Oh. My. Goddess. It's done. Officially. Like, this epilogue is it. Dear Molly is finally being drawn to a close.
I have to say, I'm kind of a mixture between sad and relieved. Sad because a popular story that I've thoroughly enjoyed writing is ending, but relieved 'cause I don't have to worry about updating it again, and can therefore feel at least a little bit fulfilled with my fanfiction writing, since I've been gone for the longest time x). So, does this kind of make up for my absence? Sort of? A little bit xD?
Anywho, I hope you enjoy the epilogue to Dear Molly. This is not a letter; it actually takes place about fifty or sixty years after the letters were written. Just to clarify; Theo and Alice and Molly and Luke's grandchildren (their daughter, Avery, married Roy, and these are their kids, although you really don't need to know that part). If it helps you to envision them, I picture Alice like Luke's 'Older Daughter' in game and Theo like Luke's 'Younger Son' in game.
Here's a picture for reference: albums/ff162/Kachimak/Harvest%20Moon%20Pics/IMG_000031_
Now, enough preliminary stuff; I'll let you read what you came here to read ;). Enjoy!
The boy laughed maniacally to himself. He knew his plan was genius, but who could've guessed it would work out so perfectly?
The whole thing had gone off without a hitch. He couldn't remember how long he'd spent spying on Alice from around the wall corner that afternoon at their grandparents' house. An hour, two hours, a million years maybe? Standing and waiting until, finally, when she opened the toy box, he spotted his goal; the airplane.
But this wasn't just any airplane, because Theo the Extremely Awesome, as he had officially deemed himself, would not stand around waiting for any old airplane. No, this was the airplane given to them by their grandfather from when he was around their age. It was made of shiny brass that sparkled when you held it up towards light, and it had a propeller that actually spun! Never in his six years of living could Theo recall seeing another toy airplane with a spinning propeller.
Of course, Grandpa Luke had intended the airplane to be for both him and his sister. But when Theo's grandmother saw it, she decided that he would have to wait until he was older to play with it. When Theo asked why, she gave him quite the long winded explanation which he, being a six year old, didn't absorb very much of. Something about 'always breaking things' and 'too much like your grandfather'. He couldn't really remember the details.
Ever since then, the shiny brass airplane became Theo's central focus. Every step he took, every careful movement, all of it in order to get closer to the plane he wanted so badly to play with. He was finally able to seize an opportunity when Alice, removing the plane from her toy box as Theo watched from afar, was called out of the room for a moment by their grandmother asking for some help with the dishes.
He wasted no time. As soon as Alice was out of sight, Theo ran in and grabbed the plane, relishing the way the smooth surface felt in his hands. He must've made it about halfway up the creaky wooden stairs before the call of, "THEO!" followed by the sound angry footsteps reached his ears.
"That's Theo the Extremely Awesome to you!" he cried from the top of the stairs, triumphantly waving the captured airplane in the air as Alice came into view below him.
"Give me back my plane!" she shouted, amber eyes flashing angrily.
"It's not your plane, dummy. It doesn't have your initials on it." He pointed out matter-o-factly, but Alice wouldn't have it. Instead of cowering in fear of his awesomeness, as Theo had hoped she would, Alice was walking up the stairs towards him.
"Give. It. Back." She said as she grew increasingly close to her little brother. Theo gulped nervously; Alice certainly could be intimidating when she felt up to it. But he could show no fear. Extremely awesome people aren't scared of anything!
He smiled tauntingly at her before dashing off down the hallway. "Make me!" he shouted as the sound of his sister's feet picked up behind him. Theo ran as fast as his legs could carry him through every nook and cranny of their grandparents' upstairs level. He barreled through doorways and darted around corners, but Alice wouldn't give up chase. In the end, he found himself backed up against the wall at the end of the hallway, a dead end, with seemingly no chance of escape. However, just as he was about to hand over the airplane, Theo noticed a thin rope hanging just above his head. When he looked up, he realized that the rope was attached to a small door in the ceiling, probably leading up to an attic. Never in his many explorations of his grandparents' home had he noticed the thin, dangling rope. On any other occasion, he would've treated it with caution. But now, out of all other options, he yanked the rope without hesitation.
Theo delighted in the way Alice's eyes widened when the door in the ceiling opened, letting down a foldable staircase that Theo wasted no time in climbing. He barely had time to take in the dusty room he'd stumbled upon, however. No sooner had he reached the top of the stairs than Alice came up from behind and, in an attempt to grab the plane from his hands, fell on top of him. Both were sent tumbling to the ground, bumping into a pile of cardboard boxes in the process, the highest of which came toppling down and landed on the ground beside them.
"Owww…" Theo moaned, bringing a hand to his head as he sat up. "Jeez, Alice, you gotta watch where you're going. This is how people get hurt, ya know."
"Watch where I'm going? You're the one who took my plane! If this is anyone's fault, it's yours. And how'd you know about this place anyway? I didn't know this was a part of grandma and grandpa's house…"
Theo just shrugged. "I didn't know about it until you had me cornered. Desperate times call for pulling mysterious ropes hanging from the ceiling!" he said, giving a toothy grin, to which Alice rolled her eyes in response.
After a few more moments of observation, Alice spoke again. "It's an attic." she deduced.
"It's spooky." Theo decided. "Everything up here is so…old."
"You got that right." Alice nodded in agreement, picking up one of the papers that had fallen from the box next to her. "I wonder how old these are?"
"Ooh! Maybe they're five years old! Or ten! Or maybe they're…" he paused for dramatic effect, "…twenty years old. Wouldn't that be cool, Alice? If we found stuff that was twenty whole years old? That's more than you and I put together!"
"They're probably even older than that. Now be quiet; I'm trying to read what it says."
"Dear Molly. Today was your first day in Castanet. It was also the first day I laid eyes on—"
"What are you two doing up here, making all this noise? It seems like every time you visit you manage to stumble upon something…" a new voice caught the siblings by surprise. The two of them looked up to find their grandmother staring down at them. Her stare was not accusatory; on the contrary, her eyes sparkled with a mild curiosity that was still visible from behind thickly framed glasses.
"Well, for starters, Theo took my plane." Alice said, sending her brother a piercing glare before looking back at their grandmother. "I had to chase him all around the upstairs floor before I finally cornered him, but then he pulled a rope in the ceiling, and we wound up here!"
Their grandmother shook her head, smiling to herself. "Honestly, Theo, you're exactly like your grandfather; neither of you ever ceases to amaze me with the amount of mischief you cause on a daily basis."
"What can I say? Mischief's my middle name!" Theo said with unmistakable pride in his voice.
"Oh, really? 'Cause I thought your middle name was Dale." Alice said, smiling smugly.
"I-I knew that!" Theo shouted, suddenly flustered. "My full name is Theo the Extremely Awesome Mischief Dale Carpenter! Right, grandma?"
Their grandmother laughed, a sweet sound, almost like a bell. "Right, Theo. You're absolutely right." Her attention was then drawn to the paper in Alice's hands, and the several like it that were scattered about the floor, presumably having fallen out of an empty cardboard box laying off to the side. "What is that you're reading, Alice? Most of these boxes are just old holiday decorations from back when Hamilton was mayor and festivals were more common; I don't remember ever putting any papers away."
Alice shrugged. "We dunno either, Grandma; we just started reading. Although…" she paused, picking up a few other papers and comparing them to the first, "it seems like they're all addressed to you." Carefully, she handed the pieces of paper to her grandmother, who took them with delicate hands.
"They're…letters?" she said, looking slightly perplexed, "But I don't remember receiving them. And it looks like they're in your grandfather's handwriting…"Then, as their grandmother began to read, the siblings watched as her face softened and her lips turned slightly upwards, as if recalling something old and fond.
"You two go downstairs." She told them, not once taking her eyes up from the paper in her hands. "If your mother asks, just tell her I'm up here and I'll be down eventually. She always was a worrier; don't want her getting concerned if she doesn't see me for a few hours…"Their grandmother fell silent after that, completely engrossed in whatever it was she was reading. Taking this as their cue to leave, Alice and Theo stepped carefully down the stairs and, once they were back in familiar territory, resumed their battle over possession of the coveted airplane.
Later that night, long after Alice, Theo, and their parents had come and gone, Luke and Molly sat together in front of the fireplace drinking herb tea, as was their regular Sunday night ritual.
"Boy, do I love it when they visit. It's just like having Avery all over again, except without all the feeding and tantrums and the waking up in the wee morning hours; with grandkids, it's just the fun stuff." He laughed. "They have so much energy! Especially Theo; even I wasn't able to run that fast when Bo and I were kids."
"He's just like you, Luke. I swear, your genes must've skipped a generation! All he needs is a bandana and he'll be an exact copy. I feel bad for whatever girl's gonna have to put up with him when he gets older…"
"Hey! Don't be like that! You've been putting up with me for more than fifty years, and don't try and act like haven't loved every minute of it."
"Hmmm…"Molly hummed thoughtfully, leaning on her husband just a bit as she sat. "I suppose you're right. It's been bearable."
Luke laughed, a raucous, joyful laugh that, even in his old age, still sounded youthful. "Bearable indeed." he said, ceremoniously slurping down what remained of his tea. "Well, I'm going to head upstairs. Will I see you up there soon?"
"I'll join you soon." she said with a smile. "Just give me a few more moments. Oh, and you should probably check the bedside table before you go to sleep."
Luke nodded, then leaned in for a quick kiss, which Molly happily returned. He then turned around, and made his way up the stairs.
At first Luke didn't see anything on the small bedside table. But a closer look revealed a thin, pink envelope with his name written in the center in fancy lettering. That was odd. What had Molly wanted to write to him in a letter that she couldn't just say in person?
Quickly, because he never could do things slowly when he was excited, Luke tore open the envelope and took out the piece of paper inside. He began to read:
Alice and Theo found their way up into the attic today and stumbled upon a box with several letters. Your letters, the ones you wrote to me, but that, my guess is, were never sent.
I can't tell you how happy it made me, reading those words you wrote from way back then.
You loved me. From the moment you saw me, you said you knew. And that means the entire world, Luke. Everything you wrote. You should have seen me as I read! I was laughing and crying, and pretty soon I couldn't even tell the difference between the two.
And, considering all the effort you put into those letters, I figured I ought to send one back to you.
I love you. I loved you decades ago, and I love you now. Now and forever. And 'til death do us part.
You mean the world, Luke. And I am so happy that I am where I am, and that I'm still with you, in the same house, after all this time. I couldn't be happier. I only wish I had read those letters sooner. It was like reliving our love all over again through memories.
And I will always enjoy making memories with you.
Love with all my heart,
And there you have it. I think some reviewer mentioned the idea of Molly writing a letter at some point relatively early on, and it kind of stuck with me. I thought it was a good way to finish things off :).
Finally, please bear with me while I give a big, resounding THANK YOU to everyone who ever reviewed, favorited, alerted, or even just read and enjoyed my story! I would name names, but there's simply too many of you xD. I am indebted to you all; each and every one of you makes my day whenever you post your feedback, or even add numbers to the traffic stats. I love all of you, and wish you the best in everything you do. May you all have love just like Luke's and Molly's someday :D!