Epilogue: It's Okay Not To Be Okay

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"I'm thinking about a lot of things munchkin."

"Like?" I prompt him, glancing up to shoot him a feigned look of irritation.

"How excited I am to go to soccer practice in the morning."

"That doesn't sound like a lot of things."

"Let me finish," He interjects, silencing me with his luminous eyes. "I'm thinking about how much I hate my roommate's OCD tendencies to clean up after me. How amazing it was that you surprised me and flew us both to my parent's beach house for my birthday last week. How much I miss Rosemary's cooking. How I want to stop at McDonald's on the way back to college. How excited I am for the surprises I have in store for your birthday today. How we've been at this beach for hours and I don't want to leave and go back to reality because being here with you makes me happy... Most of all, I'm thinking about how much I want to kiss you right now."

"Wow, that is a lot of things," I laugh.

"See, unlike you, I have enough brain cells to think about more than one thing at a time. It's a human phenomenon...you know...having a fully functioning brain. You're missing out on a lot Ash."

He lifts his head up from the sand and grins lopsidedly at me before letting his head flop back down. I flick his nose with my finger and shake my head, denying him any future kisses when I sit up and pull myself to my feet. I brush the sand off my back and shake as much as I can out of my hair.

Above us, the night sky is slowly getting lighter, chasing the twinkling stars away as they begin to fade out one by one. A new day is beginning - my birthday. With my hands planted on my hips, I crane my neck and admire the mesmerising sky.

"What's the story behind this beach?" I hold a hand over my brow and squint into the distance, running my gaze to the point where the perpetual shoreline runs parallel with the ocean for miles to end at the horizon. "We drove for an hour to get here but you still won't tell me it's significance."

He laughs with an amused grin stretching across his full lips.

"Taylor pestered me nonstop too, but she was less patient obviously. Even though she had weeks to live when I brought her here, she still believed she could beat the crap out of me. Never thought I'd miss those painful punches."

I whirl around and sand from my hair rains down my forehead, tickling my skin until I have no choice but scratch my brow. I'm confused, only for a moment.

"You brought Taylor here?" I echo, taking a step towards the pier that starts a few metres away.

My bare feet creak against the moist, cracked wood. I sidestep a spot of bird droppings as Tyler nods and gulps, struggling to swallow. He shoves his hand into his pocket and walks slowly towards me.

"This was the last place we ever went together after she got hospitalised," A small smile lingers on his lips. "I kidnapped her in the middle of the night, broke past hospital security and ran straight for my car. Then we drove to this beach to watch the sunrise. Exactly as we're doing now."

Laughter fills the air as I throw my head back and imagine Tyler bundling his frail sister into his car. I breathe a sigh of relief and plant a hand on my chest in a dramatic fashion.

"Thank god," I breathe a sigh of relief. "I thought I was the only one who got yanked awake in the middle of the night and tossed into the back of your car in their pyjamas."

Tyler rakes his gaze over my low slung purple dinosaur bottoms and my oversized red shirt.

"If I can recall correctly," His arms stretch around my waist. "Those are mine anyway."

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