Sophie was thankful that there happened to be a taxi already in the neighbourhood, so she only had to wait 5 minutes before leaving Keith’s cabin. Once safe in the backseat of the cab, she had a minute to reflect on her day.
‘I am so hopelessly in love with him’ she thought helplessly. ‘I wish things weren’t so complicated. Why couldn’t I have just met him somewhere in the city, so that we could’ve had the chance at a normal relationship’ she pondered, feeling her heart break as she stared out the window at the silhouettes of passing trees.
Keith had no idea how to find her, as he sped down the dark streets back towards the city, he tried to figure out how he would manage to find her in a city of millions. As he tried to form a strategy, his phone started to ring, and realizing it was Lauren, he pulled over to the side of the road to answer it.
“Hey dad, it’s Lauren” she said.
“Hey, is everything okay, is Johnny hurt?” Keith asked, worried that there was some horrible reason why she needed to call him so soon.
“No, god no, everything’s good here, I just figured you might have no clue where you were going and thought you might want Sophie’s address” Lauren said.
“Yes, thank you Lauren, I left in such a rush I had no clue where I was even going” Keith said, relieved that at least his daughter was smart enough to come up with a plan.
“I found it online, I’m going to text it to you now, okay?” Lauren said.
“Okay, thank you Lauren… honestly I know you don’t approve so this....this really means a lot to me” he said.
“No, dad, I know it’s weird because of the history and everything, but I want you to be happy, and if Sophie makes you happy then I wholeheartedly give you my approval” she said. “Now hang up and get your butt moving, you have a girl to find!”
“Alright... thanks again Lauren, I don’t know how I got so lucky to have a daughter like you, you make me so proud” Keith said, realizing he must’ve done something right to create an amazing person like her.
“Thanks dad, I’m hanging up now, good luck!” was the last thing she said before Keith heard the call end. He plugged Sophie’s address into his phone, and got back on the road towards the city.
As soon as Sophie got back into her apartment, she leaned her back against the door and realized that she was still wearing Keith’s sweater. She could still pick up his scent in the cloth. She started to cry, longing for a man she could never be with as her back slid down the door, leaving her collapsed on the floor, clinging to his sweater like it was a lifeline. She didn’t know how long she was there, laying in a miserable mess of memories and feelings before she heard a knock on the door.
She debated not getting it, she was in no state to see anyone, trails of mascara running down her face, clinging to the sweater of the man she loved and lost. Her mind was currently replaying images of him from earlier that day, as well as ones from eight years ago. She almost didn’t get up, but realized she couldn’t put her entire life on hold because of something that never happened. Sophie picked herself up off the floor, unlocked the door and pulled it open. There, standing on her doorstep was the very man her thoughts were locked on.
She was too shocked to say anything, and too embarrassed about the sight she must’ve made, bawling her eyes out, clinging to his sweater.
“Sophie…” Keith said, looking devastated at the sight of her. ‘Did I make her this sad?’ he thought to himself. ‘What do I do, I can’t stand seeing her this way.’
“Look... this isn’t really the best time” Sophie said, her voice catching slightly due to her tears.
“I know that Lauren knows” Keith said, ignoring her dismissal. “I know, and we talked and it doesn’t matter, it’s in the past” he continued. “Sophie, I don’t know if you think I’m a washed-up, has-been, silly old man, but I haven’t been able to get my mind off of you for more than eight years. Tell me if you think there’s no chance for us, or if you don’t feel the same because I will leave you alone forever and never bother you again. But if there’s even the slightest chance that you feel the same, I have to tell you. I love you Sophie Williams, I have loved you since you changed my life eight years ago, and I will love you for a hundred more” Keith finished, still standing, hopeful in her doorway.
During his speech, Sophie’s tears slowed to a stop, and flutterings of hope and love started to bloom in her chest. ‘Is he telling the truth, does he really still feel the same?’ she thought.
“You love me” Sophie repeated back at him, still unbelieving.
Keith nodded desperately in reply. “I love you” he said.
“Even after all this time?” she said, her heart beating wildly in her chest. “Even after I ran away?”
Keith nodded, before replying. “You’re the one for me Sophie, there’s no one else. There could never be anyone else, ever since the moment I first heard you play” he said, locking his blue eyes on her tear-filled hazel ones.
“I love you too” Sophie finally said, convinced that he was really there on her doorstep, not just a figment of her imagination, or a dream she never wanted to wake up from.
After that, there was nothing else to say, Sophie slowly grabbed Keith’s hand, stroking her thumb against his skin before pulling him inside and shutting the door. Once inside, Keith reached his hand up to wipe away some of the tear stains, and softly stroked her cheek, his other hand still locked in hers.
Sophie finally let go of his hand, moving one of hers to rest on his chest, while the other gripped the hair at the nape of his neck. She softly tilted her head up and met his lips with hers for the first time in eight years.
They didn’t rush. They had all the time in the world.