EPILOGUE

In life, you have two choices. You can choose to believe everything happens for a reason, that every move you make is strategically planned by something bigger than us, making our lives fit into some greater design, or you can choose to believe you're the tailor of your own future. That your actions are the product of your own mind, and that they do not depend on anyone or anything.

People are free to believe whatever they want to believe in, and lead their lives however they want to, because we will not know the truth until we come to the place where there's no one to tell. Place where we're unable to tell anyone. Place between reality in dreams, where we still feel lucid enough to know we're here, but maybe a little bit more tired that we fill like all of this is a product of our imagination.

Dead can't talk, and sometimes, living shouldn't.

No matter how we choose to live our lives, no matter what we choose to believe in, we better do it the best we know how. We better live our lives to the fullest, because no one will do it for us.

No one will take the ropes of our life in their hands, and direct us in the right way. If people take us under their wing, we become their slaves, and with that, we lose our right to choose, and our right to decide how we want to live our life. We lose the luxury of dreaming and believing into certain things, and once we're gone, no one will remember we existed in the first place. Because we weren't really there. We were physically present, but we had no purpose.

Life is a series of impact. It's a moving picture, and we can rewind life, sometimes we can even fast forward it, but once it's made, there's really nothing we can do. There are no changes we can make, we can only sit quietly and watch it unfold before our eyes. Our mistakes, and all the good things we did. Our tears and smiles, every thought we had and every word we said. So it's important to participate. To be there at any given moment and leave our mark. Say something or think something, maybe even do something, because change is only possible in the present. No matter what we choose to believe in, we have to participate, because even if every one of our moves is planned, we still have to make it. Our actions collide with actions of others, and sometimes our lives intertwine with theirs, and because of it we can't always get what we wanted, and things can't always turn out the way we would like them to.

Sometimes that happens to be better, because people happen to want the wrong things, and they only realize it when they see how unhappy they still are once they get it.

Life is full of love, happiness, excitement, surprise, ecstasy. But it's also full of sadness, anger, fear and sometimes even dullness. You have to know the one to know the other. Life is a big, contradictory mess, and all you can do is be as messy and contradictory as life itself.

There are people who make wrong decisions for the sake of making them, and there are people who make wrong decisions without realizing they're doing so. Some people do the same with right decisions, and then there are those who make them because that's the only thing they know how.

People say the word changes too fast. It doesn't. People simply change too slow. Or they don't change at all. Deep down they were like this twenty years ago, and they're going to be the same twenty years from now. Still fighting the common enemy without realizing they themselves are the biggest enemy they have.

They're sending young men to war with no cause, and making young women keep their mouth shut because they're too scared of what they have to say. Making them lead a life full of regrets because of things they were too afraid to do and words that stayed unspoken because they were too afraid to say them.

World keeps on spinning, but people keep standing in place. Some of them decide to walk to catch up with the world, and some even decide to run so they could be in front of it, but some are too stubborn to do either, so once the world turns upside down, they fall.

And then there's love, most contradictory feeling out of them all. Something you can't even prove it exists, but yet, so many wars were led because of it, and so many of men have died in its name.

Stefan always believed in love, even when he did not understand it. Even when he could not recognize it, or know does he feel it or not. Love was a big part of his life, even when there was a lack of it. He read about it, dreamed about it, thought about it, and when he finally started living it, he realized it's not as beautiful as he thought it will be.

But the thing is, he never backed down. Even when it seemed impossible, even when he himself believed it is. Even when everything seemed to be said and done, there was still a glimmer of hope in his eyes telling him to never give up.

And he never did. He never gave up on love, because giving up on it would mean giving up on himself. It would mean letting her go in every way possible, and letting it go all the way is something no one should do. Because it leaves you empty, and hopeless, and in despair. It makes you turn into a big icy rock that can't even melt in the middle of a desert.

In the end, that's what love is. Never giving up, and never letting go. And that's the least any of us can do.

Elena gave up on everything so fast. She had no will, and no hope, she thought there wasn't anything out there because of which she should continue her life. And then she met Stefan and everything turned around. Everything she thought she knew and everything she believed in fell into water, and she never looked back for it. She never asked for it, nor did she cry for the things she had lost, because what was in front of her was much better than what she left behind.

Stefan did not change her. People cannot change people, but people can change because of people. Others may inspire them to reach for more, to believe in something more and something better, which instantly makes them better people. Stefan had enough love for them both until she had let herself love him back. Until she had let herself realize she does love him back.

And once she did, she had never let it go. She had never let him go.

Both of them made a lot of mistakes, one more than the other. They also did a lot of good things too. Life threw them a couple of curveballs, some bigger than the others, and there were times when both of them tripped down the road. But they got up, and they continued walking. At times, even running.

That's the whole point. Love had beaten fear.

They had something people write books about. Or at least something people should write books about. Their love was a sweetest melody and best composed song, or a book you refuse to close once you finish reading it because you do not want it to end.

"Papa!" now five year old Nessa runs into Stefan's direction as he gets out of the carriage. Sometimes work pulls him away far away from home, even though he tries for it to happen rarely because he hates leaving his family behind, even if two days are in stake. And to Nessa, when he's out of the house, it seems like he has been gone for a lifetime.

She runs into Stefan and he greets her with arms wide open, lifting her from the ground as her arms fall around his neck. They say there's a special bond parents share with their first born, which Stefan always thinks of when he remembers, if circumstances were different, he would not have her in his life right now. She would be someone else's daughter.

"Papa, you're home!" she yells as she detaches herself from him, looking at him with her big, shimmering green eyes, the ones she had inherited from him. Big, dark brown locks are hanging near her cheeks, the color of wheat barely visible on them now. She's dressed into a beautiful dress with a big bow on her back, reminding everyone she's her mothers daughter.

Elena tends to say how much their daughter reminds her of herself in that age, which makes Stefan very happy because he had finally gotten a chance to know the side of Elena he never got to meet.

"Yes, I am beautiful," he kisses her cheek as he puts her on the ground.

"What about me?" he hears Elena's voice as he puts their daughter down, "Don't I get a kiss?" she taunts him.

Stefan smiles in her direction and walks over to her, putting his hands on her waist and pulling her closer to him, "You get two kisses. One for you," he says before he gives her a peck on the lips, "And one for the baby," he gives her another peck before he looks down at Elena's pregnant belly.

They hear Nessa giggle behind them. "Papa, you know what Valerie did yesterday?" she asks through a giggle, still confident she's getting a baby sister for who she already picked out the name.

Stefan looks at his daughter expectantly while she swings left and right with her hands behind her back. "She kicked mommy in the stomach," Nessa giggled as Stefan looked back at Elena who was smiling into his direction.

After everything, they got to be a family. After all the mistakes, and tears, and years spent apart, they finally got a chance to spend the rest of their lives together. And they did not care who knew. They did not care who knew about their past, about all of the things they have done.

Because some things are too good to be kept as a secret.


AN: And here we are, at the end. Thanks to everyone who were reading this story and commenting on it, it was really nice to know you guys enjoyed reading it, and I really, really enjoyed writing it :) You guys are the best!