Jake Undone

By: Penelope Ward

“I loved that song,” I whispered, tears starting to form in my eyes.

“You and A.J. are my entire world. The past year and a half with you has given me back every last piece of innocence I lost in the years before and then some. At this point in my life, I would do anything for you. If you told me today, that you couldn’t accept my continuing to be there for Ivy, then I would have no choice but to let that part of my life go, no matter how guilty I felt. You love me enough to make sure that I don’t ever have to choose, that I don’t ever have live with guilt or regret. I know it’s not easy for you when I leave you sitting on the couch breastfeeding him to go see my ex-wife. I’ve always seen the sadness in your eyes. You’ve dealt with it…for me. There is not one time I walk out the door on those days where my heart doesn’t ache with love for you. You are strong enough to know deep down that my looking out for her doesn’t change how much I love you. You have given me a life that I could have never imagined…a dream I gave up on years ago, because I never thought it would ever be possible to meet someone who loved me enough to accept everything that came along with me. I wouldn’t change one painful thing about my life, if it meant not ending up right here in this stuck elevator with my family.”

I closed my eyes for a brief moment, overcome with emotion. When I opened them, I noticed that Jake had slipped something into our son’s hand. It was a paper bird. He hadn’t made one of those for me since before A.J. was born. This one wasn’t black…it was white: a dove.

“I told you I wasn’t going to propose to you again. I meant it,” he said.

He must have sensed the disappointed look on my face, because he rubbed my cheek and smiled.

“But I didn’t say he wouldn’t do it.”

My eyes were welling up.

Oh my God.

“You have something for me, little man?” My heart was pounding as I took the dove that was now crinkled, from A.J.’s tiny fingers and opened it.

See this guy...Jake?

I want you to cut him a break.

Not just cuz he’s my dad…

But because he loves you like mad.

He said he was done asking you to be his bride.

Well, Mommy…he lied.

After everything we’ve been through…

He still really wants to marry you.

Look at him…he’s a mess.

Please tell him you’ll say yes.

He was a mess, a beautiful one, with tears in his eyes, as I pulled him into me, careful not to crush A.J.

“Yes…yes…a million times…yes,” I said through my own tears.

He pressed his forehead to mine. “I know you said we should wait. Seeing Skylar and Mitch yesterday reminded me that life is short, and I don’t want to wait one second longer to marry the love of my life.”

I wiped his eyes. “I wouldn’t change anything either, Jake…the good or the bad. What would moments as perfect as this mean with nothing to compare them to? Every bit of pain it took to get here was worth it.”

“I didn’t have time to get a ring. I actually went looking while you were out with your friends but couldn’t find the right one in time. I’ll take you shopping in Boston.”

Perfect timing.

“No need,” I said unable to contain my joy.

“What do you mean…no need?”

I had been hiding my left hand in my sleeve for the past couple of hours. I lifted it to show his name tattooed on my ring finger in the same font as the ink of my name on his own.

His eyes lit up in pure shock. “What the…when did you do that?”

“I cancelled the coffee today. This was something I needed to do, and you gave me the perfect opportunity.” I smiled. “It’s permanent, you know.”

“Yeah.” He lifted my hand to his mouth. “So are we, baby. So are we.”

“I love you so much,” I said.

“And I love you.” He kissed me then turned to A.J. who was cooing. “And you, my little wingman…I love you to the moon.”

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