July 16, 2007

"Marry me." I say.

"Now, is that a question or a demand?" Meredith teases me.

"Huh. It depends, what's your answer?"

"What do you think?" She whispers.

"I think that you need to give an answer in about the next three seconds." I laugh.

"Fine, I surrender!" She laughs back. "Yes. Absolutely yes."

"Good." I slip the diamond ring onto her slim finger, and she kisses me.

"You know, at your last wedding, you left the groom at the altar. That does worry me a little."

"I couldn't leave you if I tried." She whispers in my ear.

"Seriously, you have to stop stealing my lines." I kiss her again.

"Gross." Pipes in Jack, his new girlfriend Veronica in tow.

Meredith giggles. "I can't believe you're dating my sister. It's just weird."

Jack nods. "I know. We're practically a walking cliché."

Veronica rolls her eyes. "Come on Mer, let's get a drink."

As soon as the girls leave, Jack grabs my arm. "Hey. Congratulations, man."

"Thanks. You know, none of this would have happened without you."

"Well, I don't like to brag or anything…"

"Yes you do." I sigh.

"You're right. I do." He agrees.

"So, um…when did you start dating Meredith's sister?"

"You remember that night? With Carly?" He takes a swig of beer.

"Don't remind me."

"Well, that date I had was with Veronica. We were together for about a month, but then we went our separate ways. But when I ran into her last month, I realized that I still had feelings for her. So here we are." He finishes.

"You are the biggest sap I've ever met."

"Look who's talking! You're the one with the big house and the twenty kids and the minivan."

"Not yet. One day."

"One day." He echoes.

"And there will be no minivan. Even Meredith couldn't force me into that."

"Sure." Jack says sarcastically.

I feel a strong hand on my shoulder. "Hey, son." He rumbles.

"Dad! You made it." I hug him.

"Proud of you, son."

"Thanks."

About three months ago, Meredith finally convinced me to track down my dad. Turned out he was living in Florida. He had been sober for two years, and wanted to contact me but figured I wouldn't want anything to do with him. He'd never been so happy to be proven wrong.

"Hmmm. Who is that?"

"Ms. Keen? Our next door neighbor?" I ask incredulously.

"Excuse me, boys." While my dad leaves to go hit on Ms. Keen, Jack laughs hysterically.

"Meet your future mother in law." He taunts.

I ignore him. Carly waves at me from across the room, arm in arm with her fiancée. Apparently they got back together shortly after that whole big disaster known as me. Glad to know I'm good for something. Craig and Angela, the newlyweds, are sitting on the couch, completely oblivious to the rest of the world. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Meredith bounds up to me, resting her head on my chest. "So…this is how our story ends." She says softly, but there is no hint of sadness in her voice.

"No. I don't think it'll ever end." I tell her.

"Good. Because I have a lot to say." She laughs.

And I've got forever to listen. Because I made a promise. I'll never say goodbye again.

Never.

THE END

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I cannot thank those of you who read the story enough. I can't even believe it's over. Hopefully, you'll all read my next story (please?) and that it will be longer. Promise.

Thank you!