Isn't it Lucky That I Still Have You?
*The middle of the last Matthew chapter, right after: "I listen to your beautiful laugh, and it almost makes me laugh.
"Whistle a Happy tune" continues to play."*
Your sparkling eyes begin to drift shut. It's been a long day for both of us, whether you understand why, or not. I love you, sweet Nicholas, and Mommy does too, wherever she is now. I want you to always remember that.
It was hard for me to get up this morning, Nicky. It was hard for me to face another day. I almost didn't. But then I heard your soft weeping, your muffled breathing, and thought, isn't it lucky that I still have my sweet, beautiful Nicholas?
Isn't it lucky that we both had Mommy for all that time, that we both got to love her? Isn't it lucky that we still have each other?
It's just you and me now, Nick. Just you and me in this big, gorgeous house. But we still have all of those happy memories, we still have those pictures. Your Mommy was an amazing person, and I will never forget her. You're so little now, so little an innocent, but I can't help but think that you'll never forget her, either.
I miss Mommy so much. She's left a throbbing hole in my chest, and I sometimes wonder if I'll ever be complete again. But when you're by me, it's easier not to cry. I can cling to the fact that you're still here, that I still have my miraculous baby Nicholas. Nicholas the Warrior.
*Keep the same six Katie chapters from the end of the book (minus the bit about Nicholas's grave) and skip to the very end.*
She saw Matthew on Fifty-third Street.
He was just standing there, in the middle of the sidewalk, holding someone's hand. Katie rushed out of her of office building, straight to where he was standing. The little boy holding his hand was obviously Nicholas.
He had blonde hair that fell around his tiny face in ringlets, and his wide blue eyes looked up at Katie curiously. Matt locked eyes with her, and she got the impression that he was repressing tears.
"Nicky," he whispered. "This is Katie." Nicholas stood there for a second, just staring. Then, he did something nobody expected. He tore away from his dad and wrapped himself around Katie's long, thin leg.
Despite her overwhelming emotions, she couldn't help but smile.
"Hi there," she murmured. "Hi Matt."
"Hi Katie. This is my son, Nick." Katie squatted down so that she was at the child's eyelevel.
"It's so nice to finally meet you," she told him, tears welling up in her eyes. "I've heard so much about you." Her usually strong, collected voice broke, and a single tear spilled over and dribbled down her cheek.
Nicholas didn't say a word, just stared at her in awe. He then proceeded to reach his arms up, like he wanted to be in someone's arms. Instinctively, Katie gathered him up in hers, her heart swelling.
"I love you, Katie," Matt said, catching her attention. "I love every single thing about you, front to back, head to toe." Her heart swelled more, threatening to burst in contentment.
"I love you too," she managed, feeling entirely too cliché. Nick squirmed in her arms, adjusting his position. She wondered how the scene seemed in his eyes.
"I'm sorry I never told you. I'm sorry I've kept it a secret, all this time. But I'm here now, Katie, and I'm ready to be yours. Forever. And I wanted to know if you'd be mine."
Matt kneeled down, in the middle of New York, with cars buzzing by and people rushing all around. With Nick sitting quietly in Katie's arms, with the crisp breeze rustling their hair, and pulled out a small black case.
Isn't it lucky?