Epilogue 2 Years & 2 Months Later . . ..

The water flowed underneath the dock quietly while almost rocking me back into another set of sweet dreams. But I didn't fall under the river's spell. After several minutes of simply gazing up at the stars and moon, I sat up and gazed down at a sight just as lovely as the one above.
She sighed softly in her sleep before turning onto her side so that she faced me. I had never dreamt of holding a creature like this one in two years. How lucky could I get?
Her eyes fluttered open. At the sight of me, she gave me a sleepy smile and stretched.
"What are you doing?" She murmured.
"Watching you." I answered truthfully.
"It's not polite to watch someone while their sleeping," She said, sitting up. Her hair fell gracefully over her bare shoulder, tempting me as usual.
"You look like an angel when you sleep. I couldn't help myself."
"I bet you say that to all the girls." She retied the top of her bikini together.
"Only when I mean it," I said. "Come on, it's time to celebrate."
Even in the July night the water was freezing when I entered it. But I got over the coldness soon enough. I smiled when she gave me an evil look before scooting over to the side and letting her body fall into the water.
"It's so cold!" She cried when she came above water.
"It is the river," I said, unveiling the contents in the picnic basket I had brought along down to the dock.
"Wine? Where'd you get that?" She asked.
"My father. I asked in a special favor and he found me the perfect bottle. Don't worry, I know I'm only going to have two classes and that's it. The same goes for you." I added when she started to say something.
"Okay, Klein. But don't get mad at me whenever I tell you enough is enough." She warned.
"I could never get mad at you," I said, kissing her quick on the lips.
She rolled her eyes as she took the wine glass. "I mean it Klein."
"I've been sober for two years. Trust me, I don't think with two glasses of wine I'll revert to my old ways. Especially with the news I have to tell you." I assured her, pouring her glass.
"You have been acting weird ever since we got here." She said. "And it would be nice to know why. Okay, spill."
"Hold on," I poured my glass of wine before setting the bottle back into its place. With one hand I took hold of my glass, with the other I held onto the dock.
"Okay. It is now official. Juvenile Behavior by KN Marks is now in stores and available to buy at any bookstore." I announced.
"You're kidding!"
"Nope. The publisher read it, couldn't put it down, and decided on going along with it and published it as soon as humanly possible."
"Klein! That's great! You're an author! I think you found your calling in life." She said, taking a sip of her wine after our glasses clinked together.
"Well, she did ask if I had anything else up my sleeve and I have been thinking about another story."
"That's great. I'm really proud of you Klein." She said again.
I carefully set my glass on the dock and stared at her. In a low voice I said, "You don't know how much this means to me that you're hear to celebrate this with me."
"Of course I am. Things were rocky in the beginning Klein, but I love you more than anyone or thing in this world. And I couldn't be happier for you. I know how much you worked on that story."
I moved forward in the water and kissed her deeply. She returned my kiss with just as much in her before separating. My heart pounded in my chest, but it always did that when I was around her.
"I love you so much, Nicole," I murmured. "You don't know how wonderful it is to have you back."
"It has to be the best thing I've ever done with my life." She agreed.
If you're confused right now, let me bring you up to speed. It has been two years since I've closed the chapter on my life that had anything to do with Nicole.
We eventually finished up our story, turned it into Mrs. Winston and graduated high school. Instead of moving out of this state like I originally planned, I went to the University of Houston. The same college my father and mother and both sisters went to. But the only reason I went there was because of the fact they had a fantastic writing facility. Nicole on the other hand, moved back to Georgia to attend college there.
I never stopped thinking about Nicole between the day she had dinner at our home until the next time I saw her. Which I'll tell you about once I get to it.
After I graduated and that stupid contract Nivola had me sign became void, I never did go back to drinking. While everyone else partied their education away, I learned a thing of two. I studied in the school libraries, read more, I even entered a writing contest or two. My teachers, who knew of my past history, were impressed to see what I could come up with when I had a blaring screen at me or a pen in my hands.
After about a year of school and winning several writing contest, I was clearing out my dorm room (Yes, I had actually reserved a dorm room instead of just living off my parents at home) when I found the manuscript for the story Nicole and I had written together.
I read through it and found that the story wasn't half bad. Mrs. Winston had given us a grade of 91% but with a touch up here or there, it could turn into a one hundred.
So I spent the next few weeks editing the story, bring in some things and taking out others. I changed names here and there but, as a rule, I never touched Nicole's writing. I left it the way it was except for some edits I needed to make. Other than that, I left it as it was.
When I finished with the edits and revisions, I called several literary agents my father told me about. Not wanting to leave every stone unturned, I also called some publishing companies. A lot of them refused to give me the time of day until I finally got in touch with a woman by the name of Shelley Gold. She read the first chapter of my story, fell in love with it, and called me requesting the rest. After she finished it and sent me several adjustments she began calling every publishing house.
I came up with my pen name by chance. I knew it would have to hold an N in there somewhere. So I just used my first initial and hers as the first name and then my mother's maiden name for the last name. KN Marks. I rather liked it.
But I needed to get in touch with Nicole about the book before it could get published. So, during my Christmas break back in December, I went to Atlanta, Georgia and looked her up. I found out she lived in a dorm at the college she was attending so one day I decided to give the college a visit. I gave the library a visit only to run into Nicole there. A stroke of luck if you ask me
We ended up talking the entire afternoon away after a strange beginning and then went off for a cup of coffee. I stayed in Georgia for a couple more days and in that short time, I felt so wonderful. I couldn't believe how much I really did miss her. Sure, I knew things wouldn't be the same without her, but meeting up in Georgia hit me like a ton of rocks. When I left the state, when I left Nicole, the crack in my heart, which had lessened over the time without her just barely, dug anew.
When I came back to Texas, I talked to Shelley and told her that it was all right for the book deal to go ahead. I even gave her the contract Nicole gladly signed. Shelley was excited as ever, but then I felt so incomplete.
So I decided to give ol' Carter a call. Carter had earned a scholarship to Dartmouth College up in New Hampshire. Actually, he got scholarships all over the place, but he decided to take Dartmouth on its offer. The last time I talked to him he told me it was great up there and the weather didn't change as much.
We caught up on everything going on in our lives since going off to college. It turns out he and Mia broke up. The relationship didn't work out as well as he had hoped but he found someone new. A girl named Michelle also in the medical field.
Then I got to telling him about my visit to Georgia. His words of advice were for me to just e-mail her or even call her more. I only made a sound of agreement to make him happy. But before I could get any time to consider his advice, the phone rang again. When I picked up, it had been Nicole.
It turns out she couldn't stop thinking about the few days we spent while I was in Georgia either. To find my number she had to call my parents and they were happy to give it to her. It then took her a couple days before she could get the courage to call me up. Just talking to her on the phone and hearing her voice made me feel so much better.
For the next couple months we kept up in communication until May came around and she finally transferred colleges to the University of Houston. During the time we talked over the phone, I ordered her not to transfer because I knew how important it was for her to stay in Georgia. She had just gotten back in touch with her dad, something she's told me she's been trying to do for a while now. But she transferred anyways.
The girl's dorms at the college were all taken, but my parents offered her housing at the guesthouse. When I tried to move back home, my parents refused. They said that it would be safer if only one of us lived on the property rather than both. But that didn't stop Nicole and I from spending every waking moment together that we could together. When my parents realized we could just go back to my place, they let me move back in so that my place would be home.
For the fourth of July we decided to come out to New Braunsfels for old times sake. We even talked Carter to come down to visit. He brought along his new girlfriend. On our first day, which I'm still experiencing, we decided to go out and ride the Comal again. This time Nicole was more confident, but she still held onto my tube when we went down the chute. Afterwards we came back to the camp. Carter and Michelle stayed up at the site while Nicole and I headed for the dock.
And here we are. To think only two years ago we floated in this same water with each other. In this water I first felt her body against mine and I first thoroughly kissed her. We were confused then. Our behavior was so. . . so. . . juvenile. We acted like love was something you could play around with. Something you could mold into your liking. But what we didn't realize what that's it's already shaped out for us. And no matter how much we twist and turn it, it will hold strong when it knows its in the right place. I'm not saying that marriage is in my near future like it was for the rest of my family, but if I'm lucky this thing will last forever.