Once the vows are exchanged, calmness settles over me. I know I’m right where I should be, where I was destined to be. Everything I’ve endured over my life was meant to happen. It helped mould me into the man I am today. It makes me appreciate everything I have now, so much more.
For the majority of my life, I only knew the love of one person, my mother. Now I’m surrounded by it. I feel like the richest man in the world. Finally I’m whole. It’s taken twenty-six years to get here, but I’ve finally arrived. From this day forward I no longer consider myself a bastard. I have a mother and a father who love me just as much as I love them. I have the woman of my dreams by my side, my son Jaxson whom I adore, and our second child on the way. Life couldn’t be sweeter. My heart is so full, there’s no longer any room for the darkness that once consumed me. Thanks to my sunshine, Indiana, I’m filled with light …
Right down to the very depths of my soul.
After we eat, our parents head to the dance floor for the bridal waltz. They’re dancing to ‘Only you’, sung by The Platters. Indi and I stand beside the dance floor and watch them. They look so happy. I snake my arms around my wife’s waist from behind, resting my chin on her shoulder as I gently rub her belly.
“Are you happy?” I ask, turning my head slightly to place a soft kiss on her cheek.
“Extremely,” she sighs, lacing her fingers over the top of mine.
“Same.” My smile grows, because fuck me, I am. Indiana suddenly tilts her body to the right, as her gaze moves down to the floor.
“Shit,” I hear her mumble.
“What’s wrong, babe?” I ask following her line of sight. She doesn’t even need to answer because I can see it for myself. Panic rises within me. Here we fucking go again.
“My water just broke.”
Oh fuck …
Nineteen. There is something about that number that not only brought us together, but bonded us forever. For a time though, it even tore us apart.
The 19th of January, 1996. I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.
Exactly nineteen years later, all my dreams came true when she became my wife. The love of my life—my soulmate. She was my everything. The reason I looked forward to waking up every morning.
Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, she was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma nineteen hours later, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.
I was crushed. She was my air, and without her I couldn’t breathe.
The sparkle that once glistened her eyes when she looked at me, was gone. To her, I was now a stranger. I’d not only lost my wife, I’d lost my best friend. I refused to let this tragedy be the end of us. That’s when I started writing her letters. Stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we had experienced together throughout our lives.
What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.
Nineteen letters—that was all it took for her to see we were meant to be.
This is our story ...