Green,” he muttered. “What do you mean?
the kiss he was giving her today was oh, so achingly slow and heart-stirringly tender. It tugged at the deepest corners of her heart, pulled at every heartstring, stirred each nerve ending. It was so beautifully poignant she felt like crying and laughing at the same time. She felt him—every fiber, every atom of his being, even his very soul—meshed with her own.
I’m not saying that trusting and hoping will be enough. You have to work together, Alex. Together, you and him. Work on the present, the here and now, despite the odds. Say the words that needed to be said, do the things that had to be done. But only if you’re both completely, totally sure. You both have to be all in.
Life is meant to be cherished, and lived, and risked. You’re scared of the past and all its mistakes. You’re afraid of the future and all its unpredictabilities. I understand that. But you have to learn to take courage. You have to let go and forgive. You have to trust and hope for a happy future.
Once, I told you, ‘never settle unless it’s forever.’ I was wrong, Alex. Not about never settling. No, never about that. We must never settle for less than what we’re worth.” Tears generously fell down Marjorie’s cheeks. “I was wrong about the forever part. Because it takes two to forever, Alex. You can’t have forever without taking risks, making choices, and working on them—together—for a lifetime. You only have a lifetime to write your own story. Make every second last.
You still lost, Marj. You still got hurt. And losing and hurting are what I don’t want.” Her sister held her stare. “Do you honestly think you’re not losing and hurting now, as you speak?” She didn’t have an answer to that. She didn’t need to. Her heart was busy shattering into pieces. Why was that? She got out before she was even in, didn’t she? She should be congratulating herself for being spared of the certainty of heartbreak and tears. Why was she feeling like a huge part of herself was gone, replaced by a bottomless hole where regret and longing suddenly took up residence, and where questions like ‘if you were only brave enough’ and ‘what if things turn out differently than you expected’ echoed endlessly within its walls?