Have you always been so good at making me feel so stupid? How could I have been so right about you while being so wrong at the same time. You're my Babe. You're as real as the air I breathe. But so is Stephanie because you're one and the same. I can't believe how blind I was. You've been right in front of my eyes for three days now. I felt the tingle, noticed the ease of our interactions, but it never occurred to me that the odd new therapist (who I definitely knew wasn't a real therapist, by the way) with the bright blue eyes, was you. No one else would have had a chance in hell of convincing me to put on those glasses, even if it was for my own good.
It all makes sense now. The immediate connection I felt, the way she seemed to know exactly what I was thinking even when I knew my face was completely impassive, her uncanny ability to choose the one and only item on the breakfast menu at the café that I would have accepted. She didn't replace your shadowy image in my head, she brought it into focus.
I can't wait to get to know you again. To learn all the little things I've forgotten about you.
And our son!
Nicholas Diego Manoso. We gave him my grandfather's name as his middle name, Abuela must have been pleased with that. He's the spitting image of you, Babe. Happy and vibrant and quick to jump into the thick of things to help out. From just one afternoon with him I can tell that he could talk forever and never run out of things to say. And I would gladly listen to it all. Just as I would listen to you.
It's so strange to think that someone like me, so tarnished and stoic, was able to find a love so potent that even a head injury and amnesia can't wipe you from my mind. It surprises me so much that I don't know what to do with all the love I hold in my heart for you and Nicky. And the new life growing inside you. But I'm sure you'll help me find a way. You've given me more in the space of a day than I could have hoped for in an entire lifetime.
Don't go crazy, Babe. We'll get through this together. You're my home. My everything.
Thank you all for coming with me on this journey. Writing these shorter stories lets experiment with different structures and styles, and gives my muse something to obsess over for a few days while Lester's Happily Ever After simmers away in the background. There's just something intensely satisfying about writing an entire story in little more than a week (especially when the word count is more than that of the entire month of February). I hope you've been able to find enjoyment of a sort from the story, too.
See you all next time,