Part 8

continued...

'Caroline please say something', Richard urged. Caroline said nothing. He had begged and pleaded with her to give him one more oppportunity to make amends for what he did to her- though now, he was on the verge of tears:

'You know what Caroline? Stefano may have lost his own mother through her neglect and her selfishness, which has blinded her to the point that she is a disgrace to her son. But you can be part of his future- OUR future as a family. If you love him, as much as I do, then you wouldn't hold it against him, would you?'.

To Caroline, she had heard all this before, and now it got to a point where she had got sick of hearing it; she had been through so many highs with Richard, but it was the lows of their relationship and the bitter-yet often petty squabbles they had to endure and put up with from each other, which had outweighed the positive aspects of that relationship, that had Caroline despairing. As she watched the tears fall down on Richard's face that no sooner her emotions and feelings got the better of her; as she too broke down. Both Richard and Caroline were hurting deep inside; they had hurt each other, as well as saying and doing things to get back one another, -yet they'd still loved each other.

Richard didn't help matters when he'd allowed his insecurities and differences of opinion, to affect Caroline in a negative way, not to mention his reluctance to change as a person overnight. He even tried to distance himself away from her; believing that his problems were of his own making and that he wanted to deal with those problems, without her help. The fear and failure for when things go wrong however, in relation to his childhood problems, was what had scared Richard, most of all. For her especially, the truth was that change had to come from within himself- and not due to, nor because of Caroline herself. He knew that he had to convince himself that every cloud has a silver lining and that with Caroline and Stefano by his side, he was capable of making positive things happen, within his and their own lives.

Caroline, on the other hand, had to put up with Richard's issues and differences of opinion. Particuarly that of children and of whom had to suffer, as a result of his issues and problems. At times, she was naive in regards to some of Richard's past problems, which often attributed to his differences with Caroline. As she reflected once again on her leaving Richard and walking away from him, at the airport, she had realised the extent of his feelings, as well as those of her own. The challenge they have to face together, is one where not only do they have to work through and discuss their problems, with each other, but rather they had to be there for and believe in each other. And that they loved each other enough to be able to get through life and make significant progress together; both as a couple and as a family.

She didn't hesitate in responding to Richard's line of questioning:

'Richard, I know we have been down this road before, but I want to say that as I get older, I've come to realise that I am not gonna get as many chances and get married, settle down and have children, as these are few and far between. However, with us, perhaps I was being too negative. I cannot imagine my future without someone, who has been so supportive and who has loved me the way that you have done. I would love to be part of Stefano's future- if you would be so understanding as to change.'

Richard had heard the words he'd been dying to hear from her; and that those were that she so longed to be part of their future together, which enthused and enticed Richard to no end.

She wanted reassurance from Richard that he would be able to make those changes and become a better person, because of it: 'I want to see you change and I believe it will happen over time, and I want to be the person to help you do that. But you have to realise that I want children and I want to end up having a family of my own.'

Though I guess I would be deluding myself, if I hadn't said that I love you too much that it pains me to think how i'd ever cope without you. I just couldn't.', she added.

And with that in mind, Richard grabbed her hand, pulled her towards him and kissed her. He then got down on one knee to propose to her and produced a ring in front of her very eyes.

'Caroline, would you please be my wife?', He went.

'Yes Richard, i'd love to. I am so proud of you Richard. I love you.', cried Caroline as tears formed in her eyes again, but this time they were tears of joy and celebration.

Richard couldn't be any more happier as he was already and a smile appeared on his face-only this time it was longer than he ever thought it would last: 'Stefano's gonna love you as much as I do. Thanks Caroline. And I love you too'.

They kissed each other passionately as the hours ticked away; hungrily, lovingly, tenderly. It was non-stop almost. The years of hurt and the incessant feuds, which rocked them melted away, as they fell into bed naked and made love to one another, later on that same night. A couple of weeks later, Richard set aside some of the money he made from his paintings for Caroline, and she used it to buy a pair of plane tickets for her parents to fly all the way to Italy, where Caroline and Richard had a relatively low- key wedding ceremony, with a few friends and relatives in attendance, including Del, Annie, Charlie, Remo and Reg, as well as little Stefano himself. Thankfully, Randy and Julia were no where to be seen, as the newlyweds exchanged vows at the altar; Richard kissed the bride and the couple got into a limo and began celebrating their honeymoon together. When they got back from their honeymoon, Caroline and Richard with his son decided to settle in Italy and start a new life, as a family.

And thus, they all lived happily ever after.

THE END