~ Chapter Thirteen ~
I walk up the small set of stairs separating the normal cemetery from the war veterans cemetery. The winter air is cold on my nose, and I sniffle a little in response. The packed white snow covers the ground and every step I take leaves a new boot shaped print in it. Luke tightens his grip on my hand, which is clumsy and awkward because of our mittens, but the warmth is worth the struggle. Minnesota winters are brutal, but the beautiful image it displays for everyone to see is so worth it. The snow that comes down hard and soft, the white flakes sticking to the bare trees, and the cozy feel you get from watching it through your windows. Nothing compares to it, not even the warmth of a California beach. There’s just something about winter that makes me feel happy. Maybe it’s because most of the memories I have with my father revolved around Christmas time.
It’s been almost 2 years now since I lost my dad, and not a day has passed that I don’t come to the cemetery to talk to him. Even if it is just for a few minutes. Luke doesn’t always come with me, he’s usually busy with the band; writing and recording new songs, as well as meeting with my different radio stations and managers. But I love the days that he does tag along, because everything I do is just a little bit better with him at my side.
“Hey daddy.” I whisper upon reaching his grave, sliding my hand across the top of the headstone to get the snow off. “Merry Christmas.” I crouch down so that I’m level with the stone, and close my eyes in thought; remembering so many of the memories I had the chance to make with him. The days with mom that I barely remember, the days we spent together after we lost her, the last day I ever saw him, and all the days inbetween. I don’t think we ever had a bad day together, and that is something I am so proud to know. I never wasted a second of that short time I had with him, even though neither of us knew that it really was going to be just that; short.
“Remember that old video of me when I was seven?” I suddenly say, turning to Luke. “The one of me and my dad on Christmas morning?” He crouches down next to me and nods, brushing a piece of hair out of my face with his bulky mitten.
“Of course I do.” He says softly.
“That was one of my favorite Christmases.” I think aloud, shifting my gaze from my dad’s grave, to the cloudy sky above us.
“Why?” Luke asks curiously, leaning his head against my shoulder.
“Because,” I start. “We didn’t really have much money, and so there were almost no gifts. But instead of being sad about it, my dad and I spent the whole day together just playing in the snow and enjoying life.” I sigh, reminiscing on the day spent with my father. “At that age I didn’t need to worry about any of the big stuff, I could just be happy with the things I had, even though it wasn’t much.” I smile to myself, bringing my eyes back down to my dad’s grave. He would’ve liked this I think; Luke and I sharing memories in the lightly falling snow. It’s something simple, but powerful, kind of like our love. We try to make things simple for each other, yet somehow he still overtakes my mind and heart almost every moment of everyday.
“I love you so much Faith.” Luke smiles, his blue eyes staring into my own. The short words he speaks to me all the time still trigger a feeling I can never describe in my chest. It doesn’t matter how many times he says it to me, but that he does, and that you can tell he means it. But something about the way he says it this time is different. Not in a bad way, not at all, but something is behind his eyes that isn’t normally there. It’s like there is so much love looking at me that I’m overwhelmed, and I find myself having to look away. It’s not that Luke never looks lovingly at me, but something about this feels more powerful and somewhat nerve wracking than normal.
“Faith?” Luke speaks, his voice soft and caring and even a little trembly. “I’m so terribly in love with you.” He stands up from his crouching position, and turns to face me. “And I don’t think anything in my life could ever make me feel the way that you do.” I stand up too, looking into his powerful gaze that’s locked into mine. Butterflies fill my stomach, and thoughts I can’t make sense of fill my head and my heart.
“I’ve loved you since that day I heard you singing in the snow, and I’ve loved you every day since then.” He grabs my hand in his own, and sparks shoot through my body. What’s happening? I feel so overcome with emotions of love right now, more than I think I ever have been before. “You’re the one person I can count on to always be by my side when I need her, the one person who loves me no matter what, no matter how long I have to be away from her. When I think about all the times in my life you’ve been my rock, I can not even begin to count them. Without you I don’t know where I would be in this world. I like to think that a lot of my success is because of the belief you’ve put in me, well me and the guys. But mostly me.” He winks. I let out a small and nervous giggle, and Luke smiles before getting serious again. “We’ve been through so much together, thick and thin, and I can’t see the rest of my life without you in it.” He suddenly gets down in the snow onto one knee, and looks up at me with hope and nervousness, and love. It isn’t then until I realize what is happening, and my insides erupt in millions of emotions all mixed together; excitement, love, nervousness, even something along the lines of being scared. Feelings rise inside of me that I didn’t even know existed, ones that I could never explain even if I tried. My whole entire future is coming into place right in front of me. I don’t think any words are powerful enough to explain this moment.
For a minute, the whole world feels like it stops spinning, and me and Luke are the only two people in it. I can feel his palms sweating in my hands as his grip on them tightens. His blue orbs are bright and passionate, and he’s looking at me with more raw emotion than I ever imagined possible.
“Luke?” I squeak out, my throat tight and my body going weak.
“Shhh.” He shakes his head, and I just nod in obedience, wanting him to do nothing other than continue. “Just listen.” He reaches his hand into his jacket pocket, the same pocket he’s been so weird about over the past year, and pulls out a small black box. Upon seeing the tangible evidence of what’s unfolding in front of me, tears begin to gather rapidly in my tear ducts. They spill over onto my cheeks, which are plastered in a emotional smile.
“I’ve had this thought in my head for over a year now, and... I never knew what love was until I met you, and I don’t ever want to lose that knowledge. You make my down days up, and my up days even higher. I love you, I am endlessly in love with you and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to show you just how much.” He looks down at the box in his hand for a moment as he opens it, revealing the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. It’s simple and elegant, and oh so perfect. “But I’m going to try.”
My tears fall ever faster now as Luke brings his eyes up back to mine, which are still admiring the beautiful piece of jewelry in front of me. I hear a sound sneak past my lips that I can’t even identify, but in this moment it doesn’t even matter.
“Faith Marie Wynters?” I see a tear begin to form in the corner of his right eye. “Will you make me the luckiest man in the world, and become my wife?” I’m lost for words, unable to speak even if I tried, so I let the tears roll down my cheeks like a waterfall and nod my head rapidly. Luke smiles his perfect huge smile, before sliding the ring onto my finger quickly, and pulling me into the tightest and most loving hug I have ever experienced in my life.
“Yes Luke.” I manage to find the words in my head. “Yes, yes, yes, a million times yes!” I cry loudly into his shoulder. “I love you Luke, I love you.” My body is shaking from my cries, but I make no attempt to stop it. This is what this moment is supposed to be like.
“I take back what I said earlier.” I say, pulling back a little to look into his eyes. “This is my favorite Christmas by far.” Luke’s mouth opens in a big smile, and I lean back into him, pressing my lips onto his own with more passion than I’ve ever given before. Luke’s lips move in perfect sync with mine, and I smile into the kiss unintentionally. I’ve never been this happy in my life, and I never want to feel less than this again.
“I love you so damn much.” He says the words against my lips, and I can hear his voice break as his sudden tears hit the fabric of my coat.
“I love you so damn more.” I reply unevenly, hoping that this moment will last forever. Hoping that I will never forget this feeling, and knowing that I’ll never have too.
That day was the beginning of the rest of my life. The one I was going to spend with the boy I couldn’t live without at my side, and the man I had to learn to live without in my heart.
– - – - – - –– - – - – - –– - – - – - –– - – - – - –– - – - – - –– - – - – - –– - – - – - –– - – - – - –– - – - – - –– - – - – - –
"Make me the luckiest man in the world..."
A / N
So it's a little out of the ordinary that I put an authors note in this story but...
I just want to tell you guys that this is my favorite chapter ;) and I want to know if you liked it!?
Only 2 more chapters left :( (maybe three if you're lucky)
Love you guys <3