“Zeno, I know it’s been three months since you confessed your feeling to me and I’m sorry that it took that much time but I’m ready to give you my reply,” I said as I looked him in the eyes. We were sitting on the swing in Ruth’s garden, and it was 11 pm. The real reason for my delay was that I wanted to spend more time with Nolan before he dies. We took him to a lot of places and he enjoyed all of them. We bought a new house and I’ve been collecting all sorts of memories with my new camera and luckily, I got most of our childhood photos on my email account. I was able to restore them all and printed them then placed them in a big photo album. And mom was completely cured of her burns and she was as healthy as a horse and was back at teaching in her new chemistry lap.
My reply for Zeno was ready the day he confessed but I thought of other aspects in my life and decided that I should wait and he told me that he’d wait and he was honest. It was the right time to speak. But before I could speak, he beat me to it. His eyes looked teary. “For it to take this much time to reply... I understand. You are better off with someone else, I know I was too arrogant to say that I love you, I just-” As he started babbling all sorts of unnecessary things, I grabbed his face with my hands and made him looked at me. “Just shut up!” I demanded and then placed a soft kiss of his lips. It was short but sweet and I hoped that it made him realize my feelings for him. “I love you, Zeno and I hope that you don’t regret confessing your love to me because I don’t,” I gave him my genuine answer with a wide smile and it took him a while to apprehend what I stated. And when he did, he jumped with made me jump and fall off the swing. “Really?” He asked with a glowing smile and I rolled my eyes. “Yes, now come and help me stand up,” I said and he grabbed both my hands and made me stand up. He didn’t let go of my hands, instead, he hugged me tightly. I hugged him back and we stayed like this for a while.
“Do you remember what I told you about my tattoo?” He asked as he made me look into his eyes. I nodded and looked at his arm. The tattoo of the boy with a broken heart, he got it when his mother died. “What about it?” I asked as I rubbed my hand on the tattoo. It was beautiful yet painful in meaning. “Well, since my heart’s been restored the moment you entered my life, I decided to take it back. After I confessed my feelings to you, I got this second tattoo...” He raised his other sleeve and showed me his other hand and when it was visible to my eyes, I gasped.
He got a tattoo of a girl holding a heart in her hands and she was facing the broken-hearted boy in the next hand, so when he closed his hands together, wrist to wrist, the picture was completed. “Oh Zeno, it’s stunning! I love it and I’m more than happy to be a part of your life. Thank you for accepting me,” I replied and kissed his knuckles. A girl could also spread her love to the guy she loved.
He raised his eyebrows then laughed. “Are you kidding? Accepting you was the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life, therefore, thank you for accepting this punk in your life!” He countered and I laughed. “You are far from being a punk, trust me,” I added and he nodded then we hugged each other in silence until it was not so silent anymore. My family and his family knocked on the glass which made us jump from the fright. My brothers were smirking at me and Alessio was giving his son the thumbs up.
My cheeks turned bright red and I hid it in Zeno’s chest. “Damn it, they are embarrassing!” I whispered and he chuckled. “Indeed they are,” he agreed and then brought my face to his and winked. “But who cares?” He added and then kissed me passionately on the lips. I heard whistles come from them and Ruth’s joyful laugh. “This calls for a caramel cake, which I just made,” she said and I broke the kiss from Zeno and raised my hands. “I want cake!” I said and they all laughed at my reaction.
“My daughter needs to sort out her priorities in her life.” Mom joked and I scoffed. “Cake comes first, right Zeno?” I countered and looked back at Zeno to see him nodding furiously. “I agree, now let’s eat,” he said and Nolan patted his shoulder. “And you need to sort out your priorities as well, both of you are super weird but you suit each other. I’m happy for you, but never make her sad or my ghost will follow you after I die to the rest of your life!” Nolan threatened and for some odd reason, we were not sad that he said those words. I guessed that we finally accepted the fact that he’d die soon. He was not that upset about it and we didn’t want to upset him. It would be hard, but we could do nothing to stop God’s plan.
“Evey, can you help me cut the cake?” Ruth called from the inside and everyone followed her except Zeno and I. “In a minute,” I replied then looked at Zeno. “What?” He asked and I sighed. “What if I didn’t love you back in a romantic way? What would you do about the tattoo?” I asked what I wanted to ask the moment he showed it to me. He simply smiled and rubbed my cheek with his thumb. His gentle touch made me relax even more. “I wouldn’t do anything, I wouldn’t regret it because that was the truth. You gave me a fixed heart and I’m forever thankful for that. If you didn’t feel any romantic feelings for me then I would be your best friend but since you do, I’m your lover and your best friend!” He explained and I blushed. His cheeks were slightly pink but that made him so cute. I was lucky to have him in my life.
“I love you,” he said and I smiled. “I love you,” I replied and when we’re about to kiss, Nolan jumped between us. “And I love you,” he said and we laughed. “Come on, I thought that the cake was more important than kissing. You filthy liers!” He shook his head as if he was angry but his smile was visible. He couldn’t be angry and I loved that about my brother. We walked inside and I looked at the beautiful sight and felt content, everyone was happy at 12 pm. I thought of all the events that had happened and I realized that home was not a building. Home was where the love was. Home was where the family was. Home was everything, furthermore, home can be you...