I'd like to thank all the amazing people who read my story: Singer of Water, TheWickedHeart, LadyMaluHolmes, kykyxstandler, Zerousy, SocietyMember, Jazz, electrogirl88, Mrs. Becker, Madhattergirl98, Erudessa-gabrielle and FullMoonPhoenixShadow. This final chapter is dedicated to all of you!
I don't have a beta, so in advance, my apologies for any mistake.
Please Remember Me
I wasn't expecting to feel this nervous .Between the Constant excitement of Ruby and Maddie and the fact that I still needed to find my own place to live ,plus the paperwork I have to sign before I start my new job ,now I have to get ready for my date.
How do I do that? It's been ages since I gone out!
Maybe I'm overacting. The Jefferson I've met was rich, indeed, but a very simple man. Plus, there was something else about him, something…familiar that gave me a funny feeling in my stomach every time I think about him.
"Are you ok Charlie?" Oh goodness! How rude was I being with my friend?
"I'm so sorry Mary Margaret .I totally spaced for a second" But the smile on her face made me blush. Did she know what was I thinking?
"It's ok. Penny for your thoughts?" We stopped in the cafeteria after she presented me the tour of the classrooms, and I loved it .I couldn't wait to start.
"You'll probably think I'm being childish but…"I know I barely knew the pixie woman, but somehow, something was telling me that it was ok to trust her. "I have a date tonight, and I'm really looking forward to it" Her smile grew larger as she took my hands.
"that's great, Charlie! I'm so happy for you" I thought that her happiness would make me calmer, but her next chapter put me on my nervous mode again "Do you know what you're going to wear?"
I know that Ruby, Maddie, Mary and, believe it or not, even Granny will be mad at me for doing this, but I thought that this was a moment of my own, to be left alone and decide things for myself.
Well, and Jefferson.
I haven't spoken to him since he called me. So, I can't tell if he's being vague like every other man for trying to be "cool", or he's just doing something else and not thinking about our date. Maybe I'm over thinking, but I really do want everything goes well tonight.
Why? I mean, I barely know him, and I was never really luck on the date department, so what makes this time so different?
Still, wouldn't hurt to go out and buy something nice to wear.
Which is how I ended up walking to Ashley's stepsisters clothing shop, searching for a dress.
Technically, I don't know how this shop is still open because, well, it's not known for the warm welcome to costumers.
"What do you want?" Anya, one of the owners, a very thin, and with a semi pointy nose, not so kindly asked me.
"Hi…I'm, looking for a dress" She gave me awful mean look; going form my hair to my shoes.
"I see…I don't think you have the money to buy any our clothes, but…we don't dispense any potential costumer. Fell free to look around and let me know if you need anything" And she marched away .If I wasn't feeling self conscious about my appearance before, I was now.
"Umm…thank you?" But I realized I was alone in the aisle of clothing. Shopping was never my strong point, but it helped to know that I did want something simple and elegant. Maybe blue, something like…
That! It was a simple, dark blue, knee length dress .One of the most beautiful I've ever seen! This one will do very nice. I can also we…
"Hi Charlie!" I almost died of frighten; that's how concentrate I was. I didn't even notice Paige enter the shop with her mother.
"Hi Paige! Looking for a dress to your mom?" I waved at the older woman as she disappeared in the racking of jeans as the other owner practically ran towards her. I guess she looked to have more money than me.
"It's for my dad. he's getting too fat and is ashamed to buy new clothes .he thinks people will look straight at the tag of the size" poor man, my brother in law has the same paranoia. Men.
"And what are you doing here?" I blushed, seeing her look at the dress that I was holding, when her smile became larger.
"Buying a new dress .I see. May I ask what is the occasion?" For a kid of her age, Paige sure is smart. Her parents taught her very well.
"Well, Paige…you see…I…"Why was I embarrassed for telling her something like that? I was the grown up of the satiation! Although, her laughter said otherwise.
"Do you remember my friend Jefferson? The one you met the other day at the tea shop?" She nodded and I continued "Well, he…asked me to have dinner with him tonight, and I said yes" She suddenly started to clap and jump up and down .her enthusiasm was contagious.
"You have a date Charlie!" The sisters cast an angry look at us; it was obvious they didn't like children, or laughter, or any expression of happiness, on their shop.
"Yes, I am. And I'm going to buy thi…"but my happiness died down when I saw how much it cost. And it was way more than I could afford.
"Charlie, what's wrong?" Sadly, my disappointment was evident in my features as I put the dress back on the hanger.
"Nothing, sweetie. I just didn't decide which dress to buy. That's all" I fondled her hair, when her mother came to say they were leaving .I took this opportunity to go as well. It seemed that she was better treated over the fact that she actually bought something. As for myself…I'll just have to find something from my suitcase.
Still, I couldn't help over the feeling that I was being watched the entire time.
I was still happy for my date tonight, but being reminded of my limitations were never something that could put me in a good mood. And the way the sisters looked at me, was worse than anything they could have said to me.
Why did Jefferson want to go out with me? He was one of the richest men in the town and could have anything he wanted .Why me?
"Hey! You look…not very happy" Ruby greeted me as she finished serving Leroy.
"I'm fine Ruby, just have a lot in my mind right now" She winked and playfully punched my arm.
"Oh, I know" She giggled a little before Granny step closer. She wasn't a fan of her granddaughter's behavior during working hours. Or any other hour after that.
"Come along girl. Can't you see that Charlie needs to get ready for later?" Wow, even Granny knew about it. One of the disadvantages of living in a small town. "You on upstairs honey, and open that package I left in your bed"
Just like Granny said, there it was .in my bed, a violet package, with a dark purple ribbon. And when I opened, to my surprise, there it was.
The same blue dress.
Who could have got me this?
I had no possible explanation for the dress. The only thing that came to mind was that maybe, just maybe, my parents decided that I wasn't ungrateful child they claimed me, and decided that this was a Tolkien of their effort to try to communicate.
This was what I was thinking when I walked the stairs to wait for Jefferson.
"Oh my!" Granny was the first to notice me. There weren't lots of people present, so I wasn't feeling as nervous as I would be if there was a large crowd.
"You look so beautiful Charlie!" Ruby insisted on taking a picture of me, but I was thinking that was enough for me. I already practically walked on the runway for Maddie while we were on Skype, and I didn't need to sweat much more.
"Alright, I'm going to wait outside now, and you two will stay here .Ok?" I was already halfway towards the door.
"Absolutely not, missy .You will stay here with us and wait your date arrives" I know that, even with them not being my relatives, Granny and Ruby still cared for me. Granny's smiles was enough to silent me.
Besides, I didn't have to stay much longer, because as soon as she said it, Jefferson came in.
"Good evening my lady" My God, can he be any more handsome? "Granny, Ruby" Even they were blushing! I didn't even want to think on how I was looking right now.
"You are perfect" He took my hands and gave me a chaste kiss on my cheeks. Just that, a simple kiss, and my skin felt it was burning up .I almost didn't noticed the girlish giggling coming from the two as we head outside. It was funny how he said you are perfect instead of you look perfect. Maybe I was hearing things, because, in my experience, no man tells you that on the first date.
"You two have fun" we caught Ruby's giggling before closing the door. Seriously, could grandmother and granddaughter act more childish?
"Can I ask where are we going?" The ride was comfortably quiet. As we passed the main places of the town, my anxiety grew as we passed all the fancy restaurants the town had. It's not that I was a cavewoman that didn't know how to behave in society, but I never felt comfortable with all those people watching, and if you took the wrong fork, you'd b the main gossip on the next day.
"Somewhere very special" That's all he said. Apparently, every since he took my hands at Granny's, his smile was permanent. And it really fitted him, may I add.
"Thank you for tonight" I squeezed his hand carefully, as the other was on the wheel. Everything felt so stupendous, and we didn't even get out of the car.
But it wasn't where we were going, or what we were going to see or do. It was the company. There was something about Jefferson that made my heart beat so fast, and at the same time my mind was at ease.
Little did I know that my smile was matching his.
"Watch your step" Jefferson insisted me to be wearing a blindfold. He said it was a surprise and didn't want me to see it before it was time. Like the gentleman that he is, he helped me to get out of the car, and guided towards the place. The entire time that he was helping me, our bodies so close, and I could feel his breathing on my neck. Would it be that bad to keep with my eyes closed?
I couldn't see a thing, but I could smell just fine; which was a surprise to me when I was surrounded by so many flowers scents at once.
"Where are we?" he just laughed and kissed me on the cheek.
"You'll see" The familiarity with each and every one of his touches wasn't so strange to me anymore .I was surprised by how I was earning to even get the lightest of contact with his skin.
When I finally saw the scene in front of me, I was speechless.
"Do you like it?" Rows and rows of dozens of flowers, all pointing to a beautiful white and light blue gazebo filled with daisies, lilacs and roses .It was like it was out of a fairy tale.
"I loved it .But where…?"I turned around to see that in fact we didn't drive that far; in fact we were at Jefferson's garden .A place that I didn't see before .It was absolutely breathtaking.
"I didn't know you had a place such as this in your house" I just didn't think that Jefferson would strike as the flower type of guy .He seemed more like a practical ,overly rich person. But this…it's just too much for words.
"I didn't .Not until recently, I mean" He guided towards the gazebo, where a round table was set and a little cart, with what I'm thinking was our dinner, was.
"I just made it" What? He couldn't have built this so fast .It wasn't even a week before we last saw and now, with all the patience in the world, he's telling me that he built this little piece of dream?
"But, how?" I took one of the white roses and sniffed .The scent really was intoxicating. "Why?"
"For you" I turned around and saw that he was holding a bouquet with all my favorite flowers .In fact, the whole place was filled with them .How did he know?
"Thank you" This whole thing seemed so surreal, that I couldn't help but not to linger when I kissed his cheek .His whole face exploded with happiness.
"Shall we eat?" He pulled my chair as the atmosphere was filled with the delicious smell of his cooking.
"This sounds amazing. Who made it?" His pretended hurt face was hilarious.
"I made it! Believe it or not, I'm a great chef!" His playful expression was even cuter than his pout.
"And very humble as well" I winked .I wasn't expecting to be that easy for a conversation to flow between us. It was light and normal, like we've known each other for longer than we thought.
"I can't believe Im here with you" The words were out before I could stop myself. Maybe it was the wine. "I'm not very good on dates, that's what I meant" I could see a smile forming on his lips as he set the glass on the table.
"Well, I can't think on anything that you're not good at" The way he said it, with such certainty, it made my heart to beat faster.
"How can you be so sure?" There was one thing that was nagging me about Jefferson, and now it was the time to ask. "Can I ask you something?" His piercing stare on me used to make me uneasy, but now, I was getting more and more used to it. Flattered even. The way he looked at me; I've never been looked at that way before.
"Of course" It was as if he was expecting this.
"Why do you seem so sad?" His smile started to diminish, but I was quick and took his hand. The thought of him sad upset me, and I didn't want to see him like that.
"It's not always ,but sometimes when you…look at me…and you don't know that I'm looking back at you .It just breaks me heart" When I saw a single tear fell from his eye I stood up and rush to his side to swept away .I didn't want to see him that way.
My fingers traced longer than expected on his cheek and stopped on his chin when I made him look at me .I didn't want to see him so sad over something this silly.
"Please don't .If you cry than I'll cry" I don't know why I said it ,but it was true .For a second, something as recognition passed on his features, before eh stood up ,taking my hands in his.
"I'm alright. Nothing to worry about." He then stroked my cheek as I closed my eyes. "I just have one thing to say" I was expecting that he would tell me to go home, or something. He didn't.
"Would you like to dance?" A soft melody, as by magic, started to play from the speakers that were on the ground .It was soothing and enchanting.
"I'm not a very good dancer" I couldn't tear my eyes of him. His eyes, the adoration in them ,his skin vibrating with warmth ,making me impossible not to touch him .And his lips…
"I'll lead you then" In one swift movement, he swoop me in his arms and the place was filled with laughter as the song progressed.
"I could stay here forever" I don't know who said it first, and I couldn't care less. Being with Jefferson, in his arms, it was as if we were the only two people in the world, and nothing else matters.
He was so warm! It was so intoxicating to be around him and not…touch him .It was as if my fingers had life of it's own when I started to trace the lines on his face: the tips of his ears, the outline of his gorgeous eyes that were shut by my touch, his perfectly sculptured chin, and his mouth…
The little left of logical thinking escaped me as his mouth got closer to mine. Even in my wildest dreams I could think on a moment that could compare such as this.
"Jefferson, I…"When his lips touched mine, I couldn't hold back, I grabbed his hair with my hand when the other pulled him close to me. I never felt so alive, and…
"JEFFERSON!" Two small children were running towards a rabbit hole, when the boy fell.
"I love you so much" The first time the teenager Jefferson told that to a young Alice
"Will you marry me?" How could she forget that day, when they were both so dirty of running, and yet, none could be happier than now.
"Grace, what a perfect name" after they found out they were having a girl, the unceasing struggle to find out their daughters name
"You have to take her out of here! NOW!" The guards of The Queen of Hearts were coming, and Alice needed to keep her family safe
"Don't forget me" Alice's last words to his husband
"I'll find you .I promise" Jefferson's last words to her wife
"Jefferson?" I remember! God, I remember everything! "My love, I…"Words couldn't be formed as I throw myself at my husband's arms and let the joy come over me.
"Alice?" It's been so long "Is that really you?" Tears were running free from his handsome face and mine as well.
"Does a raven look like a writing desk?" Our happiness was cut short when I felt something twitching on my back .Pain, a lot of pain.
"Alice? ALICE!" And then it all went black.
I could barely keep my eyes open. There was so much pain
"I need to get in there .I'M HER HUSBAND!"
"Sir, you need to calm do…"
I felt hands touching my arms and backs, and they weren't my husband's.
"There's too much blood, we need to move her"
"How do her scars reopened like that?
The Queen of Hearts, she did that to me.
"I'm her mother; you can't tell me I can't see my daughter!"
"And I'm her husband, and I know that what my Alice needs now is not you!"
"What is this man talking about? Securi…"
She said that ,someday ,if I ever saw my family again ,I'd felt a million of times ,all the pain she made me go trough while I was prisoner.
"What is happening outside, doctor?"
"I don't know, seems like purple smoke"
I didn't see it, but I felt it, engulfing me, and everyone around.
I don't know how long I was out ,not that it mattered ,but when I finally opened my eyes, and saw the havoc of people around me ,I had only one thing in my mind.
Grace and Jefferson.
"Ma'am, you're still in no conditions to wake up" A nurse, tried to stop me, and she really was trying to do her job .But I couldn't let something so small as physical pain stop me from going after my family. We've been apart for too long
"I have to go out, now!" How would my baby look like now? Would she have my eyes or her fathers? Would she be curious about the world, like us?
Would she ever forgive me for leaving her?
"Ma'am ,I…"Like I said, I understand her position ,but my will was stronger ,so no one noticed when I absently ,while no one watching, helped the nurse to pass out.
I need to go find my family.
I don't care if I have to search this whole town to find them, but I will…
I didn't need to look very far, because on the main room of the hospital, Jefferson, along with my parents and sister, were waiting for me.
"Alice!" He came rushing towards me, and when his lips found mine, I felt the same desperation that I was feeling.
"Jefferson, we need to go! We need to find her!" I was so hysterical that I failed to notice that my husband was trying to tell me something.
"Where's my Gracie, Jefferson? WHERE IS SHE?"I practically shoved him as I started to walk to the entrance when a little girl with two braids, step aside behind my sister.
It was Paige. All this time, I've been near my own child, and never knew.
"MAMMA!" She ran straight towards us and nearly knocked me down, if I didn't hugged her with my strength. The hug that I've always dreamed on giving my daughter.
"You found me, my Gracie" tears of joy were running on my cheeks, the same with Jefferson. She looks so much like him, and a bit like me as well.
"We found you mamma. I knew we would"
I was reunited with my family. And I'd never let anyone or anything tear us apart ever again.
Thank you so much for going with me on this journey .I wish you all a happy 2014!