Already, the last chapter :( I can't believe I'm done. I REALLY enjoyed writing this story and hope all of you enjoyed the story. I'm really proud of where I've taken my OCs. I didn't think Finchel's kids would have their own stories when I created them over a year ago! Please review and tell me what you thought of the story, and if you like the idea for the next fanfic. (Which is planned to focus on Rachel being on Broadway, the Hudsons in New York and the two teen couples' long distance relationships.)
With that, enjoy, and don't forget to review!
Chapter 24: Unbroken
Sitting in her room, Emma didn't know what to feel. She didn't want to leave her boyfriend or her friends. She loved it here. But her mom had wanted Broadway her whole life. Broadway had been Rachel's dream since she was a toddler. For fifteen years, her parents had given her everything. She owed her mother something - but did it have to mean moving away?
She quickly sent Nick a text: I'm coming in ten minutes. Just warning you.
Nick texted back: Okay, I'll be waiting :)
She would miss him so much if she left. They wouldn't be able to text each other and say, "I'm coming over." Flights and gas were both expensive, it would take a lot of effort just to see each other. She was afraid to tell him, but she had to.
Emma left a note on the kitchen table and went out the back door. She rode her bike to Nick's house and didn't even have to ring the bell. Nick was waiting on the front porch.
"What's going on?" Nick asked. She knew he could tell something wasn't right.
Emma parked her bike and sat on the porch. "I might be moving for a year."
"What? Where?" Nick asked.
Emma looked down. "New York. I thought Jesse was trying to trick us but he wasn't. My mom really did get offers to be on Broadway."
"I don't want you to leave!" Nick said.
"Neither do I," Emma said. "I don't know what to do... I can't just think of myself."
"You could stay with me or with one of your girlfriends," Nick suggested.
"I think my parents want to keep the family together, and I understand," Emma said. "My mom's worked her whole life for this and she deserves it - I'm just sad to be leaving."
"So your mom thinks she'll do it?" Nick asked.
"That's what it sounded like," Emma said. "It is only for one year, but... I really will miss you. I'm going to make them fly you out as often as they can."
Nick hugged Emma. "You think it'll work?"
"I'm not giving up," Emma said. "I love you, and I think our love can survive a distance." She began to think. Would it? But that wasn't something she wanted to think about now. She just wanted to be with her boyfriend.
"I love you," Nick whispered.
Emma began crying quietly. She couldn't take this away from her mother, but she'd miss Nick so much.
"I'm sure if you told your mom, she'd back out," Nick said.
"I can't do that to her!" Emma sobbed.
Nick looked at Emma. "Is there anything I can do now?"
"Yes," Emma said. "Go up to your room, lie with me on your bed, and hold me."
Nick took Emma's hand. "Of course." They went up to his room and lay across his bed as he put his arms around her. She loved New York, maybe living there wouldn't be too bad for a year. She knew she'd always love Nick, and she knew that long-distance relationships COULD work. She didn't have to leave yet, she told herself. They still had time to spend together.
Ryan watched Emma leave the house and felt like he wanted to do the same. Maybe his mother had never gotten over her selfishness. Her friends from high school told stories about her trying to hog all the solos and putting herself first. This seemed so shocking. She'd always loved and cared for Ryan, Emma, Sarah, Jack, Grant and Zoe. And now she was doing this?
Ryan decided to leave the house. He saw a note on the kitchen table that Emma had gone to Nick's, so he wrote under Emma's note that he was going to Ava's. He walked to her house and rung the bell to see Ava's dad.
"Hi, Ryan, what brings you here?" he asked.
"I need to see Ava, it's important," Ryan said.
"I'll go get her," Ava's dad said. "You can come in."
Ryan sat on the couch in the living room when his girlfriend came in. He absolutely HATED the idea of not getting to see her every day.
"Hey," Ava said simply. "I wasn't expecting you." She giggled quietly.
Ryan sighed. "Ava - remember what Jesse told us in San Francisco?"
Ava thought for a minute. "Oh, that bullshit about your mom?"
"It wasn't bullshit, that's the thing!" Ryan said. "It's true!"
Ava's face went blank. "Oh my God."
"I don't want to leave!" Ryan groaned. "I can't believe she and my dad are doing this."
Ava looked at him. "Tell me how you're feeling."
"I don't want to have to go to a new place or start at a new school. I want to stay right here," Ryan said. "I think this is really wrong of my mom."
"I get why you're upset, but from what Emma's told me, your mom always loved Broadway," Ava said. "She wanted to be on Broadway and missed so many opportunities. This is only for a year."
"Yeah, well maybe it wasn't meant to be if she kept passing up the opportunities," Ryan said.
Ava looked at Ryan. "She wouldn't have even considered this if she cared."
"She turned down those last few opportunities because she cared," Emma pointed out.
"Aren't you upset about this at all?" Ryan demanded.
Ava went silent and now started to get tears. "Yes! I don't want you to go! But I understand your mom's point of view."
Ryan thought about what his girlfriend was saying. He'd miss her more than anything, but Broadway was his mom's dream. It was a one-year committment. His mom had done so much for him, maybe it was time for him and his siblings to be the ones to make the sacrifice.
Ava was crying by now. "I really wish you didn't have to go!"
Ryan hugged Ava. "Listen, we're not breaking up."
"Good!" Ava said. "Because no way would I let you break up with me."
"I'm going to come back here to visit whenever I can, and I'm going to have Mom and Dad have you come to New York," Ryan added, still hugging his girlfriend tight. "I love you so much."
"I love you, I really love you," Ava said quietly.
Ryan looked at his girlfriend, but knew that separation by distance wouldn't mean the end for them. She had helped him realize that his mother did deserve this.
"Promise me you'll spend every second possible with me until you have to leave," Ava said.
"Oh, I will, trust me!" Ryan laughed.
Finn went downstairs and found the notes on the kitchen table from Ryan and Emma. Normally he'd be furious and call them if they left the house without telling him or Rachel, but he knew that distance was probably what would be best for them right now. If his parents had done this same thing when he was fifteen, he probably would have had a similar reaction.
Rachel came downstairs. "Hey, Finny."
Finn held up the notes from the kitchen table. Rachel sighed and collapsed on the couch.
"Hey," Finn whispered, going to the couch and holding Rachel.
"I'm not going," Rachel said firmly. "I can't rip my family apart."
Finn shook his head. "This is your dream. You have to go. They just need to get over the initial shock."
"That's where you're wrong, Finn," Rachel said. "I don't think they will. Imagine what would have happened if someone tried to separate us for a year. We were about their age when we started dating."
Finn gave Rachel a kiss. "That would be hell!"
"It would!" Rachel said. "And I'm simply not willing to put our children through hell. I love you and the children more than I love myself or Broadway."
Finn looked into Rachel's eyes. "Are you SURE this is what you want to do? There may not be another opportunity."
"I thought Broadway was the best thing ever, until I met you, married you and had the kids," Rachel said. "Now I realize you and the kids are the best thing that's happened to me. I'd like to have it all, but maybe you can't. And if I have to choose, I'm going to choose family."
"Do me one favor?" Finn asked, hoping his wife wouldn't give up her lifelong dream.
Rachel nodded. "What is it?"
"Wait until we see how everyone feels in the morning," Finn said, kissing Rachel on the forehead. Then he heard the back door unlock.
Hand in hand, he and Rachel went into the kitchen and saw Ryan and Emma. "Look, we're sorry," Ryan said. "Can we sit down and talk? Now that Emma and I aren't screaming..."
"We'll talk about it tomorrow, when the whole family can talk together," Finn said. "Go to bed now, it's getting late." He sensed that Ryan and Emma had gotten some guidance from Ava and Nick, which didn't surprise him. Rachel had always challenged him to think beyond himself.
"Good night, we love you," Emma said.
"We love you both, too," Rachel said. She looked up at Finn. Finn smiled looking at his wife. She was perfect, he was sure of it.
The next morning at breakfast, Rachel was prepared to tell her kids that she wasn't going to Broadway. She had noticed a difference last night, maybe they'd just had time to cool down.
"I'm sorry about last night," Rachel told her kids. "I really am. I want you all to know that I love you and your dad more than anything - and if it doesn't make you happy, I'm not going to Broadway."
"What?" Sarah protested. "Mom, you always wanted to be on Broadway. And I could get a headstart."
Rachel sighed and looked at her. "In case you didn't notice, neither of your older siblings seemed happy about the idea last night. I'm not going."
"Mom, you need to go," Ryan suddenly said.
Rachel looked at her son. "What?"
"It's your dream, like everyone keeps saying. I don't want to hold you back," Ryan said. "It's just for a year."
"We'll be okay, we can come home to visit our friends and they can come visit us," Emma said. "And in a year we'll be back."
Rachel felt guilty. Had she pressured her kids into doing this. "What brought about this change of heart?"
Ryan smiled. "Emma and I both got some good advice and talking with the loves of our lives."
"Love can make all the difference," Finn said, putting his arm around Rachel.
Rachel smiled. "Yes, it can. And Nick and Ava are both welcome to visit us any time."
Ryan and Emma both smiled.
"And guys, if it's okay with your friends' parents, we will let you two spend the rest of the summer here," Finn said. Finn and Rachel would have to leave in late June, but they agreed that their kids at least deserved to spend the summer at home.
"And if at any point next year you're unhappy, I'll quit and we'll get back home," Rachel said.
"You deserve a year to be happy, Mom," Emma said. "A year of your dream."
"I love all of you," Rachel said. She felt so lucky to have an amazing husband and great kids. She was so proud of her children. She was still beside herself that her two oldest had just finished their first year of high school. Unlike her freshmen year, which had been filled with bullying and torment, they had met so much success. Runner up finish at Nationals, playoffs in their sports, improved grades. Sarah was making progress as well, Rachel was stunned every time she saw her daughter perform. Grant had begun to read, and Zoe had brought a lot of joy to their house. And Finn was always by her side all these years later, never failing to make her proud to be his wife. At the end of the day, all she needed to be happy was them.