Chapter Thirty-one

The plane arrived in West Virginia ready to go home. "One more bus, that's all." Keith explained. Faith smiled, she was delighted to be so close to home. The fresh scent of the air roamed in Faith's mind, home had never been so sweet. The bus didn't take that much time to arrive to Keith's apartment building. When they sat, both stretched their arms and legs across the couch, exhausted to the point of not being able to move. "I never knew public transportation could be so tiring."

Faith laughed. "That's true. I never knew traveling could be so tiring either." Keith nodded. He sighed and stretched out his arms.

"Would you like some hot chocolate?" Keith asked, his tone was sweet and relaxed, he had been homesick as well.

"That'd be great." Faith stated in an honest tone, her throat was aching for something to drink. The airplane ride had worn her out.

"I'll have a cup too, to go." Keith took two white Styrofoam cups from the counter cabinet and filled it with a hot chocolate mix. He boiled some water and poured some into both cups. "We can't keep Seth waiting, can we?"

Faith smiled, she didn't have the patience to wait much longer either. They took their cups from the counter table and walked out the door. Keith took everything with him other than his laptop. He started the car and Faith shut her door. Keith shut his and placed the hot chocolate into the cup holder in the car front. Faith did the same. That was when she noticed something. There was a picture of her in the middle between her seat and Keith's. She took the picture into her hands, Keith said nothing as she stared at it.

"Did you show this picture to everyone in search of me?" Faith asked, staring at Keith as he answered.

Keith nodded. "I tried to show it to everyone, but then I got your answering machine message and flew to Arkansas to find you. I left the picture here in a hurry. Seth was staring at it."

Faith stared forward, imagining the pain that she had caused him while she was gone. "He really missed me, didn't he?"

Keith nodded again. "More than life itself. He was a complete mess when he visited me at the hospital, you would've thought he was insane if you hadn't known him. I made him take care of himself at my house, but he was still hectic inside. You mean a lot to him, he really does love you." Faith smiled.

Keith braked the car. They were there, in front of Seth's house. It was Saturday and Keith assumed that Seth would be in his house. Keith went up to the door and rang the doorbell. Faith stood beside him. Keith placed a finger to his lips and told Faith to hide. Nothing happened. Keith rang the doorbell again. "I'm coming!" Seth shouted from upstairs, he seemed to be really irritated.

Seth opened the door with an annoyed expression. He saw that it was Keith and nearly jumped. "Don't tell me you stopped searching for her! You can't just give up like that! How could you?!" Keith started to laugh and Seth was hysterically by now. "I can't believe you! Don't you know how much she means to me?!" Seth was about to strangle Keith for laughing at him, but instead he turned his head. He stopped everything he was doing.

Faith smiled at Seth, Seth looked like he saw an angel in her direction. He was trying to say something, but nothing would come to him. Keith was still trying hard not to laugh. "I have to go now. I'll leave you two alone. My boss is about to strangle me for missing work so many days. Well, just be back home before eight. That's when dinner is. You're welcome to join us if you'd like, Seth." Keith laughed to himself again and drove off.

Seth didn't think before he did anything. He just held onto Faith and embraced her like she was the last strand of life he had inside of him. She held onto him as well, her tears pouring out again. "My father is gone," she whispered, Seth could do nothing but nod. He held her closer, pulling her toward him. Faith wanted to sob out loud, but she dug her face into Seth's shoulder.

Seth was sobbing. He didn't have a care in the world. "I missed you so much," he started to say. Faith pulled him away and looked in his eyes, they were filled with exhaustion. "I thought the world had ended when you were gone, there wasn't a purpose to wake up every morning, just a hope that you'd be there when I wake up." Faith wiped away his tears, trying to wipe her own away. "I was terrified of losing you, so terrified that one day you'd be gone completely."

Faith just nodded and held onto Seth with a soft grip. "Don't be afraid any longer, I'm back and safe in your arms." She edged forward and kissed him, never wanting to let go, never having to.

Author's note:

Thank you everyone for reading this story! I am officially finished!! Everyone congratulate me! If it were not for the fans, this story would be discontinued right now. It was the determination that drove me to write this much, (and the details of course). One day, this story will no longer be a story, but instead a book on the shelf, and you can point it out to your children saying, "I knew the girl who wrote that book," and they'll look at you like you're nuts.

I love the fans who reviewed for every chapter, it helps me to know what they're looking forward to (and sometimes what they're not). Please sent a full overall review of what you thought about the story and how you liked it. I'll stop nagging you now, at least until I start another realistic fiction story.

Thank you, Arielle. The heart and theme of this story comes from her, I was just lucky to be the one to tell it.