Last Time: Madison got her memory back, but also got something more. She finally came to a decision. So now it's time…for this all to end.
Making A Choice: Part 10
He didn't know what to expect that day. He heard that Madison got her memory back the night before and he couldn't be happier. But today, he got a call from Madison to meet her in Penguin Park. Of course he couldn't refuse. But he wondered why she called him there.
He started to get a sinking feeling. Maybe…she made a choice. It may have been just paranoia, but he was starting to believe that Madison finally came to a decision. Maybe she decided…that she didn't want to love him. That was his fear.
Then he saw her. She looked as beautiful as ever as her long hair flowed in the wind. She was holding a violet in her hand and had her eyes closed. She seemed to be deep in thought. Probably thinking about the right words to say.
"I'm glad you're here," Madison began. "So…I guess you've heard the good news. I got my memory back."
He wanted to say something, but Madison hushed him by holding her hand up.
"Please…don't speak. I…have something I want to say and it just can't wait anymore. Ever since this whole thing started, I've just wanted to crawl into a hole and die. This wasn't something I could deal with…choosing between two people who love me very much. But…I've been running too much. And it's time I confront this…and deal with any outcome that results from it.
"I guess I should thank Sakura. Using the Dream Card was a great idea. Not only did it help bring my memory back…but it also helped me see who I truly love. I'm sorry I waited this long to tell you. And I'm sorry if I scared you. I wasn't sure who to choose. But now I've made my choice. And I have never been so sure about anything in my life.
Before he could say anything, Madison kissed him. It was all he wanted ever since this whole ugly incident started. Now there was no confusion. Madison knew who she loved. She loved him.
And that made ERIOL very happy.
Three Days Later
"So how did he take it?"
"I had to let him down gently, Sakura," Madison replied over the phone. "It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I couldn't stand to hurt Tori like that. But…I love Eriol. And that'll never change."
A day had passed since Madison let Tori down and told him that they could never be together. Tori was heartbroken and that was exactly what Madison was afraid of. She didn't want to hurt him, but they all had to face reality. Madison couldn't love them both. And she made her choice. She chose Eriol.
But Madison also realized something. She heard it from Li. He told her that Sakura had taken a side in this whole thing. And that made Madison feel awful.
"S-Sakura? I know how much you wanted…me and Tori to happen. I'm sorry."
"Madison, don't worry about it. All that matters is that you're happy. Besides, we'll always be sisters, no matter what. We don't need anything to make it official. We'll always know it in our hearts. I'm just glad to see you happy again. And if you had to choose someone besides Tori, I'm glad it was Eriol."
"Thanks, Sakura. You don't know how much that means to me."
"So I assume that you and Eriol are going steady now?"
"Y-Yeah. I guess we are. It just hasn't sunk into me yet. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way."
"That is so wonderful. I'm so happy for you, Madison. It couldn't have happened to a better person."
Madison smiled. "I guess I'm starting to understand the way you feel about Li. I've never experienced these emotions myself. I feel so…happy."
"I'm glad to hear that. So are we still on for that double date tonight?"
"Of course! We'll all meet by Li's guesthouse. I'll see you later, Sakura."
"Ok. Bye, Madison."
Madison hung up and sighed. She really was happy. But at the same time, she felt something eating away at her.
She wished Tori didn't have to come out of this the loser. She wished there was something she could have done.
Eriol felt awfully proud of himself as he approached Madison's front gate. It was the closest call he had ever had. He never wanted to come that close to losing Madison ever again. He didn't need Suppi nagging him throughout the day at the apartment. Eriol learned an important lesson. He wouldn't take his relationship for granted again.
Eriol was about to go through the front gate. He was going to meet everyone at Li's guesthouse, as planned, but someone else had another idea.
"So she picked you?"
Eriol turned to find Tori Avalon standing there by the gate. He seemed to have a somber look on his face, but still maintained his usual exterior. He didn't look sad, but he didn't look happy, either. He looked like a man defeated; a man who had his heart crushed. He was a man who was hurting deeply, but didn't want to show it.
"Yeah…" Eriol finally said. "Um…look, I'm sorry it came to this. I know how you must be feeling."
"You know that there's only one thing left for me to do," Tori said somberly.
Tori reached into his pocket and slowly pulled out…a ring. It was a shiny emerald ring. Tori put the ring in Eriol's hand.
"I won't need this anymore," Tori said. "So go ahead and give to Madison. Think of it as my way of saying…good luck."
Eriol was in shock. Tori was graceful in defeat…offering Eriol a ring to give to Madison. But Eriol felt bad. Tori must have had this ring for a long time. He must have had it ready to give to Madison, but…then Eriol showed up. He didn't know what to think of this.
So all he said was, "Thank you."
Tori bowed his head as he turned to walk away. "I wish you two the best."
Eriol waited a moment as he watched Tori fade away into the distance. It was a selfless thing for him to do. And Eriol didn't know how to thank him. Maybe there was no way he could thank him, because this was a gift unlike any other. But maybe Tori also gave Eriol the greatest gift he could give him.
Tori acknowledged Eriol and Madison's love for each other…and accepted it.
This wasn't exactly making Tori feel any better. He already gave up the ring he meant to give Madison before Eriol ever arrived. He already acknowledged their love for each other. Tori would be happy…as long as Madison was happy. So why did he feel so bad?
Tori just drowned his sorrows in a few mocha lattes down at the coffee shop, but it wasn't long before someone else found him.
It was Nakuru. "Are you going to be ok?"
"I don't know," Tori answered honestly. "I really can't tell you, because I just don't know."
"Tori, you'll be ok," Nakuru offered. "Just be glad that Madison's going to be happy. And I know Eriol better than anybody. He'll never let anything happen to her. He'll always love her."
"I know," Tori muttered softly. "I was so sure about this, though. Why does this happen, Nakuru? I thought true love always prevailed?"
"It does," Nakuru said, with a glimmer of hope in her eye. "You just have to know where to find it. And sometimes…it's literally staring you right in the face."
Something hit Tori like a ton of bricks. It was unbelievable. After all these years, Nakuru was still hitting on him. So he got up and started to walk out.
"Nice try," he mumbled. "But maybe I need to think about this at home."
Tori needed some time to himself now. But as he reached the door of the coffee shop, he looked back at the table to see Nakuru grinning. She seemed to be so sure of herself. Tori couldn't believe it. It's as if nothing had changed.
Nakuru was as delusional as ever.
After subtly suggesting that Sakura take Li to his guesthouse, Madison stood on her front porch alone with Eriol. He gently held her hands and looked into her eyes. Madison couldn't help but smile that sweet smile of hers.
"I just love that," Eriol said. "Makes my heart melt."
"You're so sweet," Madison squealed. "Nothing like earlier at the restaurant."
"You know how I get around Li," Eriol said innocently. "I can't resist putting something in his food." He sighed contentedly. "You know…back in London…I'd dream of having nights like this with you. Now it looks like my wish has come true."
"Mine, too," Madison smiled. Then they kissed each other.
Eriol grinned. "And you know…I look forward to more nights like this."
Madison giggled. "It's so good to have you back."
They kissed again under the night's sky, but just then…
"Well, it's nice to see this is all over."
The kiss broke abruptly as Madison and Eriol peered into the nearby bush to see…Kero.
"I just wanted to make sure this all worked out," Kero continued. "I mean…I do kinda feel responsible for starting all this."
"Don't worry about it, Kero," Madison said comfortingly. "You were just trying to be a good friend. I thank you for that."
"I don't," Eriol said a little bitterly. "You caused a lot of trouble for me. You know how close I came to losing her because of you?"
"Ok…I deserve that," Kero sighed. "I never should have suggested that Madison go out with Tori. Is there any way I can make up for it?"
Eriol smirked evilly. "Just leave us with our…privacy."
Kero sighed. "All right, all right, I can take a hint. I'll leave you two alone. Maybe I can go spend some time with Sakura and Li."
Just then…something sounded all the way from the area around Li's guesthouse.
"Not until you stop running!"
"It's not like you can catch me! HA!"
Everyone on Madison's front porch sweatdropped. Eriol and Madison exchanged glances and wondered if finding privacy would be harder than they thought. They loved each other very much. But their love couldn't equal the love Li and Sakura shared…yet. Eriol shook his head and shouted out into the distance…
"GET A ROOM!!"
Madison took hold of Eriol's chin and tried an evil smile of her own. "You know…maybe we should take that advice ourselves."
Loving that idea, Eriol and Madison kissed again. They were ready to work some tongue until…the front door flew open.
Madison looked at the figure standing behind the door. Her eyes dotted and she sweatdropped.
Author's Note: After all the feedback I've gotten, I'm convinced that this is the best story I've written! Looking back at it, I just LOVE it! But IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT I THINK! It matters what YOU think! So tell me! How'd you like it? What'd you think?
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