Hey! This is the last chapter of RL, and I just want to thank all of my reviewers! You guys are amazing! *virtually hugs all of my reviewers* I loved hearing ur inputs and encouragements! I hope u guys love the last chapter! Thanks for taking the time to read, review, and favorite this story.
Grace smiled at the sight of the happy Kappa Taus. The party was exactly how Rusty would've wanted it to be. There was beer bong, an ice luge, and body shots. There were also various games of Kappa Tau Towers going on everywhere. She had never understood the point of that game. Rusty told her he and Health had come up with the game one afternoon when they were bored. It continued on for three and a half hours. "The trick," Rusty had told her, "is all in what you put on the top. Everyone always goes for a bra, but it just doesn't balance right. I like to use Silly Putty at the top. Fun to smush on there and lightweight." Grace had laughed at him at the time. Now she wished more than anything he was in that party showing the actives how it was done. She did, however, get a good laugh in watching Heath trying to teach Gizard how to play properly.
Grace looked around the party for the people she had delivered letters to. Alana was playing scientist with some of the pledges. They had to act like animals and fight each other to test animal behavioral patterns, or at least that's what she had heard the little girl say. Grace had a sneaking suspicion she was just helping the actives haze the pledges. Rusty had always told her his niece had more Cappie in her than anyone realized. Casey and Cappie were snuggled together in a hammock a few feet away from their daughter. Casey looked surprisingly serene with her eyes closed and head laying against Cappie's chest. Grace noticed how Cappie brushed the stray hairs out of Casey's face and felt a sharp pain in her chest. Rusty used to do the same thing to her. Shaking off the memories engulfing her, she turned to see Ashleigh being spun around by Beaver. As crazy as that coupling actually sounded, it seemed to work. Beaver kept Ashleigh laughing, and Ashleigh made Beaver a little more mature. And then there was Dale. Grace cracked up laughing when she saw Dale drinking from the ice luge. At that moment, she had really wished Rusty had been alive simply so he could've seen his best friend drink from an ice luge. Calvin was nearby listening to the actives and pledges tell their funniest stories about Rusty. Grace could only imagine what those stories were like. It truly was the perfect party. All the people Rusty truly loved were present at Kappa Tau honoring his memory. Grace knew nothing would've made him prouder.
Knowing her work was done, she slowly started to walk towards her car which was parked way down by the Omega Chi house. Finally arriving at her car, Grace got in and turned it on. She sat there in silence for a few minutes before pulling at an envelope with her name written on it. She fingered it gently. It was Rusty's handwriting. It felt warm and familiar. Grace hesitated. She honestly couldn't decide whether to open up the envelope or not. On one hand, it doesn't even make a difference. Rusty is dead. He'll never know if she never read it. It's not like his ghost would come back from the dead to haunt her or anything.
On the other hand, Grace knew it would be disrespecting Rusty's memory if she just threw out the letter. Clearly, she had delivered all those letters for a reason. The people she had delivered them to had opened them for a reason. And now it was her turn. Grace took a deep breathe before gently opening the envelope, careful not to rip it. She was intent on saving as many of Rusty's things as possible. She slowly pulled the letter out and on smoothed it down. It said:
There are many things I would like to say to you in this letter, and I don't know if I'm going have enough time for them all, but I'll try. The first thing would probably be thank you. Thank you for finally giving into my relentless charm and going out on a date with me. Thank you for not slugging me for saying that I already had three important ladies in my life. Thank you for sticking with me despite all my obnoxious qualities. (Not that you don't possess anyone because you do, but this is supposed to be a thank you.) Thank you for making me a better man. Thank you for making me laugh and just enjoy life when I felt like it was passing me by. Thank you for taking my stubborn butt to a doctor, and thank you for trying to stay by my side even when I was pushing you away. Finally, thank you for the big favor I know you're doing now that I'm dead.
Now that I've got the thank yous out of the way, I can start with the apologies. I know you don't blame me for any of this, but I still need to apologize anyway. I'm sorry for getting sick and dragging you into the mess that is my life. I'm sorry for pushing you away when you were only trying to help me, and I'm sorry for letting you go. I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough to live, and I'm sorry I had to leave you behind. I'm sorry I had to give you the hardest job I could think of. I'm sorry I can't give you that fairytale life we talked about. Nice house, kids, a dog… I'm so sorry, Grace.
I love you, Grace, and since I love you, I'm going to give you some advice. Please let me go. I want you to fall in love again with a guy who treats you like a queen, and I want you two to have kids and grow old together. I want you to only think of me once a while and very fondly. I want you to do whatever will make you happy in your life and just light the world on fire. Just remember one thing: I love you, and I'll love you no matter where I am.
Grace put the letter down and just started crying. She cried and cried until every car by her had left the grounds. Once she finished crying, Grace got out a lighter and burned Rusty's letter. She took a shaky deep breath and exhaled. Living without Rusty would be hard, sure, but not impossible. Nothing was impossible. She was going to listen to Rusty and set the world on fire. And who knew? Maybe she would fall in love again. Or maybe she wouldn't. Either way, Grace felt a great burden lift off her shoulders. With a new sparkling confidence, she drove off the Cyprus Rhodes campus and towards her future. Rusty had left his legacy in all of them, and Grace was going to live her life to the fullest. For him.