By @UnmaskedDreams


By @UnmaskedDreams

When tragedy strikes, the hardest part of moving on is learning to forgive yourself.

Chapter 25


Efflorescence — “flowering, blooming”

Six months after camp

               Alyssa watched with tears in her eyes as Kelly and Jerry took their first dance as husband and wife,

               “I’m so happy for them,” Tori sniffled. “They finally got their happy ending. When will we get ours?”

               Alyssa gave a quiet laugh. “I’m just about to start medical school I’m content to wait for my own happy ending.”

               Tori glared and hit her on the shoulder. “You won’t have to wait for long.”

               “What do you—“

               “Hello, ladies,” Will greeted as he appeared beside Alyssa. “You both look stunning.”

               Tori choked on a laugh. “Save the complements for Alyssa, bro. I know they’re meant for her.”

               Will laughed. “I meant it for you, too, Tori.”

               Tori rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll take what I can get.”

               “Really, Tori?” Alyssa said with a grin. “You could go talk Ethan. Or MJ. I’m sure Trevor would be willing to give you all the complements you need.”

               Tori glared at her. “I hate you.”

               Alyssa raised an eyebrow. “Really? All it takes for me is to call one of the three of them and I’m betting they would dance with you.”

               “Don’t you dare –“

               “Alright, that’s enough,” Will said with an amused laugh.

               Alyssa rolled her eyes. “Chill. It’s not like all three of them are here anyway.”

               Will turned to Alyssa and pulled out a single viscaria flower. “Dance with me?”

               With a laugh, Alyssa let Will pull her to the dance floor as other couples joined Kelly and Jerry. She tucked the flower into her braided hair.

               She looked at Will. “They look so happy.”

               “Kelly and Jerry?”

               She nodded. “Yeah. Everything came together for them at the perfect time.”

               “Maybe someday that will be you, too,” he told her.

               Alyssa smiled. “Someday.”

               “I want to show you something,” he told her.

               She looked at him confused.

               “Come on,” he insisted. “It’s in my car.”

               She laughed and followed him to his car.

               He popped the trunk open and pulled out a ceramic flower pot. He shut the trunk and set the ceramic pot on top. He handed her a small envelope.

               She took it and opened it. She spilled its contents on her open palm. “Seeds?”

               He grinned at her. “Viscaria seeds.”

               Her eyes widened. “You’re giving me this why?”

               He patted the pot and motioned for her to come near her. “We’re going to plant them.”

               “Right now?” she asked shocked.

               He nodded and motioned for her to hand him a few seeds. She did. He grinned at her and planted the seeds. “Your turn, Alyssa.”

               With a shake of her head, she copied him and planted her own seeds. “So, tell me again why we are doing this?”

               He grinned at her. “Perhaps, when the flowers bloom it will be us inside having our first dance.”

               “When the flowers bloom,” she repeated with a smile. 

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