Part VIII [EPILOGUE] ➸ I Love You and See You Again
time has gone by, i have told a story but little did i realize that it was i who was learning from the story i was telling.
never did i realized why i was like this until i began loving myself and the world became a better place.
I LOVE YOU AND SEE YOU AGAIN
Can you believe that it is almost nine months since we met for the first time that Christmas week last year? Sometimes it feels that ages have gone by since then and sometimes, I think it was only yesterday when you were scowling at me as I recited my breakfast order.
Back then I would never have thought that we would even end up as friends, let alone a couple, seeing as I wasn’t open to the idea of letting new people in that time after the people who were already in let me hollow from the inside. But you just creeped in and settled down, made yourself at home and I couldn’t, for the life of me, get rid of you. I didn’t want to.
Did you know that you were slowly becoming yours without wanting to? Did you know that I wanted you to be mine without even realizing it? Did you want to be mine or did you just let it happen?
There are so many questions that I don’t know the answer to but just alike many other unsolved mysteries of the universe, I know I will find them someday, and be awed just like always.
We didn’t just fall, did we? We learned to stand up on our own first. Love happened between us, Axel, and it gradually grew, as did we and bloomed into this beautiful something we have today. It may not be much, it may not be a eye-twinkling fairytale or a bad-boy-makes-me-giddy fictional romance but it’s something, my favorite something. With you, somethings are enough for me, baby.
We may not be Jack and Rose or Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett but do we really need to be? I think we’re plain and simple Axel and Leah, and I think it’s just beautiful that way. I love you, Axel, and I mean it with every fiber of my being, every drop of blood rushing through my veins, every momentary thought circulating in my brain.
You once told me that you simply wanted to be somebody’s world, that all you wanted to be was wanted. Let me tell you, Axel Hunter Davis, you’re my world and you’re everything I ever wanted, everything I could ever want, everything I need. You’re what I need, baby, to breath, to live, to go on about. And no matter how strong everyone tells me to be without you, I know that you’re the base of my strength. Without you, I’d crumble and fall, and fall hard I will.
Grant used to be scared of cats when we were kids, and I used to laugh at him for being afraid of these sweet creatures. I didn’t understand what phobia was back then but I do now. The other day, when we were walking around the park, just catching up before I leave for college, he had reminded me of that particular memory saying that even though he is scared shitless of cats, he’s thinking of petting one, all because Waverly wants a pet.
He had said that even though he was phobic to those little animals, losing Waverly, making her sad and everything in between was his biggest fear.
He hadn’t asked me what my biggest fear was, as I had expected the question to come around but even if he did, I wouldn’t have to think about blurting out that it’s losing you.
It seems impossible, whenever I think about it, a life without you, I mean. You will always be there for me, with me, baby, it doesn’t matter if it is you in every form or you in the form of my favorite memory. Because I love you, plain and simple, and anything other than that is unimaginable, impossible, unexplained just like the mysteries of the universe.
Falling in love with you has been my fall into the Bermuda Triangle. You sucked me into another dimension like a black hole and I love every moment of it. With you, anywhere is love, anywhere is home. Because you are home.
So if you ever think that I won’t be there someday, know that you are my home. And no matter for however long I’m away, you are where I’ll come back to. You are my peace and you are my happy, baby. Most importantly, you are my world.
Oh, and Happy Birthday, Mr. Scowls.
Okay, I know I didn’t write it on your birthday but you’re reading it then like you promised, right?
Honestly, I didn’t know what to get you for your birthday so the best thing I could come up with was a tangible truth that will tell you how much I love you, something you can hold onto, while I’m away. But just you wait, baby, I will come home soon to you. It will always be you.
Just a reminder that I love you.
Miss Scowls <3
I sigh as I reread the letter for the millionth time in past week and all I can think about is,No baby, I’m sorry but I broke my promise.
When she left, my Leah, I could practically feel the ache of losing her, seeing her walk away and so in times of desperately missing my girlfriend, I had turned to the only closest thing near me that connected me to her - the letter she handed me before going away.
It had taken me twenty four hours to break, to finally give in to my heart’s desire and break the promise, however meaningless it may seem, and pick out the half scrunched piece of paper that had been tempting me ever since she disappeared inside the airport.
It had taken all of my energy after picking it up to actually open and read it’s contents, because however stupid it was, I was afraid it would be a let’s-take-a-break-until-I’m-done-with-medical-school kind of letter. And call me a fucking coward but I was scared to get hurt again, but more than that, I was scared to lose her. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me and for the first time in my life, she makes me feel wanted, important and glad to be born - all for her.
My family had made me important once too, as a little kid, but soon the illusion washed away when Dad walked out and Mom got self-obsessed with her flaws the ones I didn’t mind at all. And then with my stepdad in picture, it was all better again, until it wasn’t and all I could feel was like a thirsty, lost wanderer in the middle of a desert looking for oasis but all he can find is mirage after mirage.
Even after their death when Julie took me in, it was more because of the obligation of me being her sister’s son than sympathy you show to an orphaned child. Living with her, her husband and Emilia was like torturing myself every moment by listening to their arguments about how they couldn’t afford me and even if it was hard for days to pass when Mike was alive, I had nowhere else to go. The wear of not having a home, something I have always wanted was what stopped me from leaving.
Working at the cafe was my way of repaying them back, not something I particularly enjoyed, not until she walked in one fine morning and suddenly, everything was brighter. Leah is my oasis in that dry desert. She is all I ever needed, all I ever wanted. She was that feeling of home I always craved, even though she wasn’t mine when we started. But giving myself to her to own and rule as she wanted was probably the best thing I had ever done, no matter how emotionally vulnerable and scared that feeling made me.
So as shitty as I felt breaking that promise, I unfolded the double folds in the paper and began reading. And then I read it again. And again. And again until I had those words embedded in every nerve of my brain, every inch of my soul and memorized and saved forever in my heart.
And as the fear slowly left my heart, so did a flow of tears from my eyes. I won’t lie, I was an emotional guy. I didn’t cry during sappy movies and all, but real life things like my family story and how much I missed them made me cry oceans. And the only other person to do that was Leah.
That girl, the first time she had made me cry was the day when she told me that she didn’t mean to kiss me because she wanted to but because she wanted to show off to her ex. After walking away from her that day, I was locked in my room, not that anybody cared, and cried until I fell asleep. Emilia came to check on me the next morning when I didn’t open the cafe until noon but let me be when I confided in her, just not in complete details. I didn’t want her to hate Leah. Even I couldn’t.
I got over it soon, or at least I pretended to, and by the evening, I was the same old I-hate-everything-and-everyone-Axel or like Leah put it, Mr. Scowls.
And then this was the second time she has made me this emotional because she, through this letter, has promised me something I have been looking for in every corner, dark or light. I love her, that is the only one thing I’m sure of right this moment, that and that I want to continue loving her even when I grow old.
Looking out of the window, I sigh again as the surroundings pass by in a blur as the cab moves at a fast pace on a seemingly empty road. All I could hope right now was for her to forgive me when she sees me and realizes I didn’t listen to her.
“Sir, we’re here.” The driver says, bringing my attention back to the present.
I nod and pay him, thanking him politely before stepping out and slinging my duffle over my shoulder, looking around. A sudden feeling of fear washed over me, thinking if she’d be angry to see me here. After all, I didn’t call or text her about my arrival. I just packed up my bags after it became a torture to not be able to see her after reading this letter and left, that too, without informing Julie.
Stupid, too late to think about the consequences now.
For a few passing moments, I stand there, on the curb, observing the students walking around, sitting on the finest green grass, talking and laughing in groups, playing catch among other things. The can driver had been kind enough to drop me around what I think is the main area or I would have run away without stepping in showing her my face.
The passerby students give me weird glances, whispering and mumbling to themselves by my eyes and brain are focused on finding one and only one person.
And then I see her, exiting one of the huge buildings with a group of friends, laughing and smiling. Seeing her smile brings a smile to my own lips and I just stand there like a fool, staring at her like a weird creep. She is walking my way and the closer she gets, the faster my heart beats. I don’t make the first move and walk to her, letting her know I’m there but stand and wait for her to notice me.
She is still a few feet away, about to take another turn causing a sudden panic in my heart that she won’t see me and move on but her head scans her surroundings, a smile permanent on her lips and she swipes a gaze over me before the smile vanishes and her head snaps back over in my direction as she freezes on her spot.
Her jaw hangs open and her eyes are wide in disbelief but she is far enough for me to decipher what emotions are floating in those beautiful green orbs of hers. A sudden rush of the same old, familiar fear starts clawing in my chest but before it could even get closer to smothering me alive, in a sudden flash my girl is running towards me and before I know, her arms are wrapped around me as I stumble back a little.
A chuckle rumbles through my chest which I realize is more of relief than her flinging herself on me but I don’t care. I wrap my arms around her, bringing and holding her close, planting several kisses on the top of her head, the claws of that fear releasing their grip on my heart.
Leah pulls away and looks up at me with shiny eyes. “You’re here.” She chokes out. “You’re really here. God, Axel, I love you so much.” She says and hugs me again.
Her sudden confession takes me by surprise but the words leave my mouth just as naturally, “I love you too, baby.”
She pulls back once more and chuckles quietly to herself. “I was going crazy, you know? For the past week, I’ve seeing you everywhere and if you weren’t real today, I would have checked in a rehab, I’m sure.” I let out a small laugh at that and grab her face, nuzzling our noses as I softly kiss her lips. When I pull back, she asks me a question that has me feeling shitty again. “What are you doing here all of a sudden? You didn’t even call.”
I shrug, avoiding her gaze. “I missed you and wanted to see you. Thought I could surprise you?”
When I turn to glance at her, she narrows her eyes at me and I know she knows. “You read that letter, didn’t you?” She stomps her foot like a child and wiggles her body from side to side. “That was your birthday gift, Axel, I didn’t buy you anything else! Why would you ruin my first gift to you?”
I rub the back of neck and pout. “I’m sorry?”
“No you’re not.” She retorts.
“I am.” I chuckle slightly. “But I was missing you. And I was scared.”
She looks me deeply in the eyes and sighs, stepping forward and wrapping her arms around my neck and plants a soft kiss on my neck. “I’m really glad you came. The only reason I’m mad is because it was the only thing I gave you for your birthday.”
“You’re my greatest gift, Leah.” I mumble softly. “But if you really want to give me something, we can work on that.”
She pulls away and slaps my chest jokingly. “Pervert.”
I grin but then sober up quickly and ask her a serious question. “Does it make me really obsessive that I’m already here to see you when it has only been a week since you left?”
“I don’t care.” She mumbles, pecking my lips. “If I get to see you and be surprised every time, I don’t care, obsessive or not. What I care about is how many times I see you again and again and again.”
She pulls away and smiles beautifully at me and in that moment, I really feel like I’m her world as she is mine. She takes my hand and starts dragging me towards where she came from. “Come on, I’ll introduce you to my friends. They think you’re fictional just because you’re perfect.”
I smile at that, all my fears leaving me as if they never made a home inside me. Softly, I mumble to myself. “We’re perfect.”
And even if we are not, we will be.
I’M NOT CRYING, YOU ARE!
Guys, it has been a really emotional journey, writing Leah’s story and I was in tears most of these times. And finally, I’m done with this book. It’s over. I’ve told a story - can you believe it? It feel so surreal.
Okay guys, don’t just delete the book from your libraries yet, archive it. There are many more things to come including bonus chapters, fun-fact reveals and much more. Wait for it.
I’ll take my leave because I’m too emotional to continue with this author’s note but aBIG THANK YOUto all my lovely readers.