Lucas smiled as the hot steam from the jacuzzi rose around him, relaxing his entire body. He closed his eyes for a moment, breathing deeply.
“It’s nice to finally have some alone time.” Evelyn said softly from beside him.
He lifted an arm, draping it lovingly across her damp shoulders. “You’re telling me.” He agreed with a smile.
Their social calendar had been quite full lately. A few days ago, they returned from a weekend in Granite Falls with Noah and Camryn. They’d spent the previous night at a house party at Sam and Laura’s place, and just this evening, they’d gone to the movies with Lucas’ parents.
Lucas’ smile grew as he recalled each memory. It had been a busy week, but a fun one.
He was brought back to the present by the slight tremor of Evelyn shivering under his arm. “Wanna head inside?” He asked her. “It’s getting kinda cold out here.”
She nodded, pulling him close to her. “I know one way we can warm up…” Evelyn smiled slightly as she brought her lips to meet his.
They dried off quickly and headed inside to the comfort of their bedroom. Lucas marveled at the sight of Evelyn as she stood before him. Even in pajamas with no makeup on, she was beautiful.
“You’re the most beautiful girl in the world, you know that?” Lucas grabbed her, dipping her low into a passionate kiss.
Evelyn giggled as he lifted her back to her feet. “You’re not so bad yourself.” She teased, grabbing his hand and heading toward the bed. “I love you so much.” Her voice was a delicate whisper.
Lucas kissed her tenderly on the cheek. “I love you too.” He replied. “And I always will.”
They fell into each other’s arms and slipped beneath the covers, exploring every inch of each other and expressing their love in a way that simple words could not.
Afterward, Lucas lay in the darkness, watching the slight rise and fall of Evelyn’s form as she slept. She’s perfect. He thought blissfully, gently pushing a piece of hair out of her face. I’m the luckiest guy in the world…
A small smile still on his lips, he finally closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
Lucas awoke with a heavy yawn, blinking against the bright light of the morning sun. “Evelyn?” He asked groggily, looking around in confusion and feeling the empty spot on the bed next to him.
Then, he remembered.
It was a dream… Of course… He lay in bed for a few moments, staring up at the blank ceiling. It had been his favorite type of dream, the kind it was so easy to get lost in and hold onto, even long after he’d awoken.
If only his relationship was really that perfect, that easy… With a sigh, he pulled himself out of bed.
Lucas had spent the past few years dutifully tending to his garden and using every opportunity he could to research how he could use the plants he’d obtained in Granite Falls to help Evelyn.
To his dismay, it did not take long before he was able to do some research and identify the plants the old woman had given him. Snapdragon and Lilly flowers, an apple tree, and another tree that had yet to bear any fruit (though Lucas was fairly certain it was either peach or cherry). It had to be some sort of mistake. Had it all been some cruel trick?
Lucas continued to search fruitlessly for answers, spending long hours at the library that did nothing but deepen his frustration. He’d reached another dead end, it seemed.
Though Lucas would never voice the thought aloud, it felt like things had hit a dead end with Evelyn, too.
With graduation far behind him and a nice promotion under his belt, Lucas was working longer hours than ever before, and the time he had to see Evelyn seemed less and less as the months and years went by.
And when he did have time for her, well… All they did was the same things they’d always done.
They watched the same movies.
They played the same games.
They had the same conversations.
Even their ‘late night dance parties’ (as Lucas had once dubbed them) were no longer interesting.
Maybe if they could actually go somewhere, or do something… Even being able to share a real kiss would be nice.
Evelyn always told him that she felt stuck, and trapped. He hated to admit it, but for the past few years, he’d felt exactly the same…
Lucas finished getting dressed and looked in the mirror, trying to chase the negativity from his mind.
“Lighten up.” He told himself, forcing a smile. “It’s your birthday!”
With a deep breath, he finished combing his hair, brushed his teeth, and headed downstairs, ready to face another day.