“Answer my question.”
“You want to know if I would fix your dyslexia?”
He looks away, pulling his lip piercing into his mouth to play with it. “Yes, I would.”
A sob fills my chest, and I choke it back. “Why?”
“Because…” He stops. He looks everywhere but at me. “Because I want you to have everything. I want you to be able to read street signs and send text messages and read menus. I want all that for you.”
I swallow. “And I want all that for you.”
He glares at me. “I can do all those things.”
“But you can’t hear her laugh. You can’t hear her babble words at you. You can’t hear her cry.” I take his hands in mine. “I want all those things for you.”
He sucks in a breath and holds it. “I don’t know.”
“I do know. I made an appointment for you when we go back.”
He stares at me. He’s not angry, and there’s a glimmer in his eye, the one I’d hoped for. “Are you sure?” he asks.
“I’m positive. If you want it.”
“I want it,” he blurts out. Then he grins. “I want it.”
“Don’t do it for me, because I don’t need it.”
He nods. “I know you don’t.” He looks at our daughter. “But she does.”
“She doesn’t. She’d be fine as things are.”
“I need it,” he says.
“Okay,” I say. I hold his face in my hands and stare into those blue eyes. He holds my heart and soul. He has, ever since I met him. He always will.
“Don’t tell anyone, okay?” he says.
I nod. “Okay.”
He passes my guitar to me. “Finish your song for Pete and Reagan.”
He goes and sits on the floor with our daughter, saying over and over, “Da da da da da da.” She doesn’t say it back. Yet.
I twist my ring on my finger as I walk back down the beach. I took a walk down to the lighthouse by myself, because I needed a few minutes to collect my thoughts. It’s beautiful here. The wind lifts my hair and my spirits.
“Reagan!” I hear from down the beach. I look up and see my mom jogging toward me. She looks like me, her limbs long and lanky, her hair hanging down over her shoulders. She’s not wearing any makeup and I can tell she has been in the sun today. “I wanted to talk to you,” she says, her breathing heavy from her run up the beach.
“Is everything okay?” I ask. “Where’s Dad?”
She grins. “He went pier fishing with Pete and Lincoln.”
I laugh. I can just imagine how that’s going to go, with Pete having to put up with both my dad and my little brother.
“What you did, giving Patty and John your wedding…” she says. She looks into my eyes. “I’m so proud of you.”
“It was beautiful, wasn’t it?” I think back on the morning. My dress was too big for her. My flowers were too plain. But it was still wonderful.
“Gorgeous.” She walks quietly. “So,” she finally says.
“So, about your own wedding.”
“Oh yeah. That.” I laugh. “Tomorrow morning. I’m so sorry you guys came all this way and then we had to put it off.”
“Oh, I’m not worried about that. I just wanted to be sure…” Her voice trails off.
“Of?” I smile at her.
“Nothing.” She smiles back, and unsticks a piece of hair from my lip.
“I just wanted to be sure you’re not having second thoughts.”
“About the wedding?”
“No, no second thoughts.”
“Are you sure?”
I’m positive. I don’t doubt my decision to marry Pete at all. Not for a second. “One hundred percent.”
“Then why do I feel like you’re hesitating? You seemed relieved when Patty and John took your wedding over.”
I laugh. “Oh, I was.”
“I knew something was wrong!” she cries. “Are you and Pete having problems?”
I shake my head. “No, nothing like that. I’d planned a surprise for Pete, but then the flight got cancelled. They’re coming in today.”
“They who?” she asks.
“Pete’s foundlings. Gonzo and Edward. And Edward’s little sister. And Henry is flying with them. Can’t get married without them. They’re like family.”
“Oh, Reagan,” she says.
“What?” I ask.
“I wish I could claim that I had some part in the wonderful woman you turned out to be, but I’m afraid that’s all you.” She sniffles.
“Mom,” I whine. She laughs at me.
“What are you going to wear tomorrow?” she asks.
“I have no idea.” I gave Patty my fancy dress, which didn’t really fit me anyway.
“Do you want to go shopping?” she asks. “Then we can go out for drinks, maybe?” She lifts her brow.
When we get back to the house, the sun is setting and everyone is in the kitchen. And I do mean everyone.
I lean over toward Friday. “So, my mom wants to go out for shopping and drinks. Do you want to go?”