Welcome Home. -Chapter 7

Read Chapter 6 HERE

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A few days later

Melanie fluffs Cassie’s dress and stands up as they look at her reflection in the mirror.

“You look perfect.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Dave is going to lose his mind when he sees you.”

“Funny. I could say the same about Oliver when he sees you.”

“It’s not our day, it’s yours.”

“I can share it.”

“Not a chance in hell. You deserve this. I am so happy for you.” Melanie says smiling. She grabs Cassie’s hand pulling her into a hug.

“Thank you for planning this all so fast, how you managed to get it all done in a matter of days, and from New York, I will never know,” Cassie says smiling at her best friend.

“I can be quite bossy.”

“Hmm, I hadn’t noticed,” Cassie says as she and Melanie exchange knowing giggles.

The music begins and Melanie’s eyes pop.

“That’s my cue. I’ll see you out there,” she says winking at her.

Cassie smiles as Melanie kisses her cheek and starts to walk off, turning back, she says-

“Love you.”

Cassie smiles.

“Love you more.”

Melanie takes a deep breath as she begins to walk down the aisle, a smile in place as her eyes scan the church landing on a certain someone.

Dave leans over to Oliver who stands beside him. His chocolate-hazelnut eyes glued to Melanie.

“She looks amazing,” Dave says.

“So this is what pure torture feels like,” he says, their eyes locking as Melanie gets to the center of the alter she winks at Dave who smiles, as she stands to the opposite side of them before the alter.

As the ceremony goes on Melanie and Oliver exchange brief glances, reminiscing on what could have been.

***************************************************************************

As the reception commences, a sea of people are mingling about.

Melanie gathers her strength and walks over to Oliver who stands at the bar with a beer in his hand.

“Hi,” she smiles simply.

“Hi,” he says smiling back.

“I have to say I am quite surprised you don’t have your camera in your hand snapping away.”

“I am under very strict orders not to lift a finger, Cassie told me I am in the wedding therefore I cannot be the photographer. And you know when the bride says something…”

“Oh…you do it.”

“So you’ll cover me, when I want to sneak in a few shots later?”

“Of course,” she says matter of factly.

They exchange smiles.

“Look I know-once again I screwed up the last time we were together and I understand that we are officially done and I respect that. But I really need to talk to you about something.”

“Ok. But first, you have to dance with me,” he says smiling and holding his hand out to her.

Melanie smiles and looks away confused for a second before taking his hand as he walks her out onto the dance floor.

“You look beautiful,” he says pulling her closer to him as they sway to the music.

Melanie’s heart rate quickens.

The song ends and Oliver takes her hand and leads her to the balcony.

“So…you uh wanted to talk.”

“Oliver, I um…I don’t exactly know how to say this, so I’m just going to come out and say it.”

“Say it.” He says simply.

“Oliver, I’m-“

The bridal attendant opens the door, peeking in.

“I’m so sorry to interrupt. But it’s time for you both to give your best man and maid of honor speeches.”

Oliver and Melanie sigh.

Melanie looks up at Oliver.

“To be continued?”

“Of course,” he says as they rush into the main hall.

*****************************************************************************

Melanie gets up and takes a glass of champagne in her hand, as the bridal attendant hands her a microphone.

“Hi everyone, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Melanie, Cassie’s best friend. We grew up together in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and I have never been more proud of her than I am right now. Cassie, even at a young age was a force to be reckoned with. Independent. Stubborn. We’re cut from the same cloth, I guess.  But Cassie is someone who also really cares about people. When I think about the way our friendship has grown over the years, I’ve learned so much about what it means to have a soulmate. A soulmate isn’t always a romantic relationship. It’s a relationship that gets you through the lowest of the lows and roots you on during the highest of the highs. It’s someone who you see bits and pieces of yourself in. Someone who can just know what you’re thinking or knows just what you need, without even asking. Someone who just gets you and makes life better. I know you can see where I’m going with this- Dave, Cassie may be your wife now, but she’s been my soulmate my whole life, and that’ll never change. (Everyone laughs) All kidding aside, Cassie you are my best friend, my sister, my soulmate, I love you, don’t ever change. On a side note. I met the love of my life in college, right around the same time Cassie met Dave. Needless to say, I didn’t handle things that well.”

Oliver looks up at her, his smile bright, his eyes watering.

“Let me give you the benefit of my mistakes, Cassie, dear lord let yourself need Dave. Let him be there for you. As your soulmate- I’m giving you permission, (she says winking. As everyone laughs.) I was there to watch this courtship grow. I saw Dave laugh when Cassie laughed and cry when she cried, protect her, fight for her, love her. And I have never felt safer knowing that my best friend is in good hands. I love you both, congratulations, and happiest and healthiest of memories and prayers for babies, lots and lots of babies. God Bless. Cheers.” Melanie says as Cassie runs up to her crying and hugging her.

 Oliver takes the stage.

“Hello everyone, I’m Oliver. Funny enough I’m going to tell a story that actually falls right into Melanie’s speech. You’d think we wrote them together. Spoiler alert, we didn’t. (Everyone laughs) I remember the moment Dave met Cassie. We were studying for our first big official college exam. There we were in the library. Three hours in, red bulls and coffee scattered about. When these two very frazzled, anxious, but breathtakingly beautiful girls, burst in. They walk right up to the librarian. And when I tell you all eyes were on them, I am not joking. They had a way of owning a room. Still do, (he says his eyes locking on Melanie’s.) But as I looked on, I already saw our future’s mapped out for us. My eyes were glued to Melanie and Dave here his eyes were glued on Cassie. Phew, (he says brushing his hand across his forehead with a flick of the wrist) glad that worked out. (Everyone laughs) So Cassie asks the librarian for a book. And Cassie is utterly defeated when the librarian gives her the bad news that it’s already been checked out. Low and behold, Dave flips to the cover of one of our books, and there it is- American Literature-The ways to know love. Cassie being the firecracker she is, begins walking through the library, checking books belonging to other students. No shame. Determined. On a mission. I’ll tell ya something, there is nothing more terrifying than a crazed college girl under far too much stress and that’s the truth. (The crowd laughs)

So Dave walks over to her, and says “Excuse me, I think you’re looking for this.”

Cassie looks up, sighing, “Thank you.” She says reaching for it, but just before she can get her hands on it, Dave pulls it away.

“Under one condition,” he says.

I remember thinking to myself, What a G.

Cassie and Dave laugh, as Dave’s arms wrap around his bride’s waist.

But it was short lived and his request was met with a pout and the barrier was built by Cassie’s arms folding across her chest.

It was a stance our girls worked well.

(Oliver mimics it, as the crowd laughs.)

“I’ll give you this book, if you let me and my friend, take out you and your friend,” Dave says.

I will never forget the smirk on Cassie’s face or the flicker in Dave’s eyes. 

From that point on he was a goner, and so was I. So here’s to your forever. Congratulations! Salud.

He says raising his glass.

Everyone cheers as they clink glasses.

Melanie’s eyes sparklingly in memory.

*******************************************************************

“Nice speech,” Melanie says coming over to Oliver.

“Like wise,” he says smiling.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

Melanie rolls her eyes, as he laughs knowing she hates that.

“You’ve been kind of distant today, I guess I understand, but I have to admit, I am surprised.”

“I’ve learned to let you come to me. I figured if I kept my distance long enough you might miss me,” he says smiling.

They share a moment.

“Oliver, I have to tell you something, can we-”she says pointing to the balcony again.

“Right. Yes, of course,” he says following her lead.

Melanie stands before Oliver, her heart beating a mile a millisecond.

She’s fidgeting and he notices.

“Hey,” he reaches for her hands, “it’s just you and me here, you can tell me anything.”

Melanie looks up at him, she takes a deep breath in and lets it out. Her heart rate slows. A calm washing over her.

“Ollie, I’m pregnant.”

 Oliver stands before her frozen.

“I realize this is probably the last thing you expected and it’s probably the worst possible timing and I am so sorry, but I just found out myself and I thought you should know….I didn’t want to exclude you….”

Oliver stands there still frozen.

“Ok. Ok. Maybe you need a minute. I’m gonna go.” She says turning to head back into the party.

Oliver walks swiftly over to her and turning her to him, he cups her face and kisses her gently.

Their lips move as one for a bit as Oliver parts from her looking into her eyes.

“How are you? How’s the baby?” he says his hands touching her stomach.

Melanie smiles.

“We’re both doing ok.”

“Just ok?” Oliver says his eyes looking into hers.

“The doctor says that everything looks good for right now. I’m healthy and the baby is healthy. But-”

“But what?” Oliver says nervously as his hands circle around her waist again, pulling her to him.

Melanie’s eyes begin to water as she bites her lip and looks away.

“Melanie, Mel….what?” he says cupping her face.

“Oliver there’s something I never told you.”

He looks at her confused.

“When we lost Cody, after I left, I saw a specialist in New York. I was searching for answers. And they told me that it wasn’t just that I miscarried, they told me that I’m unable to physically carry a baby to term. I can get pregnant, but there’s no guarantee.”

Oliver looks at her stunned, he steps back.

“So…what does that mean… for us, are we going to lose this baby too?”

“It’s a pretty high possibility,” she says her eyes welling up.

Oliver sighs, a lump forming in his throat as the tears spill down his cheeks. He moves away from her.

“I’m so sorry,” she says crying.

“How high of a possibility?” he says turning to her, his hands on his hips, tears streaming down his face.

“There is an 85% chance that I will miscarry again,” she says through her tears.

Oliver looks up at her, he sighs and looks away, his heart breaking.

“Ollie, I’m so sorry this is not how I wanted to tell you, or where I wanted to tell you, it’s supposed to be a happy occasion, but I couldn’t keep this from you,” Melanie says falling apart before him.

He looks over at her and swiftly rushes over, cupping her face he stares into her eyes.

“Hey, hey, don’t be sorry. You don’t have anything to be sorry for.”

“But it’s all my fault.” She says crying harder now.

Oliver looks at her, he shakes his head.

“Sweet heart, this is not your fault. Do you hear me, it’s not your fault. This is not something either of us can control.”

Melanie wraps her arms around his neck, as he pulls her to him.

“Why didn’t you ever tell me this?”

“I didn’t want you to feel like you had to stay with me. I didn’t want you to feel any obligations. I can’t guarantee you a family. You deserve better.”

Oliver’s brow furrows, his eyes narrow.

“Melanie, when are you going to get it? I don’t want a family if it’s not one we build together. I don’t care if we have to look into other unconvential ways. A wife to me is not just a child bearer. It’s a lover and a partner, it’s everything you are. It’s these lips- (he kisses her), these eyes (he brushes the hair away from her eyes), this heart (he places his hand over her heart), this body, (he says his eyebrow raising as Melanie blushes,) it’s you. I want you. You not being able to have my baby isn’t going to change that.”

Melanie looks up at him and leaning in she kisses him, as he pulls her closer to him, wrapping his arms around her.

“Are you scared?” he says whispering to her.

“I’m terrified, I’m not sure that I can handle going through all this again,” she says looking up at him.

Oliver looks at her

“We’ll get through this together, ok? I’m not going anywhere. So don’t you dare either. ”

Melanie cups his face and kisses him.

“I really need you,” Melanie says looking up at him.

“Like I said, I’m not going anywhere,” he says cupping her face and wiping her tears away as he pulls her into a hug, he places a kiss on her forehead.

“15 % is not nothing, let’s bet on that, let’s bet on us, and our love,” He says, as their tears blend together. “You had to know that you and I…we’re far from over…that’s something that I can never officially agree to.”

Melanie pulls him into a kiss, holding on for dear life.

To be continued…

 

*I do not take any credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*

-<3-

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