Thanks to all who have stuck by this story and tolerate my horrible timing. I get so consumed with work and school that I completely forgot! This is the final chapter. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I have sharing it. Thank you!
I was just going to the restroom…then for some air…how did I find myself all the way here? As I look up at the building my legs starts to tremble. I feel like I`m made of jelly. What are you doing here Cassie? It`s not going to help anyone`s cause. But I miss him so much. I`m so sorry for hurting him. I can`t get rid of this guilt that keeps gnawing at my bones. I can`t erase the memories of his face…the look on his face as we said our good-byes.
The door opens and I see Keegan coming down the stairs. Am I wrong for being here? For saying good-bye but always coming back to hurt him again and again? I should not be here. It will only hurt him more to see me and have to say good-bye again.
He stops at the bottom of the steps. I examine his familiar features. He`s wearing his navy uniform pants and a white shirt tucked in with his black boots. His dark hair is overgrown. He`s been needing a haircut for a while now I think to myself. Keegan stands with his arms crossed in front of chest. For what? To keep me from coming at him again? I know, I`m sorry I hurt you.
"I`m sorry. I shouldn`t be here. I don`t know why I`m here," I apologize. I wait to see if he`ll say something…or maybe I`m really just waiting because I don`t want to go. Not now that I`m staring at his face. Keegan…my stronghold.
When he still doesn`t respond after a long while I resign and turn to leave.
"I don`t know how many times I found myself at Alice`s place after we broke up," he speaks softly.
I turn around to look at him. I`m sorry Keegan.
"…Cassie," he looks up at me…straight into my eyes. "It`s going to be hard. You`re going to miss me like crazy. You`re going to wonder for a long time whether you made the right choice or not…and I`m going to have to get up in this bed every morning without you until I`m off to California…but if…you weren`t happy enough with me to choose him…then this will be the easier road of the two…"
I nod my head in understanding. "I love you Keegan," I whisper.
He closes the space between us and wraps me in his arms. "I love you too Cassie. I`ll miss you like crazy for a long…long time."
I throw my around his neck and push him closer to me. I wanted to savor this moment. I want to remember his touch…all of him…
Finally I pull away. "Thank you so much everything Keegan. I`ll always remember you and all the times you saved me…"
Keegan smiles softly but his eyes are heavy with tears. He sniffles. "Good-bye baby."
"…Good-bye Keegan," I say then I let go of him knowing that this would be the last time that I would ever see him again. In a week`s time he would be gone to California, far from my reach. Who knows what adventures awaits him in California…whatever it is he`ll always be close to my heart.
I take a deep breath before entering Avery`s place. As soon as I come through the door I meet eyes with him. He`s standing in front of his glass wall staring out at the city lights below. His eyes search mine.
"…How are you feeling?" he asks me tentatively as he takes small steps towards me.
I wipe away the last of my tears and shrug. "Mm…I`m fine. Sorry I just left."
"It`s fine…you do whatever you need to baby…as long as you come to me," he says as he finally closes the distance between us. He places his hands on my shoulders and looks into my eyes. Should I tell him where I was?
"I`m glad you`re home," he says as he pulls me in for a hug. "I`m glad you`re finally home."
Five Months Later
"Are you ready?" Avery calls from the living room.
I rush over with our drinks in my hands. "Just a second, do you have the movies?"
"Yep," he says as he turns the television on. As he`s switching through the channels I catch a glimpse of a familiar face.
"Hey go back," I say.
Avery turns to look at me when starts switching back.
"There. Stop," I say as I cling onto the grey throw pillow in on my lap.
Displayed on Avery`s large, flat screen is Keegan`s face. He`s wearing a new navy uniform that looks remarkable on him. His hair is short…shorter than I`ve ever seen it on him. He looks good. He looks happy. Splayed across the screen in large letter is the heading District 4`s Newest Squad Leader Bust Long Time East L.A Drug Trafficking Gang.
Success definitely found him. Of course how could it not? He`s an amazing, determined person. There`s just no way.
I`m mesmerize as I stare at his face on the TV. How long has it been since I last saw him? Four, five months now? I can`t believe that it has been that long…
"Hey are you okay?" Avery asks. After all these months I still feel like Avery is afraid that I`m just going to leave on him. He still stares at me with those skeptical, quizzical…deep in thought eyes that he did back in Halifax. I`m contempt where I am now. I wish that he could see but I know that the hurt is still raw and real in his mind…but eventually we`ll get back to the way that things were.
I turn to look at Avery. His large, brown eyes are warm and affectionate. I pull in closer to him and snuggle in his chest.
"Of course. It`s Friday night and I`m here with you. How could I not be okay?" I murmur into his chest. I turn to the TV and watch as the camera pulls away from Keegan`s smiling face and to a news reporter. I`m happy for him. Happy that he`s found a place in California…and hopefully that he`s contempt there as I am here.
It`s been a long, hard road to getting to where we are now. It hasn`t been anywhere close to easy…being the fact that we`re all just humans and doubting our every moves…questioning our every shred of wisdom. I wish that in the process of fixing our relationship Avery and I didn`t have to hurt such amazing people but then again I don`t regret having the chance to have known someone as delicate and precious as Keegan. This is life. You live, you make mistakes, you hurt, and you learn from it. You never regret anything because if you do then there will never a lesson learned or happiness earned.
I wrap my arms around Avery and feel his fingers gently playing with my hair.
"I love you," I murmur as he cups my face with his hands. I look up to his deep, brown eyes. Being away from him for that year only enhanced my love and my need for him. I love this man despite the difficulties that we have endured. Sure he made mistakes that were unforgiving but…his redemption is more powerful than any complications he could have ever caused us.
"I love you too Cassie. Always."
Life and love is complicated. It makes us work harder but all the roads are open for traveling, all palms faced up ready to take your hands when you need it. All the words are there…you just have to say it.