Almost immediately after we ‘saved the world’ as people were calling it, the news was everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Radio stations were covering it, and if you turned on the tv, yeah, they were on it too. I guess it is something to talk about, saving the world from near destruction. All our work was finally being recognized after all this time. Because this time, we’d done it. It was over. And I – I was in shock. After around five years of doing the same thing, of that thing taking over my life, it was gone. Gone. I had begun to think it would never end, and many of my co-workers agreed. One had to miss their brother’s wedding and another almost missed the birth of their second child. We couldn’t live. And yet I felt like I couldn’t complain about it because this was a great thing we were doing, right? We were working on saving the world and if that put our lives on hold, so be it… or so I’d thought. I didn’t know how much I would be glad for it to be over until it really happened. Because for all the good things we’d just done, this wasn’t the best time of my life – not even close. Every time I was there, it felt like I was putting my life on hold, and every time I was with Dani or Lexie, I felt like I was letting the rest of the world down. I couldn’t win, not then.
I know I’ll be going back to work eventually, doing what I loved doing. My earlier form of work was helping the world too, but in a smaller, different way. It was more about the people than the actual world and atmosphere and stuff. I haven’t done what I really enjoy doing in five years, and that’s crazy. I’ll be ready to start up again soon, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy the people that are important to me. My friends have all probably enjoyed the last five years more than I have. Zoe’s daughter Aurelia is around four years old. Her and her boyfriend still haven’t gotten married, or engaged, but are happily raising their little girl together. They still live in Zoe’s parents place along with Zoe’s brother and his husband. She said they’re thinking of adopting a baby soon. Raini’s married now and she moved with her husband to San Myshuno a few years ago for the liveliness and culture. They don’t see kids in their near future, but Raini said she’d consider it someday after her career is in a better place. Lyric got married four years ago, around when Aurelia was born, but it didn’t work out and they ended up getting a divorce. She’s dating again and has been with her current boyfriend for three months. My sister is one of the head chefs in the new restaurant that opened up a year ago. She’s happy with her job, and trains some of the new people coming in. After work she goes out to the nightclub with a couple of her friends every Friday, sometimes with a man. Lexie’s approach to love is very different than mine. I’ve had a few long-term girlfriends, usually I want to date a woman I can see myself having a future with, but Lexie isn’t looking for ‘the future’ yet. I mean, she typically has a guy she’s dating, but they’re all mostly short term relationships. She isn’t looking to settle down. Maybe she never will, but she’ll have little nieces and/or nephews to play with. I’m sure she’ll be a great aunt to my kids. Kids that don’t exist but in my dreams for the future. A little girl running around who’s the heiress, playing with her siblings. And me holding my wife Dani, and never letting go.
I blushed as I looked back over at my to-be wife. It was crazy how even after all these years of dating, she still makes me feel the same way. How she can make my heart speed up with one glance.
“Adelaide!” Dani exclaimed, nudging me. I blinked and looked up, immediately noticing the young man waiting to take our order.
“Oh, yes…sorry. I’ll have the Sparkler Special.”
“And I’ll have the Rose Appetizer.” Dani added, glancing back over to me as he walked away. “Adelaide, what just happened?”
I couldn’t help but blush again. “I was admiring my lovely fiancée.”
“Oh, really?” Dani smirked, clearly enjoying every bit of this.
“Yes,” I replied in a sultry voice, “can I not enjoy my future wife’s presence?”
She smiled, and placed her hand atop mine, and we just sat there, my arm around her shoulder, holding each other’s hands, and staring into each other’s eyes until our food came. When I’m with her, the entire world drops away, and it’s just us.
“What is this?” I asked, looking at my food, unsure if it was actually edible.
“At least mine isn’t about to explode,” Dani commented, and I giggled. It was true, my food was acting like a Fourth of July sparkler.
I examined my meal closer, still confused about what this was. I was considering just having the wine, and leaving my plate alone.
“Hopefully it’s edible,” I said, and Dani and I took a bite together.
“It’s interesting,” was all she said before I burst out quietly laughing.
“That’s exactly what I was thinking,” I smiled, “but food aside, we should talk about our wedding.”
Her eyes lit up, and she grinned. “Yes! Of course! So, I don’t want to wait too long to get married, waiting six years has been long enough, and definitely nothing too extravagant…”
“Dani, slow down!” I smiled, squeezing her hand. I agreed with everything she’d said so far. We’d known each other for around six years, and we were dating for five of those years, so I didn’t want to wait that long either. I’d always loved the idea of a small, simple wedding, not like those tv shows where it’s like they invite the whole planet. Because at the end of the day, it’s about you and your partner, nothing and no one else.
It was her turn to blush, and she squeezed my hand back. “Ok, so when should the wedding be?”
“Definitely soon,” I agreed, smiling, “I can’t wait to call you my wife.”
“I’d marry you tomorrow if I could,” she whispered.
“Tomorrow?” I giggled.
“Mm hmm,” she nodded.
“Well, I’m all for quick, especially if it’s going to be a small wedding. It’s going to be Harvestfest in a few days, so maybe three weeks from then?”
“A winter wedding? Oh gosh, all the snow, and how pretty the rivers are when they ice over…” she looked straight into my eyes, her eyes widening at the thought of our wedding, “that sounds perfect. I love that.”
“Yeah, let’s get married in three weeks!”
Three weeks. I’m getting married in three weeks to this wonderful woman. The conversation went on to whether she wanted to move in before the wedding or not, and she decided on moving in before, to how very weird this food was, and a few other things before it settled on the one thing I knew would come up but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to talk about. Kids. We were talking about our future together, it only made sense children would come up.
“So, what about kids?” Dani asked, “I remember you said you wanted a big family, right?”
I nodded, thrilled she remembered that. “Yeah, four kids.”
“I guess we’re having four kids then,” she smiled, “because I wanted a big family too. I was thinking more three kids, but what’s one more?”
“Dani…when should we, you know, start trying?” I waited for her answer, because I didn’t have one.
“Um, I don’t know. We both definitely want kids, so I wouldn’t say too long, but I’d want to enjoy just being married first.”
I nodded slowly, and she furrowed her eyebrows. “What is it?” Dani asked.
“It’s just, I don’t know. It’s nothing.”
“Come on, Adelaide. I know you.”
“Just thinking about everything we’ll have to go through to have that family…it’s just a little much.” I could feel tears forming in my eyes and I frantically tried to think of something happy. Don’t cry in a restaurant. Don’t.
“Hey, it’s ok. I’m gonna be right there with you. You don’t even have to think about that yet.”
“I know,” I whispered, blinking. But the thing was, I’d been thinking about it ever since I knew I needed to have a daughter. And now it was close to happening. How could I not think about that?
“Here, try a bite of my food,” I said.
“It tastes just as weird as mine,” Dani said, giggling, “Salty Springs is a weird restaurant.”
“I think they called it an ‘experimental’ restaurant, whatever that means,” I added, watching the people next to us take a picture of their food.
“Can’t they just serve some hamburgers? I wonder how long this place will last. I mean, don’t you think people would get tired of this kind of food, especially because it wasn’t that amazing?”
“Maybe they’ll have to change up the style,” I suggested, taking her hand as we started to leave.
As we walked home, leaves fluttered down to the ground, joining others already there. Autumn was a beautiful season, and I should’ve brought a jacket. It was also a cool season, not as cold as winter, but still cool.
“I’ll come over to help you pack tomorrow,” I said.
“I can’t wait to live with you,” she said, smiling, “to be your wife, to raise our family. Adelaide, I’m always going to be there for you.”
“And I for you,” I replied, kissing my fiancée as the leaves danced in the wind.
I’ll never let you go.
A/N: Yes, the restaurant is called Salty Springs (which is a Fortnite reference if anyone else plays 🙂 ) I didn’t build it, it’s just the one that comes with Dine Out, and I just needed a restaurant so I placed it!