Epilogue: A Happy Ending At Last

I followed Isaac up the front walk toward the house that we now owned together. It was two weeks after our wedding, and our honeymoon had been nothing short of paradise.

Our wedding had been more spectacular than I had ever imagined, but I had to admit I was a little relieved when it was all over. It was a busy and exhausting day for both of us. I leaned tiredly against the front of the house as Isaac reached into his pockets for his key. Mine was somewhere in our luggage in the back of his car.

I was exhausted, and even though I knew I could probably use a good long nap, I was more excited to see my daughter than anything else.

My mother had taken care of her during our honey moon, and even though I spoke to her on the phone almost nightly, I wanted to hold her again.

I sighed tiredly, and Isaac grinned devilishly at me as he wrenched the door open. “What?” I asked wearily, recognizing the expression.

He advanced toward me slowly and I walked backward keeping out of his reach. “What? Come on, I don’t get to carry you over the threshold?”

My eyes widened in shock. “No!”

“Oh come on! It’s tradition!” He laughed.

“Exactly… just a stupid tradition… I’ll probably break your arms or something!” I protested.

“I’ve carried you before.” He grinned. “I carried you a lot on our honey moon.”

“Carrying me off to bed to ravish me is a different story.” I pointed out. “This is just lame.” I turned on my heels and took off running, leaping from the porch and running around the side of the house.

The grass was wet, and the only thing I had on my feet were a pair of cheap fifty cent flip-flops, which made running difficult. In my clumsiness, I slipped on the grass and nearly fell.

Isaac immediately closed the distance between us and scooped me up carefully in his arms. “See? Not heavy at all.” He teased.

I laughed and kicked my feet. “This is ridiculous!”

He grinned and carried me into the house, pausing in the entry hall, still holding me.

“You can put me down now.” I reminded.

“Maybe I don’t want to.” He teased.

“Okay, that’s it!” I laughed and twisted in his arms until he had no choice but to set me on my feet or drop me. I smiled up at him, but within a brief second I found myself pressed tightly against the wall, snuggly between Isaac and the drywall. He tilted his head to the side, and his lips slowly closed in on mine.

I suddenly wanted nothing more than to kiss him, even though I had spent most of the last two weeks doing nothing but kissing him.

My eyes slowly fluttered closed and I swallowed; instantly intoxicated by him again.

“My mother and Lily will be here soon.” I muttered.

“That’s okay…” he chuckled softly, “I’m sure we can be quick….” His mouth moved toward mine, and just as his lips touched mine, I heard the sound of little footsteps coming up the porch and into the house.

“Mommy!” Lily cried running into my legs.

“Lily!” I lifted her immediately. “I’ve missed you so much!” She threw her arms around my neck tightly.

She at last noticed Isaac standing next to me and released me. “Daddy!” She cried and threw herself into his arms.

I wasn’t exactly sure when she had started calling him that, but I saw the instant smile perk up on his face when she said it, and I felt my heart melt.

My mother appeared at the door, slightly out of breath. “Lily, honey. Remember what I told you about running away from Nana like that?”

I laughed. “It’s nice to see you mom.” I hugged her tightly.

“Good to see you again, Elaine.” Isaac smiled at her and hugged her when I was finished.

“Glad you both made it back in one piece.” My mother teased, and winked at me.

“Mom!” I protested mortified at her implications.

Isaac chuckled. “Why don’t we give Lily her present that we brought her? Would you like that honey?” He smiled at her, balancing her neatly on his arm.

“Yay!” She cried excitedly.

I laughed and reached into my purse, pulling out a stuffed giraffe. Her eyes brightened immediately and she latched her tiny fingers around it content.

“You didn’t bring anything for me?” My mother teased.

I laughed. “Yours is in the car somewhere, mom.”

Isaac carefully put Lily down on her feet and she went running out toward the kitchen.

“Taylor, Zac and the rest of the family will be here in a minute with the moving vans so-“ Isaac was immediately interrupted.

“Nana! Juice!” Lily shouted from the kitchen.

My mother sighed. “I’ll get it. You know, I’ve been trying to teach her the word ‘please’ but it just doesn’t seem to stick…” She shook her head as she followed Lily toward the kitchen at the back of the house.

Isaac turned to me and smiled, putting an arm around me and kissing my forehead lightly.

“Isaac,” I whispered against him. “When we get a second alone, I need to tell you something…” I began slowly.

“We’re alone now, you can tell me.” He urged, kissing my cheek.

I smiled and opened my mouth to speak, but we were again interrupted by the honking of a car horn in the driveway.

Instantaneously, Ezra came running through the front door with Natalie right behind. I didn’t think it possible, but she was even more massively pregnant than the last time I had saw her.

“Ezra, honey, indoor voice!” she chided. “Hi guys, how was the trip?”

“Great.” Isaac beamed at me.

“Lily is in the kitchen, maybe they can play together-“ I began.

Natalie was already halfway there, moving at rapid speed for someone with a belly as large as hers was. “Okay, I’ll round them up!” She shouted behind her.

“Shit, Zac drives like a maniac!” Taylor proclaimed, coming through the door next.

“I do not. Just because I don’t drive like a grandmother doesn’t mean-“ Zac was shouting as he was coming through the door.

Isaac laughed. “Just as long as none of our stuff is wrecked…”

“I’m surprised the van isn’t.” Taylor grumbled. “Hey, Andy.” He smiled at me, and hugged me tightly.

I was still slightly awkward around him, but he did a good job of pretending things had never happened between us, and I was inclined to do the same.

“You’re tanned, good to see he didn’t keep you in the hotel the whole time.” Taylor winked at Isaac.

I felt myself blush as Zac hugged me next. He scooped me into a large bear hug which nearly knocked the wind out of me. “Ooof!” I muttered.

“Hey, Zac! Careful!” Isaac scolded. “Don’t break my wife in half!”

Zac laughed. “She can handle it!”

“Come on, lets get all this stuff in before dark. You guys have a ton of stuff!” Taylor proclaimed, leading Zac back out the front door.

Isaac laughed and put an arm around my shoulders drawing me closer. “You wanted to tell me something?” He asked curiously.

“Oh,” I smiled weakly. I had now lost my nerve. “It can wait until later.” I stood on my toes and kissed him softly. “I’ll go and see if Natalie needs my help.”

I pressed myself flat against the wall in the hallway so Taylor and Zac could squeeze past with the sofa they were carrying.

“Where is this going?” Zac grunted under the weight of the sofa.

“Umm…. I don’t know… living room?” I replied quickly. “Or you could leave it there and just push it…” I slipped past them and jogged up the stairs.

“Where the hell do you think we’d put it?” Taylor demanded mockingly, “The kitchen? The back yard?” “I don’t know, maybe they want it in the bedroom!” Zac taunted, knowing it would get under his skin.

I rolled my eyes and made my way down the hall. I peeked in every room until I came to the smallest bedroom. A room at the end of the hall where Isaac was busy setting up the room designated to be his office.

I sucked in a nervous breath and closed the door behind me, leaning against it to try and stop my knees from shaking. I was nervous; I’d never done this before.

Hearing the door click closed, Isaac turned and seeing me an instant crooked smile spread across his face.

“Hey,” He smiled brightly.

“Hi.” I returned, pushing myself away from the door and hugged him tightly.

“So you broke away from the madness downstairs?” He teased.

“So did you.” I teased.

“Yeah, I brought a box up here that came off the truck and I got distracted…” He admitted.

I glanced down at the pile of miscellaneous junk and papers. I picked up a glossy advert from the top of the pile. It was a flyer advertising new cars for sale.

“You’re getting a new car?” I asked curiously. I tried to remember if he had mentioned this before.

“Well, no, not technically.” He admitted sheepishly, dragging his palm against the back of his neck. “I was thinking you might like one… as kind of a belated wedding present…”

I stared at him wide eyed with my mouth agape. “You’re kidding!”

“Umm… well, no…” He began. “You’ll need a way to get around, and sharing my car would be inconvenient…”

“But I can take the bus!” I protested.

“Is that practical? I mean, can you carry Lily and a stroller and all that stuff on the bus?”

I bit my bottom lip. “Well… no…”

“Just think about it… something small… like these.” He pointed to a car on the flyer which was still remarkably in my hands. “One of these would be perfect for you. Small, with great gas mileage…”

I interrupted him. “I don’t think you should buy me a car.” I sighed. “It’s too much money. We just had a wedding, and that cost… god, I don’t even want to think about that, and the house and the honeymoon, you’ll be broke before we’re even married six months!”

He smiled. “I don’t think that will happen. I’m not backing down on this, Andy. You’ll need a car to get around the city. The nearest grocery store is fifteen minutes away…”

I pursed my lips. I could tell by the expression on his face he wasn’t going to give up. The last thing I wanted was to drive a rift between us. And I didn’t want to fight so soon after returning from our honeymoon.

I sighed. “What about something second hand? A used car? It would be cheaper, and it would work for whatever I was going to use it for…”

“What if something went wrong with it? At least if we get you a new car, then we know it will be reliable… think about it for a bit. You might see a car you like.” He offered.

I glanced back at the flyer in my hand. I could already see a couple of cars which would suit me, but the price tag didn’t. I put the flyer down immediately, turning it over on the desk so I wouldn’t have to look at it.

“Listen, there’s something maybe I should talk to you about.” I continued quietly.

“Alright. Sure.” He smiled. “What is it?”

I tapped my foot anxiously, feeling suddenly like I was going to spontaneously combust from heat or have a heart attack as a result of my rapidly beating heart. “Umm… maybe you should sit down, first.”

“Alright, sure.” He walked around the desk and sat down on the new chair. It hadn’t even been removed from its wrapping yet. The plastic crunched beneath him.

I inflated my chest and lungs with air, hoping to gain more confidence. I suddenly felt more like a child called before the teacher to confess to cheating on a test.

I walked around the desk and slid into his lap, wrapping my arms around his shoulders.

“What is it?” He asked, “You’re starting to make me worry.” He murmured against my cheek.

“Well… I need to tell you something… but… well, I’ve never done this before, and it’s kind of scary…”

“I know that part already.” The corner of his mouth twitched up into a smirk. “Just tell me. Whatever you have to say can’t be as bad as you’re making it seem.”

“No… I don’t really think it’s a bad thing… actually, it’s a good thing… or at least I think it’s a good thing, and I’m pretty sure you will too… I’m just… afraid that in the off chance that what I have to say isn’t a good thing, or that the timing is wrong or that you’ll be horribly upset with me…” I babbled incoherently.

“All the more reason for you to tell me,” He prompted.

I nodded. “Just promise you won’t hate me… or… yell at me, if its something bad.”

Isaac laughed. “I promise. Just tell me! You’re making me nervous.”

“How do you think I feel?” I asked breathlessly.

“Okay, then just get it out in the open. Then we’ll both feel better.”

“Okay.” I nodded. “Here goes…” I paused.

After several minutes he prompted. “Andy?”

I drew in a deep breath and closed my eyes tightly. “I’m pregnant… or at least, I think I am. I have that same weird feeling in my stomach as I did with Lily and I’m about… a month late. I mean, I know it’s kind of an accident and we were going to wait until we got settled and everything. And I know we were careful, but accidents happen and maybe we weren’t as careful as we thought we were. Maybe we forgot or something… I don’t know. Actually, I don’t even know for sure yet, I mean, I haven’t seen a doctor or anything, so I might be jumping the gun a little on this one. I took a pregnancy test this morning, and I know those things aren’t always accurate, but there’s only like a one percent chance that it might be wrong…” I trailed off suddenly. The realization of how pathetic I sounded sunk in.

I sat with my eyes closed tightly, waiting to endure the wrath from Isaac. I had only ever heard him yell once—after Zac broke several stings on his favorite antique guitar—and it was quite scary.

When he didn’t say anything, I opened one eye worriedly, thinking he might have had a stroke or an aneurism.

He was smiling the biggest smile I had ever seen.

“Say something, please.” I prompted after an incredibly long and suffocating silence. “Anything.”

“This is… this is fantastic news!” He cried excitedly. “Come on! Let’s go tell everyone!”

I jumped out of his lap before he could dump me onto the floor. He was on his feet in a second, moving toward the door.

“No! Wait!” I called, running the short distance to him and catching his hand, pulling him back toward him. “I don’t even know for sure yet… and it’s… superstition to wait three months. Just in case something happens…”

A look of horror crossed his face.

“I mean, I doubt anything will happen… and I’m pretty sure this time… Actually I’m about ninety-nine percent sure…” I sighed. “Can we please wait just a bit?”

He nodded and the familiar massive grin returned.

He swept me into a very tight hug, in which I could barely breathe. He heard me gasping for air and released me immediately.

“Sorry! Sorry!” He rushed. “That can’t be good for the baby… Are you okay?” He placed a hand on my stomach, and I pursed my lips to keep from laughing at him for being so protective already.

“I’m fine.” I nodded. “But you’d better kiss me quickly if you’re really so thrilled about this.”

He laughed and swept me into another embrace, this time planting his lips firmly on mine.