Unfulfilled Journey

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Epilogue

Four Years Later

Cole and I stayed in contact by email and Skype for about a year after he and his family moved to Oakland, California. Somewhere over the year, it got too hard to stay in contact with him.

After graduation for both us, we went off to college. Cole had gotten accepted into the pre-med program at Berkley. I got accepted with a full ride into the music program at Utah State so life just got in the way.

There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by where I don’t think about Cole or miss him. Especially, since I have something to remind me of him. I often wonder how he is, did he graduate and move on to Med School? Has he found the perfect woman and gotten married?

Just the thought of him married to someone else makes my heart ache but I can’t expect him to stay alone just because I’ve made that choice. Besides, I have someone who would make being with someone a little difficult.

It had taken about six months for Tyler to go on trial for trying to kidnap me and for everything else he had done. The Judge threw the book at him; he was sentenced to ten years for each count of rape, which added up to sixty years, with an additional ten for the attempted kidnap and another fifteen for the use of GHB.

He does have the chance for parole in forty years but by then he will be too old for anything, or even dead. I felt relieved and safe with him behind bars. He's tried to contact me a few times before the trial but of course, I never responded.

It took around two years and consistent therapy for the nightmares to completely go away. Occasionally, I get a letter from the state prison but I never open it. He is where he belongs and out of my life.

When my dad found out what happened with Tyler he changed. He stood by my side through the trial. He left the firm and became a District Attorney for the state. He wanted to be the one assigned to the case but he was told no since it was a conflict of interest.

He did coach me on how to handle myself on the stand; it was hard to recall everything that happened with both my parents sitting in the courts. However, out of all the horrible things that happened something good came from it.

My parents went to counseling, we went to family counseling. After my mom was discharged from UNI she stayed on her medications and continued going to therapy. So in a sense, I got my mom back.

We learned that Dad never had an affair with Piper. She just had a crush on my Dad and knew my Mom was sick, so Piper would send photoshopped pictures of her and my Dad. She also broke in my Dad's phone and sent my mom texts and emails.

Since Mr. Harrison went to prison as well, the firm was left to Ashley and the last I heard about Ashley she had hooked up with some drug dealer and was spiraling downwards. So it was sold and turned into a Legal Aid office. When my dad quit the Harrison firm his workload lighten so he had more time with us.

They also sold the big house and bought a smaller but quaint home. Josh and I moved back in with my parents after a few months and I stayed until I knew they would be ok with Josh. They went to parenting classes and joined support groups so they could learn how to help Josh.

When all was said and done, I knew I could leave knowing Josh would be taken care off. Josh got accepted to a technical school and is doing great. He has a beautiful girlfriend named April.

Yes, the same one from his group in High School. She is not Autistic but get along well with him and seems to really love Josh. For that I'm grateful. He is getting a degree in graphic design. He says he wants to design video games.

The summer before I started college, Erin and I moved to Logan, Utah and into a cute little three bedroom off campus. Two years ago Erin and Toby married. It was a beautiful ceremony, and of course, I was very happy for them but felt devastated when Toby was offered a really great position in his company; which resulted in them having to move to Oregon.

We still stay in touch; we talk at least once a week. They also just had a baby girl who they named Erin Rain. I was able to fly out there to be with her and that was a great experience for my best friend and me.

In May, I graduated from Utah State University with a Teaching Degree with a double major in Music. I have a job in place after graduation; the school I had done my student teaching with wanted to hire but I wanted something closer to home.

I applied with different school districts in my hometown, and it didn’t take long before I was offered a job. So I was hired as their music teacher. In just a few short months I will be leaving my three bedroom apartment and moving back in with my parents.

My life didn’t go the way I expected or the way I wanted it. I really thought Cole was my one and only but I was only seventeen and in a very dark place. He will always hold a special place in my heart and I will always love him.

Every day I am reminded of him when I look at her beautiful chocolate brown eyes and her dimples that are so much like his. The one thing Cole doesn’t know is that nine months after he left I gave birth to our beautiful little girl Payton. She has hope that her dad will return to us when the time is right. I hope and pray she is right.

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