This is the last chapter my friends, I would like to thank you all! I was so close to 300 reviews, so heart achingly close, but ah well. I hope you enjoy this, and I really loved writing this for all of you!
"Frizzles?"Poppy asked, Jerome looked up at his sister. He was sat on the bench at the park, the wind ruffling his hair, the evening sky bright. Poppy nodded, sitting beside him. She wasn't sure how to respond. Jerome was normally a jokey sort of guy. The one who would never take someone else's problems seriously.
But he told so much just by a look at you. When he was happy, his eyes would glow and a small smile would tug at his lips, barely containing his excitement. And when he was angry, oh how it eyes would glitter, angrily, luminous, drawing you in and scaring you at the same time. But the look he had given Poppy, it haunted her.
Disappointment, that's what it was. And she didn't like that he had aimed it at her. She had seen the look many times before, at someone who he had dared, and they backed out last second. When the Doctor said he was fine and that he didn't need the cast anymore, he was disappointed. Sure, maybe it was only because he liked the attention, but it was disappointment. And when she had been in hospital, the look he had given her.
It haunted her.
She felt so useless when he looked at her like that, because she aspired to be like her brother, she wanted to be like him. Sail through life, never trying as hard as someone else yet somehow always pulling through at the end. She wanted to walk down the corridor and have people respect her like they respected him. She wanted people to fear her, yet admire her. She wanted the friends he had. She wanted the love he had.
So when he looked at her yesterday, when she had said she would hate him, she ended up hating herself. And she thought there was no way he would forgive her for something like that. Yet he didn't back away or seem shocked.
And again she thought I want to be like him.
"They're your favourite sweets, aren't they?" she nudged him smiling. Jerome looked down at her sideways, and smiled
"Couldn't even come up with your own idea, could you?"
"Couldn't top that," she nodded, hands clasped together, eyes focused on the ground "Have you spoken to Mara?"
"No," he shook his head, opening the packet and eating one slowly.
"Right." She sighed "Well I wanted to say, I could never hate you, Jerome."
"Thanks," he nudged her back, offering her a frizzle.
And just like that, things between them were fixed.
Jerome stood in front of the mirror, just watching himself. His blue eyes looking right back at him. He was wearing a striped white shirt with his black waist coat. How he had missed his waist coat, it felt good to have it on him. He wore dark jeans, his hair brushed forward giving him a boyish fringe, the streak of dark almond clear.
There was a knock at the door, he went towards it, one hand in his pocket and opened it. His eyes widened in slightly surprise to see "Mara," he whispered, watching her.
She had fixed herself up now, all better. It was amazing what a hot bath and Amber's soaps and candles would do. And of course a big meal with a lot of water. She was wearing a flowery summer dress that puffed out at the end, with a cardigan over the top. Her hair neat and brushed and straightened. Her face flawless as always.
"Jerome," she smiled at him, and leaned forward, wrapping her arms around him and leaning her face on his chest, hugging him tightly. He wrapped his arms around her slender frame in pure relief. Did this mean they were okay? "I love you so much,"
"I love you too," he managed. She pulled away, looking up at him as he tucked some of her hair behind her ear gently. As if she might be taken away from him. And that's when it occurred to him "…But I don't think I can do this,"
Mara looked up in shock, not expecting the second sentence. "What?"
"I can't have…given, my heart to someone who keeps getting taken away, who keeps getting amazing opportunities to do other things. It just…it hurts too much, Mara," he whispered, holding both of her hands, eyes watering, and he didn't know where it came from, but he knew he meant it.
"I'm sorry, it's so hard," she whispered "But Jer-"
"No Mara." He cut her off, a small smile creeping onto his face "I don't want you to reject the scholar ship for us, I would feel like I was keeping you back. I want you to go, go to Devon, go live your dream." And he sounded so honest and sincere, and even though it was hurting him, and he wanted nothing more for her dream to be to stay here, he knew it wasn't going to happen, he couldn't change her mind.
"Didn't you hear me before?" she asked. Jerome arched a confused eye brow
"I said I love you, Jerome. I. Love. You." Jerome said nothing in response, watching her, unsure. "And I don't want to go to Devon, I talked about it with my parents, I'll do fine here. I can't take everything I have for granted. And I want to stay here with you Jerome, even if you don't want us to be…'us' that's okay, because at least I'll be able to see y-" she was cut off as Jerome captured her soft lips in his stronger ones.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer, Jerome led her backwards into the room, closing the door then pressing her up against it. He moved down to her neck, placing kisses everywhere he could. This was Mara, this was the Mara he had lost time and time again, and had his love tested over and over. But here she was, in all her glory, in his arms. Just like he had always longed for.
"Don't ever leave me," he whispered, foreheads touching. Mara smiled
"Together forever," she whispered, entwining their fingers and raising their hands up. The light streamed in through the windows creating a golden dusty atmosphere.
"Longer than forever,"
And things had gone back to normal, or as normal as things ever got in Anubis House. Alfie and Amber were stronger than ever, it turned out that Amber really liked Alfie's scared side, she liked that she could comfort him. And they dressed in dark matching outfits, standing on the schools green grass, holding hands.
Nina and Fabian had their arms wrapped around each other, smiles on their faces, the breeze gently blowing back their hair. And they looked beautiful together.
Patricia and Eddie were….well they were Patricia and Eddie, they had an argument that morning and currently weren't speaking to each other, but they kept sneaking glances at each other, and Eddie was grinning at her, and Patricia couldn't help but grin back.
Joy and Jake, it was surprising that they had lasted so long, according to Amber, their 'star signs' didn't quite match, but they looked happy, and they had fun together, and even though they both had sad looks on their faces, they were holding hands.
Jerome and Mara stood beside their friends, by far the most gorgeous couple there. Maybe it was because both had been through so much, they knew just how much they appreciated one another, how they would react if the other was gone. Maybe it was just how much they had grown. Jerome still pranked, as much as Mara tried, she couldn't get it out of him. But she was starting to like it more and more. But he was…mature now. He could have a sane conversation with a teacher and not get a detention for bursting out with something random.
And Mara understood herself, she knew exactly who she was. She thought she knew who she was before, but it had taken Jerome to show her. And seeing just how much he valued her made her feel so special. She had found her one and only, she had found the man of her dreams. She had found her soul mate.
And how lucky she was.
But it was with sombre faces that they stood there. The bench had been placed there this morning, the whole of the front field had been banned from the rest of the school, that is all except Anubis house.
The bench read
Dedicated to Mick Campbell, the well-loved, honest and fun to be with athlete. He will be dearly missed as a loyal friend, an honest sportsman, and a great son. Hope you're still running in heaven.
And all of Anubis House watched the bench, because it meant more to them than it would to anyone else in the school.
18 YEARS LATER
"I'll get them!" Fabian bustled, grabbing the bags before Nina could reach them and then opening the door for her. Nina laughed
"I can do it myself Fabian," she smiled. She was glowing. Fabian shook his head
"No, no way, you're pregnant, you need rest and comfort," he insisted, closing the door and placing the bags of food onto the counter. "Sit sit, I'll make us dinner,"
Nina smiled at him as she tied her hair back, sitting down "I could get use to this,"
"Are you up for going to dinner at Amber's tonight? I mean we can cancel, get some take out? I don't want it to be hard for yo-"
"They live downstairs," Nina reminded, laughing "I can walk down some stairs,"
"You right," Fabian sighed, smiling at her "We'll take an elevator."
"Look look look!" Amber and Alfie grinned at the same time, as their commercial appeared on TV, the maid looked at both of them curiously, but sighed and watched the screen.
It was an advert for deodorant, Amber being the unattainable girl, then Alfie uses the new deodorant and they fall in love. The maid rolled her eyes at the cliché, but the couple seemed proud. Amber twiddled the ring on her finger and couldn't fight the smile
"AW! I'm so happy we're married Alfie!"
Alfie blushed slightly, but kissed her cheek "Me too Ambs, look how hot we look,"
"I know!" Amber exclaimed, over the moon. She returned to watching the screen "Oh, are children are going to be so gorgeous,"
"This is by far my favourite place," Eddie said, mouth full of moist spicy chicken. Patricia sat opposite him in the 'All you can eat café' booth and took another bite
"You said that about the last four places," she grinned. Eddie glared at her playfully
"Try this piece," he said, handing her a chicken piece. Patricia shook her head
"Sorry, I only like the ones with crispy skin," and she took a sip of her orange juice. Her hair was still the same shade of impossible red, and he both of them were in matching leather jackets. Their six year old, Rachel was at home, being looked after by Piper.
"But these are too good for you not to try!" Eddie exclaimed.
Patricia rolled her eyes at how childish he was, but she took the chicken and had a bite. It was like her taste buds were dancing, and she loved it, yet hated it at the same time. And she hated it because, Eddie was right. She tried to pass it off as she hated it, but Eddie had seen right through her disguise.
"Ah ha!" he cried triumphantly "You like it!"
"Do not," Patricia mumbled, taking another bite. Eddie laughed, leaning over to kiss her cheek. She grinned at him "You didn't kiss my lips because you hate spice, isn't it?"
"You know me so well," he laughed loudly.
"Emma, Emma? No, you don't eat daddy's watch," Joy reminded, gently plucking the golden watch out of their two year old Emma's watch. She threw it at Jake who caught it with his right hand.
"Lovely," he laughed, wiping the watch on his shirt "Are you sure you'll be okay with her?" he asked, sliding on his jacket and brushing a comb through his hair
"Course I will, we'll be bonding, won't we Emma?" Joy's hair had been cut, up to just above her shoulders, slightly thicker. But other than that, she hadn't changed. "Where's Matthew?"
"Oh I just put him down for a nap, the baby monitors on and everything. Amber will be over in half an hour to help. She was talking about an advert?"
"Oh yeah," Joy laughed "Apparently her and Alfie starred in an advert together," Jake laughed
"Oh I bet they were great," he sighed, smiling. "Great, I'll see my two favourite girls after work?" Jake asked, they blew him kisses and he laughed, walking out the door.
"Mara!" Jerome called again, he was buttoning up Eugene's shirt, it was the six year olds second week at school.
"Yeah?" Mara called, brushing through her hair with her fingers, she was a journalist. Just like she'd dreamed of. She didn't think it would come true, but it had. After Jerome opened the shop, they had more than enough money coming in, and she took the risk. And everyone was behind her.
"You know how you said I shouldn't give Tasie chocolate in the morning?"
"Oh Jerome," Mara sighed, she ran to the kitchen, plucking Tasie out of the cookie cabinet. She held Tasie, the three year old in her arms. She had a pale face with perfect blonde hair. Eugene had slightly tanned skin, with dark ruffled hair. "Please tell me you didn't put any into Eugene's lunch box?"
"I saw him mommy!" Eugene cried loudly, struggling in the grip of Jerome, who was trying to finish the top button of his white shirt. "I saw daddy put it in my lunch box!"
"Jerome!" Mara scolded, placing Tasie in the play pen
"Uncool man," Jerome grumbled. Eugene simply smiled at him. Eugene went to the posh school down the road, it was a close knit little village in the south of Wales. It had been a big decision moving here, but when the rest of Anubis House said they were going to come and live in the same apartment complex, the decision suddenly became a lot easier.
Jerome stood, he was dressed in casual clothes, they lived in a large apartment, Jerome working across the street with Alfie and Eddie in the joke shop. Fabian was their accountant. "My bad?" he offered. Mara crossed her arms, but couldn't stop the smile that crept across her face.
"Jerome," she whispered, he smiled at her, drawing her closer and kissing her gently on the lips. She smelt exactly how she always did, of sweet strawberries and chocolate.
"Ooohhh!" Eugene laughed while he sat outside Tasie's play pen, "hahah! Daddy loves Mommy!" Tasie giggled loudly, while Mara rolled her eyes.
"They get that from you, you know," she sighed, picking up her bag
"You say it like it's a bad thing," Jerome laughed, sitting at the kitchen table, biting into his toast.
"Daddy!" Eugene cried, hopping next to his father. Jerome ruffled his hair
"Can we visit Uncle Alfie later?"
"Of course we can," Jerome laughed
"Will you tell us more stories about pr-prank-pr-"
"-pranking?" Jerome finished for him "Sure we will, we were quiet the trouble makers,"
"Is that why Mommy loves you?" he asked. Jerome looked up at Mara who was absorbed into placing all her pens into her bag neatly. She was in a bright summer dress, cut off just below the knee. She had grown about half an inch, not as much as she had wanted, but at least she had grown.
"I think so," Jerome whispered.
"I love Mommy." Eugene stated proudly. Jerome grinned
"Me too, kiddo."
The doorbell rung loudly "I'll get it," Mara smiled,
"Me too!" Eugene yelled, running after her.
Jerome turned to look at Tasie who was looking up at him curiously through the play pen "What up Tase?" he asked, picking up a muffin and taking a bite. And it never ceased to amaze him at just how small his little girl was.
"Mommy said bad," Tasie pointed at the muffin in his hand. Jerome chewed slowly, then rolled his eyes, he broke off a bit and handed it down to her
"It'll be our little secret," he whispered, she laughed loudly, holding the piece in both of her tiny hands and eating happily. Jerome watched her fondly. He loved his life so much. Much more than he ever thought he would.
"Jerome! Poppy's here to babysit!" Mara cried. Jerome wiped his mouth, picking up Tasie and walking into the hall to see Poppy and Mara hugging, Eugene tugging on Mara's dress.
"Hey Jerome!" Poppy cried, seeing him
"Jerome!" Mara scolded "Why is Tasie eating cake?" Tasie giggled and Eugene started rolling about on the floor laughing. "Right," she laughed "You are all such children, okay I'm off to work, will you be alright Poppy? Jerome has to leave for work in two hours,"
"I'll be fine," Poppy grinned, "Always great to see my favourite niece and nephew!"
"Auntie Poppy!" Eugene smiled, Poppy ruffled his hair, taking Tasie off Jerome
"You're holding her wrong," Poppy criticised, Jerome rolled his eyes
"Yeah, because you have kids," Poppy just laughed. "Bye Mara!" Jerome yelled "I'll have dinner done!"
"Not burnt toast and gummy worms like last time please!" she called, grabbing her coat. Poppy raised her eye brows at her brother
"Gummy worms?" she asked, Jerome smiled sheepishly
"The chicken went very wrong…"
"I'll stay and help with dinner, Mara!" Poppy called. Mara poked her head back into the hall way from the coat room
"Great! Stay for dinner Poppy, it'll be nice to have the family round!" she brushed some of her silky black hair out of her face. "Alright, I really have to go now," she mumbled, looking at her watch.
"I wanna go with Mommy!" Eugene called. Poppy and Jerome smiled
"Aw, Eugene!" Mara grinned, she loved it when they all acted like a family "I don't think I can, it's a- wait, why are you in your uniform?"
"Daddy dressed me," Eugene answered, scratching his arm. Mara and Poppy turned to Jerome
"It's Saturday, Jerome," Mara reminded, Poppy nodded along. Jerome scratched the back of his neck and Eugene immediately copied the action. Trying to be like his tall father.
"My bad." He grinned "But I did have to go through the whole button process, that should count for something!"
"Sure," Mara smiled, holding Eugene's hand "You really wanna come Eug?"
"Yes please!" he yelled happily.
"Alright," Mara laughed, she kissed Tasie's cheek, hugged Poppy and kissed Jerome on the lips. And she still felt the sparks between them. Something that had never left. Something that would never leave. And whenever she felt bad, she could count on his touch to make it all better.
"Bye bye Mommy!" Tasie called, Mara waved and her and Eugene went out. Poppy stroked Tasie's head
"Can't believe you thought it was Friday," Poppy sang as she walked into the kitchen, Jerome followed her
"Actually, miss smartie pants, I thought it was Tuesday. Now I wanna hold her!" he held his arms out for Tasie. Who had the kind features of her mother. "Please?"
"Sure, but don't think I'm doing this for free,"
"You never do," Jerome laughed, holding Tasie.
And that evening they had a family dinner, and everything fit. They thought nothing of the mystery that once loomed over them like a dark cloud, they lived in the same complex as the rest of Anubis house. It seemed as if none of them wanted to lose contact with anyone else. They all saw each other on a regular basis, often meeting at the small café across the street, sharing stories.
And Emma had befriended Tasie immediately, Rachel and Eugene had a complicated relationship, which honestly, no one understood but them, and with Nina's on the way, more friendships would be made.
And all through dinner, Jerome and Mara kept sneaking looks at each other, while they ate the Indian take out. Turns out Poppy was about a good a cook as her brother. And throughout Jerome and Mara's entire lives, they couldn't wipe the smiles of their faces.
And there my friends, we have it. I liked it, did you? Please tell me in a REVIEW!
My new story will be up tomorrow, it is a little far-fetched and has nothing to do with this one, it is JARA, and be ready for it. Don't judge me too harshly!
Thank you all for the amazing reviews, you guys have made me so happy! A massive thanks to anyone who reviewed! Or even just read it! You have made my day, you helped me get through the long days with huge amounts of homework, you made my Sundays busy!
Thank you all!
I hope all of you get your happy ending at the end of the day!