14 - Unknown Contender
After lunch, the Faulkners and Shine, all sat in front of the TV and watched.
Without them noticing it, Rick quietly observed James and Shine as they squeezed together in one of the single-seater couches, whispering and giggling like children with her occasionally hitting his arm playfully and him gently poking her button nose.
He sighed and smiled. If circumstances were different, he knew they would make a perfect couple, one that would still be madly in love with each other at eighty years old.
Looking at them, Rick felt a little ache in his heart as he remembered the love of his life, his wife Rose, whom they also lost too soon.
As a father, he was concerned about how this whole situation with Shine could be potentially devastating to his son but he also knew that the joy and miracle of love is always worth the cost of pain.
As much as he would like to protect his son, he also wouldn't want to get in the way of James’s happiness and Rick knew his child was truly happy with Shine.
Rina, who noticed their Dad's sullen mood, tried to lighten up the atmosphere. "I think this show that we're watching is too dramatic, even Dad is crying." She laughed.
"That's right. Let's all sing karaoke instead." Angel suggested.
"That's a good idea! Let's go!" James beamed as he got up to prepare their afternoon activity.
"Do you sing, dear?" Rick asked Shine.
"Yes." Shine answered shyly. "But singing doesn't like me very much. I don't think we'll ever be friends." She giggled.
"Really? Is that true? Could it be like that time when you said you can't cook but actually made the best adobo that I have ever tasted? Wow. Dad, you should really try Shine's adobo. I guarantee. It's the best adobo in the world." James grinned.
"The best adobo in the world is a little too much." Shine laughed. "Please don't believe him."
"Really! Believe me. Miss Shine is just being humble. Ouch!" James yelped and grinned as she bit his shoulder. "That's right. She's also half-vampire. She has a really mean bite." He chuckled and shook his head.
James finished setting up the karaoke machine and held out the microphone. "Game! Who's first?"
"Me!" Angel beamed and immediately volunteered.
Everyone watched delightedly as the little girl sang her heart out. Shine joyfully watched as the family took turns belting out their favorite songs. She laughed and clapped and had the best time of her life with the family she just came to know but felt just at home with like her own.
"Miss Shine, it's your turn." Rina chided.
"Oh no. Not me please. I sound terrible."
"Please, Miss Shine." Angel prodded.
"Oh my God!" Shine covered her face with her hands and giggled. "Alright. I'll do it but don't expect too much." She then turned to James and sighed. "What's your favorite song?"
"Ed Sheeran songs."
"Hmmm... I know a few of those, yeah." She said and looked through the song list. "Here."
"Wow! That one's my favorite!" James beamed.
"Will you sing it with me? It will cross another item on our list." Shine smiled.
Sing your favorite song.
"Of course." He smiled back.
He then punched the numbers and gave a microphone to her as he held another.
He sat beside her and looked her in the eyes as he sang the first few lines of the song to her.
When your legs don't work like they used to before
And I can't sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks
Shine took a deep breath and started singing with him. She was hesitant at first but James encouraged her. He held her hand firmly and placed it over his chest.
And darling I will be loving you 'til we're 70
And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And as the doe-eyed couple held hands and sang a song about a love forever, Rick had to hold back his tears and prayed that their blossoming love finds a miracle and survives an unknown contender called Time.
Rina and Angel were laughing and giggling in the next video as they chased each other playing Tag in the backyard.
“Hey! Wait for me! I'm joining the game!” James yelled and charged at his sisters, making them squeal when he hoisted Angel over his shoulder and grabbed Rina by the waist then ran with them.
A sigh was heard in the background. “Someday you'll make a lucky woman very happy to be your wife, James, and be the best dad to your children. I hope I live to see that family.” Shine said.
Author's Note: I do not own the lyrics to the song written above.