Chain Letters

Chapter 13

"Mommy?"

You turned around to see a harmless five years old little boy with huge hazel eyes and curly hair looking at you with a bright smile. When you looked at him from head to toe, you left the script you were reading to stand up, cross your arms and frown. The little boy smiled and blinked charmingly, just as he was used to do when he knew he had done mischief.

"Aaron. Can you explain why are you covered with whipped cream and batter?" You asked serious and roundly, even though it was hard for you to not to laugh because of the appearance of Aaron.

"Mommy, it wasn't my fault! Daddy started!" Aaron grumbled to the defensive.

"Your dad did this?" You asked bossy, raising your eyebrows still crossing your arms.

"Hey, you! We agreed it was going to be our secret!" Darren appeared tickling Aaron playfully and giggling amused. He also was covered with whipped cream and batter and parts of his face were covered with flour.

"Sorry daddy! But mommy caught me and I don't want her to be mad at me." Aaron answered looking at Darren innocently with his big hazel eyes.

"I know, buddy. You mom sometimes tends to overreact. We need to get a witch hat for her, don't you think?" Darren whispered in Aaron's ear while he was kneeling next him and wrapping an arm around Aaron's back. Aaron nodded and giggled but then he looked at you and he stopped laughing.

"Mr. Criss." You warned severely, crossing your arms and raising an eyebrow.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Criss." Darren said meekly, looking down but then he looked up to you and he smiled faintly and winked at you on the sly. You also smiled faintly amused.

"As a punishment for your pranks, the two of you have to wash the dishes for a week." You said severely but actually trying to hold back your laughter. For you, it was still weird to act as a serious mother.

"Maybe we could get for her a flying broom also." Darren whispered in Aaron's ear again but looking at you amused.

"Now it's gonna be three weeks!" You said frowning pretending to be serious.

"So unfair! It should be two weeks, not three! I do not understand your system of punishment." Darren complained, throwing a tantrum like a child.

"Without complaining, Mr. Criss, or it's gonna be five weeks for you." You said bossy and firmly.

"Daddy, you should listen to mommy. She's always right and she wants the best for us, so you should heed her." Aaron said with his sweet voice, looking at Darren. You bit your lower lip to contain your laughter and so did Darren.

"You're right, buddy." Darren said messing Aaron's hair playfully. "Who's the best mommy in the world?"

"My mommy!" Aaron exclaimed out loud and he run to you to hug you by your legs as you placed your hands on his hair and started caressing it while laughing with happiness.

"Yes, your mommy is the best mommy in the world." Darren said smiling brightly and looking at you fondly while he stood up to walk to you and wrap an arm around your waist. "And also you're the most beautiful mommy in the world." Darren whispered in your ear before pecking your lips sweetly.

"Alright, everything is ready." Sami appeared in the room, also covered with whipped cream and batter. Sami wasn't the little girl she was used to be, now she was a beauteous and very smart teenager.

"Oh my God. You too, Sami?" You shook your head in disbelief but amused.

"What? It's always good to have a cupcake war sometimes." Sami said laughing looking at you with her big blue eyes.

"No doubts this was Darren's idea, if I don't know him fully." You said looking at Darren still shaking your head and Darren looked at you amused and mocking. "What am I gonna do with you all?"

"Just love us the way we are. A bird told me you're an expert on this subject." Darren said lovingly and mockingly, looking at you and kissing your cheek.

"Come on, mommy! We have a surprise for you!" Aaron said tugging the sleeve of your sweater.

"A surprise?" You asked curious and amused.

"Yes, yes, mommy! Come on, let's go!" Aaron bounced excited and eager. It was adorable to see Aaron like this, so it made you smile brightly.

"Aaron, why don't you go with Sami to make final arrangements? Meanwhile I'm gonna entertain your mommy." Darren said winking at Aaron and then he looked at Sami, who nodded in conspiracy.

When Sami and Aaron walked away holding hands, Darren took advantage to pull you closer to him, wrapping his arms around your waist and resting his forehead on yours. He nuzzled his nose on yours and he smiled affectionately before kissing your lips deeply for a while.

"You're a very bossy mommy, Mrs. Criss." Darren mocked playfully still wrapping his arms around your waist. "How hard was this time to hold back your laughter?"

"It was so damn hard! You need to stop saying all those funny things when I'm trying to scold Aaron! He wouldn't take me seriously." You said frowning but amused, smiling slightly.

"Oh please! Aaron admires and adores you, boo. He's always telling me that I should do what you say to me to do and if I don't do it, he says I'm taking the wrong way. Who would say that our son would end up teaching me instead me teaching him?" Darren asked giggling.

"And so why don't you do what I say you have to do?" You asked curious and amused.

"Because I'm rebel and spontaneous, cannot be tamed, baby." Darren answered seductively, raising an eyebrow and getting closer.

"You sure? I know a way I can tame you." You said seductively and flirty running your fingers through Darren's curls.

"Sneaky! I cannot be tamed except for some things of you that I won't tell you or you're gonna end up winning all the time." Darren whispered in front of your lips.

"You wondered why Aaron teaches you instead you teaching him. There you have your answer." You said raising an eyebrow amused. "It seems I have three children instead two."

"How funny!" Darren exclaimed raising his eyebrows but amused. "But you love me like this." Darren winked and you laughed softly.

"Yes, I do. I must be crazy." You said shaking your head and Darren pulled you closer.

"Very crazy, Mrs. Criss. And it only makes me love you more and more." Darren whispered in front of your lips and he kissed your lips intensely. "Come on, sexy mommy, we have a surprise for you. And later I'm gonna give you my surprise, but that one is private." Darren winked and you smiled intrigued and amused.

Darren covered your eyes and you laughed amused. He led you to somewhere that seemed the dining room. You heard Sami and Aaron giggling softly and you felt how Darren was doing some gestures with his hands. After few minutes, Darren, behind you, uncovered your eyes and wrapped his hands on your waist, resting his chin on your shoulders while Sami and Aaron came running to you to hug you.

"Happy Mother's Day!" The three of them exclaimed loudly and cheerfully at the same time with big smiles on their faces.

They all seemed really happy and they showed you a table, which was full of cupcakes which spelled out "Happy Mother's Day" on most of them. You were in fact in the dining room, but they have taken away the table and the chairs to put there the coffee table and four cushions to sit. Next to the cupcakes there were some gift boxes and a lot of cards handwritten. You recognized from the distance who wrote each card. You giggled softly when you saw the card that Aaron wrote for you, he learned how to write some words not long ago with help from you and Darren; his handwriting was inconsistent and messy, written in crayon and with a lot of scrawls, but excessively adorable. Aaron took you by one of your hands and Sami took your other hand and they led you to one of the cushions to sit. You sat there and Sami and Aaron sat next to you, both of them hugging you; Aaron resting his head on your lap and Sami on your shoulder. Darren sat on the cushion which was in front of yours and he looked deeply into your eyes, with a twinkle in his eyes; he seemed touched as much as you were. You never imagined they could do something like this; actually, you never imagined to have a family like this. And it was blissful.

"Eat a cupcake, mommy!" Aaron insisted looking at you with his huge hazel eyes. You smiled but you looked at the cupcakes with suspicion. Aaron was five and he had no idea how to bake cupcakes and you knew that Darren was a disaster when it came to cooking. Sami laughed out loud and then she looked at you.

"Don't worry. You can eat it because I told them how to do it and everything was under my control. I checked all they were doing, so it's safe." Sami said confidently still smiling amused.

"I trust you, Sami. I really don't want to eat something cooked by Darren. Have I told you that the first time we met, Darren tried to cook toast bread and he burnt it? It seemed as if I were eating a rock, it was really disgusting and gross! But it was the first time we met, so I had to eat it! I don't want to experience it over again." You laughed and Sami and Aaron laughed along with you, while Darren looked at you amused but frowning as if he were displeased.

"Hey! We agreed you wouldn't tell that to anyone! It was a long time ago anyway. I got better." Darren said raising an eyebrow and amused.

"You didn't." Sami assured. "Have you forgotten when you tried to cook a beefsteak with salad?" Sami asked amused and Darren looked at her frowning but amused. "You burnt the beefsteak and it was inedible, I almost broke my teeth. And the salad? Oh my God. Who in the earth try to make a salad with cabbage, olives, tomato and vinegar? That's the most disgusting combination ever!"

"I tried to be creative that time! It wasn't so bad." Darren defended himself, crossing his arms and frowning.

"And when daddy tried to cook homemade noodles? It was more like eating sticky dough!" Aaron exclaimed entertained and giggling.

"Alright, that was enough!" Darren exclaimed loudly, frowning and amused. "I'll admit it. I'll never be a good cook. I suck and I'll always suck." Darren shook his head and you all laughed out loud. "Now eat that cupcake. And if it's gross, remember that it was made with love."

"Wish me luck!" You bantered before tasting the cupcake. "Actually this is really delicious!" You exclaimed surprised.

"I told you I was getting better." Darren joked and you all laughed.

After spending a lovely and really wonderful afternoon with your family, and after tucking Aaron and Sami into bed, Darren and you were huddled in bed but awake. Darren looked into your eyes very intensely and he caressed your cheek fondly.

"Have you ever imagined having a lovely family like we have?" Darren asked smoothly with a fond smile.


NINE YEARS AGO (Los Angeles)…

"I shouldn't have moved here." You said frustrated and grumpy one afternoon, sitting on the couch with a newspaper on your hands.

"Why do you say it? Don't you like LA? Or don't you like living with me?" Darren asked next to you with a sad voice. He was working in some scores, very concentrated.

"Darren, it has been five months and I didn't get any damn job! Every day I go to interviews, I look for jobs in this stupid newspaper, I walked around all LA and there's nothing. Nothing!" You exclaimed angry but also sad and desperate.

Darren looked into your eyes for a while and then he put aside his scores and his pen to place a hand on your shoulder and squeeze it reassuringly while you just looked down feeling blue.

"We have time. You're gonna find a job sooner or later if that's what you want and if you don't give up hope. Meanwhile, you shouldn't feel bad if you don't get a job quickly. Enjoy your time here, don't go to so many interviews and go out to discover new places in LA, it's a beautiful place and you aren't enjoying it because you're too worry about finding a job." Darren said reassuringly looking into your eyes.

"Darren I feel as if I were a complete incompetent and useless. I never thought it could be so hard; I didn't even get a job as a waitress! And I'm here doing nothing while you work all the time to pay for everything and I feel as if I were taking advantage of your money and I hate it! I hate all of this." You said frustrated and feeling down.

"Hey, I never felt as if you were taking advantage of my money, why would you feel like that? You never wanted anything from me and you never asked me to pay something for you, from the beginning you made it clear that you were a self-dependent woman and I always admired it from you. Don't think about this as if I were paying everything for you because you can't get a job; think about this as if you were in vacations and you need to enjoy your free time being in LA until you find a job." Darren said reassuringly and when he saw he wasn't making you feel better, he continued talking. "Listen. I really don't mind to pay everything, I've lived alone for years and I always had to pay everything by myself. Now I want to share all I have with you because I'm happy to live with you and that's what I really care about. What I want is you to feel comfortable and happy living with me, and I don't want you to find any kind of job. I want you to find a job that can make you feel accomplished, a job that is your passion like acting or dancing. And if you find a job that you don't like but you accepted it because you want to help me to pay the bills, I'm gonna force you to quit it until you get the perfect job for you. I have the chance to do this, and I'm gonna do it. So don't feel incompetent, you're gonna find something; and please don't force yourself to find a job quickly because when you realize all the time you wasted on being so hard with yourself, it's gonna be too late. I'm gonna be always here to support you on everything you decide to do as long as it makes you happy. So just take a break, don't go to interviews at least for a week and then go to find a job. Deal?" Darren said softly caressing you cheek and with a sweet smile.

"But, if I don't find a job never here?" You asked a bit scared.

"Never say never. You're gonna find a job that you like, it doesn't matter how long it'll take. Look, when I started my career I never imagined to be where I am now. I had a lot of hopes when I was a teen, and it was really hard for me to be where I am. But I never gave up on hope and once I had a chance and everything started changing. If it happened to me, why wouldn't it happen to you?" Darren asked looking deeply into your eyes. "If I can give you a little advice, it's that it doesn't matter how hard it seems; if you're sure of what you want and what is that something that makes you happy, you're gonna be always strong enough to keep moving and do whatever it takes to get it. Be self-confident. You have the talent but you're not taking advantage of it because you're too scared. Forget all the prejudices and fears and be risky and confident, then you're gonna be able to do whatever you want. I believe in you, boo." Darren said lovingly and then he pecked your lips.

"Thanks Dar, for always being so supportive and for believing in me. I won't disappoint you." You smiled at him, the man who always knew what to say to make you feel good and who was always there to show you your way whenever you were lost.

"I know you won't. You'd never disappoint me, boo. Come on, my muse. I need your wise advice to finish these scores, so then I can invite you to dinner." Darren said fondly kissing your lips and you smiled brightly.

You spent the whole afternoon helping Darren with his new song, since he said you were his muse because since you were there with him, he could write a lot of new songs. It was just a normal afternoon, how your life was now with Darren Criss.

Three weeks later you were in the kitchen, making breakfast for Sami and Darren who were still sleeping. Sami had to go to school and Darren had to go to the Glee set all day long. You were really quiet until your iPhone started buzzing. It was an unknown number.

"Hello?" You answered frowning, because it was weird to get a call from an unknown number.

"Hello, miss. I'm Chuck Lorre, I'm calling in name of Chuck Lorre Productions and Warner Bros. Television. You've sent us your resume, haven't you?" A man's voice said and you got extremely nervous because you never expected to get this kind of call.

"Yes, yes that's right." You answered with trembling voice, trying to sit somewhere because your whole body was trembling because of nervousness.

"Good. Miss, you've written in your resume that you've performed a show on Broadway, starring Mr. Criss. We've been researching about it and we've got a good reputation of you, besides we've got a video where we could watch your performance. In this opportunity, we're calling to know if you're interested to get a secondary role on the TV series The Big Bang Theory." Chuck Lorre said in terms of professionalism.

Dear God, was this real? A role in the TV series The Big Bang Theory, one of the best TV series? Were they calling you to be part of their cast? This must be a sort of joke, this couldn't be happening. You were almost panicking because of your surprise and you needed to take a long breathe to calm down.

"Yes, yes. I'd be interested!" You exclaimed not trying to sound too excited and freak him out.

"Is really great to hear that, miss. Usually we do a casting before hire someone but, as I said, we already watched your performance on Broadway and we're aware that you've had only one day of rehearsal, so we're aware of your capacity for acting. What we're gonna do is only a test if you can correctly interpret the character. If you can, then we're gonna be honored to have you as part of our cast." Chuck Lorre said politely and you bit your lips to avoid squeal of excitement. "Are you free this afternoon at 5 pm to come over here, the Warner Brothers Studios, in 110 Acre Burbank lot?"

"Uhm, yes. I'm free this afternoon. So yes, I can go today." You said in disbelief and completely excited.

"Great! Then we can start today. I'm glad you accepted our offer. Don't forget to bring your manager so we can start today the papers of the contract. See you at 5 pm, miss. Have a good morning." Chuck Lorre said gently.

"You too, Mr. Lorre." You answered politely, trying to contain yourself.

When you hung up, you started bouncing and jumping of happiness, squealing of excitement and still not sure of what was a dream and what was real. Three weeks ago you were feeling frustrated because you couldn't get any kind of job and now you had an opportunity to get a job of what you liked to do the most: acting. How surreal did it sound? This was the chance of your life, you dreamed with this all your life and now it was happening. You didn't know what to do to contain yourself. You went running to your bedroom where Darren was still sleeping and you started jumping in the bed like a child, squealing senseless things very excited. Of course you woke up Darren, who looked at you frowning with sleepy eyes.

"What the hell boo? If you want to wake me up to go to work, is enough if you squeeze my shoulder." Darren said with hoarse voice and he covered his face with the pillow, still sleepy.

"I got it, Dar! I got it! I got it!" You squealed excited still jumping in the bed and then you jumped on Darren's body.

"Oh, man! Are you trying to kill me?" Darren exclaimed confused and frowning, looking at you on top of him. "What did you get?"

"The job! I got the job!" You exclaimed out loud with a huge and bright smiling, bouncing on top of Darren. Darren opened his eyes widely and he sat on bed with you sitting on his lap. His face lightened and he smiled at you brightly, now excited as much as you were. You two seemed as if you were two little kids who have got their first toy.

"Oh my wizard God! Did you get a job? Are you serious? What job? Tell me, tell me!" Darren exclaimed excited and eager.

"Chuck Lorre called me! He wants me to be part of the cast of The Big Bang Theory! It's a secondary role, but it's a start! He told me he watched my performance on Broadway and he wanted to hire me without doing a casting! Oh God, Darren! I can't believe this! This is a dream!" You exclaimed with choked voice, very thrilled and dazzled.

"This isn't a dream, boo! This is happening!" Darren exclaimed very happy, looking at you with a twinkle in his eyes and smiling widely. "And damn! You got a role in the Big Bang Theory! Boo, that is one of the best TV series in the world! Oh my God! I'm so fucking proud of you! I knew you'd find a totally amazing job!" Darren said thrilled and then he kissed your lips.

"But, Dar. I don't know if I can do it." You said now a bit scared and insecure, looking down.

"Oh, no, no, no." Darren said quickly, placing his hands on your cheeks and making you to look at him, deeply into his eyes. "They called you and they won't even do a casting. They want you because they believe in you. And I believe in you, I know you can do it; and not only you can do it, but I'm sure you'll leave them speechless and flabbergasted because of your totally amazing and extraordinary talent. Don't waste your talent, show them who you are and what you've got. You're just like a tiny star which needs to start to shine and, once you get it, you're gonna dazzle everyone with your brightness. Show them all your brightness that you always show me. This is your life and you wanted for this for so long, so just embrace it. You may be thinking that you don't deserve to have good things in life, but let me tell you something; you not only deserve good things in life, you are a good thing in this life. So just shine and be yourself, fight for your dreams; I'll always be here to hold your hand and support you. Do it, you're the right one." Darren said sweetly with a twinkle in his eyes, as he was bewitched with every word he said about you. You looked thrilled at him deeply into his eyes, looking at the guy who always made you feel as if you were a charming person.

"You're right. I never thought I could get good things in life. But then I've got you." You almost whispered looking at Darren fondly and then you leaned to peck his lips lovingly. "I'll do it."


EIGHT YEARS AGO (Los Angeles)…

Since last year, when the producer of the The Big Bang Theory TV series called you, you've got a lot of jobs. You got a promotion at work and now you were a regular actress on The Big Bang Theory series. Not only that, but having worked in that TV series, gave you a lot of opportunities in show business. You couldn't believe how fast you achieved a lot of successful moments; it seemed as if you were living the time of your life. In a matter of a year, you've worked on a lot of TV series as a special guest, one of them Glee, working next to Darren; you also were invited on several TV programs and interviews, the most important to you was to have been interviewed by Ellen Degeneres. You even were working now on a feature film, directed by the very well-known David Lynch, starring Ryan Gosling. Everything you ever wanted was happening and you felt as if you were living in a dream where everything was good, where you were working with passion on something that you loved to do since you had memory. Everything was as you dreamed; everything was perfect except for one thing. Your sudden fame and stardom in the entertainment world brought you several problems that you weren't used to dealing with. You were losing your privacy because a lot of people were trying to interfere in your life to get private information and then make up false stories or distort reality. Also you were getting more and more job opportunities and you couldn't reject a job offer because it was very hard for you to get to be where you were now, so you couldn't miss these opportunities. Therefore, you barely had free time. You were working all the time and you were really tired, but you knew you had to do your best because maybe you wouldn't have these opportunities in the future. The fact of having a lot of work, of being really tired and the fact of not having enough free time made you be weary, cheerless and grouchy. On your free time you only wanted to sleep and relax. The sum of all these reasons led you to hardly have time to spend with Darren, to strengthen your relationship. You and Darren barely talked and everything turned into a monotonous routine. You haven't even realized when was the moment that you and Darren stopped talking and ceased to be loving with each other, it just happened and now it seemed a really hard thing to reverse; it seemed that neither you nor Darren were in mood to be how you used to be, neither you nor Darren had the nuts to have "the talk" to figure out what was going on because it was easier this way, but not the best for you.

That day you were having a coffee while reading the script of the film in which you had to act. But you were very tired and you couldn't focus on the script as much as you tried because your mind was thinking about your relationship with Darren and how negative this situation was for Sami. You never thought that living with someone would be so hard because all your life you lived practically alone. You were oversaturated with issues and problems and this caused you constant headaches. You took a pill for the migraine and then you sat again on the table with your coffee, frowning and grumpy. At that time Darren arrived and he hasn't even greeted you; he only walked to the kitchen to make a coffee for himself and minutes later he sat on the table with his own scripts.

"Hi." You greeted Darren almost in a whisper.

"Hi." Darren answered curtly, without looking away from his scripts. You looked down feeling really blue for letting your relationship with him get to this point where the indifference took precedence.

"In one hour we have to go pick up Sami." You said after few minutes of silence.

"Oh, I'll go if you're too busy." Darren answered once again without looking away from his scripts.

"No, I can go. I need to clear my head."

"Oh, amazing! Because I have an absurdly amount of work to do." Darren exclaimed humdrum, taking a sip of his coffee.

"I thought we could go together. It's been a while we don't go out together." You said looking at him now feeling a bit shy. Darren didn't look up to you.

"I'm so sorry. But if you can go I'd rather to stay here and read all of these scripts, so at least I can sleep a few hours." Darren said frowning and trying to focus on his scripts.

"Okay." You answered gloomy, looking down.

"Thank you." Darren said curtly and then he took another sip of his coffee, still reading his scripts with his glasses on. "Next time, when we get to have more free time, we can go together."

"Yeah. I'm starting to think that we won't have such free time." You whispered looking down and raising an eyebrow, being realistic.

"We will." Darren answered curtly.

"It's been six months since the last time we went out together. We always said that when we get to have free time, we were going to hang out, and it never happened." You said this time looking at Darren and Darren finally looked up to you frowning.

"It's not my fault that you've taken your sudden fame in this way. I never imagined it could be like this." Darren said looking into your eyes blankly and frowning, crossing his arms and putting his scripts aside.

"What do you mean when you say in this way?" You asked serious, frowning, and without understanding.

"This obsessive way to do everything related to work. This absurd person you became; a selfish, greedy, smug, and surly person; very different from the person I met and the person I fell in love. This avaricious way to think only about yourself and what is good for you, forgetting that Sami and I are here living with you. It's all about you, you and your damn work." Darren suddenly said without mincing words; apparently he was saying all he had repressed for a long time to say, all the resentment he had inside. You gaped and looked at him hurt and aghast, but Darren didn't stop looking at you resentful.

"It's not like that." You answered in a whisper, still in shock at his words; feeling really bad because of the way Darren thought of you.

"Yes, it's like that. But you can't notice it, because you're too busy to look back and see what you've become, the decisions you've made and how you've replaced your family for the job. Because it seems that your fame happened to be in the foreground and Sami and I in a secondary. You don't even care if we are fine, if Sami is going well in her new school. Did you know that her teacher called us to convene a meeting because Sami had a fight with a boy who called her a baseborn? No, of course you didn't know it, because you're very busy and you cannot be disturbed with less important things than your work, because it won't give you more fame and you need to feed on fame and you need only the applause to be happy now. I never thought that your own brightness would daze yourself, making you go blind." Darren said harshly but sadly at the same time, looking at you serious and frowning. "I thought you were different."

Darren's words hurt you deep in your heart and you looked at him with watery eyes. At some point he was right because your work consumed almost all your time; but on the other hand, Darren was very wrong when he said you didn't care about them because they were the most important thing for you.

"So why haven't you guided me? Why haven't you talked to me about this before, making me notice all of this, Darren? Why haven't you done anything about? All of this is something new for me and I don't know how to handle it!" You reproached him with choked voice and desperate, looking at him with watery eyes.

"What else do you want me to do?" Darren asked in disbelief looking at you with eyes wide open. "I tried to talk about this to you before, but I always thought that you needed to enjoy all of those new fantastic things for you in your professional life. But you took all of those fantastic things in a bad way, I tried to make you notice it but you never paid me attention because you were busy. And everything went to hell, out of control and it ended up on this shit we're living now." Darren looked wide-eyed at you, very riled and exasperated. "So don't blame me, because I tried a lot of things that never worked; I never gave up but now I'm tired." Darren said softening his voice and looking down. He seemed really disappointed of you and it killed you because all you wanted was to make him feel proud of you, you wanted someone to feel proud of you. You remained in silence for a while trying to hold back your tears.

"I think I need a break." You said almost in a whisper looking down and Darren looked up to you abruptly. "I'm not fine and I need to be away of everything for a while." You whispered and Darren shook his head, looking down again and sighing. "I'm coming back to New York alone for a while until I get to clear things in my mind and until I get to feel fine again, because I can't keep going like this."

"Do whatever you want. It's up to you, after all this is all about you and your work." Darren said curtly, looking away and standing up with his scripts. "Don't worry about Sami, I'll pick her up. You focus on packing your suitcase or whatever." Darren said as final sentence before leaving you alone on the dining room.

"Right." Your gloomy voice echoed in the empty room.


EIGHT YEARS AGO (New York City) …

It had been three weeks since you were in NYC, when you decided to be away from Los Angeles for an indefinite time. Before leaving you talked to David Lynch and Chuck Lorre to tell them that you needed to travel for a personal inconvenience; they thought it was because a recent loss and you haven't contradicted it because you knew it could be a way they could leave you travel. Fortunately, they gave you that permission. Before you left LA, Darren and you haven't talked again. Darren only saw your suitcases on the living room after he picked up Sami and he shook his head and sighed. Before you left LA, Darren only said to you: "Be safe and greet your friends for me." Only that; nothing more, nothing less. Now you were in Matt's place in NYC and you haven't received any news from Darren; he hasn't called you, he hasn't texted you, he hasn't gave you signs of life. You thought that coming back to NYC would help you to get better, but it wasn't like that; every day you were feeling worse, you missed Sami and you missed Darren with all your soul more and more. The first days in NYC were fine, because you got to meet your friends that you missed a lot and you loved but, with the passing of days, you found out that they also had an established life there; they had a good job, new friends and a lot of things to do. Of course they spent time with you and they gave you some advices about your situation with Darren when you told them everything, despite all the work and events they had to go; but you weren't feeling good. You were feeling alone and you realized how many things you missed out for being so focused on your job.

That afternoon, after three weeks you were in NYC, someone knocked Matt's door. Matt was in the bathroom and he yelled from there if you could open the door, that probably it was April. You stood up because you were lying on the couch, reading a book to try to keep your mind busy and not to think of how you missed Sami and Darren and how you screwed up everything. You walked to the door and opened it; you barely had time to see who it was because you were pulled into a very tight hug from a person you recognized for his aroma and presence. Darren was there, in NYC, in Matt's place, hugging you very tight as never before, burying his head on your shoulder. His hug, his aroma, his presence, feeling the warmth of his body made you feel very thrilled and you felt as if your legs were jelly, your whole body started trembling because of the emotion you were feeling to have him there. You couldn't help it; you started shedding tears of joy and sadness at the same time. Darren was there and nothing else mattered.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry boo!" Darren whispered with thrilled voice, still hugging very tight.

"No, I'm sorry, Dar. I didn't know I was hurting..."

"I never meant to say all the things I said, I was terrible. I was a terrible boyfriend who couldn't..."

"I wish I could go back in time and make up for all the mistakes I did, because really..."

"You're the best I have and I treated you in a really crap way. You didn't deserve it and all I said it's not true..."

"I lost you because a stupid job and I made you feel as I don't care about you when actually all I wanted to do was to make you feel proud of me but I took the wrong way and I feel really bad because of this. I lost the most I love in this world." You said crying on Darren's chest, who was still hugging you. Then Darren finally looked up to you and you barely could see his eyes because you were seeing everything blurry because of the tears falling down your face. Darren rested his forehead on yours still hugging you.

"No, boo, no! You haven't lost me, you could never lose me because I'd never let you go away from me." Darren said with choked voice looking into your eyes. "And you don't have to do anything to make me feel proud of you, I was proud of you from the beginning; since you sent me your first letters and you told me all you had to go through." Darren said with watery eyes while you couldn't stop shedding tears. "And it's not a stupid job; and if you took the wrong way is because I wasn't there to help you to go through this whole new thing for you. Is because I was so freaked out of losing you now that you were living the best moment, I was freaked out that you could find someone else to love, I was so freaked out that I started making up things in my mind and I never thought you were being like that because you needed me and you felt jaded of all the things you had to do; and I never noticed it because all I could think was that you were distant because you liked another guy and you were tired of our routine, I thought you wanted someone else that could make you feel as happy as you were before. I don't know, I was so blinded and so stupid!"

"No, Dar! I could never like another guy! You're the one I love and I love you and Sami and what we have. And it was my entire fault because I should've done something when I noticed things between us were getting worse! Because I knew it was because of me and my job. But I let the time pass because I thought that with time things were going to solve their selves. I was scared to talk to you because I was scared you could tell me you didn't feel for me the same you felt before." You said crying, resting your head on Darren's chest while he started caressing your hair. "I'm so sorry, I was too coward because I couldn't deal with this, because I don't know what I'd do if ever you miss me, my life would bring down."

"It doesn't have to be like that. I know we can overcome this together. Please boo, come back to LA, I need you because I love you and you have no idea how much I missed you with me. I miss your laughter brightening my life, I need your shine to light up my days, I miss getting lost into your bright eyes, I miss your caresses which make me feel as if nothing else matters because that's all I need to be happy. Please come back so I can tell you a thousand times in your ear that I love you and you are to me, if you're not with me I can't keep going." Darren said placing his hands on your cheeks and looking deeply into your eyes. "Please forgive all my mistakes and please come back because I cannot stand my life without you."

"Would you guys just forgive each other, kiss and admit the fact that neither of you want to be apart from each other? For god sake! You make me get on my nerves!" Matt exclaimed behind Darren and you.

Darren and you turned around to see Matt leaning against the couch, looking amused at the two of you, with a roguish smirk. Darren laughed jovially, a laugh you haven't heard in a long time, a zestful laugh you haven't seen in a long time that made him look flawless and glowing; his laughter which made your heart skip a beat. Darren turned around now to look at you and to smile brightly. He slowly leaned to kiss your lips deeply; after a long time you finally got to feel his lips against yours, you enjoyed it as if it was your first kiss. A weird and fluttery feeling ran throughout your whole body and you got those butterflies in your stomach. You couldn't remember since when you haven't kissed Darren but it didn't matter because this feeling was very pleasant and amazing. The kiss lasted for several seconds until Matt interrupted you.

"Yeah, Darren. You can sleep in her bedroom until you both come back to LA. It's my pleasure to have you here. Just one thing, don't be so noisy at night, I'd like to be able to sleep." Matt joked and then he grabbed his backpack. "I'm going to April's place tonight. I guess you both need some intimacy now." Matt winked and chuckled amusingly before he left his own apartment, leaving you and Darren completely alone.

"Would you like to snuggle up to me? I miss that like hell." Darren whispered in front of your lips with a fond smile.

"I'd love it." You smiled and pecked his lips. Snuggle up to Darren was one of the things you loved the most to do since the very first time you met him in person, since the first time that you and him slept cuddled up on your couch when you were just two good friends.


SEVEN YEARS AGO (Los Angeles)…

A year ago, Darren and you had to experience a couple crises. The routine, typical experience of couples that make the decision to live together for the first time killed gradually your relationship. After this, some couples realize they aren't for each other as they thought and they end up breaking up for the good of both. But some couples can overcome this kind of crisis together because their love and bond is strong enough; this was what happened between you and Darren. When Darren went to NYC to find you and to get you back, finally you and he were honest with each other; you had that famous scary talk that every couple has when they're going through a bad moment. Darren told you all the things that he didn't like about your life together, all your habits and behaviors, your lack of time to spend together, your habit to not say all the things you didn't like because you preferred to keep all that in your mind to not cause troubles, and all you could imagine. You also told Darren all the things you didn't like about your life with him. But you didn't tell all of those things in a bad way, you talked with honesty and with the goal to get a solution after saying all the troubles that you raised in your relationship. Neither Darren nor you wanted to change the way you were, neither of you thought that could be the solution because the real solution isn't changing the personality of the other person because that way you wouldn't be yourselves, that way you weren't going to be the person you fell in love with. You decided that the best solution would be to change the way you were living, that you needed to set a time for work, a time for your relationship, a time to spend with Sami and your friends, and a time to be alone, because after all we all need time to spend alone otherwise you'd be suffocated. You agreed that the solution would be to overcome any little trouble that you were going to have together, always talking and supporting each other. But you haven't talked only about the bad things of your life together, you also talked about all the good things you had; because all those good things of your life together you'd find the real solution; you needed to clung on all those good things to overcome every problem you could get to have. It was a really hard talk, a talk that you should've had a long time ago; but that talk helped to be right where you were now. Now you and Darren were living happy, enjoying all you had, with a balance between work, your relationship, family, and friends. Some people say that we learn from mistakes, that all the bad things we have to go through aren't bad things if we took them to improve a situation and to strengthen ourselves and strengthen bonds; those people are right. Nothing can be bad if we find out the way to take something good and positives of it. You and Darren have got a lot to learn and you still had a lot to learn and all was hard, but nobody said it was easy and it was what made your relationship grow. No matter how bad and hard things could seem, we always end up finding the way to be happy, sometimes it takes a long time, sometimes not. The important was that neither Darren nor you gave up. And despite all the troubles and inconveniences, Darren and you were really happy together. Maybe this wasn't what you expected or dreamed for your life, maybe not everything was perfect, maybe not everything was like a fairy tale; but you were human beings and the imperfections of your relationship were the things that made it be perfect. Your imperfect life was perfect with Darren, the imperfect man that you loved.

That week you were alone because Darren was in UK, in a Glee tour. Sami was in vacations and she wanted to spend it with Cerine and Bill. You had a lot of work so you decided to take advantage that you were alone to do all you could so, that when Sami and Darren returned, you could spend more time with them. But you haven't forced yourself too much; instead you tried to keep the balance between work and time for yourself for relaxing. Even though you missed Sami and Darren already, you knew they were fine and they were enjoying their time as you were enjoying yours and that was what mattered. With time you learned that being alone sometimes isn't as bad as it seems, actually is good to be alone sometimes because in that way you find out that you aren't alone, because being apart doesn't mean to be alone, being apart sometimes makes you love more the other person. Sami was going to come back next week and Darren was going to come back in two days, so you were going have time to spend only with Darren. You've planned to give him a surprise, not only for his success in the tour in UK, but also because today it has been five years since you and Darren were a couple. You couldn't celebrate it now because obviously Darren wasn't there, but for that reason you planned a trip to Maui for four days. So now you were in the kitchen, searching for hotels to stay there while you were taking a coffee that summer morning until you heard someone knocking. You weren't expecting anyone but maybe it was something related to work, so you stood up and opened the door. It was a postman. It's been a while since the last time you saw a postman and it reminded you that time when Darren and you exchanged letters, a memory that made you smile. You received the letter thinking it was a letter from work, but then you read from where it's been sent. The address was in UK and it was from Darren. You couldn't explain it, but suddenly your day lighted up and you felt a tickle in your belly. It's been six years since the last time Darren sent you a letter because then you started to text, to call, to send emails, and of course because now you were living together; so that letter was something really special for you and it had a big symbolic significance because this way you met him. Now things were different from that time that Darren and you were used to write letters; now you haven't received that letter like the depressed and lost girl you were long time ago, now you've received that letter as the happy woman as you were. Things were different, you were different, but the significance of receiving his letter was the same, that feeling of butterflies in your stomach because of receiving his letter was intact. Why would Darren send you a letter if he could call you or send you and email? This was weird, but you loved it, it was something you weren't expecting. You quickly came back to the kitchen to open the envelope and read the letter. Darren's handwriting was still the same and it caused you an extreme happiness that you couldn't avoid grinning goofily.

"My very loved mysterious girl (not so mysterious now). If everything went as planned, this letter has arrived in a timely manner; if not this is an epic fail and I'm gonna feel super frustrated, but we're gonna pretend this arrived in a timely manner. How would we know if this letter arrived in a timely manner? Well, it's easy. Today should be a very special day, if you know what I mean. Is this that special day? Choose the right answer and follow the instructions:

1) No, it's not that special day yet, asshole! Instruction: Stop reading the letter and read it that day. I really mean it; you really don't want to screw this! I know what you're thinking, but don't even think about it. Be patient!

2) Bad news, the special day has gone already. Instruction: Kidnap the postman because I'm gonna kick the postman's ass for screwing this because of his delay.

3) Yay! Today is that special day! Instruction: Keep reading the letter. Go, go, go!

If you're reading now is because today is this special day, if it's not I'm gonna be mad at you because I told you to be patient! This is your last chance to stop reading the letter if you aren't supposed to read it. I'm gonna give you five seconds to change your mind. One...two...three...four...five. Okay, now if you're reading this is because is really that special day and I'm sorry for the five seconds and all, but you really needed you change your mind.

Hold on a second! You know what that special day is about, don't you? Answer it, I can't hear you! Oh, right! I won't hear you anyway. But answer it anyway because this way it's gonna be more dynamic and entertaining. You know and I know that I have a terrible memory but, have you really thought I could forget this is the fifth year we're a couple? I haven't. And I'm far away and unfortunately I can't be there with you to celebrate it as I'd like. So then I came up with this idea, an original way to celebrate our fifth year as a couple. Surely you asked yourself why I sent you a letter and I haven't called you instead (oh yeah, I know you so well!). This is the answer: I thought... What could be better than celebrate it in the same way we met? By letters. Things are different, I know, but writing you a letter is like commemorate everything once we had, everything we have and everything we're gonna have. For some people grab a pen and write a letter is something insignificant, I thought it was something insignificant, until I received your first letter. The letters began to become more important to me. I never knew all you can express with a letter, all you can feel by writing or receiving a letter and less I knew you could fall in love with it. Letters are the essence of what we are today. Poets often describe love as a feeling that is beyond our control that overcomes logic and common sense. In my case it was exactly like that. I didn't expect fall in love with you and I doubt that you had expected fall in love with me. But when we met, neither could avoid it. We fell in love despite our differences and in doing so; we created a unique and wonderful feeling. You and I were different. We came from different worlds, and yet you were the one who taught me how to love and be loved. For me it was a love that can exist only once, so every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I'll never forget a single moment of our relationship. People call it madness, but I call it love. I love you. I am who I am because of you. You're every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we're together is the greatest day of my life. I'll always be yours. You're everything I never knew I always wanted. It's like something I didn't know existed. I mean, it's been like a dream, you've been like a dream, the greatest dream. So I can say that whatever comes our way, we'll see it through and, you know, that's what our love can do. It could sound cheesy, but I really think that you and I were made to get love right.

Five years ago we were just strangers, now you're the love of my life. It's been the best five years I've had. I don't want celebrate it as normal couples do, celebrating it for all the time they've spent together, all the time they endured together. I want to celebrate it as all the time we've been next to each other learning something new, going through all the good and bad things together, all the time we fight for our love without giving up even when we thought there was no hope for us. I want to celebrate what it's been the best years of my life. I'm away, yeah, but I was also away when we met through letters and it didn't stop me from loving you and celebrate all your good moments with you even though I didn't know you in person. We could do it in the past, why can't do it now? And you know exactly how we can do it. Do you remember our games? Questions and answers was one, but there was another one. Ready for the surprises through letters? I missed those and I'm sure so did you. Sometimes I can be very creative and cautious, you know? And sometimes you can be very clueless, I love that. So, if I were you, I'd look all over our house to find a little blue box, called 'Surprise number 1' Oh yeah! I'll give you only one clue: You always tell me to clean that place and once you told me you weren't going to do it for me. Well, I never cleaned that place, you never cleaned that place; it was perfect, don't you think?

But hey, that's not the only surprise. You also have to find the 'Surprise number 2'. How would you find it? Well, sometimes is good to read a certain book. But it's not an ordinary book; it's an original book, full of memories. It might be a lovely summer day in LA, so maybe you'd want to go to Barnsdall Art Park Recreation Center to read that book. Who knows? Maybe there you could find something, like the 'Surprise number 3'!

Well, that's all I'm gonna say. It's up to you to find all the surprises, in total are five surprises. I believe in your ability to find all the clues, as I remember, you've always been good at it, you proved me it several times. So, good luck, my favorite and loved mysterious girl!

I love you like hell and soon we're gonna see again and I'll be ready to give you all my love. Consider it as a resemblance when we first met in person.

Happy five totally awesome years, my boo.

Warm fuzzies, cuddles and kisses for you. With all my love,

The mysterious boy (not so mysterious now)."

You finished reading the letter with a feeling of nostalgia, but it wasn't a bad feeling, it was the opposite. This letter was very similar than the letters that changed your life, but there was something different: Now you weren't afraid to admit that you were crazy for each other. Darren was right; this was the best way to celebrate your five years together. Why were tears falling down your face? You knew the answer: you were being really happy; everything seemed the same than the first letter he sent you, but it wasn't the same because it was even better.

You stood up to look for the 'Surprise number 1'. You knew exactly where it was hidden: Darren's wardrobe. It was a complete mess, his wardrobe was overflowing and unorganized, and all his clothes were tossed onto the shelves in a haphazard way. So there you started looking and you found the little blue box. You quickly opened it to find a pot of Nutella. You laughed out loud when you saw it. How in earth could Darren remember that you loved Nutella? It was a simple gift, but it had significance for you. Nutella was one of the first presents he gave you. You opened the pot of Nutella to eat a bit while you walked straight to your nightstand to find that certain book that Darren talked about. Of course he was talking about the book that belonged to him since he was a kid and then he gave it to you as one of his first surprises, since when he and you started to complete it with your own stuff. You never stopped completing it and you were glad, because that book was one of the first things that brought you together. But you didn't read it in your house; as Darren said, you went to the Barnsdall Art Park Recreation Center to read it. Most definitely it was a wonderful summer day so the park was crowded. You looked for some place where you could read the book in peace; not far from you were you found a tree where you sat back against the tree trunk. You opened the book and you saw all the pictures and quotes you've written. It was wonderful to see all of that and remember each moment you spent with Darren; but you didn't find anything different until you reached the last page of the book. There was something new that Darren had written.

"Boo, today is our fifth year together. If you're reading this is because I'm away and I couldn't be there with you; not because I didn't want but because I couldn't. It doesn't mean that I forgot this day, it doesn't mean that I won't make a toast for all the precious and sometimes not so precious moments we spent together, which where the most valuable moments for me. Look, this book shows with pictures what with words cannot be expressed. This is what we are, two human beings who fell in love with all the perfections and imperfections, who never gave up despite the differences and fights; because the two of us knew that we had something more important to fight for: this singular feeling when we look into each other's eyes knowing that there couldn't be a most amazing moment; that singular feeling when I'm in your arms, when I see your smile, when I smell your hair, when I hear your voice, when I touch your soft skin. That singular feeling of keeping you in the bottom of my heart. I want to make a toast for all those little things that made possible this big happiness I feel.

This Surprise number 2 has no purpose but to see and remember everything we've lived for five years through these photographs. At the end, answer yourself this question: Was it worth the entire struggle for our love to last? Are you happy now for what we are? I've already got the answer and I'm gonna tell it once we get to see again in person.

Take your time, you have all day long. Once you do it, I want you to go to the Art Gallery there, is the place where you're gonna find the Surprise number 3.

I love you, boo. You have no idea how much.

I'm sending all my loving to you, Darren."

You smiled brightly when you finished reading it and you wondered why Darren was always this lovely and cute guy, how he could love you the way he did to do all the things he's done for you. You read the entire book again, paying attention to every single picture. You knew your answer.

"Everything has been worthy, even the bad things, because it got me to you. Everything has been worthy because what we are and what we have now is one of those most wonderful things in life. With you I found out that life is beautiful. I was happy to be with you, but it's nothing compared to how happy I am now. And I know this is gonna last, we're always gonna find the way to do so. I love you, Darren, and I'll always do." You answered his question in a whisper, looking at the last picture you took together in an ordinary day in your house when Darren and you were playing the piano, laughing harmlessly as two children.

After a few minutes just looking at that picture with a joyful smirk, you stood up and went to the Art Gallery where the Surprise number 3 was. When you got there you were looking for some quirky person to give you something or for a note, but instead you got shocked.

"Oh my dear God." You exclaimed gaping and stunned, looking around you.

There were a lot of people looking at the art exhibition. In the Municipal Art Gallery, all your paintings were exhibited; each one of them. The paintings you gave to Darren and April through letters, the paintings you painted with Sami, the paintings you never finished, the paintings you ever painted but you never gave to anyone. You started walking slowly looking at all of those paintings. You couldn't believe Darren has done something like that. Your paintings were something private and something you did in your free time, those weren't good; those shouldn't be in an art exhibition. But you couldn't deny the fact that you were very thrilled to see it all and because of the nice gesture Darren had. You walked until you arrived to the end of the exhibition. There was one big picture; it wasn't a painting, it was a picture you recognized. It was a picture you've forgotten, a picture that now was framed. Tears started falling down your face when you remembered Darren's words when you showed him the chest where you had all your memories of your childhood.

"Do you mind if I keep it?" Darren has asked you when he saw the picture you had with your dad when you were a little girl.

"Why would you want to keep it?" You've asked curious and frowning.

"I don't know. I just want to keep it, I like this picture and I'm gonna be able to look at your little you. You were so fucking cute, not that you aren't now... But look at your adorable rosy and chubby cheeks! And your freckles! It's totally adorable. Can I pinch your cheeks? I'm tempted now." Darren has said looking at you mischievously.

"What?" You've looked at him frowning and amused. "You're so out of your mind...Why the hell would you want..." You haven't finished saying it because Darren has started pinching your cheeks. "What the hell, Darren?"

"Sorry, I needed to do it." Darren has laughed along with you. "Then I took it as a yes, I can keep the picture."

You remembered that conversation. You never could understand why Darren wanted to keep that picture and you've forgotten he had it. But now you knew why he wanted it. Could it be that Darren had it planned since that time? You got closer to the framed picture while tears were still falling down your face, tears of joy of course. Darren knew the meaning that this picture had for you; he knew it so he has done this. This was one of the most lovingly gestures he'd ever had with you. He hasn't even had the chance to meet your dad, but he knew he was important to you so this was important to him as well. You not always find a gesture from someone like this. When you got closer, you saw a coffee table under the framed picture, with a note on it. You looked around to see if near you was a security man because you weren't supposed to touch the things on the art exhibition. There you found one and you were going to walk to him, but he looked at you with a smile and he nodded, winking at you as if he was giving you the permission to do so. You smiled at him before grabbing the note to read it. Of course it was from Darren.

"So I hope you liked this Surprise number 3. Surely you wanted to kill me when you saw all your paintings there, but those were good and I thought it could be amazing to see all your paintings in a same place, sharing those with other people. I'd never forget the first time I saw your painting, when you sent me it in one of your letters. I was so amazed and I remember I thought: 'Whoa! This mysterious girl is damn talented!' I wasn't wrong and I'm sure people that now are seeing your paintings are as amazed as I was.

And the mystery of why I wanted to keep your picture with your dad has been revealed! Yeah, I wanted to do it long time ago but for some reason I never did. I guess I was waiting for the right moment and the right place. That picture is very beautiful and I know it's very important to you, so as important as it is for you, I wanted to do something important with it. Now this picture is in the Art Gallery but then it's gonna be on the wall of our living room, just as important as it deserves to be.

I'm gonna tell you a secret. The first time I saw that picture I saw a little girl with his father, just an ordinary picture. When I was alone at home, I looked that picture every night and then I found out it wasn't an ordinary picture as I thought it was. There was some kind of magic in that picture; I looked very deeply into the eyes of that little girl and I found out that she was full of happiness and hopes, full of love to give and receive, there was a magical twinkle in her eyes. That little girl was very different from the girl you were when I met you, a girl who didn't have happiness and hopes in her eyes, a girl who was willing to give love but who barely received love. There was a twinkle in her eyes but I had to look very deeply into your eyes to find it, I knew there were hopes for you but you couldn't see it. That was what I saw into your eyes the first time we met in person, that day in Central Park. When you gave me this picture, you weren't that sad girl anymore but still you couldn't be like that little girl. There was something else that was avoiding you to be like that little girl again and I was feeling very frustrated because I couldn't tell which was the reason. Then it happened: One day I got to see those eyes, full of happiness, hopes and love; I got to see that little girl with a woman's body. I got to see who you really are in your fullest. From that moment I knew there was where I belonged, with that little girl who was a woman. Only with you. That moment was our last night in Rome, when you gave me all your love and you received all my love. Since that moment that little girl returned to never go away again. Now look at that picture and look into the eyes of that little girl, that's how you look now, that's what I see every day when I wake up next to you, into the eyes of that little girl you'll find out the reasons why you drive me crazy and you'll find out the reason why I'd never let you go.

But I think there's still one thing that needs to be done, a thing that would make you feel complete and it has nothing to do with me. It's only about that little girl and her father. Go to the airport and take the first flight today to San Francisco, where everything started. I've already paid for the plane ticket, you only have to go there and go for the Surprise number 4. The surprise number 4 it isn't something you can touch, it's something you can feel. It's time for you to come back to San Francisco and do that thing you were avoiding to do all these years. Go to the cemetery and find your dad, he's been waiting for your visit for so long, I'm sure. Don't be scared, don't think about it, just go and do it. I promise you won't feel bad, but if it ever comes to happen, remember that he is the person who made you be the person who you are now, he would be happy to see you again and I'm sure you also would be happy to see him again; you won't see him physically, but you'll see him in your soul. It's time, boo. Do it.

See you soon. With love,

Darren."

You were trembling at the moment you finished reading his note. You didn't want to go there; you weren't ready to see your dad's grave because you knew you were going to feel sad because he wasn't here anymore. Yes, you were scared as Darren thought you'd be, but you couldn't avoid that feeling. But, on the other hand, maybe Darren was right. Maybe you should just go there without thinking about it and just do it, maybe it was going to be a good thing. You didn't know what to do, you just remained stood there, unable to move. The security man walked to you and you looked at him; he smiled at you and gave you a note before leaving.

"GO!"

That was only what the note said and it was Darren's handwriting. It was as if Darren knew every single thing you were doing or as if he knew exactly how you were feeling. Were you so predictable or he really knew you so well? In any case, his note worked. You just left the Art Gallery to go to the airport just like you were in that moment. You haven't even come back to your house to pack a suitcase, you just left. In a few hours you were already in San Francisco, precisely in the cemetery. You were scared and your body was trembling but anyway you walked to where your dad's grave was. You found it. It seemed as if no one had gone there in years. You kneeled in front of his grave and there you left a flower while inevitably you started shedding tears. Finally you were there, only you and your dad. You didn't know what to say, you didn't know what to do. You only remained looking at his grave and you actually didn't have a sad feeling, instead you started remembering all the good moments you spent with him when he was alive; remembering it as the best moments in your life. This was the best way you found to tell your dad who was resting in peace how much you loved him and how thankful you were to have shared those moments with him. You didn't know how much you needed to do this. Now you really could leave him rest in peace and that was what it felt good. You were in silence sitting on the grass and looking at his grave with a fond smile on your face until suddenly you felt how someone sat behind you wrapping the arms around your waist. You startled and turned around to see Darren looking at your dad's grave as well, in silence with a smile.

"What are you doing here? I thought you were in UK." That was the first you could say because of your surprise.

"Well, I decided to overtake the plane flight." Darren answered with a smile looking into your eyes now to then rest his chin on your shoulder and look at your dad's grave again. "Do you remember our chain letters? Once I asked you what you'd do if you only had one last week of life. You answered me a lot of things. One of them was to see your mother again to tell her all you had to go through in your life and to forgive her; well, we've done it, haven't we? You also told me you wanted to perform a show in a public place; we have done it also. Remember? When you met Sami in her birthday and I dressed you up as a clown, we performed together. Also when we went to that eccentric and exotic bar, when you met your brother again; we performed on a stage, singing together. And Broadway, oh Broadway! Also you told me you'd say to all those who you appreciate how much you love them; you showed them your love every day, didn't you? You also wanted to go to the beach, one of your favorite places to see the sunset there; we've gone to the beach. Oh, and how would I forget you also said you'd like to go to Rome? We had an amazing time there. But you also told me one last thing we never did, something that was hanging. You told me you wanted to visit your dad's grave. Here we are." Darren said still looking at your dad's grave with a smile while you were looking at him.

"What do you mean? That finally I'm ready to die?" You joked but inside you were feeling very touched at realizing Darren made it all possible. All your dreams have come true and you never noticed it until that moment.

"Kind of." Darren joked still looking at your dad's grave now with an amused smile. "But we can stop calling it death to call it an ending of a stage to start a new beginning, a new stage." Darren said and he finally looked into your eyes while you looked at him frowning and confused. There was a particular brightness in his eyes. "You've got all you wanted and it could mean it could be the end our relationship as a couple to start a new one as a married couple."

"What?" You asked with choked and trembling voice and with watery eyes. Not because you were scared, but because it was something unexpected and it made you feel very thrilled.

"Now, in front of your dad, I want to tell you that I know we're gonna last. Do you know why I know it? Because I still wake up every morning and the first thing I want to do is to see your face. I want to tell you in front of your dad that there's nothing I'd love the most than marrying you, this is my answer to the question I asked you." Darren said looking deeply into your eyes and holding your hands while you started trembling. Was Darren proposing you in front of your dad? "I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they're not and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home. Boo, will you marry me?" Darren asked looking into your eyes, pulling off a ring he had in his pocket.

Now you were shedding tears of joy while you couldn't stop trembling, looking at the ring and then into Darren's eyes. This wasn't how you dreamed of, how someone would propose you. You've always dreamed to be proposed on an elegant dinner, in an important event. But this was much better than what you've dreamed of. Darren, the man of your life, proposed you in front of your dad's grave. An important place to you, where the two men you loved the most were together. Definitely Darren knew you and he always wanted the best for you, he showed you the real feeling to be loved. You didn't hesitate a second to respond.

"I will."

There you were, Darren, your dad and you as the proof that real love does exist, maybe not in the way we imagined or dreamed of all our lives, but yes as how it was perfect to us in that moment and time.


SIX YEARS AGO…

Beasts achy, urge to pee every 10 minutes, twinges of morning sickness, vomiting, extreme exhaustion, cramps, chocolate cravings, drastic transition of mood. This is how you've been feeling the last week. You blamed the last Friday night when Darren took you to a sushi restaurant and he forced you to eat sushi for the first time. You told him you didn't like it and that you were going to feel sick, but he said you were overreacting. In fact, you weren't overreacting. That sushi was like a kick for your stomach and you couldn't recover since that day. One of your coworkers took you home on Monday when you started to feel really bad in work and you got a sick leave for a week. But the week was ending and you weren't feeling any better. Darren felt really guilty because of this so he was being sweeter than ever; bringing breakfast in bed, calling you every hour during all day long, bringing you flowers when he returned from work, spending the nights watching a movie with Sami on the couch, making sure of ordering healthy food since you weren't feeling good to cook, tucking you up every night, and a lot of sweet gestures.

That Friday morning, Darren went to work early and he took Sami to school, so you were alone in home. You slept almost all the morning because you were really tired even though the last days you've been sleeping a lot. You slept until you felt really queasy and you ran to the bathroom to throw up. This wasn't normal. How the heck can you feel like you're hung over all day long when you've had nothing to drink in three weeks? And there you woke up to the fact that you've missed your period. Could you be...? No, it was impossible. No, you used a condom every time you had sex, you were very careful. Except that night in Chris's birthday party, four weeks ago. Oh damn. But it couldn't be possible, it was the only time you didn't use a condom, you couldn't be so unlucky. All the symptoms had sense, but no. You were feeling like that because of the sushi, it should be the explanation of your sickness. Now you were freaking out and you needed to verify whether you were pregnant was the reason why you felt this way. Quickly you went to the nearest store to buy a home pregnancy test. You went to the bathroom and there was when you got extremely nervous. What if the test was positive? What if you were actually pregnant? What would you do? Oh God, you weren't ready to be someone else's mother, it was very surreal. But you needed to know. You haven't peed in the morning yet, so you were able to take the pregnancy test in that moment. You held the pregnancy test in your urine stream and you waited two minutes to read the result. Before reading the result you took a deep breath, trying to calm down because you knew that reading the result could change completely your life. Two lines: You were pregnant. In shock and trembling, you looked yourself in the mirror. Seven years ago, in another place, in other circumstances, with another kind of life; you were also in the bathroom looking yourself in the mirror, also shedding tears. But seven years ago those were tears of sadness and now those were tears of joy. Seven years ago you were alone, with no job, no family, no friends, and no hopes, full of sadness and depressed; and now you had a family, now you were married, you had a job, a lot of friends and you were full of hopes and lively. Seven years ago you were holding a razor instead a pregnancy test. Seven years ago you never thought you could have something good in your life, and now you were going to be someone else's mother.

"Oh my god. I'm gonna be a mom." Your voice echoed through the silent bathroom while you were looking at your belly, caressing it. "How am I gonna tell this to Darren and Sami? What if Darren doesn't want to be dad yet? What if Sami doesn't want to have a little brother or sister? Oh god."

You spent the rest of the morning thinking how to say this to Darren, because he was going to be the first one to arrive home since Sami was going to spend the afternoon in her best friend's house.

By the time that Darren arrived home, you already have got everything ready. You were lying on the couch watching a movie when Darren entered in the room and walked to you with a box of chocolates. You pretended to be sleeping, so Darren kneeled and he caressed your cheek softly until you opened your eyes lazily.

"Hi boo." Darren said sweetly still caressing your cheeks and he smiled before leaning to kiss your lips. "Are you feeling better?"

"Yeah, I'm better." You smiled fondly at him, still lying on the couch.

"Those are good news." Darren smiled brightly and he rested his chin on the couch. "I brought you chocolates. I know you won't want it because you're still feeling sick, but Lea told me that chocolates can be good when you're feeling sick. I don't know, she talked about a weird effect on your body or something. So, at least eat one and let's find out if it works." Darren said giving you a chocolate and you laughed while you grabbed it.

"Yes, actually I'm really hungry. I feel as if I had to eat for two." You said mysteriously and amused but Darren didn't get your hint. "Don't be surprised if in a few months I get super chubby."

"Yeah, I noticed that lately you're eating as if you had to feed another body. Maybe it's your clone who decided to live inside you." Darren laughed, still clueless of what you tried to say. "Anyway, I think you'd look totally adorable if you're chubby. You've lost much weight the last years and that's not good."

"Oh, don't worry. Soon I'm gonna be very chubby for you." You winked at him and Darren frowned amused and confused.

"Hope so." Darren smiled clueless and then he stood up. "Be right back, I'm gonna bring my scores so I can work on those. Lately I've been very lazy."

"Wait!" You stopped him and Darren turned around to look at you frowning. "It's not necessary. I've already brought your scores here, are in the coffee table, right next to your guitar."

"Hey, it's true. Am I too predictable that you've done this?" Darren asked surprised and frowning, but smirking.

"No, actually I was planning to force you to sing and compose new songs in front of me. I miss hearing your voice singing and you playing the guitar." You said raising an eyebrow amused and smiling sweetly. Darren stared at you for a while with a bright smile on his face.

"You're too cute for your own good, you know?" Darren said smiling and frowning before leaning to kiss your lips again. "No doubts why I fall in love with you more and more every day. Hold on, I have the perfect song for you." Darren said walking to where his scores were.

Darren grabbed his scores, but when he did it he realized that the pregnancy test was hidden under his scores. He put aside his scores and he grabbed the pregnancy test frowning, you noticed how his body started trembling. He didn't look at you; he remained staring the pregnancy test in shock for a long time. You were really freaking out, not knowing how Darren would react for this new happening. You were very expectant to know if the fact of you being pregnant were good or bad news for him. Finally Darren looked at you gaping, with eyes wide open and raising his eyebrows; he seemed bewildered but there was a twinkle in his eyes that you couldn't tell if it was because of happiness or the opposite.

"What is this?" Darren asked with trembling voice still looking at you bewildered.

"Uhm..." You babbled nervous not knowing how to tell him the news. "Let's say is the result of what we did in Chris's birthday party." You said nervously and Darren seemed to be trying to remember what you were talking about and you could notice when he remembered because of his face.

"Are...are you pregnant?" Darren asked with eyes wide open and his voice sounded strident in the silent room.

"Yes." You whispered now looking down and then you gulped because it seemed that Darren didn't like the news. He didn't utter a word, so you looked up at him again. He was in shock looking at the pregnancy test. "I'm sorry...I never thought..."

"Does this mean I'm gonna be a dad?" Darren interrupted you and then he looked into your eyes. He had watery eyes and a faintly bright smile.

"Yes." You answered with teary eyes now because it was really weird and moving to hear Darren calling himself dad. Darren walked to you and he sat on the couch next to you, putting aside the pregnancy test to place his hands on your cheeks and rest his forehead against yours.

"We're gonna be parents!" Darren exclaimed with choked voice, now shedding tears of joy.

He seemed to be very thrilled and light-hearted. There was brightness in his eyes you've never seen, there was a radiant smile in his face you've never seen. He seemed whole-souled happy. You smiled brightly at him and you also started shedding tears of joy. You and Darren were going to have a baby. It seemed surreal but it was happening. Darren kissed your lips very deeply while he was still smiling and then he started laughing with joy and so did you. Then Darren did something you weren't expecting, something really odd but that felt really good. He leaned to lift your shirt and then he placed his hands on your tummy, caressing it and looking at it very fondly; then he leaned to kiss it very smoothly and sweetly.

"Hey little kid, I'm your daddy and this beautiful woman is your mommy." Darren whispered talking to your belly still caressing it smoothly. You looked at him and you couldn't avoid shedding more tears of joy. "You're our first baby, the living proof of how your mommy and I have shared our love. This is crazy, little kid; this unexplainable love, to love something you cannot yet see, feel, hear, or hold. Wow!" Darren exclaimed smiling brightly and wiping away a tear to then place his hands again on your belly. "Little baby, I always dreamed of this day to come. Yeah, I wasn't expecting this to happen so soon but now that I know that you're gonna come down to this world I can honestly say that I'm the happiest man in this world and I'm sure so is your mommy. I don't know if we're gonna be the best parents, but I can assure that our love will never fail you. I hope you know you've changed our lives for good, that you lighten up our lives, my little baby. I promise to be a good daddy for you and I'm sure that your mommy is gonna be the best mommy in the universe, you just wait to see her and you'll know what I'm talking about. We'll be meeting soon my darling baby." Darren said with choked voice and still shedding tears of joy before leaning to kiss your belly.

There you've found out a new side of Darren, a paternal side. For an instant, you've seen Darren as if he was your father talking to you when you were a little girl. You knew that Darren was going to be a good dad, the best one. You knew it because you saw it in his eyes and you heard it in his voice, because you felt all his loving while he was talking to your unborn baby. And now you were ready to be a mom. Together you were going to be good parents for your unborn baby. This was your most valuable, treasured and precious moment in your life. You never had a family and now you had your own one, and it was the perfect family in its own way. Sincerely you could tell this was how it felt to have a family and no one could bring you down.


PRESENT…

"Boo?" Darren asked and you looked at him. "You seem to be deep in thought. I asked you something and then you started thinking about something. Is everything okay?"

"Yes, everything is more than fine, Dar." You answered caressing his cheek and smiling fondly at that guy you loved so much. "Sorry, what have you asked me?"

"If you have ever imagined having a lovely family like we have." Darren said looking into your eyes and kissing the hand which with you were caressing his cheek. Yes, that was the question that Darren asked you and then you started thinking about all that happened years ago.

"Honestly, no." You answered and Darren looked at you frowning and confused. "I never imagined having this family because I thought that nobody could have something more perfect and nobody could be this happy. This is even better than I've ever imagined."

"That's the perfect answer, you know?" Darren said smiled brightly and caressing your hair. "Are you happy, like truly happy?"

"Well, sometimes you drive me so mad that I want to kill you all like a crazy psychopath. But then I realize that my life would be over if ever I get to miss any of you in my life. It wouldn't be complete, because you all are my home, with our perfections and imperfections. So yeah, I'm truly happy and I owe it to you all." You smiled before kissing Darren, who was smiling sweetly and looking into your eyes.

"Boo, there's something I never told you." Darren said after few minutes you were silent and you looked at him frowning and curious.

"What is it?"

"Hold on, wait a minute. I need to show you it." Darren said and the he got up to walk to his wardrobe and from there he pulled out the box in which he kept all the letters you sent him thirteen years ago. He came back to bed and he started pulling out all your letters until he grabbed one in particular. "Here it is. Uhm, this is a letter that I wrote to you but I never dared to give it to you. I don't know why, years went by and I never gave it to you."

"When did you write it?" You asked curious while you were grabbing it.

"When we went to Dockweiler Beach and I told you the love affair I had with Mia. When you left me because you thought I needed time to think about what I really wanted. I had the intention to send it to you as soon as I finished writing it, but I never did because I was a coward." Darren said laughing softly and shaking his head.

"Oh gosh, Darren. That was a long time ago!" You said with widely eyes, smiling a bit amused and a bit curious. "Why are you bringing this up now?"

"Because I really want you to read it. Is one of the letters of our chain letters that made possible what we have now, so you deserve to read all of them." Darren said looking at you. "Come on, read it!"

"Okay." You giggled and you put on your glasses to start reading the letter that you've never read, the missing letter of your chain letters.

"So you just left me and I'm here writing this letter to say all the things that I couldn't say in person. After all, by letters is how this all started, isn't it? I'm writing this letter to tell you why I couldn't say anything at all when you told me I needed time to clear up my mind and find out what is that I really want. The truth is that I don't need that time, I don't need to clear up my mind because I know what I want because I had it in my arms yesterday: You. I knew it since the first time I held you in my arms; yeah since we met in person. But I never told you it because it was ridiculous to have fallen in love with you so fast. I wanted to tell you it before you left, but I couldn't say anything because honestly I think that sometimes it's easier to make it alone rather than risk getting hurt again. Sometimes it's easier to be numb towards certain people so I don't let them get too close. Sometimes I'm scared. But when I act numb towards you, it doesn't mean I don't care. It means I care too much. Real life is a funny thing, you know. In real life, saying the right thing at the right moment is beyond crucial. So crucial, in fact, that most of us start to hesitate, for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. But lately what I've begun to fear more than that is letting the moment pass without saying anything. So this is why I'm telling you all of this through this letter.

You know, I always thought that there was this one perfect person for everybody in the world and when you found that person the rest of the world kind of magically faded away, and, you know, the two of you would just be inside this kind of protective bubble, but there's no bubble, I mean if there is you have to make it, I just think life is more than a series of moments, you know, we can make choices, and we can choose to protect the people we love, and that's what makes us who we are and those are real memories. I make the choice to keep you, to protect you; because you are the one who make me be who I am, and because only with you I have those real memories and I want to have more real memories with you. You are this one perfect person for me and the world fades away when I'm with you. That's magical, what we have.

I made mistakes because I'm a human being but I regret them, all of them. But the mistake I've done that I regret the most is to have made you think that I'm not sure to be with you. It's the opposite. I want to be with you, but I'm scared and I cannot avoid it. I've been hurt when I was with Mia and I don't want it to happen again. But, once you left, I realized that you cannot change your past, but you can let it go and start your future. So it's not gonna be easy. It's going to be really hard, we're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, every day. You and me, every day.

Even if, you know, even if we never talk again after tonight, please know that I'm forever changed because of who you are and what you've meant to me. I don't need time, I need you, and I need you because I love you because you are you and I can't explain you why it is like that, but after all love doesn't have a logical explanation; you only feel it, simple and complicated as that.

Be sure that I'm gonna come back for you. You know why? Because since the very first time that I looked into your eyes I knew that you're meant to me and I'm meant to you. So, even if it takes my whole life to get your forgiveness, I'm gonna do it; but, just so you know, I won't give up on you, on what we've started through letters to get to be what we are now and what we can get to be.

I love you, and that's the truth.

Forever yours, your mysterious guy."

You finished reading the letter with eyes wide open and surprised for his deep words and feelings he had for you since that time. You looked up to see Darren looking at you with a warm smile.

"Why haven't you showed me this letter before? This could have changed a lot of crap things we had to live. This letter is beautiful, Dar." You said looking at him and Darren giggled softly.

"I don't regret to not having sent you it." Darren said shrugging and you looked at him raising an eyebrow. "At the end, we are who we are now because all of those crap things we had to go through, because of the way we could overcome those even when everything seemed lost. Those crap things you said were the ones which made our relationship grow stronger. We cannot change the fact that life is a summation of crap and awesome moments and memories and you know it more than anyone. Look how far you've come after going through those crap and awesome moments. It's outstanding, you're outstanding and I'm overwhelmed by your mere presence. Yep, I'm a lucky guy." Darren said with a huge smile and you hugged him tightly.

"Give me our book, I want to add something." You said and Darren raised his eyebrows amused before standing up to bring your book and a pen.

"I'm like super curious now. Can I spy what you're gonna do with it?" Darren giggled amused and you looked at him mysteriously.

"No at all. You'll have to wait." You said pretending to be mysterious.

You grabbed the book and the pen to write something that you should've written long time ago.

"Once upon a time, there was a girl who was lost in this rough world. The girl made a lot of mistakes in her life; the worst mistake was to attempt to take away her own life. She made the decision of cutting herself for release of pent up emotional stress, to express negative emotions, to exert an element of control when her life seemed out of control, to feel something other than emptiness, to punish herself because she felt worthless. She got scars in her skin, scars which were going to be there forever. Life was a chaos, it had no sense, and she couldn't fit anywhere. She only wanted to go away, to some place where she could be finally be happy and she thought she couldn't get it in this rough and dark world. She was decided to end with her pain and suffer until she got something unexpected, something out of her monotonous routine: A letter from a stranger. It was a kind of game. A game, she thought. She hasn't played a game since she was a little girl. The game was called 'Chain Letters'. It was about to show people they weren't alone in this life, that not everything was lost and that we always have time to improve everything. She had to tell her life story to three people. Funny how things are, with those chain letters, the girl met another girl who turned out to be one of her best friends in the future; and she also met a mysterious guy. What she never thought was that those chain letters were going to change her life; she never thought that the mysterious guy was going to save her life. She never thought that she was going to fall in love with this mysterious guy and even get married with him to then have a family, her very first and real family. She never thought that thanks to those chain letters her life was going to change roundly, getting to work of what she loved and always dreamed of, getting to have a lot of friends, getting to recover a brother's love that she thought lost, getting to have a place she could call home. She never thought she could get good moments because all her life she had to go through crap moments. She never thought that the rough and dark world could turn into a beautiful and bright world, full of happiness and love to give and receive. Over the years, the girl finally could realize that life ain't easy but is beautiful, even though when we're in our lowest point, when nothing seems to improve. But life wouldn't be wonderful if we don't have crap moments to later celebrate that we could overcome those crap moments thanks to our effort and our strength to never give up. Sometimes good things take a long time to come, sometimes not. Sometimes we don't realize all the good things we have, the biggest and smallest good things that come to happen throughout our lives; because we are focused in all the bad things that happen to us. It's like we walk on a road very focused to arrive to the end of the way and to see if there is that thing which can full our empty lives; and in our blindness to get to the end of the way as soon as we can, we lost in our way all the wonderful and small things that can truly improve our lives. When we're hurried to arrive to the end of the way is when we get tired because it never seems to have an ending, that's the time when we give up on everything, when we choose the wrong way that takes us to the end of our lives for own election. But when we stop in the way, we find the magic of life, the reason why people sometimes say life is wonderful. The girl was blinded and she only wanted to arrive to the end of the way, she was tired, she wanted to take the wrong way. But then the mysterious guy stopped her to uncover her eyes, to show her the right way, to make her see that she was letting pass by in her way all the things she always wanted to get. But the right way also has obstacles that must be overcome. But now something was different: she wasn't alone now. The mysterious guy stood by her all the time, they made their own right way together. Over the years, the girl asked herself something: What would have happened if she decided to take the wrong way? She'd have missed all the wonderful things that this world has for each one of us, she'd have never found the true happiness, she'd have never found out that life is actually beautiful and everything is worthy insofar that we decide not to give up despite obstacles. Everyone is worthy, everyone is beautiful, everyone has come down this world with a purpose; we only have to find out which that purpose is. Happiness is right there, we only have to uncover our eyes. In the girl's case, the mysterious guy uncovered her eyes, but it could happen in the most unexpected ways in the most unexpected moment. One thing is for sure: sooner or later we get to uncover our eyes. We never know what wonderful thing can happen in our empty lives, so we never should give up. It's the process of what we call life.

Who would say that a chain letters could save someone's life? The story tells that the girl found her home in the mysterious guy and she was having the time of her life next to him. The story tells that the mysterious guy was the most incredible and flawless guy that the girl could have ever dreamed of. That was real happiness: her life with Darren Criss."

Darren finished reading with teary eyes what you've written with all your heart. He looked at you thrilled, telling you with his gaze how much he loved you. He was telling you that no matter what it comes to happen; you were together holding hands and walking on this way called life. But Darren hasn't only said it with his gaze; he also added something new on your life book.

"I vow to walk on this way we call life next to you, I vow to overcome all the obstacles together, and I vow to give you all my loving until the end. I'll always hold your hand and write you a letter from my heart, love of my life."

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