Here we are with the final installment. It was so much fun to write this and I'm glad you guys enjoyed it as well. I would go on and thank everyone, but that would get long. So just…thanks!


Epilogue: Etcetera

"Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate." ~J.R.R. Tolkien


A 29-year-old Clare Goldsworthy sat at her kitchen table, flipping through the assorted mail items they'd received for that day. The sun shown brightly, casting its beams down on the mahogany table. She had left the curtains open so she could look out every now and then to see her husband, Eli and daughter Madison in their backyard. And at that exact moment, she looked up at the sight.

She watched as Madison's tumbleweed of golden hair bounced and swayed as she ran around. The joy on her face radiated off her smile and ocean-blue eyes. She saw the little girl turn around and face her father, laughing giddily.

Eli swooped his arms down and picked the small child up, lifting her into the air. He brought her down to eye level and gave her a peck on the cheek. She giggled again and returned it with a sloppy kiss on his forehead.

Clare grinned contently and looked back down at the mail. The letter on top was addressed to them from Tim and Laurie Bauman. She looked back outside for a second before breaking the seal and slipping the contents out.

She read through the letter carefully. It told about how Luke wanted to see Eli and Clare again. It had been a year and a half since their last visitation. It also told them to bring Madison with again, since he adored the little girl.

Without a second thought, Clare agreed by nodding to herself. She wanted to see him again too.

That very moment, Eli walked in, carrying Madison. He raised an eyebrow at the look on his wife's face as she read through the letter again. He stepped behind her and read over her shoulder.

"So when are we going to visit him?" he asked automatically. Clare looked up and stood.

"They said that anytime next week would be great," she answered. She looked at her daughter and reached out to her. Madison almost jumped into her mother's arms.

"Awe we gonna go see Luke again?" the 3 year old asked, excited. Clare nodded.

"Yup, Madi."

The little girl clapped happily and hugged her mom.


Luke Bauman had grown up to be a tall and lean teenager. He had long brown hair and shining blue-green eyes. His face was also dusted with a layer of light freckles. To many, at least 13-year-old girls, he was very handsome.

He had learned from an early age that he was adopted. He was 4 the first time he met Eli and Clare. He loved them. They were his parents after all. But it wasn't like they were his parents. He knew Laurie and Tim had taken that role. His biological parents were more like an aunt and uncle.

Sure, he had felt some bitterness when Madison was born. Why did they want her and not him? He felt like he'd just been thrown out. But Laurie quickly explained to him that Clare and Eli were only 15 and 16 when he was born. That made a little more since, but the rejection was still slightly there.

As he got into his pre-teen and early teen years, he really started to think of Clare and Eli as his parents more and more. He wanted to know everything about them. They were so fascinating! He would always send them letters asking about themselves. And whenever they met, which wasn't very often, he'd spend his time talking about what it was like when they were younger. Especially when he was born.

But the thing he loved more than that wasn't a thing at all. It was Madison. She was his little sister. She was beautiful and so full of life. The way she would hug him, even as a small two year old, had so much adoration in it that Luke couldn't help but love her.

He wanted so badly to become a part of their family again. He wanted to spend everyday with Clare and Eli and Madison. He wanted to be accepted as more than just their illegitimate mistake.

That was why, that particular time when he asked them to come, he was going to ask for them to retake custody of him. He knew it would break Tim and Laurie's hearts, but that didn't' matter to him.


The door to the Bauman's house opened and the first person to enter was Madison. She ran in and jumped right into Luke's arms, who was standing in the living room.

"You've gotten so big, Madi," he commented, lifting her up.

She nodded at him, "I've gwown two inches!"

He smiled and bounced her up and down. Eli and Clare trailed in after her. His face lit up when he saw them.

"Hey mom…hey dad," he greeted. He had called them that for two years now. They didn't seem to care too much.

"How are you doing?" Clare asked. She walked up to him and gave him a one armed hug.

"Great," he responded. He bit his lip and continued on, "I wanted to ask you guys something though…it's important."

Eli stepped up, "What?"

Luke sighed and faced both his parents, "I want you to retake custody of me. So we can be like a family…a real family."

The room was silent for the longest time. Eli and Clare looked at each other and tried to take in what the boy had just said. He wanted to be with them…not his adoptive parents. How could they say no?

"I don't know…" Clare trailed off.

"Yeah," Eli jumped in, "Isn't that a bit much?"

"I want to be with you guys. I don't wanna be here anymore…I want to be able to see you everyday…I want to be able to hug my sister…and play with her…"

Both the adults nodded. They were going to try. As hard as they could…

FIN


So there's the end. Feedback is heavily appreciated, as always.

I also have something for you guys. If you want to see what Eva, 13 Year Old Luke, and 3 Year Old Madison look like, they links are on my profile. I edited the pictures so tell me what you think about those too.