand.

"Not a chance," she quickly said, snatching her hand away from me with a grin.

I had to be leaving for New York within two weeks of finding out about the contract, but Princess wasn't able to leave so soon because she still had to finish up the semester. So I left without her. I won't go into details, but even though we were going to be apart for only a couple of months, it was a very tearful good-bye. It was just a bad reminder of how we had spent almost a year apart, only our locations were reversed.

That saying, "absence makes the heart grow fonder", was so true on so many levels. I've always loved New York. It's just the place to be. But after being away from it for so long, it felt really good to be back. New York had always been my real home so I always felt welcomed there.

Those two months without Princess were really weird, but I had baseball practice to take up my time so I didn't get to dwell on it too much. If I had thought playing baseball in college was rigorous work, it was nothing compared to the minor leagues. People played there like it was do or die. In a sense though, it was exactly like that. If you didn't work to impress your coaches, there was no way you were going to even have a chance of making it to the major leagues. It was hard, but I enjoyed every second of it.

Princess came back to New York just two days before Will and Christy's wedding. Princess was in the bridal party and had a lot of last minute catching up to do, but first thing we did when she got back was go visit my grandmother. We had called her on the telephone the first day we had been in California to tell her of everything that had happened and I never heard her so happy in my life. She said she knew all along Princess and I were going to be together, but that didn't make the news of it finally happening any less joyful.

I had gone by the retirement home several times before Princess came to New York, but I really don't think I got as heart warming of a welcome as Princess did. My grandmother gave Princess so many presents it wasn't even funny. She referred to them as "welcome to the family" presents. The thing that shocked both Princess and I was that we had yet to mention we were engaged. That just goes to show you nothing slips past my grandmother.

During the visit, Princess asked my grandmother how she knew all along she and I would end up together. I'll never forget my grandmother's answer.

"Honey," she said, taking Princess' hands into her own, "the love between the two of you is just so obvious. It's like there's this electrical charge in the air around the both of you. That's the only way I can describe it. If you two hadn't ended up together, I would have seriously lost faith in the power of love."

Two days later, the power of love was once again obvious. Christy and Will got married in a very small ceremony at a local church. Now, I'm a guy so I can't give you any details because, well, quite honestly, I don't remember it. I only remember two main things from that wedding besides how obvious it was that Christy and Will were meant for each other.

Firstly, that night, Princess and I met, for the first time, Ryan's girlfriend, Natasha. Ryan and Princess had spoken on the phone and written to each other constantly throughout the year we had been in California so she had heard all about his girlfriend, but never had the opportunity to meet her. She was exactly the kind of girl I could picture with Ryan. Princess commented that she had cut her brown hair from when she had first seen her at the restaurant for Ryan's birthday, because it was now shoulder length. She was a tiny girl in my opinion, meaning she was a little shorter than Jen and very thin.

From what I heard, she was a singer and that was how she and Ryan first met. It was something about him going back to the restaurant one day and even though it was about four months since she had last seen him, she still remembered him and had introduced herself.

Anyway, she seemed to be a really nice girl and it was obvious Ryan really liked her so Princess was very happy for him. And so was I. Ryan and I had never been the best of friends and probably never will be very close, but in the most recent years, he has become a friend and so I always wish the best for him.

I think the thing that was even more shocking about that wedding was that Will and Princess' mother was a guest. Now, she didn't exactly seem happy that Will and Christy got married, but she did seem to be accepting it. It was a big step for her and I was also proud when Princess went to talk to her. I didn't go with her, thinking the two of them needed to have a discussion by themselves, but according to Princess, while there had been hostility between them, she thought their relationship was repairable. I could tell she was really relieved about it so I was happy for her.

About a year later Christy and Will welcomed their first child into their world. Little James Michael gave Christy and Will a run for their money. I have to admit, I found the kid pretty funny. At only eight months he knew just what to do to annoy the hell out of people; cry like there's no tomorrow. The best part was, when you got so desperate that you would actually start pleading with him, the kid would laugh in your face. I knew from the start he was my type of kid.

Another year passed and before either Princess or I knew it, our wedding day had arrived. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried during my wedding. It's just that when I saw her walk down that aisle towards me, looking more beautiful than ever, and knowing that during that ceremony, she was promising to spend the rest of her life with me, it was a little overwhelming to say the least. And then I noticed in the middle of her bouquet of red roses was the fake rose I had given her for her 18th birthday. It had been four years earlier and so much had happened, but that rose represented the fact that our love never died.

At our wedding reception, I was caught by surprise when Princess' mother pulled me over to the side to talk to me. Now, by then she and Princess had started to have an almost normal relationship, meaning that while they weren't close, they did begin to talk to each other more often and I think Princess may have even asked for some help with the wedding. The thing was, until she had pulled me aside, we hadn't spoken for about four years. She didn't say much, in fact, all she did was hand me a $20 bill and said she had owed it to me from when I had helped her and Princess move into their apartment all those years ago. I could tell she was extending an olive branch and I was more than glad to accept it.

The next year was a very big one for everyone we knew. For one thing, Todd, whom we hadn't been so close to in those years, and his girlfriend for five years, Kelly, tied the knot. It was nice to catch up with him again. He had been my friend since freshman year in high school so I did not want to lose complete touch with him. Thankfully, after the wedding, we became closer again.

Just a couple of months later, I got my big break in my baseball career. I became a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees. I loved every minute of being a Yankee, but the only bad thing is that I was on the road a lot of the time. It caused a slight strain in my relationship with Princess, especially since she couldn't even fly out to see me because she was pregnant with our first child, Michelle, who was born before the end of that year.

There is no feeling like holding your own child in your arms for the first time. It takes your breath away to know that you created this new human being in the world. The first time I held Michelle and noticed how her eyes were just like her mother's, I swore on my life that I would give her everything she ever needed and wanted in life. And to do that, I knew it meant I had to be there for her. So for that reason, after the end of my first season of playing major league baseball, I did not renew my contract. Instead, I went back to college to finish up my degree in athletics and later became a baseball coach for a local New York college.

Also that year, Mark and Kay announced their own engagement. It was a very short lived engagement because less than two months later, Kay had an argument with her mother about the wedding plans. Kay, being the hotheaded girl that she was, dragged Mark to City Hall with me and Princess as witnesses and married him there. Well, the Morrisons weren't too pleased about it, but Kay would not listen to a single lecture they attempted to give her. Eventually, they accepted it and it got overshadowed by the fact that Ryan announced his engagement to Natasha.

The final event of that year was the birth of Christy and Will's second and final child. Christopher Thomas was the complete opposite of his older brother. This kid never made a sound. Needless to say, Christy and Will were relieved. Me, I love my nephew to death, but I think he needs to be a bit more mischievous.

And that wish definitely jinxed me. Sean, my son who was born about two years after Michelle, can definitely be a handful. One thing is for sure, he takes after me. He tries to get his chubby little hands on anything he can reach. The hardest part with him is that it's almost impossible to reprimand him when he does something wrong because he has this laugh that is just so contagious. I'm telling you, he's going to be the cause of my first gray hairs.

Ryan and Natasha got married the same year that Sean was born. Nine months after their honeymoon, Natasha gave birth to twin boys, John and Joey. One time I asked Ryan if he ever wondered how his life would be if he had married Princess instead of Natasha. He answered quite honestly that before he met Natasha he did wonder what it would have been like to marry Princess, but when he found Natasha, he found real love and wouldn't want his life to be any different. Needless to say, I was relieved to hear that.

Kay and Mark had a baby boy two years after they got married. We were all very grateful to notice that little Nicholas had Mark's temperament. The world does not need another Kay in it. But unfortunately, the world is not safe yet because at the moment Kay is pregnant. All I can say to everyone is to hope for the best.

So that brings us to a full swing. I'm now 28 years old and awaiting the birth of my third child. We're not sure what gender the baby is going to be, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't hoping for another son. I'm having fun passing along my baseball pointers.

As for Princess, well, I never thought a pregnant woman could be so beautiful. I'm not even kidding when I said she still lights up a room whenever she enters it. Motherhood has brought out her best quality, her heart. She really is a great mother and I can't wait to see her holding another baby of mine in her arms.

Right now I'm watching her finish getting ready for Alex's wedding. Everyone was shocked when he announced his engagement to a girl named Courtney. He never seemed like the type to settle down.

"What are you doing?" Princess just asked me.

I stand up to pull her as close to me as possible. I ignore the question, not ready to tell her of my writing. "You know, if they play our song tonight, I don't care how tired you are, you're getting on the floor and dancing with me."

She pulls back from me slightly and feigns forgetfulness in the most adorable manner. God, I love this wife of mine. "How does our song go again?"

I pull her close and love the way she shivers when I begin to sing softly in her ear,

"You are my everything

Nothing your heart won't bring

My life is yours alone

The only love I've ever known

Your spirit pulls me through

When nothing else will do

Every night I pray

On bended knee

That you will always be

My everything"

The End

A/N - Wow, it's hard to believe this is my last author's note. I've been writing this story for what seems like forever and it's hard to accept that it's over. Thank you so much to everyone who has reviewed. I'm presently at 700+ reviews and that is amazing. I love you all.

A big thanks to my beta reader, Jessica. You've helped out a lot with this story so thank you so much. I don't know what I would have done without you.

As for the future, I need your help with that. I have four ideas for a new story and I want you to choose which one. I'm not sure when I'll start on it, but it'll be nice to know what you guys would like me to write about.

Story 1 - A few of you suggested this. I was thinking about writing a story about Ryan. Telling more about why he was the way he was and the things that happened between the time Jen went to California and he married Natasha.

Story 2 - A story about Josh. I would write this one from his childhood. He has a lot of history that I never went into full depth about. His mother dying, his time with leukemia, and when he was having a problem dealing with everything. I might also include some events with Jen to get his spin on everything.

Story 3 - Now, Mark is my favorite character from the story so of course I'm tempted to write a story about him. His would also be written from when he was young, when he first met Anna. I would give you the history of their relationship and also the history of his friend ship with Ryan. Of course, Anna's death would be a major part of this and also his relationship with Kay. I think he's a character that has a lot of potential and could really shine well on his own.

Story 4 - This would be a story I'd start from scratch. The title would be "Unrequited". This is the summary: For some people, friendship is something they treasure, but for (girl's name here) her friendship with (guy's name here) was the one thing keeping her from having the type of relationship with him she really wanted. I haven't thought of names yet, but basically it would be the story of a guy and a girl who had been best friends since they were very little. She's basically in love with him, but he only sees her as his buddy.

Ok, so let me know what you think. I really would like to hear your opinions on this matter.

Kitty - No, I never specifically stated who Jen married. I had just stated she got married. I even added a special a/n at the end of the prologue to clarify this.

The-black-kitty - Thank you so much. I'm so glad to hear that you feel this sequel made YME even better. That means so much to me. Thank you even more for letting me really feel that my writing is so looked forward to by some people. You really will never know how much that means to me.

CrzyChic - You're too nice. It seriously means a lot to me to hear you compliment my writing so much. I'm glad the characters seemed so real that you enjoyed them so much. It was one of my goals to have my characters seem real so it's nice to know I accomplished that at least a little bit.

QuOtAtA - LOL. No I never specifically stated who she married in the prologue. I even added a second a/n to clarify that a name was never given.

Yamille - I highly doubt that I'm a "skilled writer" as you put it. More like I'm just lucky. LOL. But seriously, I'm glad you've enjoyed my writing all along. I hope that in the future you continue to enjoy it.

Wendy chism - I'm glad you liked the choice I made between the two guys. It was a very difficult decision to make so its reassuring to know that you liked it.

Eva - I thought Ryan giving Jen the plane ticket was something that Ryan would definitely do. He's a very thoughtful guy. As for Maria, I want her to be my grandmother. LOL.

Secretwriter2 - You know, it was really good to hear that although you wanted her to be with Ryan, you liked the ending I chose. I was sooo nervous about how the Ryan fans would react. As for the Ryan story, wel as you can see, I am tempted to do that.

Emerald - You made me feel very good about my decision. I'm very happy you liked it so much.

Kendra-S - Well, I gave you one more chapter. I'm afraid this is the end though. Very scary for me. LOL.

Kacy - I downloaded the song right after I read your review. It's nice so thanks for recommending it.

Forevermore Dead Lenore - The song How Do I Live is in my opinion a classic. It's just so romantic that I could not imagine leaving it out of the story. I feel very honored to know you think this story could be in a Hall of Fame. That's a big honor so thank you very much. As for any good stories, I'm afraid I've recently bought tons of books so I haven't really browsed the site much.

Xxxholic - I'm your first review ever! Oh I feel so special! LOL. Anyway, to hear that you read everything in just two days, that's pretty cool. It means that the story was very intriguing so I'm proud of that. Thanks so much.

Zeina - I'm sorry that it couldn't be Ryan, but I'm glad you still thought the ending was beautiful.

MimiGhost - Oh, you're too sweet! Thanks so much. I'm going to miss reading your reviews. LOL.

Crumbs - Thank you very much!

Melissa - Well, as you can see, Ryan did find love of his own. I would never leave such a great guy all alone. LOL.

Lenecia - I'm afraid that writing an alternate ending is something I will not do. I just think it would take away from the real ending. I hope you understand.

ruChii - Yeah, Jen had a bit of growing up to do, but as you can see, she did. I'm glad you've enjoyed the story so much.

Find-my-way - Now it's the end of the story. LOL.

cheeryOhz - Thank you so much. I wanted to tie the stories together so I'm glad you thought I did that. I hope you enjoyed the epilogue.

Confused - No, I never specifically stated who Jen married. I had just stated she got married. I even added a special a/n at the end of the prologue to clarify this.

Katrina - Thank you very very much. I'm glad you've enjoyed following these characters. And yeah, I went for the classic happy ending where everyone is happy. LOL.

Southern Rose - Wow, you seriously made me feel REALLY good about my writing. To be considered to be in the same class as books such as Harry Potter is the ultimate compliment. However, I do have to say that I really don't think that's true. JKR is just the best there is. LOL. Nothing compares to her writing.

Lillith Sylver - Thank you so much. And don't mind being lazy. I am the same way all the time. LOL.

Passion101 - Wow, someone actually thanking me for writing. This really is a first. Thank you so much for that. I got a feel good feeling from it. LOL.

Lilblubaboon - Yeah, I hoped everything would be tied together nicely. So I'm glad to hear you felt that way. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous - Wow, this is my last response to like my favorite reviewer. I'm being serious. You always show you put thought into your review and that means a lot to me. Ryan is happy as you can tell, and his buying the ticket thing, I also saw it as just the type of thing Ryan would do. The line you loved so much, I was so glad you did. As you noticed there was more than one meaning behind that simple sentence. Also, as for having this turned into a movie, while I will admit that is a dream of mine, I will also admit that that is not possible. It's not nearly good enough to be a movie. But thanks for such a nice compliment. And finally, thank you so much for ALL of your reviews. I seriously always looked forward to hearing what you had to say.

DJ Jade - As I mentioned, I was originally planning on going with Ryan, but my beta reader convinced me to choose Josh. Ryan was just adorable in mind and I normally root for the underdog. LOL. Anyway, thanks for the review.

Jessica Renee - I did mention that Ryan fell in love and got married. You didn't really think I would leave him out in the cold, did you? He's too great for that. And as for starting a new story, as you can see, I have several ideas in mind so let me know what you think.

Trapped in a box - Yeah, Josh and Jen really did have a certain chemistry together. They just seemed to be made for each other. I'm glad that you feel the same way.

Babypookie - So my stories are the only ones you review every chapter? That makes me feel very honored. As for the whole love is being unable to live without someone thing, that's a very cool coincidence. LOL. And yeah, I'm tempted to write a story about Ryan so let me know what you think.

BrWnEyDGrL086 - I'm sorry that Ryan didn't end up with Jen. I just felt this ending was better at tying things together. As you can tell, I have several ideas for a new story so give me your opinion on my ideas.

A*vision - Well, I'm afraid that when I received your review I had already written the epilogue. I hope you aren't too disappointed by it. As for my break from writing, I'm not sure how long it will be. But when I do come back, I'm pretty sure it will be another romance story. I'm just a romantic at heart. LOL.

Emily k - I knew you would be happy with the ending. LOL. Thanks for the review.

Cryptic Insanity - It's nice to know my story will be missed. That makes me really feel like my writing matters. Thank you so much.

Dancer chick - I got ten points! Yay! Thanks so much. As for why Jen came so close to choosing Ryan, well, he's a great guy and her life may have been easier if she chose him. As you can tell, Jen likes to take the easy way out.

Me - No, I never specifically stated who Jen married. I had just stated she got married. I even added a special a/n at the end of the prologue to clarify this.

Amanda - Sorry that you're disappointed. I just think this was the better way to go. I hope you read whatever I write in the future.

Kelly Neptunus - LOL. I'm happy you were so pleased with the ending.

Crazeesexciekool - Yeah, I never for one second doubted you would like the ending. I'm glad to know I could make you so happy.

Lisa - Yeah, you're chant paid off. I did write an epilogue and there were plenty of children. Thanks so much for all of the reviews.

Cutybabemy13 - LOL. Yeah, I knew you would like this ending.

Awakendreamer - Yeah, I guess it would have been weird if Jen didn't end up with Josh. It was pretty obvious that she loved Josh. But Ryan was a really great guy so I could see why she would think about being with him. LOL.

Shams - Yep, you guessed right about the rose. Good job. LOL. I'm glad you liked the ending.

So, a final thanks to everyone. You have all been so great. Until my next story.. Buh-bye!