"So that's how you and Dad met?" Madi asks. I nod, putting an arm around her shoulders.
"Yep. He hated me a lot at first." I laugh, wiping the tears from my cheeks. "But we got over it." I smile, crying more. Madi hugs me from the side and so does Alex.
"I miss him so much, Daddy." Madi says, wiping tears from her cheeks.
"I know sweetheart, so do I." I say, my crying turning into sobbing. After Michael died, Madi grew up and started getting more beautiful every day. She looks like a female version of Michael. Now, I haven't let her dye her hair crazy colors yet, but she wants to. She reminds me so much of Michael, except her eyes are his bright green ones that I saw after our first kiss, at our wedding, the birth of her. I miss him so much. Having all of these memories from the past come back to me while visiting his grave has taken a toll on me. Even though it has been seven years since he left, it still kills me to visit his grave on his birthday, death day, and our anniversary. Since he died, we've moved to Sydney as a family and we've stayed there instead. We were the only ones who stayed in LA until he died. He's buried here too.
"Dad, What made him do that?" Alex asks, his curious mind wandering through the possibilities.
"He was very sad. He had this thing called depression. His dad also hurt him a lot when he was a little older than your sister, like I had said. He attempted only once that I knew of and it was on his 18 birthday."
"If he was still alive, I'd tell him that it is going to be okay." He says, leaning against me. Alex was only three and too young to remember him, but Madi was seven when it happened.
"Madison?" I ask for her attention.
"Hm?" She hums.
"If you ever feel like wanting to hurt yourself, please come and talk to me. I am always here for you. Same with you, Alex. I want you two to come to me, Cal or Ash. Okay?" I ask. They both nod.
"Okay, Dad." Alex says, smiling at me. Madi wipes her tears again.
"Okay." She smiles weakly, hugging me tightly. I hug her back just as tight.
"Alright, guys. We've got to go to your grandmum's house now. She's been dying to see you guys." Ashton says, walking up to us. Alex gets up and so does Madi.
"We'll be in the car, Dad." He says, walking off to the car. Madi walks over to Michael's gravestone, kissing her hand and then placing it on his gravestone.
"I love you, Dad. I always will." She says, sniffling. Ashton puts a hand around her shoulders, hugging her shoulders as they walked to the car. I sniff, wiping the tears from my cheeks again.
"Do you see them, Michael? They grew up to be just like us. Madi is just like you. She acts like you and she smiles and laughs like you do. She is a spitting image of you, like I said the first day we saw her. She's grown up to be a beautiful young woman and I just wish you could have been there for all of it. Also, Alex is just like me. He's growing up to be just like me. I've already taught him guitar and he's been on stage with us, playing your part at a few shows. Even though Madi is only 14, she knows she wants to go to university to go into music production. She loves going on tours with us. She can also play as great as you can. She's been doing online school so she doesn't have to deal with all of the publicity of being Michael Clifford and Luke Hemmings' daughter." I pause, laughing to myself. I look up, seeing Calum walking to me with a small smile on his face.
"Are you doing okay?" He asks. I nod.
"I think I'll be okay." I sniff, wiping away the remaining tears on my cheeks. Calum sits next to me, taking my hand and interlacing our fingers together. I put my head on his shoulder. "I miss him a lot."
"I know you do." Calum pauses. "We don't have to do this if you aren't ready to move on. I mean, you still wear your wedding ring and you have his promise ring and wedding ring on a chain and you wear them every day." He says.
"I know, but he was also the love of my life, Calum. I'm not going to just stop loving him and just immediately fall in love with you all over again. It's going to take time. I mean, didn't it take time for you to stop loving Ashton after you two agreed to end things?"
"Yeah. I see what you mean, I'm sorry." He sighs. "I guess I'm just ready to be loved back, you know?" I nod.
"I know." I say, looking down at my left ring finger as my hand is holding his. I let go of his hand, pulling the chain over my head, undoing the clasp. I pull off my rings, putting them on the other side of his promise ring, closing the clasp again, putting it back over my head. "Even though I'm a widower, I'll never stop loving him and he'll always be the love of my life to me. No offence to you, but it's just the way it was meant to be." I say, lifting my head off his shoulder.
"Are you ready to visit your mum?" Calum asks. I nod as we both stand up. As we walk past Michael's headstone, I rub the top of it with my hand.
"I love you, Michael. I love you to the moon." I pause smiling. "And back."