Chapter 47

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"Dwelling in those yesterdays seems so insignificant ,when we have so many tomorrows ahead of us."


I miss my family.

Every single day, I miss them. I miss my mother's laugh, miss my father's inappropriate and dumb jokes... I just miss every little thing I never even thought about when they were still there. The way my mother ruffled my hair when she gave me a hug, the way my father tried shooting me a wink, but always failed miserably and ended up looking like he had something in his eye... He didn't want to admit it, and he kept on doing it, enjoying how I laughed out loud every damn time.

Those memories have been painful for a long time, and even though I learned to deal with them, learned that it's important to remember them, I can't deny that it still hurts like hell.

Being here right now, watching this big family enjoy their day... It hurts like hell, too. Hazel did her best to make sure I feel welcomed here, and I have to admit I'm thoroughly surprised that Noah has been rather quiet the whole evening. I expected a lot more, honestly, but I also know that Hazel has a hold on her husband I will probably never understand.

The way they act around each other reminds me so much of my parents, too. You can see it in their eyes, see it in the subtle touches they steal, the possessiveness in both their eyes giving you an unmistakable idea of who they belong to. It's mesmerizing, and also so goddamn painful again, because I just wish they could've met.

I wish I could've introduced Mia to them. They would've loved her, I'm sure of that. It's hard not to love her, really, but especially my mother would've been delighted by my choice.

"You okay?" Mia whispers, and I just now realize I haven't really eaten anything, my thoughts so loud that I missed half of the conversations at the dining table.

I'm glad she talked to Max, that she's trying to fix her relationships and sees her own mistakes, too. I just want her to be happy, and I know her family gives her the kind of happiness no one can replace. She's so proud of being her parents' daughter, of being her brothers' sister, even with the drama that occurred lately. And she embraces that pride, carries it in her heart like a token of appreciation, visible for anyone to see.

Her azure eyes fill with worry when I don't answer, and I instantly reach for her hand, giving it a squeeze when I respond, "Yeah, I'm okay. Just in my head."

She nods, placing my palm on her cheek for just a second when she whispers again. "Just say the word. I mean it." The smile on her face shows me how serious she is, how much she understands that this is not exactly easy for me. And god, do I love her even more for that...

"I know." I can't help but press a kiss on her forehead, unsurprisingly hearing how Liam clears his throat in an attempt to get our attention. Both Mia and I stifle a grin from that predictable behavior, our fingers intertwining in my lap as I turn to look at her little brother.

He's not little, really, but he is younger. I think he's the only one who isn't convinced yet, who doesn't really know what to think of me. I knew I had Finn on my side pretty early on, Ethan and Aiden seemed extremely nice and welcomed me with open arms, quite literally, while Liam just kept narrowing his eyes at me like I was public enemy number one.

Max apologized, and even though it'll take a while until I can actually forgive him, I do my best in trying to find it within me. I know Mia would be devastated if I didn't get along with her family, and I also know that everything that happened in the past should be just that. The past.

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