This is my rough draft completely unedited. For a full explanation go to Part I.

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Today – Part V – Rough Draft

“Hello” Kael had the phone to his ear before he could question what to say. Hello didn’t seem like the right thing to say at that time, but what else was there. His thoughts were ripped away from whatever greeting he was going to use.

“You can’t” Willow’s voice was soft and Kael wasn’t sure if he had heard her correctly.

“What?”

This time the softness was gone, replaced with righteous fury, “You can’t break up with me.” A sob escaped her chest at the end.

Kael was miles away but felt like he was right beside her. He had a vision of how she must look. Sitting in her house, holding the phone tight to her head crying while she lets out her frustrations. Everybody handles the situations differently. Some may get mad, some may form an analytical response, but the only thing that came to Kael in the moment was to apologize.

“I’m sorry.”

“What gives you the right to end this? We’re in this together! This should be a choice we make together.”

“I’m sorry.”

“If I had my say we would still be together, until one day we got married, like you promised me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“We would have at least twenty kids,” a hollow laugh escaped her. Kael and Willow had always joked that twenty kids would be a good place to start. “Someday we would die, and even after that we will be together. That’s my choice that’s what I want. Does that matter.”

“It matters…” Kael felt weak and had no rebuttals. Usually when put into the defensive as he was he would lash back as mean and as hot as a fiery whip. It was as if his strength had been zapped from him. He didn’t know if he would be able to get up from where he sat.

“It doesn’t feel like it matters. It doesn’t feel like you care.” Her tone was softening and she was losing some of the anger. It was transforming back into a deep sorry. “Don’t you love me.”

At this Kael got a zip of energy and responded without thinking “Yes I do love you, but…”

“But what, you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with me.”
“I just, I just don’t know if I’m the one for you.” Kael’s mind was still trying to put him in the right. He wanted so bad to do the selfless thing. He wanted to be the man who jumps in front of the bullet. He wanted to say that he had to break it off because it was what was best for Willow. He even believed the lies. He let himself believe it. Deep down, however, he believed something quite different. He wouldn’t let himself think of that right now, not now.

“You’re the one for me, and it’s not your place to try and do what’s best for me.”

“Sorry.”

This went on for hours. Both sides crying until it didn’t seem it was humanly possible to cry anymore. It was and exercise in futility. Neither side was using any logic that made sense and Kael was firm in his decision. He had made such a muck of the relationship there was no way that he could go back.

Finally they call ended when both parties felt like they had said all they could say, and that they had said it more than once.

Kael was exausted from the conversation and crying. He made his way to bed where he fell asleep almost immediately. That was one thing about Kael. No matter how bad he felt he could usually fall asleep. His dreams were like a refuge that his body knew he just had to get to.

Kael looked over at his wife as she got into the passenger seat, and thought to himself how ridiculous he was in that time. How could he ever have let her go even for a minute. Even if it was the best thing for Willow, he was much too selfish to let her get away.

“Well where do you want to go first? I’m definitely going to need some food first thing.” Kael asked Willow.

“I don’t know, let me see.” She pulled out her smartphone and began searching for local breakfast joints.

Kael pulled out of the parking spot and began to drive aimlessly through the small downtown area. Kael hated to just sit around doing nothing, even if he had no idea where he was going.

“There is a little cafe that serves eggs benedict just down the road that has really good reviews.” Willow spoke after about 2 minutes of looking.

“That sounds just perfect to me, lead the way”

In about five minutes Kael was sweating it out trying to parallel park the car. He never was very good at parallel parking. In fact he always insisted that Willow was the better driver, but he somehow was always the one that drove between the two of them.

The cafe was nothing special just a great little downtown cafe that had local coffees and waitresses that some might call crunchy. The food was locally sourced and Willow was in love! She loved the whole atmosphere and when the eggs benedict were set before them, she was giddy with the aroma. As he looked across there steaming plate of food at her smilng face he couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by how much she was the perfect woman for him.

Kael awoke the next morning and for a split second everything was all well. Then he remembered the events of last night. His stomach immediately sank and that was where it stayed. He did all the things he would normally do throughout the day, but he felt hollow. He even laughed and told jokes and saw his friends. He was always good at covering his emotions. His friends thought he wasn’t dramatic, and was very stable. Kael never felt that way. He felt a large range of emotions, but he knew how to hide them. He didn’t know if that was any better.

The only person he was real with in his emotions he had just pushed away. It was just him again. Months went on and Kael did begin to feel better. He still saw Willow quite frequently. She was friends with all of his friends at this point so to make a complete separation was all but impossible. He never even told himself that he wanted a total separation. He knew that he loved Willow and to think of having her gone from his life completely was too much.

After a while Kael was feeling almost back to normal, he didn’t wake up in the morning and wish he could sleep through the day. He was not excited about anything, but he was doing just fine.

The last couple times he had seen Willow she had seemed just fine as well. They talked and it felt pretty normal.

Kael brought this up with Diana, who worked with Willow, “Willow seems to be happy these days.”

“Really?” Was Diana’s immediate response. She seemed surprised that I could even think that, then realizing her mistake she quickly added, “Yeah she seems to be doing better” It was as if everybody knew the facade that Willow and Kael had been putting on and nobody was willing to break it. Diana had broken it much by accident and once the milk spills on the floor there is no putting it back in the jug.

Those words plagued Kael for days. It had been months and he thought surely she would get over him. But it seemed as though she wasn’t over him, and the fact that he cared so much told him that he wasn’t over her either. We just need a little more time he told himself. But the seed of a thought began to form inside him. Maybe he had made a mistake. He didn’t have the strength to think it himself. When that occurred to him, Kael brushed it aside. Of course I did the right thing. Besides I can’t go back now I would look foolish.

More months passed and this seed again began to grow. He couldn’t help but feed it from time to time. And with every thought he feed into this seed it took a firmer grip in his mind. Until one day the seed had a companion thought. What if I can’t get her back? This had never occurred to him. She was obviously in love with him. But he had hurt her and how many times would she come back and endure abuse like he had given her. This was like miracle growth for the seed that told him he had messed up. It instantly bloomed into a full blown truth. He knew now his mistake and thoughts moved past rationalizing what he had done. He now concentrated on how to rectify the situation. He could not lose her. She was his forever, what was he thinking!

Kael however was not that smart. He was the one who just a couple months ago careless threw away his forever. He did it because he let this doubt crawl up inside his head and take hold. She was perfect in everyday. Everything that he had seen as flaws fell away. He vowed never to concentrate on the negative in Willow. It was the easiest thing to do, since she was perfect. Instead of making some grand gesture of love, Kael began to just up his time with Willow.

Whenever he got the chance to be with her he did. He tried again to win back her love. He made her laugh as often as he could. He stood close to her. It was almost as good as the first time they fell. This time it was stained though. The first time they were filled with wonder of what could be. Filled with hope of the adventure that could be there life. They would fall asleep thinking of each other and smile. This time they both wanted it but they both worried. Kael worried that she wouldn’t forgive him. He held this shame inside him. Again he cloaked it from her. No shame would show through but it was there. Willow was confused and didn’t know where Kael was going. She saw that he was giving her more attention and she enjoyed it, she loved the feeling. But she held back just a little because he was not just the sweet boy she had met at a book store. He was now the man who had mercilessly ripped her heart out only a few months previous. Not to mention the thought of what their friends were thinking. Nobody wanted to be the couple that broke up and started back up everyother friday.

Kael’s brother came to him one night and asked Kael, “What are doing with Willow. You need to decide if you want to date her or not. Don’t put her in this limbo area.” The great protecter of all those that he felt needed his protection. Willow was sweet and the epitome of innocence. Robi protected her and when he saw how Kael had hurt her, he would not allow for it to happen again.

Kael brushed off his brothers question with some noncommittal reply. He didn’t stop thinking about it though. The rest of the day he thought about the unfairness to Willow, that he ripped her around back and forth. It was then that he knew what he had to do. He would choose to love her like he should. He would choose her over himself. Tonight he would kiss her.

When he decided this it was much the same as the first time he decided to kiss her. He immediately fell very nervous. Again this time it was out anticipation, but it was as if the whole experience was tainted. This wasn’t the first time, and never could it be the first time again.

They were watching a movie at Willow’s house with the usual group of friends. We got started late and by the time the credits were rolling many of the party had fallen asleep here or there. They roused themselves just enough to say goodbye and sleepily get in their cars. Kael had not slept nor did he feel in the least bit like falling asleep. He knew what he had to do, and he wanted to do it but he really wished he didn’t have to do it. He wished at this point he could have skipped this whole episode of breaking up with her. Willow and exchanged some light words nothing that was of any importance to either of them. Kael couldn’t even remember what they were talking about and they soon lapsed into silence.

Kael went for it. He leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers. At first there was nothing, and Kael thought surely he had made a huge mistake. Then she kissed back. He felt glorious, she still wanted to kiss him as well. That exultant feeling didn’t last long. Willow pulled herself away from Kael.

Kael looked at her questioningly.

“What are you doing?” She asked it simply. Kael didn’t know how to answer so the look on his face stayed the same but his mouth just opened up.

“Is this for real?” She asked

“Yes..” He let an unsure grin creep onto his face, trying to lighten up the mod.

“Do you love me?”

“Yes.”

“Are you going to do this to me again?”

“Kiss you?”

“Not not kiss me.” Willow said exasperatedly, “Are you going to break my heart and just try to reel me back in.”

“No, I don’t want to do that. Maybe I should have said this before I kissed you but I just didn’t know how to say it.” The dam that was holding back, Kael’s emotions and words seemed to have broken. He hadn’t been able to talk about what his was feeling since they broke up. There was no one to talk to except her. “I love you beyond anything. I am so sorry that I broke up with you. That was me being selfish, and I so regret it. For the past couple weeks I’ve been trying to think of a way to win you back. Nothing has come and tonight the opportunity just seemed to be there so I took it.”

She looked at him while he talked with a blank expression and made no motion to talk so Kael just kept on talking.

“I just want you to know that I have made a huge mistake, and I am so sorry, and please would you just take me back?”

Again she stared, but this time Kael had nothing to say. He scrambled for words and squirmed under her stare but still nothing came to his lips. She finally spoke, with an eery calm.

“So you just decided that we were the right fit, and decided to throw me away. Then you changed your mind and you just want to pick up where things left off.”

“No, well yes…” Kael trailed off, he could think of no suitable answer.

“You don’t get to choose this time. I think you should go.” Willow’s voice was deadpan and Kael agreed with the sentiment.

He stood to go, all the while his mind was whirring trying to think of something to say to make this situation right. To make everything good and to make Willow happy. He hated when people where mad at him, and this situation made his stomach turn with shame that it was his fault and frustration that he didn’t know what to do to make it better. Maybe more frustrating that he knew it was not in his control to make it better at this point. He hated not being in control. Maybe that is subconsciously why he broke things off with Willow. A relationship is not about control, but more about cooperation and allowances. All of this went through his mind in the time it took him to get to the door and slip his shoes and jacket on.

“Please,” Kael started and caught the steely look in Willow’s eyes. He pushed forward anyways, feeling the need to say this. “This is totally up to you. I want you to know that I love you, I want to be with you, and I am so sorry for what I have done to you. It was unfair to you, and I want to be back to where we were. I know that isn’t possible, but I at least want to mend us as best as we can.” Kael left it at that and left the house.

The eggs benedict was bad. Kael and Willow shared a look. They knew what the other was thinking. Neither of them approached the subject until they were safely in the car. It was like a flood after that.

“Man it tasted like the hollandaise sauce was straight lemon juice!” Kael burst out.

“I know what the heck.” Willow rebuttled. “You never can trust these reviews. But is was a cool cafe. Everybody makes a mistake from time to time.”

There she goes thought Kael making allowances for everybody even when they may not deserve it. Any other day Kael may have went on about how bad it was. But today nothing could go wrong. This would just be part of a great memory of the day for him.

“Well where to now? I think there is a skydiving place around here somewhere.” Kael prodded at Willow.

“Not a chance!”

It had been two days since the night that Kael had kissed Willow again. His stomach was like a pit and every free moment he had was like a battle to not try and call her. He had decide that he would accept any determination that she had made. That didn’t stop him from worrying about it.

She had kissed me back there for a little bit right? He asked himself. That was the only bit of information that kept him from screaming in frustration these past few days. He could hardly hold it in. He did not sit down. He went to work and did his normal daily stuff. But he didn’t sit to read a book or watch tv or anything. He paced He walked around and thought. Days seemed to fly by any other time. But now when you did nothing but stew for hours on end it seemed to stretch into infinity.

His only point of solace is that while Willow got to choose the status of their relationship, she didn’t get to choose if he pursued her or not. If she said she didn’t want to be with him, that’s fine, but he would make sure that she would fall in love with him eventually. If it took every act of romance that he could think of, and even a few cheesy ones from some romance book, or chick flick.

It was then that his phone rang, he knew it must be her. He whipped his phone out from his pocket and answered before he even saw who was calling.

“Hello.” He tried to cover the breathlessness in his voice.

“Hi, I was wondering if you wanted to come home for dinner tonight?” The voice on the other end of the call asked. Kael was so thrown off balance he had to take the phone from his ear and look to see who it was. It was his mom. Of course it was my Mom he thought to himself. He could tell her voice, but just in the oddity of the situation he couldn’t put together what was happening.

“Hellooo” Said a small voice in his hand. Kael put the phone back to his ear.

“Hello, you there still?”

“Yeah I’m here, so what do you say?”
“About what?”
“About dinner tonight.”
“What about dinner?” Kael was utterly confused.

“Would you like to come eat dinner with your dad and me?” She sounded a little bit exasperated.

“Oh yeah, uh sure that sounds good. What time?”

“Probable around 5:30 or 6:00 tonight I’m making-“ Just then someone knocked at the door. Kael kept the phone to his ear as he made his way to the door, but because he was trying to think of who it would be he was no longer hearing his Mom talk on the other side of the phone.

He had no peephole so he swung the door open to see Willow, “Hey mom I gotta go bye.” He took the phone from his ear and heard a tiny “oh okay, but what ab-“ and then there was silence.

Kael was looking at what may have been the most beautiful thing every created. It was Willow with a huge smile plastered across his face. He was confused as to what exactly was going on so no words came out of his mouth. He just stared and a small grin creeped across his face. It was as if they were contagious.

“Well aren’t you going to invite me in?” She asked but she was already squeezing between him and the door jam. She stuck her finger in his open mouth “Boop you may want to close that.”

He could tell she was really enjoying herself and as he brought his lips together he had to fight not to break into a toothy smile.

“I need to put this in the freezer, soo….” She backed away slowly with that grin still on her face.

Kael just continued to stare at her but he did take the time to notice that she had a quart of ice-cream in one hand and a dvd case in the other. The had turned into the kitchen and Kael just stayed planted.

He was trying to process what was going on. She was obviously in a good mood, and that bode well for him, but why such a happy facade.

He finally was too curious to just wait around with the door open. He closed the front door and hurried for the kitchen. There she sat on the counter with a bowl of ice-cream.

“I see it didn’t make it to the freezer.” was all Kael could say.

“You know I just got to thinking if I put it back in the freezer it’s just going to get to hard to dig out with a spoon anyways. So I thought now is as good of a time as any. You want some?” She waved her spoon over towards the open container of ice-cream.

Kael almost said no, but just decided he would do whatever she said as long she was happy he would do whatever she wanted. He got a bowl of vanilla icecream with peanut butter cups in them. That was her absolute favorite icecream flavor.

He dug out a couple spoonfuls into a bowl and then leaned back against the counter staring at Willow. She continued to eat her ice-cream as if nothing was the matter.

Her legs swung a little. Kael nibbled distractedly at his ice-cream swivelling his attention from the ice-cream to Willow and then back again.

“So I got to thinking,” Willow started “I really love you and I got really used to the idea of spending the rest of my life with you.”

Kael’s heart soared. She is taking him back he thought to himself. All is right in the world again. He remained silent in his exultance because she looked like she had more to say.

“But you really hurt me. I got to thinking why would I want to continue to spend my time with someone who hurt me.”

Kael’s heart was in his shoes now. He was confused as to what to think.

“But still I know that people do make mistakes. Even if you do look like greek god you are still only human.”

Kael decided to ride out this monologue. She had obviously given it a lot of thought. This didn’t stop a grin from creeping onto his face when he heard that greek god part

“So I thought maybe I could let you off the hook. But then I thought how will he learn his lesson, and know that he can’t just pull me around wherever he likes.” Willow said this last part around a mouthful of ice-cream and using her spoon to gesture around the room. Here eyes barely met his instead they searched the room only connecting with his for brief moments before flitting elsewhere.

“So I got to think so probationary period or something. Like maybe you owe me like twenty kisses a day and whenever I want ice-cream you can run to the store -“ She cut off. She noticed that Kael was advancing toward her with a mischievous smile.

“Wait I’m not done” She was holding back a laugh and put her feet and hands out in front of her to stop his advance. Kael brushed them away without seeming to notice. She beat her hands against his chest as he got close but as he was leaned down she threw her legs around his waist and her arms looped around his neck. Kael lifted her from the counter and spun around as there lips crashed together. There were gentle soft kisses, this was not one of those. There lips didn’t move the just pressed hard against each other. It was as if they thought maybe if they kissed hard enough it could erase all the bad that they had just gone through. For the moment it seemed to be working and they let the moment overtake them.

Kael didn’t worry any longer. He just, by the skin of his teeth got his forever back and he in no way intended to push her away again.

They had ended up at a beautiful little park once they had thoroughly discussed the business aspect of running a little cafe. Kael always liked to think of how he would run businesses. He always thought he could do it better of course. There was nothing better than finding a business that was run just as Kael thought it should be. It was like seeing a well oile machine work just as it should.

The sun shined down on the two of them and Kael couldn’t have picked a better day to have an outing with Willow. It was fall and the leaves were in rare form. It’s as if they thought Kael and Willow where their biggest fans so they decided to put on their best show. The colors ranged from the green of the evergreens, to orange, to pink, and ever different shade in between.

Kael and Willow walked on the little path that wound throughout the entirety of the park. It was passed over a creek and through trees. It was really quite the most perfect park he had ever been to, Kael thought to himself. Although the way this day was going so far he probably would have thought any park was perfect as long as they didn’t get jumped. Kael and Willow had so much to talk about. They mostly talked about their kids though, Carinen the oldest daughter and Levi the baby. The spoke all the way back to when Carinen was born. All her little quirks. They talked of Levi’s interesting life path that had taken him all over the world. Over all they were just blown away that they’d got to be a part of making such wonderful human being. It was really quite sad that everybody’s children weren’t as great as their kids.

Then the conversation turned to how great it was to just be the two of them again. It had been so many years. One of the most magical times was when they first got married. It was like all Kael’s memories from that time were shaded rose colored and never a bad thing happened in those times. Sure they had some bumpy days, but those were negligible.

Kael thanked God each and everyday after that day with the peanut butter ice-cream that Willow had decided to take him back. He got just a small taste of what Willow must’ve felt for months. The helplessness of not being able to change how the other was feeling and what they were doing. Willow didn’t bring it up anymore. If the break up was brought up by anybody she would ignore it and guide the conversation to a more pleasing topic. If that was not possible she would just not comment on the subject until someone notice that she obviously didn’t want to talk about it. This tactic was quite a good one because years later Kael and Willow both had almost forgotten the whole episode. None the less they moved passed the little spat they had and things returned mostly to normal.

It was different now though. Willow was a little more self conscious, worried that she may at any point just stop being good enough. Kael was different for the better. He was more gentle and was sure not to make a joke that put Willow as the butt of it. He used to joke about breaking up with her if she didn’t do some little task for him, say get him a wrench if he asked for it. Now he could see how that would hurt her. He became a better version of himself everyday because it wasn’t just his own well being that he was looking after. He began to think of Willow as an extension of himself and considered her more each day they spent together. When they were in a big group he would try to keep an eye on her to check her mood. Make sure she was having fun and always ask if she needed anything.

She was his forever and he knew now that investing in her would never be a bad bet. He kept telling himself these things until he thought to himself one day, why hadn’t he married here yet. He had already asked her once an she’d said yes. Could he not do it again but this time it would be for real with that he began to search for the ring. He was not a rich man but he knew just the one would present itself when he found it.

Sure enough after an hour two looking he found the perfect one. It was slim white gold, with a non-obtrusive diamond. It was also in the price range Kael was looking for. He of course said that as of no concern, this was the perfect ring regardless. In reality he didn’t know the appeal of a big gaudy ring and he just hoped that Willow shared that same sentiment with him.

He ordered it off line and with that it all started to become a little more real. Excitement was all that he felt at this point.

The ring came in and the crushing realization that he was going to have to actually propose to her crashed in on him. That whole night after he took the ring out he held the little black felt case in his hand. Opening it and looking at it from time to time to see if it held the answer of what to do next. It sadly held no answers for him.

He had a fitful sleep that night but woke up the next morning feeling much better. He put the ring is his jacket pocket and began to bring it every where with him. He knew that the right time would present itself. When it did he would be ready to get down on one knee and blow her everliving mind!

That moment came. It was while they stayed at a friends cabin. They were sleeping in cots with about 6 other people all bundled up in sleeping bags. It was early in the morning and Kael lay staring at Willow who was about two foot from him in her own cot. He was waiting for her to wake up because he just thought of how he was going to propose to her. They were just about two miles away from the start of a little trail that took you up a hill beautiful views. How much more perfect could it be he thought to himself. They would hike up to the top and see the beautiful sunrise and just as she was looking out at the beautiful vantange she would turn to see him kneeling down and the diamond glinting in the sunlight. The sun better be shining bright because the diamond was not too much too look at Kael thought to himself. He wasn’t even worried about it though. He had been stressing for the past couple weeks but now that he knew what he was going to do, he was sure she would say yes and knew she wouldn’t even care about the ring. It could be a string, that’s what he was hoping at least.

He began to rub her back because he wanted to leave before anyone else woke up and judging from the open mouth breathing that was happening on Willow’s behalf she was not going to be waking up anytime soon. He rubbed a little harder than was strictly necessary and slowly Willow’s eyes began to open. He smiled and continued to rub her back.

“You want to go for an early morning hike?”

“What” She croaked out quietly in genuine voice.

“The temperature is perfect for a hike up to the top of the rocks.”

She blinked a very times and tried to adjust to waking up. “Sure, I guess.” Years later when Kael understood how much Willow liked to sleep in, he would understand the full gravity of her saying yes at that time. She must’ve really loved him. Kael at the time really had no patience and was just glad he had got a yes.

Of the two big decisions Willow was going to make that day, getting up early, and saying yes to Kael proposal, the getting out of bed choice was definitely the harder decision.

They were making their way up the hill when Willow began to lose steam. She was up way earlier than she liked, she had slept in a cot, at basically sub-zero temperatures for all she cared, and they had had no breakfast yet. Her mood stayed sunny, but she knew she wasn’t going to make it to the top of the hill.

Kael prodded her up a little further before realizing that she wasn’t going to the top of the hill. He thought on the fly. There was a fresh water spring that they were close to.

“I love the sounds of nature. Close your eyes and just listen.” Kael blurted out. Looking back at this moment he knew she must’ve though something was up.

She complied and all was silent.

Willow did her a rock adjust next to her and when she opened her eyes to inspect the sound she found Kael down on one knee.

Kael held forward an open little box that had ring in it. Willow supposed it had a ring because as soon as she put together what was happening and heard the question

“Will you marry me.” She moved towards him and he met her halfway in a big hug.

“So is that a yes?” Kael asked with a little laugh.

Willow leaned back in his grasp and put her hands on either side of Kael’s face “Of course I’ll marry you, I would marry you a hundred times if I could!” Then she kissed him. This kiss was different than any they had experienced up until this point this kiss. They were in that moment fiancees and that felt perfect. Neither one worried if they had made the right decision it was as if they both knew they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together.

When Kael saw Willow in that cafe he knew his forever had just walked into his life. The fact that it took him this long to make it official now seemed to baffle him. He was young and so was she but no one could think this dumb love. It was far more than that.

They got back to the cabin to find all there friends awake and Willow couldn’t help but share the news. The rest of the weekend was an excrutiating test of self control. No phone service meant no way to tell her family and everyone in existence that she was getting married. Kael felt completely content. For just those few days, although they weren’t alone, it was as if all was well in the world. The simplicity of nature brought him clarity. He knew simple beyond a doubt that she was the one for him.

Planning for the wedding came swiftly. As it turned out the only day they could find that was not over a year away was less than two months away.

“How hard could it be?” Kael remembered asking Willow when they decided to do it so quickly.

Answer: very hard. The next two months were packed with preparation and making big choices. Willow was notoriously bad at making decisions. Luckily she had the support of her family and Kael to help her decide. This made Kael even more glad that she had chose him. The way she had such a hard time making decisions about what breakfast to eat took all the time in the world. When he asked for her hand in Marriage she barely took a breath before practically falling into his arms. He was beyond proud that he was such and easy choice for her.

Soon it was the day. Kael had not been nervous. His mom had been sure to say that nothing is final until you say I do. “If you change your mind, before that it’s okay. Marriage is forever, and you need to be 100% in if you want to come out the other end.”

Nothing worried Kael. Looking back he would like to say that he just knew, and maybe in some sense he did know. But Kael knew there must’ve been some greater force guiding him because he was as cool as a cucumber until the day of the wedding.

Even then kael was worried about being in front of so many people. He never second guessed that Willow was the one for him.

Everything went perfect. She came down the aisle and was as beautiful as he had ever seen her. The kiss they shared was significant in the fact that they would be spending forever together. This felt like the end of a chapter between Kael and Willow. In fact is was. More importantly is was a beginning. They were single but before long that would just be a memory. Life without each other a dream of what life used to be.

Kael was not whole without Willow and she completed him in every way. He was made better by her each day. He decided to always be the one the one who strived to make life better for Willow.

Before he knew it they were dodging rice and in the escape vehicle.

They both released a sigh of relief. The wedding had been perfect, joyous, wonderful, and everything good but they were going to Hawaii the next morning and they were ready to be alone.

They rented a little cabin close to the airport to so they wouldn’t have to drive far. They had to get out at 4:00 am the next morning and sleep was the last thing on Kael’s mind at least.

Waking up with Willow on his shoulder was beyond the greatest thing ever. The sun shined in through the think shades and the world was perfect. No negative thought dared come close to him. It was as if the world knew this was a sacred moment and it left the two of them completely undisturbed. He was in no hurry for her to wake up but soon it was time for them to get ready to go on their trip.

The honey moon was less than perfect. Neither Kael nor Willow were old enough to get a rental car and Kael was too cheap to pay cabs everywhere. Public transport was there only option. They were literally on the beaches of Hawaii, but in all his life Kael never learned how to relax. He tried to fill their days with activities that were hard to get to and they spent most of their time traveling.

Finally by the end of the vacation Kael admitted they should have just chilled out on the beach the whole vacation. This was his first non family vacation and he didn’t want to waste it. Little did he know that relaxing is never a waste of time. In fact overdoing it is in fact the real tragedy.

With that Kael and Willow returned to real life… together. This was far better to Kael than any honeymoon. His life had become a vacation of sorts. He got to spend all of his waking and sleeping minutes with Willow, unless the demon of work stole him away. This is where Kael began his hunt for a better way. A world where work was not the default where family was the default.

Kael and Willow had walked and talked through that park until the sun was getting high in the sky. Kael could’ve enjoyed here presence and the sun forever but he was getting a little weak kneed without food. He had always been hungry all the time and on vacation, basically everywhere you went was just getting you from one eatery to the next. They were both foodies and through the years together they had both become quite snobby about their foods. If Willow hadn’t cooked it Kael had to be tasting a little piece of heaven for him to be won over.

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