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Breathe Again

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Seeing Sophie defend her Dad like that gave her serious points in Lauren’s book. It wasn’t just because Lauren had a soft spot for tough women sticking up to chauvinistic men, it was because clear as day, Lauren could see how much Sophie cared about her dad. She knew it wasn’t really in Sophie’s nature to start a confrontation, so seeing her willingly put herself out there like that proved the depth of her feelings. She still didn’t have to like her, but it did make Lauren forget many of the horrible things she had been rehearsing to say to her throughout the entire performance.

Once Sophie had fled the room, Lauren headed over towards her dad, and after their conversation she explained the exchange she had witnessed between Jean and Sophie. She could tell her dad was astonished at Sophie’s words to Jean, but could see that under the surprise he was pleased at her defense of him. After she was done explaining, she figured she could do some explaining for herself.

“I’m sorry I haven’t already said so, but it was really a great performance Dad. I’m glad you’re finally doing what you’ve always been meant to do” she said sincerely.

Keith was once again overwhelmed with her words. First, she quickly offers to forgive him for being in love with Sophie and now this. “Thank you Lauren, you don’t realize how much that means to me” he said, tears coming to his eyes.

“I love you dad, I always will no matter how royally you fuck up” she said with a laugh.

He joined her and soon the two of them were laughing like idiots.

“Come on, let’s go find Sophie so you can get on her horse and ride off into the sunset” Lauren said.

Together, they exited the building and quickly spotted Sophie sitting against a wall. At the sight of Keith she quickly got up, broadly smiling and looked as though she was about to run and jump into his arms, and then she looked behind him and saw Lauren.

“Lauren” she said in shock, trying to comprehend why Lauren was currently here.

“Sophie” Lauren replied.

Sophie eventually catching up to the situation, started to apologize. “Listen Lauren I am so so sorry about everything that happened when we were kids. I never meant to blow up all of your lives the way I did. There’s no excuse, I am just so sorry” she said, feeling horrible.

“Sophie, look I don’t know if I forgive you for back then, and I have to admit the thought of you and my dad is still fucking weird” Lauren said, “but you seem to make my dad happy, and since I just witnessed your freak-out at Edward greaseball back there I think you might be just as in love with him as he is with you. So with all of that in mind, I will release my hatred for you and settle for contempt instead, with maybe a hint of respect” Lauren said. “So I guess I approve of whatever this is” she said gesturing between the two of them, “but just keep all the touchy stuff to yourself at thanksgiving, okay? Good. Now I’m going to go find Mark and we’re going to enjoy the rest of our weekend.”

Sophie and Keith just stood there stunned at Lauren spoke, trying to process what they think meant that she was okay with them being a couple. Maybe Lauren was giving them a chance to move on from everything that had happened in the past.

“Love you dad, it was amazing to hear you play, I’ll see you at Thanksgiving” Lauren said giving him a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Sophie” she said nodding slightly before she turned around and left a dumbfounded couple behind.

After they could no longer see Lauren’s retreating form, Sophie turned to Keith grabbing both of his hands in hers.

“You were brilliant tonight” Sophie said, looking deep into his eyes, showing him all the thoughts and feelings that she couldn’t put into words.

“Thanks for defending my honor” he said, letting go of one of her hand to brush a strand of hair out of her face.

“He’s such a jackass” Sophie said.

“I am so deeply in love with you” Keith said after a long period of silence between them. “Each day I don’t think it’s possible to love you more and then I learn that you used to think island was pronounced 'is-land', or that you buried a time capsule when you were nine only to dig it up 2 months later because you forgot what was in there.”

“I feel the same way” Sophie said. “We’re partners. We complement one another and we understand one other. Even when we were apart for seven years I still felt this connection to you no matter where in the world I was.”

They stared intensely at one another enjoying their shared moment, before Keith pulled her into a hug. Sophie stroked the hair at the nape of his neck, noticing it was already longer than when they were first reunited.

“You know the first time I saw you again I kept thinking about your hair” Sophie said. “I was so fixated on the fact that now its cut shorter and I think I missed the feeling of running my hands through your longer hair.

“I can grow it out again” he said as she continued to stroke his hair.

“No, I like it like this length too, and it looks really nice on you. I think I was so fixated on it because it was you that I truly missed and I was worried that you’d changed too and that maybe you’d forgotten about me” Sophie said.

“Quite the opposite actually” he said, absently stroking her hips with his thumbs.

“Do you want to go get a beer and find a live band to watch?” she asked.

“Only if you make that two beers” he replied.

“I think I might be able to make that happen” she said with a wink as she grabbed his hand and led him away from the hall towards the rest of their lives.