So this is it. Thanks for reading guys! Enjoy.
"Brittany, sweetheart, I have missed you. I made all of our dreams come true, Britt, but you weren't there. I wished you were there every second, baby. My world just hasn't been the same without you. I can't wait until the day I get to see you again. I promise you that when I do, I'll never let you go again."
You're standing a few feet behind your mami watching her kneel down in the grass in front of your mom's grave. You've been listening as she fills your mom in on everything you've been up to since she died. You're trying to keep your tears at bay because you're mami's crying enough for the both of you but you can't help it. You wipe a few tears from your cheeks and keep listening.
"I brought your baby boy to see you finally. I'm so sorry we didn't come back sooner but time flies you know?"
She looks back at you before taking a deep breath and turning back to the grave.
"He's so handsome Britt. He's lean and tall like you but he has a lot of muscle like me. He has a strong jaw line but his other features are soft. He has thick, short, dark brown hair but his eyes are the exact same as yours. I know you know all this already but it feels good to talk to my best friend again, so humor me huh?" She pauses and hangs her head.
"There were nights I'd wake up and look into his eyes that were so close to my face and for a second, I thought that you were lying beside me." She lets out a quiet sob that makes your heart clench. "I've never felt closer to you than when he is around. Like right now, being here with him standing right behind me, it's like you're enveloping me in your arms. I feel you Britt and it feels so good. I feel you every time he wraps me in a hug and every time he tells me he loves me, I feel the same way I felt when you would tell me." Just then, she gestures for you to come closer so you step closer. You put your hand on her shoulder and she lays her hand on yours.
"Brittany, I can't thank you enough for blessing me with him. Our son is amazing." She looks up at you proud and teary eyed and you can't help the tears that well in your eyes. "He's a phenomenal dancer just like his mom. He's had a part dancing in my shows since he was six. And not only does he dance but he produced my last two albums. I know you're so proud of him, baby. I am. He has the most perfect personality too. It's like both of ours combined and it never fails to make me smile when I hear him say something or see him do something that you would have done. Like that pout of yours; he's perfected it." You both chuckle at that thinking about all the times you used it to get your way. Your mami should have left that part out when she told you stories about your mom.
"I'm going to give you two some time now." She says as you help her rise to her feet. "I promise to visit more often from now on. It's been too long, babe. I love you, Brittany, always have… always will." She looks at you and squeezes your hand before letting go. She starts to walk away before turning back. "Oh, I um… I kept my promise. I kept loving." She says softly and then turns to walk back to the car where your step-mom and two year old little sister are waiting.
You kneel down in front of your mom's grave.
"Hey, mom." You have to stop and take a deep breath because a wave of emotion just crashed into you. It feels like you're meeting her for the first time and you're starting to shake. It feels like you've come home after being away for so long and it feels good. It feels like your mom has just wrapped you in a hug and welcomed you back.
"I'm sorry I haven't been back here since I was two to visit you. Mami and I have been traveling and entertaining the world. She was humble saying that she had some success; I don't even know where to begin with her accomplishments. After she mourned for you, she threw herself into her music. She got together with Puck and started doing covers on YouTube. They were noticed right away and quickly signed to an up and coming label. From there, they went on to sell millions of albums and sold out arena's everywhere. They won every award you could possibly win in the music industry. They were amazing and they took me along on the ride with them. It didn't matter that I was so young, mami had an entourage of people taking care of Beth and I. Auntie Q and Uncle Mike came along too and we got to experience all that craziness and wonders of the world as a family. They were so popular, mom, they still are actually. Puck and Mami did their own thing throughout the years but they never broke up. We're actually about to start work on a new album in about a month. Mami says this one will be her last and I'm kind of sad about that but I understand her wanting to settle down."
You feel great talking to your mom even though she can't talk back; it feels like she's listening. You decide to get comfortable and sit down with your back against the tombstone. A second later you feel your phone buzz. It's a text from your mami saying she's going to bring Peyton and Skylar to your grandparents because Skylar fell asleep. She says she's going to come back to get you so you text back okay and watches as they leave.
You like to think that your mami is happy now. She definitely looks it but deep down you know she'd be even happier if your mom was still alive. Even when she was living her dream, she still looked sad. You understand. Your life is amazing… has been amazing, but you know it would be even better if your mom was still here.
"It took a long time for her to become okay with loving someone other than you. She told me that you were supposed to be it for her. She turned down all the millions of girls… and guys, that wanted her because she felt like she would be cheating on you. She felt like you guys were still married. I think she still feels that way. She met Peyton before going on their first tour. She was a dancer. I guess mami has a type huh?" You smile and let out a chuckle. "I was only four years old but mami told me the story of how they got together when I got older. Peyton fell in love with her immediately but didn't tell her how she felt. She waited and waited for any sign that would tell her if mami wanted more than friendship. She waited for years for mami to be ready to love like that again. But finally, she was ready and Peyton was right there. She's an amazing woman mom. She's so kind and loving and perfect for mami. It took her a few years after they got together, to entertain the idea of having more kids. Peyton gave birth to Skylar but it was mami's egg that was fertilized and put into her. Okay, enough of that huh."
You let out a chuckle and turn around to face the tombstone. There's a beautiful picture of your mom in the middle of it. It's the same picture you carry in your wallet, along with a picture of the three of you at your 2nd birthday party. That picture is your favorite one. You and your mami have cake all over your faces with huge smiles and your mom's eyes are bright with laughter. You wish you could remember that day but you have a whole album of pictures you're more than grateful for. You have albums and boxes of pictures of your parents alone and then with you. You wish all that time that you could have retained the memories from your first two years of life. That was the only time you had with your mom.
The love between your parents in those pictures is blatantly obvious. You could tell that their love was powerful and it was that kind of love that lasts. You feel an overwhelming sadness when you think about them not getting their chance at a lifetime. You feel cheated that your mom died before you were old enough to see their love and happiness. You were cheated out of growing up with both of your parents and you're still a little angry about that. Your mami told you everything about your mom's illness and what it was like. You cried at parts because you couldn't imagine your parents going through that when they were only a few years older than you. Then you felt guilty for a while when your mami told you about why you mom didn't continue her chemo. Your parents could have had more time together if it weren't for you. But then your mami sat you down and told you that she never once wished you were never born. She told you that you were the best thing that had happened to them. She told you that you were worth it. You believe her but it still hurt to see your mom in so much pain. There were times over the years where you'd catch her crying and you knew instantly why she was. You just hugged her and wiped her tears. You know all about the conversation your mom had with you before she died and you've lived by your promise your whole life.
The worst part of the last 16 years of your life was seeing you mami cry over the loss of your mom and you didn't even remember her.
"I wish I could remember the two of you together so badly. I've seen the pictures and the videos and seen how much you loved each other and then how much you loved me. We looked so happy together. I'm 18 years old now, mom, and I've already lived a life people twice my age would be jealous of. I've had a lot of great days and life defining moments. My point is that none of my days the past 16 years can ever compare to my 2nd birthday. I don't even remember it but I know that it was the best day of my life. That album of pictures goes wherever I go and I look at them every day. You know why it's so special to me? Mami told me that the doctor said you wouldn't live to see me turn two but you did. You fought to see that day and celebrate with me. That was the best birthday present I've ever gotten, just you. There's nothing I wouldn't give to remember."
You mean that was every fiber of your being. There's emptiness in your life where your mom should be. That hole seems to expand around your birthday and it hurts more than usual. Today's your 18th birthday and tomorrow's the anniversary of your mom's death. There's a heaviness in your chest and a lump in your throat. You're so emotional right now, it's overwhelming. Being here, in Lima where your parents grew up and fell in love and where your mom died… where you had the best day of your life, 16 years later. It's a rush of happiness and sadness and you don't know what to do with these feelings.
Everyone is back in Lima for your birthday. Everyone, being your family… everyone who was at your party that day. They're all back at your mom's parent's house waiting for you to get back. You love them so much but you can't help but resent them a little. They grew up with your mom and got to experience her in ways you never got the chance to. You know that her developing cancer wasn't their fault; it wasn't anyone's fault but you're jealous nonetheless. The way your family talks about her…the stories they tell you; she was amazing. They have memories of her and all you have are pictures.
"I'm so jealous of everyone who got to know you… everyone who got to spend even a few minutes in your presence. I'm so jealous mom, because I'm your son and I don't remember you. I don't remember what it felt like to be hugged by you or kissed by you. I don't remember your voice or the way you smelled. I'm so sorry I forgot you, mom. It's not fair that you were taken away from me before I was old enough to remember. It's not fair and I'm so mad at God for that. I'm so mad at you. Couldn't you have fought a little harder… for me? Why didn't you have chemo again after I was born? Couldn't you have stayed with me... us? Didn't you want to? Mom, I just want to understand. I just wish so much that you were here, you know? I know you never wanted to leave me, I know that, but you're not here and there's this ache in my chest for you. I need you so much sometimes; it hurts so bad that I can't breathe. I long for you like I longed for my mom to stop crying every time I saw those tears flow silently down her cheeks. Every time her body shook with sobs so hard that her cries were silent, I longed for you to come and take away her pain away. It broke my heart to see her like that and that pain she was in reverberated into me and it killed me. I don't blame you, mom. I just wish you were here, that's all."
Tears are streaming down your face as you look at your mom's picture while pouring your heart out to her. You didn't hear the soft footsteps behind you but you felt the hand on your shoulder and a presence kneel down beside you. You know from the smell of the perfume that it's your mami. She places her arm around you and rubs your arm up and down trying to sooth you. You don't know how much she's heard but she tells you to keep going and let it all out. You're glad she's here but you don't have too much left to say.
"You were there for my very first breath and I was there for your last, but I never got to say goodbye. Honestly, I don't want to because I know I'm going to see you again one day. This isn't goodbye, because you live inside of me and wherever I go, you go. Mami said that you were our guardian angel. I really hope that's true because it would explain the feeling I get whenever I dance, like there's this presence guiding my movements. I like to believe that you're dancing with me and it feels amazing, mom. We miss you so much. I love you, mom."
You lean over to place a kiss on the picture in front of you and then you turn and kiss your mami on the cheek too. There are tears on her face as she tells you she loves you. You stand up and then pull her up and into a hug. You hug her as tight as you can and place another kiss on the top of her head. She tells you, you're going to be okay and you believe her. You know you're going to be okay because you have her and you have your mom watching over you. You've never felt safer.
When you pull back from your hug you grab your mami's hand and turn to make your way to the car. You stop and take one final look back at the tombstone and as soon as your eyes land on it, there's a breeze that passes. You don't feel it over your arms but its light against your face. You smile as some more tears slide down your face because your mom just kissed you on your cheek. You turn to your mami and you know that your mom kissed her too because she has the same look on her face that you're sure mirrors yours. Your heart swells with the love that you have for your mom. You squeeze you mami's hand and lead her out of the cemetery. Your chest feels so much lighter and you know you're going to be making trips back here every year at this time from now on just to have a talk with your mom. You don't know a better way to spend your birthday.
Hope you guys enjoyed this tear fest of a fic.
Seriously, thanks for reading!