A/N: OH MY GOD! I'm so sad to say that this is the last chapter. I think I might actually cry! And the sad music I'm listening to isn't helping. God, why am I always listening to sad music when I post last chapters? I swear! Haha. Thank you all for all the reviews! And the epilogue is at the end of this chappie. SAD MUSIC SHUT UP! STOP TAUNTING ME! Haha. Sorry for the outburst. Haha. Oh and the song at the end is "Apologize" by One Republic. I don't own it. Hope you enjoy this last update...be sure to have some tissues near by. I do.

Chapter 15

"Are you ok ma'am?" a woman from the ambulance asked after she finished bandaging her cuts and bruises. July nodded silently. The woman gave a slight nod and walked away. July looked down at the dark cement on the road. She looked up to see Stacey standing in front of her.

"I really thought you were dead," July said softly.

"I know," Stacey took a seat next to her on the ambulance. "For a while, I thought so too."

She didn't want to cry again but she couldn't help the tears welling in her eyes. The two sat there in silence. The silence was broken when Brandon walked towards them.

"Are you ok?" he asked.

"Well, I was attacked twice, my mom isn't really my mom, I almost was killed, Stacey's alive, and I fell in love with you," she said non-chalantly. "All in a week. You know the normal stuff."

"I'll take that as a no then," Brandon said softly. He stroked her hair and kissed her on the forehead. "I'm so happy we got there in time. You're my world, July." July looked up at Brandon with tears welled up in her eyes. Brandon held her as she started to cry. Stacey sat there silently and started to shake. This day was just too emotional, for everyone.

None of them have known what it's been like for her the past year. Being locked up in that garage after being kidnapped and stowed in a trunk. Being alone for so long can do things to you. It can make even the sanest person go crazy. How she longed for human contact. But the only contact she got was from her killer. She looked up to see that man being put into the backseat of a police car. After he was bandaged up for his gunshot wound, he was being taken away. Why they let that cruel man live was beyond her. He deserved to die. And if he doesn't get the death penalty for what he did, then Stacey was going to have to do it herself. Somehow. Suddenly, someone else caught her eye. Her mouth dropped and she let out a yelp. July and Brandon looked up to see a sobbing and shaking Stacey. July touched her arm and Stacey jumped at the contact. Stacey stared into July's wet and red eyes and looked back to the reason that made her sob.

"Dad," she said breathlessly. July furrowed her brows and looked to see the man who shot that other man not too long ago. Stacey didn't really remember her father much, because he left when she was really little but she's seen pictures. She knew him enough to know what he looked like. Stacey and Bill held eye contact for a few seconds. When Bill didn't move or say anything, Stacey got up and disappeared behind the ambulance.

"I'll go check up on her," Brandon said. "You need to talk with your father." Brandon followed Stacey behind the ambulance. July squirmed in her seat and looked up at the man called her father. He approached her carefully and took a seat next to her. Neither of them knew what to say.

"So…" July started. "Are you really my father, or are you just another imposter?"

"I'm your real father," he said clearing his throat. "Do you think Stacey would have reacted that way if I wasn't?"

"No." Bill nodded to end that part of the conversation. "Why did you leave us? I know your life was hard and all, but didn't you think how hard it was for us? To grow up without even knowing our father."


"No, you listen. I've been listening my entire life and now, it's my turn for someone else to listen. Do you understand how hard my life has been? No, you don't. First, I had to grow up without a father. It was sad seeing everyone happy with their dads while I never knew mine. Then when I thought Stacey died, I couldn't take it. She was the only other person to truly understand how I felt. We shared the same pain. And as if it wasn't enough, I was accused of killing her. ME! Over some petty little fight that wasn't even true! And I'm still paying for it now! People have wrongly accused me for a whole year. And now, when you've finally come back, you expect me to listen? Well you are sadly mistaken." When July was finished, she could see tears welled up in her father's eyes. But she didn't care. He's caused her years of tears and heartache.

"I'm sorry, July. It was hard for me too. Do you know how hard it was to move on when I knew I was missing out on my children's lives?" Bill said, the tears finally spilling out.

"No, but at least you had a choice to come back. Instead, you left us to die," July spat. Those words really seemed to hurt because he looked away as more tears spilled out. "But dad, I don't think it's me you truly need to talk to. Stacey has no clue about anything, and I think she deserves to hear what happened from the man who caused everything to happen."

With that, July stood up and went to search for her boyfriend and Stacey. Bill grabbed her wrist and she spun around.

"I never meant to hurt you, July," he said almost as quiet as a whisper. "I'm so sorry."

"I'm sure you didn't, but it's too late to apologize dad. At least for me."

July broke out of his grip and left Bill sitting there, crying. Tears started to spill out as she left. She didn't want it to happen that way. But she knew what she did was the right thing to do. This man ruined her life in a sense. If he didn't leave when he did, who knows how much different their lives would be now. July finally found Stacey and Brandon. Brandon was caressing Stacey's back, trying to comfort her. Stacey rested her head on Brandon's shoulder and was crying. Brandon looked up and July sent him a pleading look. He pursed his lips and nodded. He stood up and left the two half-sisters alone to talk. Stacey wiped her eyes and tried to get rid of her tears. It was no use.

"Oh July, I don't think I can handle this," Stacey cried. July rubbed her sister's back.

"It's ok. Of course you can. You've got me now. You're not alone," July said softly. Stacey nodded and diverted her eyes somewhere else. July took a deep breath. "Um Stacey?"

July's voice was so shaky; Stacey had to look at her best friend. "What is it, July?"

"There's some things I need to tell you," July said meeting her tear filled gaze.

"No," said a strong male voice. Both July and Stacey looked ahead of them. Standing there was their father, Bill. "July, you're right. Stacey deserves to hear it from me. You shouldn't have to. Brandon is waiting for you back there."

July nodded and left the two of them together. A lot of explaining was needed. It didn't take July too long to find Brandon. He was sitting on the curb of the street, and she could tell he was thinking. She took a seat next to him, and he turned his head towards her. Without any words spoken, Brandon leaned forward and kissed her gently on the lips. His tongue fought gently to break the barrier of her lips, and she allowed the entrance of his tongue. Their tongues clashed and not too much time later, they broke apart. Both of them were in a daze. It seemed like everything that needed to be said was said in that kiss. And July was thankful that it wouldn't be ruined with words. Words seemed to ruin a lot of things. Brandon stroked his hand through her hair as he leaned in for another kiss. Both of their eyes fluttered closed and July's heart leaped when their lips met again. Only Brandon could make her feel this way. And she was so happy to capture his lips once more. July was so close to him, she was practically on his lap. When July felt another presence close by, she broke apart with Brandon. She looked up to see Stacey. She looked like she had been crying even more. July started to blush with embarrassment. She looked back at Brandon. He gave her one last gentle kiss before leaving again. Stacey took a seat next to July on the curb. She ran her hand through her hair and let out a huge sigh.

"Are you ok? I know it's a lot to take in," July whispered, trying to find her strength again. Stacey glanced at July and scooped her into a hug. A hug was definitely something they both needed at the moment. They broke apart and shared a look of understanding. They knew their lives just would never be the same.


Dear Diary,

It's been exactly one year since I found Stacey alive in that garage. Our lives fully changed that day. Not only were we reunited with each other, but reunited with our father. About a month after that day, it was time for trial to convict my "mother" and the man who posed as my father. They were both convicted and are now in jail for the rest of their life. It turns out that man was a co-worker of my mother's and they were having a love affair for over three years. It sickened me. Those were the toughest times. We had to face the people that wanted to kill us for many days. But it all paid off that day they were sentenced to rot in prison for the rest of their lives.

After that, both Stacey and I were sentenced to a year of counseling, and were expected to do follow ups after that year. It was much better than taking pills for depression. Therapy helped me out a lot. It was a nice time to get out all of the emotions I had. I was also given a much better way to deal with my emotions other than crying all the time or holding it in. Dr. Cameron explained how unhealthy it was to do that. She taught me that there are other healthy ways to express my anger. One way was through writing. She told me to make a journal entry everyday before I go to sleep. And it worked much better than I thought it would.

The last day of my high school career is coming soon and my eighteenth birthday is in four days. I'm super excited and I can't wait. For the past year, Stacey and I moved in with the Colemans. They were more than happy to have us. Gracie was especially happy to see us. We were like her older sisters. Brandon and I are still going strong. Although, we were caught a few times by Stacey sneaking into each other's rooms. She kept quiet. And it turned out that right before Stacey was kidnapped, Charlie had asked her out. He was ecstatic when she was still alive. It turns out; he only liked me because I reminded him so much of Stacey. They're back together and have been doing pretty well. It's nice to know Stacey has someone in her life like Brandon is in mine.

As for my father and me, we're slowly building our relationship. He comes by every week to check up on us and to spend time with us. He moved back into Ohio and lives only ten minutes away. Our relationship isn't the best, but it takes time. I've learned so much from this experience. I know it sounds cliché and all but you never truly know what you have until it's gone.

"July," someone said from the doorway of her room. July looked up from her notebook to see Stacey in the doorway. "It's time for dinner."

"Ok. I'll be there in a second," July said with a smile. She returned the smile and left. Brandon walked by her room and gave her a wink and a smirk. July laughed as she shook her head. He will never change and July was glad. July finished her thoughts on her paper, closed her notebook, and followed them to the kitchen table.

I'm holding on your rope,
Got me ten feet off the ground
I'm hearin what you say but I just can't make a sound
You tell me that you need me
Then you go and cut me down, but wait
You tell me that you're sorry
Didn't think I'd turn around, and say...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late

I'd take another chance, take a fall
Take a shot for you
And I need you like a heart needs a beat
But it's nothin new
I loved you with a fire red-
Now it's turning blue, and you say...
"Sorry" like the angel heaven let me think was you
But I'm afraid...

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late

It's too late to apologize, it's too late
I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late
It's too late to apologize, yeah
I said it's too late to apologize, yeah-
I'm holdin on your rope, got me ten feet off the ground...