Epilogue

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If you would have asked me a few years ago if I ever saw myself having a family of my own with the love of my life, I probably wouldn't have said yes.

I never thought love would be like this. Like all of a sudden it consumes you and everything changes. You see and experience things you never imagined. I always dreamed of a fairytale love story. I don't think I'd call my story that but it definitely is my fairy tale.

I, Lucy Holden fell in love with the love of my life. A complete stranger with the name Toby Cummins, changed my life for the better. Although it's only been 2 years since we've met, it's been everything I ever wanted and needed.

After our tearful confession of love and deciding to move in to together a year ago we've been doing really good. We bought a house together not too far away from my parents' place. It took a couple of months and to our luck a family moved out and we immediately bought it from them. After a few renovations it feels like home. Like a place that is a little bit of Toby and a little of me.

We got married a few weeks after moving into the house. The best part was my dad walking me down the aisle. I know he stopped himself from tearing up. But my mom told me that he had cried the night before and it made me emotional. I really didn't think a day like this would come when my dad was back from the hospital. But he has been doing better than ever and it would have been so incomplete without him.

The other great thing about the day was how my mom walked Toby to the aisle. My mom had offered and so did my dad but Toby insisted he didn't want to share my dad and take anything away from my special moment and gratefully hugged my mom.

To no one's surprise Amanda was my maid of honor and Mark was Toby's best man. It was a magical day. It was also that day that we found out Amanda and Mark were dating, so it felt extra special. All of us had a blast. Taylor swift's song Lover played which if you know me at all was my personal highlight.

Living together is fun but it also comes with its challenges. But we learn and work around the things we can't compromise on and work together. He goes back to the city a couple of times a month and my second book got published too.

Today is one of those visits to the city for Toby but he should be back home in a few hours and I'm working on my third book and procrastinating. My editor suggested that I try a different genre and see how it works out. I agreed to it on a whim and am already starting to regret it. I can either stare at the screen or do something productive, so I decide on the one thing that always cheers me up – visiting my parents.

I enter the bakery which is renovated and looks so much more homely and vibrant if that's even possible, maybe I'm just biased. I greet my parents and they give me a freshly baked apple pie, eh best parents ever!!!

Since there aren't many customers, my dad sits with me and indulges in eating the pie and acts like it's nothing. "Uh, Dad, that's for me. I am not sharing this no matter how much I love you." I tell him.

He chuckles but continues eating. "You have automatically lost any chance of refusing to share food with me when you decided to come to the bakery to eat. If you don't want to share it take it home with you." He replies in between eating spoons full.

"I'm going to tell mom if you eat anymore. We'll ask her how important sharing is now, shall we?" I ask with a mischievous grin.

"You wouldn't dare!?" He refuted trying to sound intimidating but failing miserably.

"Well, we will have to see then." I say and speak up before dad can protest. "Hey mom..." I say and notice my dad eyeing me and continue, "can I have another pie, I finished mine super-fast and it doesn't feel like I ate anything."

My mom looks at both of us suspiciously but doesn't say anything and signals me to take another one from the counter. I jump up and get one back and place it as far away from my dad as possible. "This one is all mine. Don't even think about sharing." I word it strongly.

As we have a staring match and eat our own pies as quickly as possible the door opens and in walks Toby, Amanda and Mark.

I run to Toby and give him a hug. "I wasn't expecting you for a few more hours, but I'm so glad you are back. I missed you." I excitedly tell him.

"I missed you too, work got over early so I drove back without stopping anywhere. I saw that you weren't home and so I came here." He says kissing my forehead.

"Just needed some air and I really didn't feel like typing anymore words. I think I'm in trouble but let's think about that later." I reply.

Just then, Amanda clears her throat and says, "I see your priorities now. I, your best friend am here too and you haven't even said hi. I'm upset."

I give her a hug and say, "You do remember that we met each other a couple of hours ago in my house. I still missed you."

"That's more like it. I was kidding. It's nice to see you both being so cute." Amanda then hugs my dad and mom and tell them that her parents will be coming in a while too.

Amanda has released some songs and performs at shows in town and in nearby towns too. She's been slowly gaining popularity and I can see that she's happy. I notice Mark looking at her so fondly and smile to myself.

Mark has been managing in inn and orchard while also spending as much time as he can with Amanda. He also took over the bookstore from Toby and manages it when he is in town.

My parents close the bakery for the day after the last customer leaves and Amanda's parents show up. We all have an amazing dinner my mom and Amanda's mom prepare together and rehash old memories and childhood stories.

As everyone is busy in conversations, I feel a slight nudge from Toby and it was so subtle that no one noticed.

"Thank you for becoming my family and giving me a family too. There's nothing more I could want. I love you". He says so quietly that only I can hear it.

I squeeze his hand and say, "I love you too and one day when we have kids, I hope we can be what our parents were for us and be as happy as we now. But most importantly there's no one else with whom I want to spend the rest of my life with. Thank you for being you."

And when we rejoin the conversation, I meet my mom's gaze and her smile says everything she hasn't said yet, that she's happy for me. She gives me a smile and her tender gaze makes me feel warm inside.

As I look around the table, it has all the people that make me who I am, my family and friends who are like family. There's nothing more to wish for. If ever there are tough times, I hope and pray that all of us being there for each other will get us through it. But for now, I'm going to live in the present and hope for the future no matter what it might be.

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