Chapter 5

Caroline felt tired and thus, wanted to go straight to bed and sleep off the disastrous night. She now felt terrible, after the way she left Richard at Remos; nonetheless, she still felt anger towards him for what he said to her in that airport, believing he had tried to deny her a child. Of course Richard told her he didn't want any more, but Caroline headed for the opposite direction whilst Richard boarded the plane to Italy. Though now doubts were cast in her mind, as questions were now asked of Caroline's intentions: was it the fact that because Stefano was Julia's child, as opposed to hers, this would make Caroline extremely envious, not just towards the evil Julia but to Stefano as well? Although why feel the need to hate Stefano?- he did nothing wrong himself to Caroline, he is still a baby after all; if anything he was the product of Julia and Richard- NOT Caroline and Richard. However, the truth of the matter though was that Julia didn't want anything to do with Stefano having given birth to him and that because of her selfishness and evil intent, she had absolutely no interest in her son. Nor could she ever care about him, in a way that would remind her that she had a son, and so by giving up all her parental responsibilities, she was unfit to be ever deemed as a parent.

Caroline then shook off whatever bad thoughts she'd had and went upstairs to her bedroom; suddenly though, she heard a knock on the door of her apartment; she descended downstairs and headed for the door. When she did, she put her hand on the door knob. She then took a deep breath and afterwards, twisted the door handle; when she glanced up, Caroline saw Richard holding Stefano and felt a huge sigh of relief; Richard looked totally dishevelled and as if he hadn't slept for days, he had a look of misery on his face, it was as if he had been crying for hours almost. His sad expression however masked a feeling of relief, joy and content that he was looking forward to in the shape of Caroline and that he was ecstatic to see her face, as ever. Caroline, at first didn't know what to make of all this- an image had flashed before her eyes: of her pulling Richard into her apartment and kissing him and the two of them making out in her bedroom, tearing one another's clothes off. She then snapped back into reality and decided to speak out first

Caroline: (softly) Richard….

Richard: (softly) Caroline….

Caroline: I am so glad you came

Richard: You are? Why?

Caroline: Because, I want to say sorry for the events of tonight

Richard: Why should I believe you? I doubt you are being sincere with me

Caroline: I am! Why are you behaving like this? Why did you come, anyway?

Richard: I came seeing as I have nowhere else to go and no one else to turn to. Del, Annie, Reg, Charlie- they are all settled and happy

Caroline: And yet, you're not? Why should I be surprised?

Richard: You know what Caroline? Forget it- I better go

Caroline: Richard, wait! Come on in, please

Richard: Okay, I will (he enters inside and sits on the couch; he places Stefano next to him and adjusts him so that he is sitting alongside him)

Caroline: Are you feeling okay?

Richard: Me, of course I am. Everything is going great, I mean let's see, hmmm… I am now almost a fully fledged artist, I am a father to my wonderful child and oh yes, I have somewhere to stay. No, that would be wrong. I have nowhere else to go, although I could always go back to Italy though I don't think Mr. Mazzone would be happy about it. I have been evicted from my own place because I missed paying the rent of the last two months to my tenant, so technically speaking I officially don't have a roof over my and my son's head, and I have been miserable and my life without you is incomplete. But fear not, all is not lost because I will be leaving this miserable city and you will no longer have to stand and put up with my pain and suffering, anymore. There, I've finished

Caroline: Richard, you're going to be okay in the end, believe me

Richard: No, you don't understand Caroline. I love you, I have changed as a person, and I'll do anything for you, so long as you take me back. How many more times do I have to tell you this?

Caroline: Too many. We can't work this out, it's just too complicated

Richard: It's never that complicated- for four years, you have welcomed me with open arms and for me it took a considerable period of time to realize how much I had fallen for someone in you and for you to fall for a man in me. The problem was, that I was too preoccupied with my own negative thoughts to ever care about anything or anyone that has ever shown me so much compassion and love as you and Stefano

Caroline: Are you saying that you haven't given up on Stefano, on us?

Richard: Caroline, I admit I was and still am insecure in places and yes there were times where I have let you down and on occasions I felt ashamed of putting you through hell, that we argued on such petty issues. But it's mainly because of you and Stefano that you have instilled enormous confidence, hope and happiness in myself

Caroline: What about children, Richard?

Richard: I am all for it- and I am not just saying this; you know talk is cheap, and it will always remain cheap unless you make things happen, and I intend to make sure that this happens and do whatever it takes for us not to remain apart but rather for all of us to remain together

Caroline: Why did you come to the church?

Richard: I came to the church to see whether you have gotten over me for good by marrying Randy. You looked beautiful by the way, and when I was staring down at you, I had felt my chance with you had gone forever but then I smiled down at you and you smiled back at me and, I'd assumed that you were happy to see me again. I want to ask you Caroline, and please answer truthfully as well, would you have married Randy still, had I not turned up at your wedding ceremony?

Caroline: I don't have to answer that

Richard: Yes you do. I want a straight and honest answer from you. You know that for years I have been running away from my problems- and yet you were the one that assured me that I had to confront them; likewise, when I had to meet up with my dad for example after you had tried to reunite me and him together. Why, the change of heart, Caroline? And what the hell did Randy have to do with us, and OUR future?

Caroline: I was not running away, rather I had given up on you because I was sick of all the problems that plagued our relationship and as for Randy, I turned to him for comfort because he wanted children, and I couldn't say no to that

Richard: But you didn't love him really, did you? You weren't IN love with him

Caroline: No, I wasn't IN love with him and anyway, I have no intention in getting back with him. Though in regards to us there is just too much baggage and too many problems we'd experienced together

Richard: But we got through them still, didn't we? Isn't that a testament to our resolve? My resolve and your resolve, especially? Life is like that Caroline, I know you have said that I have to remain positive and overcome my fears, which I have done already but now you know what it was like for me when I was miserable, moody and sad. You experienced a lot of that yourself, am I right or am I right?

Caroline: You're right Richard

Richard: Caroline, I have something to read out to you

Caroline: Richard, no- its not gonna work. Whatever it is you're trying to do, I have moved on and I am not going to fall for your tricks again

Richard: This is NOT a trick rather it is a love letter that I wrote 3 years ago

Caroline: I am not in the least bit interested

Richard: Well, I am going to read it out to you, whether you want to hear it or not:

'dear Caroline, I don't know what I am writing so please bear with me. I know I am probably violating several rules of etiquette right before your wedding but I have feelings. Strong, strong feelings for you. I want to be with you. I want to share your laughter and wipe away your tears. If you feel the same way and if I have any chance with you at all, then come to Remos as soon as you can. You may not recognize me but if you walk through that door, I'll have a smile on my face previously unseen by anyone.

If you're not here by seven, then I'll know your answer is no'

Caroline: And so Richard, you wrote all that?

Richard: Yes, word by word of it, why do you ask?

Caroline: Because, even if you hadn't wrote it, would you have had felt the same way about me?

Richard: Yes, of course I do

Caroline: Now that I know about the letter, you'll probably want to know about the message that I left on your answering machine and what I said on it

Richard: That would be nice to know, but I want you to tell me what you said

Caroline: Okay, um, it was something on the lines of the fact that seeing as back then we were already friends and I had been wondering if it would've been possible if we could be more than friends and that there was an 'us' and that we could go out dating and stuff like that

Richard: You said all that on my machine?

Caroline: Yes

Richard: You were really in love with me?

Caroline: Yes… and so are you for real Richard? Have you really changed for the better? And more importantly, do you really want to have children with me and me only because I can understand if you don't

Richard: Caroline, (takes her hand) my answers are yes, yes and most certainly yes. I love you Caroline so much

Caroline: And I love you too Richard (the two embrace into each other's arms, only for Stefano to giggle in the background) and you Stefano as well, I haven't forgot about you either

Richard: Caroline, will you marry me?

Caroline: Yes, yes I will marry you Richard

Richard: (has a rare but broad smile on his face) I am so looking forward to raising a family with you as my wife. God, you are so beautiful

Caroline: Me too honey and oh you look kinda handsome yourself

Richard: Thanks! How would you feel if I asked you would you like to be Stefano's adoptive mother?

Caroline: This sounds wonderful, Richard. I'd be more than happy to oblige

Richard: Great. Now, we can finally say that we can now face our future, but this time as a family

Caroline: This is the love you never have to question

Richard: You've echoed my sentiments exactly and so perfectly as well, sincere amore Caroline

Caroline: Sincere amore Richard

The pair kiss and spend the rest of the night in Caroline's bed, naked in each other's arms; a month later Caroline and Richard tie the knot together in Peshtigo with guests Del, Annie, Remo, Charlie, Reg in attendance and Caroline's family, as well as Richard's sister and estranged parents, Natalie and Ben. Afterwards, Caroline and Richard depart in a limo spending their honeymoon as newlyweds. A few months later, Julia is nowhere to be seen in Italy, in fact her whereabouts were and still are unknown, whilst Randy, well who cares about him, anyway. Relationship wrecker he was too, alongside Julia. Caroline officially becomes Stefano's newly adopted mother after signing Stefano's adoption papers and thus Caroline, Richard and Stefano all commence life as a family together and thus, they all lived happily ever after

THE END