Quiet. At times that would be as much, and going through the motions to fix that. Fiddling with the radio. Have the window open to have natural noise and warmth in. Minding Will on not stepping on him, while that beast of a hound lays in the center of the living room. His tail once rested heavily on my feet, now wags and pants in wonder what I'm doing.

Older Hannah: Don't mind me, big guy. Just going to the kitchen.

Walking in each step carefully. One hand guiding alone the walls until finding what I was looking for. Having the faucet running to fill me a glass. Done sneaking in cabinets for a snack. Just doing what is normal for me, taking it step by step. Now that I think about it, maybe I should call my dad and see how him and Abby been doing.

So many years have passed. Lost track and kept to promises that in a way should feel hollow, but I feel content. Almost happy in a way.

Finished college and now work at a small own council helpline. In the childern department. Helping kids to live life a bit easier and find healthy outlights through trauma, mental health, and creative process. Most people would complain because the pay doesn't match the demands needed. Sadly to those, it wasn't the pay I was looking to but base from my own troubles that no one should go through. Even some that wasn't my own, but had to be done for those around me.

It's small things people won't ever understand. Yet, I don't expect that. Even with a certain someone who, in a way, stolen my heart and expanded the darkness I lived with for so long. Before taking me on a getaway that to anyone should have been alarmed bells. Still, to what I had to go back to. It was a wonderful risk.

Older Hannah: A wonderful risk that lead to an unknown future.

Now thinking about it. How have things turned in ways that don't make sense. Might be logic over feelings. In saying I still feel lost and alone, still happy, while missing those small moments. In the middle of my snack, I hear Will barking. Thinking it was a bird at the window, leaving it be. Until a knock was heard at the door.

Older Hannah: Just a second!

Placing the dishes in the sink and snaked myself over to the main door. Another knock came. Taking a breath and smoothing out my wild curls before opening the door.

Older Hannah: Yes? Can I help you?

Older Jamie: Just being able to see those freckles and those sweet lips was enough, thanks, Freckles.

Logically speaking my heart didn't stop. But it sure was beating hard. And the stutter confirmed it.

Older Hannah: Jamie?

Older Jamie: No, Santa. What do you-

I lean forward, wrapping my arms around his wide frame. The hard lines of his jacket dented into my cheek harshly, but it was fine when feeling him return the gesture.

Older Jamie: Missed you, too.

Older Hannah: May I be sure?

Older Jamie: S-sure.

Just as nervous as before. Still, he remain standing. Helping my hands to his face. Tracing the same ridges and grooves. The slim of his lips, a minor cut by his cheek from a rough out he had with his friend, Raymond. I remember that. Sharp cheeks of a round face. Hair short and soft. His nose was ar crook angle. He must have noticed my pause.

Older Jamie: I was never good at keeping my mouth shut. Solitary was a nice break from it all.

Older Hannah: I'm so so-

Older Jamie: Don't waste your words on those days. That was all on me and your gifts made it easy. Alright, Freckles?

I could only nod. Feeling his large hands grasping my hands once more. Breath hitch when my fingertips touch his lips in tenderness. Slightless as I may be, the heated gaze of his was unmistakable.

Older Hannah: Would it be odd to ask for a kiss as well?

Older Jamie: If anyone else, yes. Not you.

I feel that callous hand cup my chin. Rising it high to his wind chap lips. Warm and welcoming as before.

Older Jamie: Easy girl.

I hear him whisper when sensing our bodies pressing closer. We have gotten older but the familiar memories never lessen.

Older Hannah: Oh, be quiet. Please though, how rude of me. Come on in.

I set him. Unable to keep laughter in when Jamie and Will bonding.

Older Jamie: So, this is the handsome devil that has stolen you away. Got to admit, I feel a bit outmatched here.

Older Hannah: Stop it.

Older Jamie: Just saying. It's good to see you again, Hannah.

A rarity to ever hear him call me that. Jamie was going to be that much playful. I'm in a way disappointed of this.

Older Hannah: Same.

I stood up, feeling the tingles in my hands to be busy.

Older Hannah: Would you like something to drink?

Older Jamie: Sure. Need some help?

Older Hannah: No. No. I got it.

Okay, maybe that was a bit off about me. Though he didn't sound like he was aware. I could hear Will keeping Jamie busy. Pants and gruffly low bark now and then. I use that to keep me grounded while fixing tea. Listening to care of the pot boiling and hot steam around my shoulder.

Older Hannah: When did you get out?

Older Jamie: About a year ago. I would say longer ago but I was finally out of parole and no crewfews. Been working for a buddy my step-dad knew and getting back on my feet. And you know a funny thing?

Giving a huff before a laugh before answering.

Older Hannah: Oh? What would that funny thing be?

Older Jamie: My step-dad was able to chip in some photo classes for me and now I work for a natural and historical magazine.

Older Hannah: You're a photographer... Jamie, that's wonderful.

Older Jamie: Thought you would say that.

His voice was suddenly close. Those strong arms found around my waist, holding close. Hot breath on my expose shoulders from my thin strap top. A bout nose running along near my ear. Lips just at the joint of my neck.

Older Hannah: You blasted lightfoot.

The words are only a hush but the smile against my flesh tell enough.

Older Jamie: Sue me for still be smitten by such a nix.

Older Hannah: Oh, now you have no issue saying that?

Older Jamie: More or less. But I know what could work more. Like to hear it?

Older Hannah: Try me.

Older Jamie: I still have feelings to work out and I hope to take you on a date. Make up for that lost time and see if what had wasn't all in our heads.

Older Hannah: You sound pretty confident, lightfoot.

Older Jamie: Got to be. You have any idea what kind of challenge I have before.

Older Hannah: I think you are overthinking it, Jamie.

Older Jamie: I think you are under thinking things, Hannah.

There he goes again and saying my name.

Older Hannah: Jamie, I am starting to think there is more going on.

I hear and feel that breath of his light laugh. Moving slowly has his turns me to face him. I lean in his hand I felt cupping my cheek. Even in darkness I know he has a small smile his lips. Wondering.

Older Jamie: No. Honestly, it's just news. I thought of many ways of how this could go. Half the time I was thinking not to come, knocking on your door, what to say. All that small stuff. Yet, your voice kept my feet going forward into this mess.

Older Hannah: I think you're doing okay.

He gives a bare chuckle.

Older Jamie: Are you saying that as my Freckles or Dr. Bowman? Because only one of them I feel incline to listen to. Just saying.

The spool of laughter couldn't be contain from his tone. I understand he's just being cautious with me. That rare sense of gentleness people around him didn't think he had. Or willing to show it. It's nice.

Older Hannah: How about to just Hannah then? Are you willing to listen to what she has to say?

Older Jamie: Maybe.

Older Hannah: Good enough.

Older Jamie: So, that date?

The whistle of the tea kettle goes off. Spooking us both. Jamie is kind of enough to handled it, as he kept a close hold around my hips, making it clear he doesn't want to be apart from me just yet. The tea settled on the mental tray I had ready.

Older Jamie: Need help?

Older Hannah: Thank you.

A pause as he clatters about to get the tray in the living room. I follow in slow steps, having Will come by to guide me with more ease.

Older Hannah: Also, tomorrow. After four, I have a client.

The pouring hot water and sweet smell of the tea filled the room. The hot and ceramic cup rested around my fingers.

Older Jamie: I'll meet you here? Or...

Older Hannah: The park across the street, I always take will to stretch his legs after being cramp in the office. Join us?

Older Jamie: I'll be there.

We talk through the rest of the day. Until his cellphone went off. As Jamie told me, he's staying with a co-worker on the eastern division of the magazine he works for. Put also two to two together, that's how he ended on my front door. And soon, he had to go. Parting with a kiss on the cheek goodbye. I wanted his lips but now he wants to be modest for the date. A little late for that. But it brings a comfort, oddly enough. Much like that first night I met him.

I finished with homework and thought to fit in some spare reading. Get into the new chapters of a book I got from the library. Flicking the light off when either my mom or Reese walking by. Less chance of them peaking in the better. It was our subtle way of saying "do not disturb" without having to say it.

It was a safe way to keep from coming and bothering me. A rough man that has two lovers in his life. My mom, Grace and the other goes by Brandy, the smooth golden sweet kind. I would have complain about it to mom and try to have him lighten up. Yet, he was making her happy. Lazy at times but when she snaps her fingers, it got done. Between those two. It was just complicated. In the most gentlest of terms.

He raised his hand a few times at me. When mom was running late from work. Reese would think the worst, from what I remember from his drunk rumbles. And one of the faults he would so kindly point out was me being a burden to my mother, as a daughter and useless person. How he would grab my arms, bruising them, that moment where grip my neck area just as tight. But nothing follow as mom came just in time, Reese saying I got into a tiff with some school kids.

A lie on both regards. I was a loner because of my handicap and he was keeping image as a good man watch out for his mate's clubs. Basic territory actions. A moment like that happen again. Tying me of his rough mood because school ended early and I needed a ride. Missed the bus because of debate class. Reese didn't take that well, in summing it up. But it was date night, so him showing his pleasant side made things easy. Hiding the bruises that night while wishing them a good date. Mom listing off things to me like it was normal, unaware of hours before she came home, no feeling of the tension in the air.

Everything was normal. Even as I pulled my sleeve more my throbbing arm. Everything was normal. I kept saying that to myself. That everything felt it was on repeat. Leading to another night like any other. Despite, it's the weekend, and I have home alone for three days. I finished my homework, having to walk home from school. I haven't done it that much, so I was very rusty door opening.

Greeting them, only to say bye to mom for she was off to work. Tired and likely hungover. But she sounded happy, so I let slide.

Grace: (Sorry hunny, I can't stay long. Work called on the way back. I'm just going to clean up and head out.)

She leaves us, Reese and I in the hallway. The tension is high and the toxic of his breath is all I can smell, along with cigarette smoke and musk.

Hannah: (Hope you guys had fun.)

Reese: (We did before she had to come check up on you. I expect you to be in bed early for school and gone before nine.)

Hannah: (It's Saturday. No school tomorrow.)

Reese: (Don't matter. Go to the library or something. Be useful and be scarce for a couple of hours.)

Hannah: (But-)

Reese: (Did I stutter?)

Hannah: (No, sir. I apologize.)

Reese: (Better.)

Grace: (Alright. I'm heading out. Love you, both.)

I can recall her giggling. Likely Reese being sweet on her. Being the pleasant man she wants him to be. During that I headed back to my room. Never leaving until I heard a knock on the door and it creaked open.

Reese: (I'm heading out with the guys. The door stays lock and lights out before ten. Got it?)

Hannah: (Yes, sir.)

He's a little closer than normal. Knowing too late, my tone was a bit crude. I reframe from flinching when he grabs me.

Reese: (You giving me lip?)

Hannah: (No, sir.)

His other hand is roughly around my neck. Pitching it till it was stringing but I stand my ground. Eyes shut, as I didn't want to be yelled at again for creepy it was to him.

Reese: (Good. Be out before noon. Don't waste our money through the heater bill by leaving this open. You unruly and ungrateful brat.)

He was talking about my window. Call it my small risk of defilement against him. Because it's one fight he can't win with my mom. It's my lone victory I had. So even when he slammed it shut and left. I would open it again after counting down from thirty six, I open it again. And did the one thing that made me happy. Reading. Until there was a thud well into the night, lights out and me being restless.

Hannah: (Who's there?)

Jamie: (Santa, what is it to- ah, damn...)

A deep voice, whined in pain. He was panting heavy, but try not to lead close to him in the dark room. There was a rattle of him knocking close to the desk and he groaned. He was in pain, to at that point, I didn't know. But to be sure.

Hannah: (Are you hurt?)

At first it was quiet. Not a word or sound from him. I panic that this man was in trouble and in darkness. A notion I know too well and reach for my desk lamp. An olive branch, if you will see it like that.

Hannah: (Are you still there?)

I thought for a moment he left. So quiet on his being. I could almost be envious of him. If I didn't have the thoughts of a stranger dying in my room. But I almost wanted to kick them hearing an airy voice of shock.

Jamie: (You're blind...)

I give the lightfoot this much, he didn't sound disgusted as Reese did. So this stranger already has brownie points.

Hannah: (I still got ears, though.)

I was shock of myself of the tone I used. After so long with living under the same roof with Reese. I forgot myself. Though, before I could show shame and apologize. I heard a pleasant sound. A rarity in this home. A laugh. Deep, friendly, warm, and something just for me after the last I heard it was before my parents split. To that, was a long time ago. Just a kid. How the future would have looked to me back then if able to see what would come.

Jamie: (That you do. My apologies, miss.)

No matter from that day, I doubt he really meant it. By how it sounded smugged and light with a loose chuckle. I might be blind doesn't mean I can't read people.

Hannah: (Right. You're hurt?)

Jamie: (What does it matter to you?)

At the time I wasn't able to give to answer. Most answers sounded childish and some made me come off more like an outcast. I wanted nothing to do in bringing that up. So, next best thing was to brush it off and heal.

Jamie: (Would it be an odd question to ask you something... about your blindness. I get if you don't wish to share this with a person you barely kn-)

Hannah: (No, I don't think so. It's fine. Go ahead.)

Jamie: (How are you moving around like this? I only seen your cane when we went to the park or something.)

Hannah: (I count my steps. And judging the distance of sounds help too. Makes me feel less helpless, I guess.)

Jamie: (Helpless isn't the word I would use. But that's pretty cool. How many steps are we apart? I'm honestly giddy to know.)

That maybe have been my first rise of a laugh. Barely able to keep it in, but I could guess he was gloating about it.

Hannah: (Funny. Let me think... hmm, I guess about ten steps.)

He was so quiet for a moment. Puzzling and I thought for a moment he was trying to bluff me. Until I felt a short hot breath by my side. Stilling me, not in fear but surpise he would even be this close. I recall my mind almost going blank before he spoke.

Jamie: (Correct. How about now?)

Hannah: (Umm...)

I was able to think easier once he quickly realized the closeness between us.

Jamie: (Oh, geez. Sorry I don't know what I was thinking there. My bad. You okay?)

He sounded like a small child about to be grounded. Not as whiney or helpless as my mother when wants something from Reese or wants me to forgive her on the near isolation with me. If it was my mother, I would play it off as just another day. Just this once, on a chance, I took a different route with this one. Hoping, I guess. Hoping simply for things to be okay. Better than bitter. If that makes sense.

Hannah: (It's okay.)

I can still remember the steps I took after that. Just a little steps it felt like. His hot breath again on my forehead. A light chuckle on his lips. A sign everything was fine, no words. Something that later on, I would rather have than pity and half-bake pleading.

Jamie: (How many steps this time?)

Hannah: (Four.)

Jamie: (Correct.)

Weird flirting or whatever someone would call it and too true statements of two strangers getting along this well. I think now, anything was better than what I had at the time. If it wasn't Reese and, shameful to say, my mother. I took with open arms.

Jamie: (You got some nerves of steel. Hold on, I'm almost done.)

Hannah: (Thank you, for this and helping with the mess. Thank you.)

Jamie: (Nothing to it. You can call me your nightly hero, Freckles. Or would any of those stuff toys do for you?)

Hannah: (Ignoring that last bit. I'll keep that in mind, Jamie.)

Jamie: (Don't think they'll notice it gone, at least. You said your mom loved this, well in a lack of a better word, art.)

Hannah: (It won't be an issue, trust me.)

Jamie: (Alight.)

He remember well. Out of blue when I had to walk home again. I stopped for a place to get something to eat and ran into trouble. Before I even had a chance to scream for help, like that, Jamie was there. Keeping the trouble at bay. Meeting with someone unknown to me, but someone Jamie knew to give a ride. The mistake to call Jamie my hero, what a nightmare that was to come.

Jamie: (Let this be the last time I see you two in this area. I'm sure, at least, Sasha would love to know some mutts were pissing in his hood.)

Their heavy fleeting steps was the final say.

Hannah: (Jamie, come on. Let's go.)

Jamie: (Fine. Nerve of some people. Here I am trying to do shopping and see wolves picking on a kit. Rude.)

Hannah: (Leave it. Thank you though, you were very much my hero back there. Thank you.)

Jamie: (No problem. What are you doing over on this side of town?)

Hannah: (Chinese food. There's a place a few blocks back there. Real cheap and good. School was stressful and I missed lunch. So, yeah...)

Jamie: (I'll make it up to you. If you want Chinese. I know this guy, he's a real master chef. My treat.)

Hannah: (What do you want? Make it a fair trade, kay.)

Jamie: (Fair trade. Let me think here.)

Hannah: (Careful. Don't overwork yourself, Jamie.)

Jamie: (Sassy Freckles today I see, you are stress. Cute. Anyway, yeah, your couch would be nice.)

Hannah: (You feeling okay? And the answer is yes.)

Jamie: (Doing fine, just don't feel like being rammed up the ass right now from my co-workers.)

Hannah: (I get it. Feel free to do so without asking.)

Jamie: (Thanks, Freckles, you're a lifesaver.)

This lightfoot, that I knew finally as Jamie reminded me much of my mom. How he spoke. How his walked and paced around my room when he visited. When talking about anything and how he viewed it. Yet, he wasn't completely gone.

Jamie: (What's with all the stuff toys and stuff, honestly. Books too for someone that... never mind.)

Hannah: (Gifts from my dad. I like the texture some of the toys have and it helps in figuring shapes. He also wanted me to have some of my... normal hobbies, so he had a personal friend, Abby, teach me braille. And boom. My love for books never left and grew strong.)

Jamie: (Like this book?)

Hannah: (Which one?)

I said to tease him. I found it nice, that either by trying or just forgetting about my blindness. I don't know. It just felt nice. Though, at the time, I would never tell him. But in a sense, he already knew.

Jamie: (Oh, right. Well, it's old to be honest. A frog between two steel feet-)

Hannah: (William the Curious: Knight of the Water Lilies by Charles Santore.)

Jamie: (I'll take your word on it. The cover is nice.)

Hannah: (Yeah. Before I lost my vision, he would read that story every night to me. Now he tells me that in a way I'm like the frog.)

Jamie: (Really? That's funny, how is that for you there?)

Hannah: (You'll have to read it, Jamie.)

Jamie: (Freckles, I don't think-)

Hannah: (Oh, don't you start. That print you have isn't even in braille just really faded but yeah. I swear, at times, you and him could be cut from the same cloth with all this... this!)

Jamie: (Sounds like a wonderful person you got there. Does he visit or what?)

Hannah: (No. Mother won't allowed it and it was in the divorce agreement. I'll get a call from him from time to time. He lives in Rhode Island, a bit too far for little old me, you know?)

Jamie: (In a way.)

When he brought up asking me, he was still and patient. It felt nice. Unlike how he must seen me, didn't take away how life was treating us.

Jamie: (Well, hello again, Freckles. Miss me?)

Hannah: (That's up for debate. Nobody saw you? Did-)

Jamie: (The guy didn't even double take, at least. Whose his lady friend? I know it wasn't your mom.)

Hannah: (Not my problem. I rather not talk about this.)

Jamie: (Alright, fair enough. How was school? Any frisky hands I need to know about?)

Hannah: (You're ego is too much, I will never call you my hero again. Never.)

Jamie: (Ouch. You cut me deep there, Freckles. So deep.)

Even his gentle hands as he check my bruises and cuts from Reese. His voice carried how he felt, but never inflicted on me. A small gesture I welcomed greatly. More in the trust in wanting to know he looked like. He was a fidgety mess. Dare I say adorable but heartbreaking in how rare he let anyone touch him. It made me at time to lean in on him.

Jamie: (Freckles, hey, you still with me?)

Hannah: (Y-yeah...)

Jamie: (I'll go get the first aid kit. Don't move.)

Doing as he asked. For a second I thought there was fear in his voice. Maybe with the anger as well. I barely flinch when Jamie removes my stain shirt, soothing my burning back with his rough and cool hands. It was so nice.

Jamie: (Doesn't look deep. It's going to scar though. Geez... Freckles, what happen here?)

Hannah: (It's from a long time ago, Jamie. Reese was treating his princess to dinner and I... well... ran my mouth, I guess.)

Jamie: (Hannah, I highly doubt this was not about eating your greens. But whatever, tell your tales you see fit.)

Hannah: (I ask if his lady friend was coming to visit. Mom caught some of it from the night before and the follow day he made it up to her and made it clear I'm not allowed to run my mouth and lie.)

Jamie: (Caught red handed and the wrong person was punished over whom listen wanted to hear. I get it. Don't like it. But I get it.)

Hannah: (I'm sorry you had to-)

Jamie: (Save those pretty words, Freckles. If you want to cry, go ahead.)

Hannah: (Have you too?)

Jamie: (Cry? Yeah, it happens-)

Hannah: (Not what I was asking. Have you kept quiet on things that are... too much.)

I still felt the inner shivers of his laugh. He sounded so broken at the time.

Jamie: (More then you will ever know. Now, hold still, I want to get this clean before it gets infected.)

Tender airy glides of his fingertips soar across my upper back. The ridges against his hand shown enough how deep into my flesh.

Jamie: (This can't go on forever, Freckles. I hope you know that.)

I said nothing at the time. I should have. But I couldn't find the words then. Yet, the follow nights, I somehow did.

Hannah: (Jamie, may I try something?)

Jamie: (Sure, what is it-)

Somewhat just resting on him, without hugging him. He was stiff as a wall, yet that lone hand softly cressing my expose hip from baggy sleepwear. It told enough in those nights we got to know each other.

Jamie: (Why are you so small?)

No worries or malice. It was sweet and in kind, wanting to joke. But he couldn't find the bite to do it.

Hannah: (Why are you so big? Geez, I feel like a midget next to you.)

I reached out to his face. Catching the fond grin. Carding through his hair having him lean closer to me. Deeping the hug. I felt the urge for more, but if he ran, I would be alone. Maybe another time, I thought once and mark it under teenage confusion. That sounded safer and it was. Until I felt his lips near mine one night he left me speechless. First move made and a fool in motion. Until the fool met the hated king.

Reese: (There has been someone in my house. You little ungrateful brat! Whore! What would your mother think!)

Hannah: (I swear! No one has been here, Reese! Please... don't!)

It stung. I couldn't hold back the tear anymore. Not to what he was saying about me. But my only friend. The special someone in my life being talked about in such a way. I couldn't anymore.

Hannah: (Reese! Please stop! No one was here!)

I remember what Reese found. Small things. A pack of cigarettes that wasn't as nasty smelling as his brand. A shirt Jamie lend me because of my sore back, forgotten to return it. A few cans of Reese stash was touched with and wrong brand in its place. Small, little things that even the future didn't see coming to change all that. Yet, I stood by my word, lie hell and back. Jamie didn't need this man bad mouthing him. No.

Hannah: (Even if there was someone else here. They're more of a man than you'll ever be!)

Reese: (The hell did you say?!)

That night Reese was really drunk. he was a rough man as I said. Not dangerous. And the outcome of what happen and the following getaway was a signed fate, I don't regret. But for mom's sake, wish it was fair for her and kept one spark of happiness. It wasn't me and that was fine.

Jamie: (You get off her... right now.)

To this moment now? I'm not really sure. Being scared and excited, that's just normal life to me now.

Older Jamie: You good there, Freckles?

Jolting back to my now was sudden. So lost in my thoughts have been a hassle. Less thinking more about the past and live my now. Already half through our date. How rude.

Older Hannah: I'm fine. Just a rough day in the office. Long day. That's all.

Older Jamie: We can call it now. Take you home and let you relax.

Hannah: And have you wondering if you screwed this up? No way, I want a good night with you, Mr. Song. So come on, it's almost six right?

Older Jamie: Hold that 'o' there, Freckles. Okay. Yeah. I see the ice cream trolley.

Older Hannah: Come on, you're going to love this. Got it, Soong?

Older Jamie: Oh, so funny there. Though with you? I don't doubt it for a second there.

Older Hannah: Easy there, Lightfoot, it's only the first date.

Older Jamie: And not the last.

I couldn't keep the laughter in me.

Older Hannah: Nope!

Will just excited, tugging me to follow with Jamie hooked near me. The summer chilled night enlighten my senses around me. I felt I was on the road again with Jamie, but just in the nice towns of plus in Rhode Island. It felt good from the weather, hearing Jamie's voice again, tasting my favorite after work treat, leaning in close to Jamie as he smelt like peace, much like home.

Those were still in my thoughts, right into I would say our eighth date. Between that, we hanged out and caught up. Outside of the romance, we were two people that like each other's company. Not tonight. Staying at my place, Jamie cooked, and lovely mood music playing around us while. Simple but nothing I would want more.

Older Hannah: Aren't you just being a charmer tonight.

Older Jamie: Felt like it was called for. Having to go back to the main station. I might as well. It was great being back in this little state.

Older Hannah: Yeah... I'm going to miss you.

Older Jamie: Same, Freckles.

We laugh when hearing a rough huff not far from us.

Older Jamie: I'll miss you too, Will. You take care of your mama.

Another bark, lower as the last was heard.

Older Hannah: I love you, Jamie.

I feel his hand sliding under my chin. Tilting close to his lips, enough for a sweet moment between us. Compare to other kisses, this one might be my favorite.

Older Jamie: Love you, too.

He whispers so kindly before leaning back in for another. I could have been drowned in it, until felt something being slip on one of my fingers. A new jolt of lightning went through me, bending myself away from him.

Older Hannah: Jamie...

Older Jamie: I'll let you figure that one, Freckles.

Older Hannah: I-I... Jamie...

I toyed what was around my finger. My ring finger. It was a simple band. A gem, tiny and round, on each side of a braili word. Forever.

Older Hannah: Yes.

Older Jamie: Yes what?

Older Hannah: Jamie!

I yelled with glee while pulling him into another hug and kiss. Just passionate enough to have his laughter vibrate my being. During our moment, Will join in, within more more shouting, laughter, and some happy barks. Slowly as that, opening a door or even a window brought an unknown future. Confusing and so welcoming. I don't think there would be anything I change. But I have an idea in a way.

If one was to indulged a time skip into the future. It would be simple at least. Call it a strong hunch.

Mey: *Mom, Evan won't drive me to the mall.

Evan: *What? It's my turn with the car, and I want to hang out with my friends.

Mey: *Without me? You big meany!

Evan: *You said it. Not me. Also, your older than me. Act like it!

Mey: *Drive me to the mall and I'll think about it.

Evan: *No. Be the adult and go to the mall tomorrow. Kay?

Mey: *Mom!

Future Jamie: *Mey, sweetheart, you can borrow the scooter. It's gassed up.

Mey: *Dad, I love you, but I need the trunk space.

Evan: *What the hell are you even going to buy?

Mey: *Like I tell you, jerk.

Walking with care towards my husband. Tapping on his shoulder for him to lean near me. Whispering quietly.

Future Hannah: *Evan's ceremony is coming up. Zander has been so proud with his progress, it's like an early birthday and Mey has an idea. Get it?

Future Jamie: *Right.

Now to my wonderful monsters. I would call them something else, but teenagers be teenagers.

Future Hannah: *Mey, Evan, come on now. Don't fight.

Mey: *Mom, this isn't fighting. If we were, I wouldn't be losing. Now, Evan, come on drop me off at the mall. Please?

Evan: *No. I'm not even go that way.

Mey: *Humor me here!

Evan: *I am and it's the best joke you've done.

Future Hannah: *Evan, stop teasing your sister. Take her to the mall. You're just doing it to get a rise out of her, be nice.

Evan must have been pouting given how Mey was in giggles.

Evan: *Aw, come on. Why you got snitch on me, mom?

Future Jamie: *Don't question it. Before she uses her mind tricks and get you two to hug.

I hear a few words of departing from the kids. Almost out of their teens and act like tykes. Though, it does stop me from lightly slapping Jamie on the shoulder.

Future Hannah: *Really, Lightfoot? You say things like that and they'll never take what I say to heart.

Future Jamie: *Kind of the idea, Freckles.

He chuckles, likely from my reaction. Before he pulls me close, a grin between that sweet kiss.

Future Hannah: *You're horrible.

Future Jamie: *At least, Freckles, we made this a good one. Right.

Future Hannah: *Give me another kiss and I'll let you know later.

Future Jamie: *Pushy, pushy...

It's not an ideal way of handling things, but the ride up to this point has been a good one. Never still, would want to change it. Handled better, maybe. But I love what I have now.

Future Jamie: *I love you, Hannah.

Future Hannah: *I love you, too, Jamie. Forever.

Future Jamie: *Forever.

Older Hannah: Yeah, I would love that very much. Unknown to me still, but that is an unknown future I want part of. It feels real to me. Opening that window was the best choice in my life. Harsh as it , to open another chance and hear Jamie's voice again. It was wonderful. Scary and confusing before. But worth it, to me.