Chapter 45 | The Anniversary
𝐀 𝐕 𝐀 𝐋 𝐎 𝐍
Sitting up in the attic the next morning, I am flicking through the photo album my dad and I had put together when I was younger. Which contains every single picture we took with my mom or the ones of her and my dad or her on her own. Getting up this morning earlier than Noah leaving him in bed, my dad was already downstairs. He is always up early on her anniversary, watching through some old videos. People may say it’s not healthy, but it’s one day a year we do this, as kind of a celebration of her life.
“Your dad said I could find you up here,” Noah says walking up the stairs of the attic and I look up at him with watery eyes, smiling softly. He comes to sit behind me wrapping his arms around me and kissing my head. “What’s this?” Noah asks, resting his hand over mine.
“My dad and I made it when I was younger, it’s a photo book of every picture we have of my mom,” I say, running my hand over it. “I don’t look at it very much usually on her anniversary,” I explain. “This is my mom and dad when they were in high school,” I say, showing him the picture.
“Cheerleader and football player. Power couple, huh?” Noah asks and I nod my head. “No wonder your dad loves football so much he used to play. Never take it professionally?” Noah asks, and I shake my head.
“Nope, he likes football, and he enjoyed playing in high school, but it was more of a hobby for him. I tried to cheer in high school, mostly because I wanted to be like my mom and make her proud. But it wasn’t for me, I was not that co-ordinated,” I say and he laughs.
“No? Really?” Noah asks sarcastically, making me laugh as he has seen me trip over air at times. Thankfully, I’m able to not embarrass myself in public and trip in front of loads of people. “I have a clumsy girlfriend,” Noah says, kissing my cheek as I smile. “I like this picture,” Noah says, pointing to the one of when I was born, my mom, dad and me as a baby.
“I was an extremely cute baby, unlike someone,” I tease Noah as he rolls his eyes. I was kidding, the picture his mom had showed me of him as a baby was one where he was crying. Apparently he was a crier.
“You’re still cute now,” Noah says and I laugh, before flicking through some more pictures as Noah watches silently behind me. Occasionally kissing my head and sometimes I explain the pictures, the ones I have extremely vivid memories of.
“I miss her,” I sigh, leaning back into his chest as his arms tighten around me and he rests his head next to mine kissing my temple. “It sucks that she won’t be there for big life events you know.”
“She’ll be there in spirit, she wouldn’t miss them for the world,” He tells me and I smile.
“Thank you,” I tell him, turning my head to kiss his cheek.
“What for?” Noah asks smiling down at me.
“Coming to New York with me. Meeting my dad, always being there for me, just being an amazing boyfriend,” I tell him. “It means a lot you’re with me today,” I tell him and he leans down to kiss me.
“I’ll always be with you whenever you need me,” He tells me and I smile. “Now you’ve got to explain this picture,” Noah says, pointing to a picture of me, my mom and dad covered in flour making me burst out laughing before I start explaining.
Pulling my coat tighter around me, lacing my hand with Noah’s as we step out of the car. We walk into the graveyard that is pretty much empty aside from a few people visiting their loved ones. Dad and I always visit mom at different times on the anniversary, that way we can have time alone with her. Dad had come hours ago with Blue while Noah and I were in the attic. He had come home not too long ago and decided to take Blue out on a long walk.
As soon as we get to her grave, Noah and I sit down, and I lean back into his chest. He plays with my fingers just listening to me as I talk to her grave. Some people may find it weird. But lots of people talk to their loved ones at the grave. Noah didn’t find it weird, which I appreciated. He talked to her as well, which made me smile. We spent hours at her grave and I loved how Noah was with me. Him being with me made things a lot easier.
“The burgers are amazing here,” I tell Noah as we sit at our favorite restaurant we love to come to. We always come to it after visiting the grave.
“It’s like you’re trying to fatten me up,” Noah says, and I laugh. “Is this how you stay slim? Fatten up everyone around you?” He asks me jokingly and I stick my tongue out at him.
“Now I know why she likes cooking for me a lot,” Dad says, making Noah laugh and my jaw drops.
“Maybe you shouldn’t like my boyfriend. I wouldn’t get insulted as much,” I pout and they chuckle. “Anyway dad, I’m taking Noah to the city tomorrow. I figured I’d show him New York while we’re here. You want to join us?”
“I’ll let you two have your day out. I know Catherine and Reece want to come round tomorrow since you’re back. They didn’t want to intrude today,” Dad explains, and I nod my head. “Have you never been to New York before?” Dad asks Noah, who shakes his head.
“Never, my dad and brother have for work, but there rest of my immediate family haven’t been,” Noah explains. “My little sister wants me to bring her something back. Like she needs anything else, she’s spoiled.”
“She’s six, and extremely adorable you cannot say no to her face, plus your mom said it herself Luna is the only girl she has,” I say.
“I had that problem with Ava growing up, she mastered the puppy dog face,” Dad says.
“I’ve seen that. Every time I have food, and she doesn’t she makes the face and then ends up with all my food,” Noah says as they laugh and I pout. “You’re cute,” Noah tells me as I roll my eyes, smiling.
“So, what’s left when you head back? Finals are almost here,” Dad questions and I nod.
“Well, we have Hannah’s showcase in a few days as part of her end of year grade. Then finals week and Noah has his graduation,” I explain.
“I secretly just think she wants to watch me fall off the stage,” Noah muses.
I roll my eyes before muttering, “Just a little.”
Dad bellows a laugh before our food arrives and after making a toast to my mom, we dig in. It is great being in New York with my dad and my boyfriend. It means a lot he is here with me and gets along with my dad.