Dear Evan Hansen,
Today is going to be a good day and here's why:
It's been five years since that night in the Murphy's dining room. 5 years since I ended all the lies and decided to live. A lot has happened since then. I graduated from a University. I got a scholarship through writing and I was able to transfer from the community college I was in. My anxiety has been better, writing helped me.
I'm a park ranger at Ellison state park and I have loved it. I've left high school behind, except I go to the orchard at least once a month. I've seen the Murphy's there occasionally, but I've never had the courage to talk to them.
I met a girl, Abigail. We met at a writing workshop, were assigned as partners and our friendship grew from there. We are getting married today. She has been my rock for dealing with my anxiety and with getting through the aftermath with the Murphy's.
I told her everything last year. We went to different high schools, but she still knew about the Connor project so of course she had questions. The night that I told her everything, I thought I was saying goodbye to the girl of my dreams. But she hugged me, and we talked, and she never left my side. That's when I knew I wanted to marry her. Jared and I keep in contact. He should be here today, and I'll get to meet his girlfriend and their little girl.
I also did something that I never thought that I would. I invited Larry and Cynthia Murphy to the wedding. The last time I talked to them was that night and then the year after when Zoe and I met. Zoe now has a husband and a set of twins in Arizona. She seems happy, and so do Cynthia and Larry. I couldn't explain what made me do it, I just did. I wouldn't blame them if they tore up the invitation upon seeing that it was from me, but things can happen. Something I know all too well.
I watched as my beautiful fiancé walked down the aisle towards me. Her dress flowed around her hips and her hair was braided off to the side of her head, with little flowers set at intervals. She had the brightest smile, but tears still ran free from her gorgeous eyes. Tears escaped my own eyes when I walked to her and her father as the ceremony began.
We stared at each other, holding hands. We said our vows and finally the infamous words were finally said, "I now pronounce you husband and wife! You may kiss the bride!" Our lips met in a sweet kiss. People cheered and I heard Jared yell, "That's my man!". We broke apart and made our way back down the aisle, husband and wife.
I didn't have time to look at all the attendance, so I had no clue if the Murphy's came or not. The reception was small but fun. We had cake and a little dancing, but it was over within an hour and a half. I talked to Jared and met the rest of his little family.
A lot of things had changed from high school for him. He had had a wakeup call when he left for college and got his girlfriend pregnant, but they decided to make things work and now they were going to be married within a month or two.
I got to see my dad, his wife and my brother, who were all happy for me. Mom and her boyfriend even talked to them. Abi and I decided to stay and help clean things up, but that's when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to face the people I had been dreading and looking forward to seeing; Cynthia was dressed in a nice pantsuit while Larry wore a nice jacket and a tie.
"Hello Even." Cynthia said with a small smile.
"We...um...appreciated the invitation. She seems like a wonderful girl." Cynthia gestured to Abi, who was talking to a friend. I stumbled with my words and started to fiddle with the tie I was wearing, a habit I still couldn't break.
"Thank you for coming. I-I-I don't know where I would be t-t-today-," Cynthia cut me off with a hug. Tears escaped my eyes as I tentatively wrapped my arms around her. I looked at Larry over her shoulder and he gently nodded, smiling at me.
"Ev?" I wiped my eyes and turned to look at Abi. She looked worried, but I smiled and put my arm around her.
"Abi this is Cynthia and Larry Murphy." Her eyes widened but she broke into a smile and held her hand out.
"It's such a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for coming." She shook hands with both and began to make small talk. They invited us to have lunch one day after we got back from our honeymoon, which we accepted and they told us goodnight.
"Was that?" Jared pointed to where the Murphy's has just been. I nodded and he let out a long whistle.
"Well we're going to head out. Christine has work tomorrow and it's passed Maddy's bedtime." It was bizarre hearing those words come from Jared Kleinman's mouth.
"Thank you for coming, it really means a lot." We hugged and he ruffled my hair.
"Just don't fall out of any trees, Acorn." I laughed as he left with his little family. Abi and I left within the next hour, ready to start our new adventure.
Two years later our son was born.
"Your doing so well hun! Your almost there!" Abi squeezed my most likely broken hand as she bore down once more. Her yell was finally mixed with a beautiful wail. She sagged against the bed and let her head roll onto my shoulder out of exhaustion.
"What is it?" Abi asked quietly, trying to sit up to see our baby through the doctor and nurses. We had decided to let the gender be a surprise for when the baby got here, and now that it was I wanted to know more than ever.
"Excuse me, um...what is the gender?" I asked a nurse.
"You didn't find out!" We shook our heads and she smiled widely.
"You have a beautiful baby boy!" I looked down at Abi, and she at me. We smiled through our tears of joy. We had our Connor. I knew that it was odd but I wanted for Connor to know that he would never be forgotten. A nurse brought us a little bundle of blue blankets and sat it in Abi's lap. She scooted over so that I could sit next to her as we looked at our son. He had his mouth open wide and was crying his heart out but I thought it was the most glorious sound I've ever heard.
"What's his name?" One of the nurses asked.
"Connor Ryan Hansen." We said in unison. He had bright blue eyes and a fluff of bright yellow hair on his head. He finally stopped crying but continued to look between Abi and I as we babbled to him. He looked at each of us as if saying,
"I know who you two are. I know your voices."
When Connor was six we took him to the orchard.
"Daddy! This place has the same name as me!" I held his small hand in mine as we walked throughout the many apple trees.
"Yes it does Con. This is named after a very special person." He wriggled his small hand from my grasp, running through the trees before running back to Abi and I.
"Did you know him?" Abi looked at me gently and put her arm around my waist. I took a shaky breath before answering.
"I could have."
"Can you tell me the story?" He asked excitedly.
"When your older Connor." He huffed but continued to run ahead of us. We set up a picnic on a hill, underneath a beautiful oak tree. When Connor had eaten his food he decide to take a nap on the blanket. Abi sat by him and sang gently. She had a wonderful voice. I decided to inspect the oak tree. It was at least fifty feet tall and if I wrapped my arms around it my hands wouldn't touch. I set my hand on the tree and whispered, "You are found Connor." My breath hitched as my eyes blurred.
"Evan?" Abi put her arms around me and squeezed tight.
"I-I-I just wish s-something c-could have saved h-him." She just hugged me tighter. This was constant thought in my mind but Abi was there for me whenever I needed her.
"Ev, when-when I was a senior, I went through a rough patch and I wasn't sure if I could do it anymore. On the day I had decided I was done, I heard your speech online. It saved me. You and Connor saved me." I looked at her.
"You never told me that." She looked at her shoes.
"I don't like to talk about it." I lifted her chin so that she was looking in my eyes. Our lips met in a kiss.
"I love you so much." I whispered to her.
"I love you more."
We grew old together. Connor grew up, got married and had many grandkids for Abi and I to spoil. We still go to that old oak tree every weekend. I am now 93. I have many grandchildren and a few great grandkids. Abi died last spring and we buried her under this tree. As I sit next to her grave I lean back against the tree and say,
"All we see is sky, for forever."