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Old 04-23-2019, 11:24 PM
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Second Chances xoxo
Chapter 4

Amy woke up to see her standing in the middle of the room, looking around.

“Am I dreaming?”
Julia turned to her. “No, sweetie, you aren’t. Do you recognize me?”
“Yeah, from all of Ephram’s pictures and the frames that are in the house. …But how is this possible.”
“You asked how can I know if I’m doing the right thing, if being with Ephram is the right answer. I feel whenever someone feels something about my family.”
“So you’ve visited people before?”
“Yes. I talk to Andy all the time, mostly in his thoughts, but lately, it’s a bit more vivid.”
“What does this mean? I mean with you being here, feeling my thoughts about Ephram.”
“You’ve been thinking about Ephram a lot lately and you should be. You two almost bought my grandchild into this world.”
Amy’s face along with a glimmer of happiness faded. She was thwarted back into reality…a strange reality at the moment… “Yeah, almost.”
Almost counts, too, you know. I miscarried twice before we finally had Ephram and Delia. I thought it was the stress due to Andy never being around or just trying anything and everything to try and get pregnant. But finally…finally everything just worked out. I’m not saying it’s that way for everyone, but there is hope.”
“But the way I’ve treated Ephram the last time we spoke. I practically told him I don’t want a future with him or that I don’t want to have children with him. I mean what are doing?” She looked directly at Julia. “What does all of this mean? Are we just two kids playing house? Are we just having fun and being reckless. I mean..really…what if we did bring baby into this world…into our world… A baby for two parents who…at least one…don’t even know if being together is what they really want. Two parents who don’t even live in the same state or even the same time zone.”
“Amy…Andy and I lived in the same house, we were married for years, and parents to two wonderful children and we were as far apart as any two people could be.” Julia hesitated. “And I found comfort in another man because my marriage was falling apart and Andy and I both knew it. He eventually found out about the affair and he left…for one night, but he knew our marriage was crumbling. Andy threw himself into his work to ignore what was really going on. He gave us an incredible life, how could I deny him working so hard if he gave me everything I ever wanted.”
“How did you make it through everyday that you were with him when you were…”
“Alive?” Julia said with a smile. “You can say it, I know you what you mean. And it was hard, most days I wondered how I did it. How I put up with Andy’s broken promises of being home for dinner, promising to be on time for a piano recital for Ephram or a ballet for Delia. Being there for our yearly anniversary getaways. But I stayed, I had hope he would find his way, find his way to being a husband and a father again.”
“But he didn’t.”
“No, he did, it just wasn’t with me.” Julia felt Amy’s emotions welling up, “and it’s okay. He found a way to be an amazing father to Delia and Ephram and to be a wonderful husband to Nina. I don’t regret any time we spent together, even the moments that weren’t so wonderful. I just wanted Andy to be happy. I loved him enough for him to be happy, even if it is with another woman.”
“So what does this have to do with me and Ephram?”
“This is your second chance. You get a second chance with the same man, who, maybe I’m biased, is pretty amazing. He is falling all over himself trying to find the words to tell you how he feels. You two are mean to be together. If you need a sign, this is it. You are mean to be with my son. No matter how you two met, no matter if you were just to meet him to get to Andy, the brilliant neurosurgeon.” Julia saw Amy’s shocked expression. “Yes, Amy, I know everything about my children. I’m not a fan of how you cornered him to make him talk to you, but no one can deny how you fell in love. And Amy,” Julia met her gaze. “Ephram has loved you since the day he met you. You’re all he can think about and I know he’s all you think about. Life has bumps, things get in the way, doesn’t mean you won’t hurt, but it just means you get passed them, because you love each other..”
“You really do know everything.”
“Yeah, people tell me things up there.” Julia’s eyes pointed to the ceiling.
“So…” Amy sighed. “What do I do now?”
“I think you know.”

Amy looked over the mirror and all around the room. Julia was gone. Was this really the sign she was looking for?

“Welcome back.” Maddie greeted Amy with her favorite flavor coffee. “It’s been so quiet around here.”
“Really? It was quiet around here before I left and it’s only been two weeks.”
“It felt like a year.”
“Should that be a compliment?”
Maddie nodded. “I think so.”
“Anything happen while I was gone?”
“Well, that very handsome man dropped something off…Ephram, I think his name was.”
“Really, what did Ephram drop off?”
“Not sure, but it looks like a scavenger hunt thing.”
“Ephram Brown does not do…” Amy looked at the card that read Scavenger Hunt on the card. “Well, maybe I don’t know everything about Ephram Brown like I thought I did.”
“Every relationship needs mystery, I think you found one.”
“Well I hate surprises so this is out of Ephram’s element.”
“Read the card, have fun with it since he put some much time towards it.”
Amy turned around to Maddie. “How do you know Ephram put so much time into this?”

Maddie slowly slid back down into her chair making herself invisible behind her cubicle wall.

“Yep!” Maddie said from behind her wall.

Amy read the card.

Amy, I know you don’t like Scavenger Hunts and I’m not that good at them, so this will be quick. Meet me at the house on the corner…you know the one.

“I have to go, save any messages…if I get any that is.”
“That must be some card if you’re already starting the hunt.”
“Sometimes everything does all fall into place the way you want it to.”
“Who said that?”
“Ephram’s mom.”
“Wait, didn’t she die a long time ago?”
“Yeah, she did. She’s one of the reasons why Ephram and I met.”

Maddie couldn’t figure out what Amy meant. She just sipped her coffee and continued typing on her computer.

Amy got out of the car and saw Ephram standing at the doorway at the house on the corner. He invited her in and closed the door behind them.

“You remembered.” Ephram stood up when Amy was walking up the sidewalk.
“Yep, the day we promised each other nothing would change and that we would be together forever.”
“And then everything changed.”
“I can’t expect everything to be the same, life doesn’t evolve that way.”

“I love you.” Ephram kissed Amy on the mouth. “I love everything about you, even when you steal you want ice cream after stating you cannot eat another bite.”
“Mint Chocolate Chip.” Amy smiled, remembering every date ending that way.
Ephram let out a chuckle. “With extra whipped cream.”
“Ephram, what’s going on.”

“When I came back to Everwood, I didn’t expect to find love the way that I have. I didn’t expect to find you and I definitely didn’t expect to find you again and find love again. It was like this gift had fallen into my hands….and I didn’t know what to do with it. You amaze me, everyday, with your willingness to forgive and just let love in. You’re it, Amy and I want to spend every day of the rest of our lives loving you in a way that is worthy of you being loved. I want to wake up with you every morning, I want you to fall asleep with you in my arms every night. I want make love to you in the afternoon to show how much I love you…everyday.”
“Ephram, what are you saying to me?”
“I’ve loved you since the day I met you. You are my one.” He brushed the hair out of Amy’s face. He took the ring box out of his pocket and bent down one knee. “Amy Nicole Brown…will you marry me?”
Amy’s head nod her head quickly as she was crying and finally blurted out. “Yes!”
Ephram stood back up and placed the ring on Amy’s finger, the fit was perfect. “This was my mom’s engagement ring.”
Amy’s eyes welled up, tears almost spilling over. “Wow, Ephram, I…”
“She would want you to have it. My mom would have liked you.”
“Oh, yeah I know.” She saw Ephram’s face change. “Oh, I mean I’m only guessing…”
“So about this house…”

They started walking, their hands entwined.

“Yeah, what’s the deal with us just…walking in?” Amy looked around, falling in love with every space she looked at.
“That’s where your parents factor into this.”
“My parents, what do they have to do with this house?”
“You know, your mom is quite the negotiator.”
Amy laughed. “Tell me something I don’t know. She was the mayor of this town all the time Bright and I were growing up.”
Ephram placed the keys in Amy’s hands. “Welcome home.”
“What?” Amy’s eyebrow raised.
“This house has been on the market for a long time and Rose is friends with the realtor and I got a fairly good deal.”
“What is a fairly good deal?”
“You’ll see.”

….One Year Later…

“Now this one should fit much better, the fit is a lot broader.”
Ephram listened to the tailor when putting his tuxedo jacket on. “You’re right, it does feel better.”
Andy walked in and faced the mirror just as Ephram was. “What do you think, black or navy blue?”
“They kind of look the same, don’t they?”
“Well, Nina says that Navy Blue would clash.”
“Then wear the black one, problem solved.”
“Yeah, I guess so.”

Andy tossed the navy blue tie aside and started to put together the black tie under his collar.

“Amy said something that sounded just like something mom would say.”
“Oh, what was that?”
“Something about life having bumps in the road and not letting them get in the way.”
“That was your mother. Maybe you’re just rubbing off on her.”
“Yeah, maybe that’s it.” Ephram sighed. “I’m going to go tell them this fits good.”
“Alright, son, see you in a bit.” Andy tapped him on the shoulder.

“Our son is happy.”
Andy looked up to see her in the mirror again. “Yes, he sure is. Hard to believe just a little over a year ago you were standing in this mirror telling me Ephram was in trouble.”
“You’re looking good.” Julia looked him up and down. “My man sure has style.”
“Your man, I never heard you talk like that before?”
“I never got to see you in suits that often, you were always either in scrubs or you had your doctor coat covering up what you were wearing.”
“You know, Julia, I’m sorry for never really being there for you…and the kids.”
“I know.” She nodded. “But you were there when it really counted, when the kids really needed you.”
“I had a lot of help.”
“You think I didn’t. You have no idea how many times I had called on our neighbors to make sure Delia and Ephram got home okay. Don’t tell Ephram, I let him think he was able to get home by himself without supervision.”
“Good thinking.”
Julia signed deeply. “Thank you, Andy.”
“For what?”
“For making my family whole again…our family.”
“I was just being a father.”
“No, you were being a friend. Ephram thinks of you more as a friend and I think you know that.”
“Yes, we have come a long way since…well, since we moved to Everwood. I was very moved when he asked me to be his best man.”
Julia looked over to see Ephram’s shadow coming closer. “Tell Amy congratulations for me.”
“I will.” Andy looked up to see him starring at himself and Ephram trying to figure out how to tie a tie.
“You think these would have gotten easier by now.”
“Son, tying a tie is never simple. I can untangle artery better than I can fix a tie.”
Ephram had a grin on his face. “That’s encouraging.”
“You look great.” Andy got a good look at his son when the whole picture was complete.
“Thanks, I can barely think about what I’m doing. Every second I picture Amy coming towards me and us starting our lives together. I feel like we’re on our first date again and I don’t want to say the wrong thing or trip on her dress.”
“You have nothing to worry about and you two will be an amazing life together.”
“Yeah, it already has been. Especially this past couple of weeks.”
Andy saw a look on Ephram’s face. “What are you saying, Ephram?”
“We haven’t told anyone yet considering what happened last year.” Ephram sighed. “We’re pregnant.” He smiled, looking very proud at Andy, not being able to keep a straight face.
“Ephram, congratulations! Amy must be thrilled!”
“Scared, thrilled, happy.…every emotion you can think of. I think we’re both having the same feelings. Does everything really fall into place when it’s supposed to? I mean, what makes everything different now.”
“It’s simple, you’re ready.”

Andy couldn’t help but think that Julia hinted at congratulating Amy not only for getting married, but for being pregnant. Julia was still watching over her entire family.

Amy stood at the closed doors. She could hear the music loud and clear as each one of her brides maids started to make their walk down the aisle. Her legs were trembling thinking about what the next few steps really meant…she was walking towards their future. A future that was like written for a storybook. She put her hand over her stomach, feeling the little bump their baby was already forming. Amy actually told her mother weeks before now that she was pregnant. The dress wasn’t fitting from the measurements that were given and Amy had to say something and she didn’t want to lie.

“Ready, honey?” Harold wrapped his arm around hers as the wedding march started.”
Amy took a deep breath. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”

The doors opened and everyone stood in preparation for Amy to make her walk towards Ephram.

She looked at Ephram and felt her tears forming when she saw he was having trouble keeping it all together.

“Who gives this woman to this man?”
“Harold and Rose Abbott.” Harold spoke aloud and everyone took their seats.

“We are gathered her today on a glorious Saturday afternoon in the presence of friends and family under God to join Amy Nicole Abbott and Ephram Andrew Brown. Bless now these two who stand before you. Guide them in your wisdom, shine your light upon them, that as they journey through this life together they will walk as bearers of your Truth. Amen….Ephram and Amy have decided to recite their own vows.”

Ephram reached over to Andy for the ring and focused back on Amy.

“Everything I am today is because of you. I thought I had lost everything when I lost my mom and moved to your little mountain town. I had no idea that my life was just beginning. I knew I loved you the first day I laid eyes on you. You were walking in the halls with your friends and I didn’t notice anybody else. You make everything else just disappear. I thought I had to go on this big life journey, back to the big city to find myself, to find my life’s purpose.” Ephram looked into Amy’s eyes. “You are my purpose. You are my soul and you are my other half. You complete me, Amy.” Ephram cleared his the lump in his throat and started to slide the ring on Amy’s finger. “I promise today and every day to show you that you are my life’s purpose, that you are the reason I am the man I am today.” Ephram slid the ring onto her finger. “I love you, Amy. I felt it then, I feel it now, I’ll always feel it…”

Amy wiped the tears away with her tissue and Delia placed the ring in Amy’s finger.

“Wow, how do I compete with that.” Ephram and everyone else let out a nervous laugh. Amy looked up at Ephram’s eyes, knowing she would find her center. “Ephram Andrew Brown, I love you. For a long time I was afraid to say that. I was afraid to completely let go, to really let love in. You showed me that life is full of the most unexpected but wonderful things. You make me brave. You make me want to discover everything new about everything around me. I love that you challenge me and show me what an amazing woman I can be and an amazing mother.” Amy let the single tear fall not he left side of her cheek as she heard many in the church gasp. “I love you for just being the man that who you are. For just letting your heart soar into life and into your music and into everything you are passionate about. I love you for…” Amy swallowed the lump in her throat. “I love you for our family. Our family that is going to change the world just like you have changed mine.” Amy took Ephram’s hand, sliding the ring on his finger. “I promise that I will always be by your side, waiting to see where the world takes us on whatever journeys that lay ahead. I love you.”

Ephram mouthed. “I love you.”

The pastor placed the ribbon back in his bible closing it. “With the power vested in me by the State of Colorado, I now pronounce the bride and groom as Mr. and Mrs. Ephram Andrew Brown.”

Amy and Ephram stood there, looking at each other, slightly eyeing the pastor.

“Ephram, you can kiss her now.” The pastor spoke with a few giggling in the church.

Their lips sealed together perfectly.

**this isn't the end quite yet**
I Love You
I Want To Spend The Rest of My Life With You
Trace & Abby
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