"To Emilie and Jeff" Steve, Emilie's drummer, said holding up a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels towards the happy couple sitting on the old worn out couch. "May the beginning of your new life not be the total end of your old one."
"At least not the end of skin tight leather pants and cut off tank tops." Bobby the bassist laughed as everyone clicked their glasses together.
It was Emilie's last week in New York so everyone had decided to throw her a good-bye party and since her cousin was the bartender at the world famous CBGB's they couldn't think of a better place. They had even managed to get the headlining spot on the card of performers for the night. Emilie just hoped it wouldn't be their last performance. She had sworn to the boys that her relocation to North Carolina would not mean the end of the band. It was going to be difficult but she was willing to make whatever sacrifice it took to keep performing with the band while adjusting to her new existence with Jeff. Jeff had even offered the crew of misfits full access to the private studio he had built in his backyard, to record their first album. Still, things were about to change big time for Emilie. She would no longer spend everyday with the always entertaining Olympic crew. She would no longer spend her weekends playing with the band all over the local club scene. And she would no longer awake every morning to the beloved city that she had adored her whole life. Yet despite that chilling reality Emilie wasn't afraid. For the first time in her life she had no doubt in her mind that she was making the right decision. She looked over at the man sitting next to her. A sweet smile crept across her face as her eyes followed along the lines of his perfectly chiseled chin. She couldn't believe it was possible to love someone so much. Even after everything they had been through together he still managed to send every one of her senses into overdrive. Jeff turned his head toward Emilie's gaze.
"What?" he asked, noticing her smiling at him.
"Nothing, I'm just so happy."
"Me too." He put his hand on her, softly rubbing his palm over her knuckles. "Oh," he said suddenly remembering something "I got you a gift."
"What is it?"
"Come with me and you'll see." Jeff rose and took Emilie by the hand, leading her over to a bar stool where his bag was sitting on. He unzipped the black material and rummaged through the contents of the bag until he pulled over a box, gift wrapped in brightly decorated paper. She took the box from her hand , examining it closely. It was too large to be piece of jewelry yet too small to be some sort of musical instrument.
"You didn't have to do this."
"Open first, then comes the gratitude." She took a seat on the now vacant bar stool tearing at the paper until she reached the plain cardboard box inside. Using her nails she ripped open the tape sealed box, revealing her present. Her breathe caught in her throat at the sight of her gift. With slightly shaky hands she reached inside and pulled out the brand new SLR Cannon camera.
"It's a standard manual and automatic SLR, but I'm not too sure what that means. The guy at the store said it was one of the best models for photography. You can change the shutter speed and the aperture, but again I don't really know what that means." Jeff searched Emilie's face for some sort of reaction but her eyes where glued on the camera since she had opened it. "I can't really tell if you like it or not."
Finally she looked up at him, her eyes faintly teary.
"You did this for me?"
"Well I figured that since you really don't have to work you could have the time start taking pictures again. We could move the animals out of the basement and turn it into a dark room…I just wanted to do something to thank you."
"Thank me for what?"
"For loving me." Without another word Emilie threw her arms around Jeff. Embracing him as tightly as she could.
"I love you Jeff."
"I love you too Emilie."