Destiny, Roses & Romance
Part II: Chapter 32

“It won’t ever be alright,” Alison whimpered, knowing that the words had become a mantra during her latest crying spell. Her throat was raw, whether from screaming or crying or simply repeating again and again for a good twenty minutes that it wouldn’t be ok, she didn’t know. “It won’t ever be alright.”

With a sigh, Livvie pushed her friend’s blond hair away from her face and handed her a tissue. “Yes, it will, Ally. I know that it will.”

Shaking her head, Alison wiped at her nose, keeping her face down and her knees tightly against her chest. “He’s gone, Livvie. And it’s for good.”

“I-I thought you said he didn’t get… you know, taken back.”

Again she shook her head, closing her burning eyes she tried to muster up the energy to answer her friend. “He didn’t. He just… Said he had to go see someone, and he didn’t’ tell me who.”

“Up there?” she asked, raising her eyes to the ceiling and trying not to feel utterly ridiculous for it.

“Yeah, if it was anything else he would have told me,” she sighed, biting down on her wobbling bottom lip again. “He’ll be back though, because… He promised me. He won’t break a promise to me, you know. But still… I’ve gotten to used to calling him or searching him out when I need a shoulder to cry on or even… even just to see him. I don’t know what to do, because he’s become the one person that could just hold me while I cried it until it’s better. But, Livvie, he’s leaving again on Christmas Eve, and then he’s just gone. For good. And it’s not even like I can write him or call him, you know? So I can’t see how it’s ever going to get better. He’s just gone, and I don’t even have the option of going with him.”

“Would you?” She shifted her weight, hoping she didn’t look like the question had slipped by without thought. “I mean… Not… I’m not saying…” Taking a deep breath, she watched Alison avoid her gaze completely for a moment before trying again. “If things were different, if Rafe wasn’t an angel and he was just leaving because of… I don’t know, business or something… Would you go with him?”

Alison nodded, her eyes still not meeting her friend’s. “Yeah, I would. And he couldn’t stop me. Even if things weren’t different, Livvie… If it were an option – which it’s not – I’d still go with him, even now.” She wiped her tears away with the back of her hand before standing and walking into the living room. “He’d always blame himself though, if anything happened to me, and I don’t want that. We’re just stuck not getting to have what we both know could be the most amazing thing ever. Because me and Rafe… Livvie, we could be everything every little girl ever dreamed of and you know it. But we can’t, we’re just stuck having to settle for being friends for ten more days.”

Standing as well, Livvie reached across the counter for the box of tissues again, grabbing the whole thing this time as she followed her friend with her eyes. “Ally,” she chided lightly. “Sometimes you just have to take what you can get, you know? I know that Rafe is going to be leaving, but what you two have… Even however little time you have should be spent together, because you two are just… I don’t know, magical together. There’s just this chemistry between you that every stranger on the street is jealous of. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jack, but most of us would kill to have a man look at us the way Rafe looks at you.”

“Yeah,” she grinned, absently picking up the single pink rose from it’s water and twirling it between her thumb as forefinger. Lifting it to her nose, she inhaled it’s scent, fighting against the path back to that day that her mind wanted to take. “It is pretty magical when we’re together. And I love the way that he looks at me. I just… He looks at me like I’m perfect, you know, even though I think he’s seen me at my worst. I just love him so much. I’d do it, if it were only up to me. I’d settle for what time we do have together. But…” Alison sighed, dropping the rose back into the vase. “He won’t… Rafe hates the idea of hurting me. I mean, he’s just terrified of it.”

“So you’re just supposed to be ok with it?”

“No,” she murmured softly, walking back toward the kitchen window. “I don’t have to be ok with it, and neither does he. We both hate this, you know.” Alison stared out the window, frowning at the stars. “It’s not like he wants it this way, Livvie. He wants me.” Turning she faced her best friend with a challenge in her eyes. “He loves me.”

“I know. Everyone saw it before the two of you, remember?”

“Yeah, I know,” Alison sighed, sliding down the cabinet until she was sitting in the same place as before. “You could have clued me in sooner, you know.”

“No, I couldn’t have. You were convinced that you weren’t in love with him. Remember? You went around here for days insisting that very thing.”

“It seems like it happened kind of fast, I guess,” she muttered. Pulling her knees back up to her chest, she dug her fingernails into the denim that stretched across her thighs. “It didn’t though. I mean, I know it doesn’t make any sense, but it’s like there was just this… spark of something between us from the very first time we met. It’s always been there, and it just grows and grows with all the time we spend together. I love him, Livvie, so much more than I ever thought I could. It was stupid of me to even try and deny it. It’s like there is this fire inside of me whenever he touches me, and I don’t want it to ever go out. He’ll just put his hand on me, and it can be completely innocent, but it just burns me, you know? And I want him. I just… I’ve never felt like this before, Livvie, and I like it. A lot. But, I know… I know that nothing can happen between us, because Rafe wouldn’t hurt me like that.”

Sitting down opposite of her, she watched as Alison tried once more to organize her emotions into easy to handle compartments without much success. “It’s hurting you anyway though. He is hurting you anyway. Doesn’t he know that?”

“Yeah. I told him, you know, trying to use that line of logic. Besides, he could see it, he knows me so well… Better than I do, I think. He didn’t go for it, though. He’s more concerned with the closer we are the harder it’s going to hit when he goes.” Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Alison slid her palms from her knees to her toes, smoothing out the material of her jeans. She repeated the process again, just to feel the denim beneath her palms. She didn’t know when it was she decided to try and concentrate on the little things, but it seemed like a good plan. Little things had to be easier to handle. She took another deep breath, counting to ten as she let it out and hoping that it would keep the tears from her voice. “I also told him I dreamed of having his children.”

Watching her best friend shrug it off as if it was nothing, she felt her jaw drop to the floor. “You what?”

“Told him about the dream I had where I had his kids. I told him that I’m in love with him.” Laughter bubbled from within her, and while it wasn’t bitter it still held very little humor. “I asked him to marry me… Or rather, I told him to marry me.”

“You’re kidding!” Livvie let out the breath she wasn’t aware she was holding before she caught the flicker of guilt in the other woman’s eyes. “Right?”

Alison shook her head again, still laughing lightly. “Nope. I was sort of… caught up in the moment.” She grabbed her toes and wiggled them, trying to warm them up. She shrugged her shoulders. “Don’t worry,” she muttered, catching a glimpse of the worried look on her friend’s face. “He pretty much told me no way, no how.”

“Ally, if he told you that he didn’t feel that same way… I mean, If Rafe tried to say that he’s not like unimaginably in love with you then…”

“He didn’t,” she murmured, finally meeting Livvie’s eyes with a smile. “He said just the opposite in fact. That he wished with everything he had that things were different, that we could have all those things, you know? He told me that the greatest thing on this earth would be calling me his wife. He said he wanted children with me…” Her fingertips somehow found their way to her bottom lip, where his touch still echoed silently as she allowed herself to think of earlier. “Twins.”

“Twins?” Livvie asked, raising her eyebrows.

“Yeah… I’ve always wanted twins, you know. And they run in his mother’s side of the family. I already decided that we’d have to name our little girl Destiny.” Her smile wobbled just a little, but she kept on smiling as she brushed away a stray tear. “They’d have my hair, and my smile, and his eyes. I love his eyes, I can just get so lost in them. We’d have twins and then some, because we both want lots of kids. We’d have this perfect family, you know? He’s great with kids, you should have seen him at the hospital last night. Rafe would make a wonderful father. We would be great parents.”

“Yeah, you would.” Whispering a curse, Livvie brushed at her own tears. “Destiny sounds like the perfect name. And it fits.”

“Yeah… I… um… I-I guess I’ll have to hold onto that one in my dreams where we can actually have it all.” Her eyes wandered from her friend again to stare blankly at the cabinet door beside her. “We’d be great together, you know. We’d have the perfect marriage and the perfect children… And every night I could fall asleep in his arms where I… I would know that he loves me more with every breath I take and I’m so in love with him that nothing else in the world matters except our family… Us and our children. He’s so amazing… He’s perfect for me, you know.”

“Yeah… I know. I think you’re perfect for each other.”

“Then why can’t we be together,” Alison whispered, her voice cracking when a fresh wave of tears come and nearly knocked her back over the edge she’d just clawed herself up from.

Handing her a tissue, Livvie scooted to sit beside her best friend once more. “Life isn’t fair, Ally. But… I swear to God, Ally, I had no idea that it would end up hurting you this much or I never would have started pushing you toward him.”

Alison just shrugged her shoulders and put her head down on her friend’s shoulder. “He loves me, Livvie. And I love him too, you know? So, so, so much… It’s not right that we don’t even get a chance to… to have it all. We could, if we just had the chance… We’d have it all, Livvie. We could be the stuff fairytales are made of if we only had the chance. I know that we could. We could be the ones that end up living happily ever after.”

“Ally,” she whispered, hugging her friend with one arm to her side. “You already are the stuff that fairytales are made of. He… Rafe is a real life angel, and he just dropped down here from heaven and fell head over heels in love with you. You’ve still got a chance to have something that doesn’t even come around once in a lifetime for most people. You just… you have to remember that not every romance has a happy ending.”

“But we should! We… God, Livvie, if things were different, if he didn’t have to go back… I know,” she sobbed, bringing up a hand to rest against her chest, her palm feeling the heavy pounding of her pulse. “I know in my heart that we’d have a happy ending.”

“Ally, there’s no such thing as happily ever after. There’s-”

“You don’t know that!” she interrupted, her voice raising with each word.

“Yes, oh, sweetie, yes I do. There’s always something. It’s never happily ever after.”

Angrily, Alison pushed her away. With her puffy red eyes, she glared at her sideways. “There would be for me and Rafe. We’d live happily ever after.” Moving before she could talk herself out of it, Alison sat down besides the shards of glass. She muttered a curse under her breath and picked up the biggest piece of what had once been a plate. “I know that… you have a right to be just a little bit jaded, Livvie, after everything that’s happened. But I’m not just being optimistic or stupid. If he didn’t have to leave… There’s nothing in this world that could tear us apart.”

Livvie was taken aback, even through her tears of despair she sounded so certain. “Ally-”

Shaking her head, Alison interrupted her. “I know that things are the way they are, Livvie. I’m not… I’m not thinking that if I wish, or hope, or pray hard enough it will all change, you know? But I know, without a doubt, that if things were different, then we’d be together forever. And then some, even.”

Moving to sit beside her friend once more, Livvie hesitated a moment before putting her hand on Alison’s wrist. “You cannot change things though, Ally.”

Raising her eyes in mild surprise, Alison felt a smile tug at the corners of her mouth. “I’m not going to do anything stupid, Livvie.” She paused and ran her finger over the broken edge of the glass, somehow managing not to cut herself. “Do you think I could crazy glue it back together?”

“The plate?” She’d be willing to bet that her look gave away how thrown she was by the sudden turn of the conversation, but she didn’t really care at the moment. Her concern was resting with the glass held in her best friend’s trembling hand. “Why? It’s in a hundred pieces, Alison, and it’s not really special or anything is it?”

“No.” Alison shrugged her shoulders. “It’s just something to do to keep my mind off of things. It’s easier if I don’t have to think about it. Not that I’ve actually managed to stop thinking about it.” With a shaky sigh, she threw away the piece of glass and started picking up the rest. “I know that I can’t change things. I don’t have to like how things are though. Because I love him, and he loves me, and we should get the chance to live happily ever after.” Alison raised her once again tear filled eyes to meet her friend’s with a level glare. “And we would.”

“Yeah,” Livvie nodded, not even bothering to try and convince herself that she was just humoring her. “If anyone could, Alison… If there will ever be a couple to live happily ever after, I think it would be the two of you.”

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