Hello everyone! This is it! The final chapter! I would just like to say that it was fantastic writing something that could be enjoyed by many. In all, every one of you IS AWESOME.
Two years later…
"Isa! What in tarnation's are you doin'?"
"Just give me one more minute lieutenant!"
I pressed the buttons on the typewriter with such agility that I could barely stop myself. I was only an inch away from finishing my newest short story about a woman's path to discovery. Done, I thought. I sat back in my leather chair and grasped the armrests as I thought about my father sitting in this exact chair. I looked around the large study and smiled. It was exactly the same way that I had left it and it was mine. Three walls full of books, two liquor cabinets and two leather couches. I was home. Sure, it had cost a pretty large amount of coin to get it back but in a minute or so, I wouldn't need to worry. I took out a box of cigarettes from the left drawer and lite one up. I had taken it up after we left for Nadine to calm my nerves and it stuck to me. I looked over at a book on my desk and ran my hand over it. I had published it. My adventures with the basterds were now available for everyone to read. I was proud and I hoped Laurent was too. Suddenly, the large oak doors to the room opened and the lieutenant appeared in a tuxedo with an annoyed expression on his face.
"Dammit Isa! They're already playin' the damn weddin' march out back. Now I don't care if you're in the middle of little Timmy fallin' in a ditch, you best get out there."
"One more thing!"
I put out my cigarette and picked up a bottle of lavender to rub on my neck and my wrists just as I walked over to the mirror beside the lieutenant. I pinned my blonde hair into a bun and adjusted the white lace dress that I had purchased especially for this day. It was cutting off circulation in certain places but it fit well enough. I put on my veil and inhaled as I looked at the baseball bat in the glass case that I was probably going to have to give to the lieutenant when he left. I wished the Donowitz was near, then I wouldn't have been so nervous.
"You're pretty alright, let's go."
Aldo took my hand and brought me past the foyer, through the kitchen and out of the door into the garden. I had to stop to take in the most beautiful sight I had seen in a long time. Every flower was blooming and the sun hit the whole environment seemed to glow. I began to fall in love with my soon-to-be husband all over again. He had planned everything perfectly. I felt my heart quicken with the thought of being in his arms once again. The music began to get louder the closer we got to the area. Just as we were about to reach the arch, the lieutenant stopped to look me over. He grabbed a purple orchid and lifted my veil to put it behind my ear.
"Now you're perfect."
"Thank you, Sir."
He kissed my forehead and held my arm under his own. As Aldo walked me down the aisle, I looked to the people standing beside the chairs before me. It had taken quite a lot of work, but I had found the Toureaux's after the war. had been shot just as they were making their way out of the forest and I couldn't think of anything better to do than invite them to live with us. I looked at the ground and smiled at the flower petals beneath my feet. I gave my flower girls Natalie and Adel a thumbs up and looked to my other guests: The basterds. They were all dressed in their best attire and had smiles on their faces. Hirschberg had the goofiest look on his face and I couldn't help but laugh at it. Finally, I reached my fiancés side and the lieutenant released me. He tapped the priests shoulder and whispered something in his ear. I was too occupied by staring at my love's face to even care. He had the brightest smile on his face and though he was not able to properly see it, so did I. After saying our vows, it had surprised me that he had planned something to say.
"Isa, we've been through a hell of a lot but no matter what happened, we stayed together. You helped me through some tough times and I'm hoping to do my best by helping you out of yours."
He paused for a moment and exhaled. I felt tears begin to weld up in my eyes. He was talking about those two nights in Nadine. It was nights none of us wanted to remember, particularly me. When Hugo, Wilhelm and Lieutenant Hicox entered the basement to meet their contact Bridget Von Hammersmark, they never returned. I tried to seem tough by cursing all Englishmen, but, Utivich knew me too well. As soon as I heard Donny and Omar's plan, I shut myself down. When we were finally finished with the war, he not only supported me but he helped me publish my story about the basterds. When I bought the house back with the royalties, he stayed with me and little by little I felt a lot better. Until I realized when he left that it wasn't his comfort I wanted, just him. Apparently he felt the same because only a few months had passed before I found him at my doorstep again.
"The only thing I want to do is be your light in the dark and the glue to fix your broken heart. Because, I love you."
The priest thanked him and asked me if there was anything I'd like to say and I nodded immediately. I hadn't planned to say anything, but I decided to wing it.
"Smithson, you are not only my light in the darkness, you are the sun of my day. Those nights, we lost some very important people. At times, I thought I would never get over the losses and that I would die of grief but you stayed. You stayed with me throughout everything and we supported each other and even though at times I still think of our friends, I am more than happy to be with you. I love you, much more than you'll ever know."
He held my hands in his and kissed my knuckles. I could practically feel his happiness sink in. We said our 'I do's" and exchanged rings. When he slid the small golden ring onto my finger, I smiled.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss your bride."
He lifted the veil from my face and I looked up at Smithson Utivich and closed my eyes. His lips were soft and the kiss was delicate but fulfilling. I was quite impressed. Suddenly Aldo took out a bottle from under his chair and wrapped a cloth around it before placing it at my husband's feet. With the crack of the bottle, came the crack of my grief. There was not one day that I did not think about Hugo and what he meant to me. First loves aren't easily forgotten, but I did not want to forget him because I knew he was watching over me as I walked down the aisle with my new husband. He was smiling along with Laurent and above all, my father. In fact, I was pretty sure the old fart was handing out celebratory cigars.