Author's Note: I have to admit that I'm not really so obsessed with South Park anymore. Don't get me wrong, I still watch the new episodes on Wednesday nights (I freaking LOVED It's a Jersey Thing. I thought it was absolutely hilarious. XD), but I'm definitely nowhere near as infatuated with this show as I used to be just a few years ago. I'll always continue to watch it, though, because I do enjoy the show, but I probably won't write for it as much.
Anyway, here you go: the final chapter of this fic. Back to Cartman's POV. Takes place about a year later. Enjoy.
Because I Love You
Chapter Ten: Epilogue
I don't know why I'm here right now. I really, really fucking don't. I'm seriously, I've got like, a million other things I could be doing right now. Like...
...taking care of my cat...
All right, so maybe I don't have anything better to do right now. I mean, the only thing I've really got going for me as of right now is my job. Which isn't saying much. Like, at all. Sure, I got promoted to manager, and I'm making a much more decent salary than what I used to make – not to mention, I get to boss people around now. I get to yell at the waiters when they fuck something up...which is pretty sweet, I have to admit – but, besides that, nothing in my life has really changed.
I still live in that small, crappy apartment in the small, crappy town of South Park.
I still don't talk to anyone I went to school with. Except for Kyle, that is, and sometimes Kenny.
Everything's the same. The exact fucking same.
So I guess, maybe, that alone does explain why I'm here right now, why I'm standing outside of this ridiculously huge, fancy ass building, listening to the annoyingly loud music that's booming inside of it, with my hands jammed inside my coat pockets as I pace back and forth, waiting.
Waiting for you know who.
I'm just grateful that it's one of those rare, not too hot or too cold nights. I don't even really need to be wearing a coat right now. After all, it's mid-March, right around the beginning of Spring, and there's a warm breeze that actually feels kinda nice as it blows against my face.
I finally stop pacing, being sure to stand completely still as I take a moment to breathe in deeply, allowing the fresh air to fill my lungs. As I slowly breathe out, I can feel a small smirk shaping across my mouth as a somewhat random thought suddenly crosses my mind.
I bet she planned out this day to perfection.
She's a goddamn freak like that. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that she planned out this whole fucking wedding so goddamn accordingly, down to every minuscule and unimportant detail that only a crazy, high-maintenance chick like her would make a fuss about. I can totally fucking picture her making all of these arrangements, picking out flowers and centerpieces and basically all of that other unnecessary shit that only girls care about. Psychotic girls. Girls like her.
But as soon as she enters my mind again, my smirk widens, and I let out a snort of hopeless laughter.
Because, really, who the fuck am I kidding?
Only myself, that's who.
Here I am, standing outside this building where Stan and Wendy's fucking wedding reception is currently going on. Not the ceremony, but the actual reception. That alone shows just how truly pathetic I am, how stupid it was for me to even bother showing up here right now...
I mean, she's already fucking married, for Christ's sake.
So, I'm sure the question you're just dying to fucking ask me right now is: if I'm fully aware of all of this, then why the fuck am I being such an idiot by wasting my time to get all dressed up, drive nearly four fucking hours to get here, only to stand around waiting for almost a fucking hour now...all for this chick who totally and completely rejected me last year?
Well, like I've already said, nothing's changed. So, you know, I really don't think I need to spell it out for you, do I? Because I'd honestly rather not. If I do tell you, it'll only make me seem like more of a fucking loser. And anyway, I'm sure you're not that stupid that you can't just figure it out on your own. Right? I mean, the last thing I wanna do here is underestimate your amazing intelligence.
I pull my hand out of my pocket to take a glance at my watch. Almost midnight. I let out a groan and angrily shove my hand back into my pocket. Fuck, this is so annoying. I really hate waiting. Can't fucking stand it. How much longer am I gonna have to wait around? Seriously, this is starting to piss me off.
Not to mention, I'm getting kinda hungry...
With a long sigh, I turn my back to the building and begin walking away from it.
Fuck this already. It was stupid for me to come. I'm just gonna head back home to South Park, where I can cuddle with Mr. Fluffy Kitty on my crappy little futon couch. I'll probably just grab something to eat while I'm driving home...maybe a burger or something...ooh, or maybe tacos...
...hmm...or maybe even...
I freeze. Literally stop mid-fucking step, my heart practically stopping along with the rest of my body.
God, fuck my fucking life. Seriously.
As casually as I possibly fucking can, I turn around, trying my absolute hardest to stay calm, cool, and collected.
But, of course, that doesn't work out. Not at all. Because, the second I'm turned completely around, and I lay eyes on her, I feel my mouth go fucking dry. My heart swells inside my chest, and it starts beating super fast. Like, faster than I've ever felt it beat in a long, long time.
Well, maybe not that long...
For a moment – which feels a lot more like a goddamn eternity – I just fucking stand there without saying anything, just gawking at her like some kind of retarded, wide-eyed fish.
She looks...absolutely, positively, amazingly fucking...
Her wedding dress is long and flowing and silky-looking, and it's hugging her curves in just the right spots, and it's got these frills and lace at the top, with some sparkles that trail towards the bottom. And her hair is tumbling down her shoulders in these long, loose curls. Some of it is pinned back, showing off more of her face, but there are still a few loose strands hanging on either side of her face. They frame her features just right. And she's wearing a shit ton of makeup, and her eyes are shining, and her smile is perfectly white, and...
God, she's fucking glowing right now.
I can hear her shoes click-clacking against the cement beneath her feet as she walks up to me, and it's when she finally stops in front of me that I somehow, magically, find my voice.
"Hi," I say, barely able to recognize my own fucking voice.
'Keep it cool, Eric,' I quickly remind myself. 'This may be your last chance.'
"Hi," she says back, her voice sounding just as meek and unsure as mine.
We stare at each other for a while – which, again, feels more like forever. I wonder if it feels that long to her...
Finally, though, I open my mouth to say something, just as she goes and opens her mouth at the same time. Immediately, I close mine, and she does the same.
"Sorry," I mutter, feeling my cheeks getting warmer. "You go first."
"I just..." she starts to say, only to trail off.
I don't say anything, and instead decide to wait patiently for her to start again. Her eyes trail away from mine for a moment, and she begins chewing on her lower lip. She's uncomfortable. Of course she's fucking uncomfortable. I am, too, but...I highly doubt it's for the same reason she is.
She eventually stops biting her lip and lets out a small sigh, at last looking me in the eyes again.
"It's good to see you," she says, and, surprisingly, it doesn't come out forced and awkward. She actually sounds...sincere. Maybe even a little nervous.
And, although I'm admittedly caught off guard by her statement, I'm quick to respond to it.
"It's good to see you, too," I say with a bit more confidence in my tone.
After that, we fall into yet another awkward silence, both of us diverting our gazes, struggling to look fucking anywhere but at each other. I can feel my face heating up more and more with each passing second, and it doesn't feel good at all. In a sudden bold decision, I clear my throat and look at her again, and she looks at me, too.
"You look amazing, Wendy," I blurt out, at this point no longer giving a fuck anymore. My face suddenly feels like it's on fire, but I ignore it as I continue, "And I just...I think you're amazing. And I just wanna say that I'm sorry for all those times I called you a bitch or a whore or any other fucking insult I've ever used. And I'm also sorry for treating you so badly, and for all the crazy shit that happened last year. And I'm especially sorry if I ever made you feel hurt or scared or angry or...whatever. And I'm just...I'm sorry I wasn't able to tell you all of this stuff sooner." I've long since dropped my gaze from her to instead fix my eyes to the ground, since I don't dare look her in the eyes right now. "I'm just not good at this kind of stuff, you know...expressing my feelings and shit. But I just...I've always wanted to tell you that I..."
I pause for a second here, before lifting my eyes and looking right into hers.
"I love you."
My heart practically jumps out of my chest the moment I finish saying those words. Now, I'm just staring right at her, my heart racing like I've just finished running a marathon in the fucking Olympics, and she's staring back at me, her gorgeous eyes wide and her cheeks slightly flushed.
And then, she takes me completely by fucking surprise as she slowly brings her arms up and wraps them around my neck. I feel like I'm about to pass out as she presses her warm body against mine. I can smell her sweet, flowery perfume, and it's making my head spin, and I feel like I'm fucking dreaming or something.
I exhale a breath that I didn't even realize I was holding in, and slowly, I wrap my own arms around her back. I hug her close to me, inhaling her sweet scent as I close my eyes. Her chest is so closely pressed to mine that I can feel her heart beating, and it's definitely beating no where near as fast as mine, and I'm sure she doesn't feel like she's about to faint...
...but that's all right.
"Thank you," she whispers against my ear, and again I feel my heart jump.
Because I know she's not thanking me for what I just said.
She's thanking me for what I did for her. For letting Stan go, for letting her go, for giving them their chance to get married and spend the rest of their lives together, the way she always wanted...
...and I can't help but smile, just a little bit.
Because I know that her happiness is partly because of me.
And, in this moment, that's all I can really ask for.
"If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they're yours. If they don't, they never were."
Author's Note: :(
I realize that the quote I put in at the end there is extremely cliché, but...I dunno, I just felt like it fit so perfectly with this story that I just had to use it.
Thank you so much to each and every one of you for reading and reviewing my story! ^_^ I love you all!