The Gravity of Us - Page 59

A woman who became his strength during the dark days.

There was something romantic about the way she moved throughout the world, the way she danced on her tiptoes and laughed without any regard for appearing ridiculous. There was something so true about how she held one’s eye contact, and the way she smiled.

Those eyes.

Oh, how he could’ve stared into those eyes for the rest of his life.

Those lips.

Oh, how he could’ve kissed those lips for the rest of his days.

“Are you happy, Graham?” asked Mary, his mother, as she walked into the room to see her son’s eyes glowing with excitement.

For the first time in forever, the answer came so effortlessly. “Yes.”

“Are you ready?” she questioned.


She linked her arm with his, and Karla took his other. “Then let’s go get the girl.”

He stood at the end of the aisle, waiting for his forever to join him—but first, his daughter.

Talon walked down the aisle, dropping flower petals and twirling in her beautiful white gown. His angel, his light, his savior. When she reached the end of the aisle, she ran to her father and hugged him tight. He lifted her up into his arms and the two of them waited. They waited for her to join them. They waited for those eyes to meet their stare, and when they did, Graham’s breath was stolen from his soul.

She was beautiful, but that wasn’t a surprise. Everything about her was stunning, and real, and strong, and kind. Seeing her walking toward him, toward their new life, changed him in that moment. In that moment, he promised her all of him, even the cracks—they were, after all, where the light shined through.

When they stood together, they locked their hands as one. His lips parted when it was time, and he spoke words he’d dreamed of speaking. “I, Graham Michael Russell, take you, Lucille Hope Palmer, to be my wife. I promise it all to you—my broken past, my scarred present, and my complete future. I am yours before I am my own. You are my light, my love, my destiny. Air above me, earth below me, fire within me, water surround me. I give you all of my soul. I give you all of me.”

Then, in every cliché way possible, in every facet of their lives, they lived happily ever after.

The End

I stared at his words, my hands shaking as tears rolled down my cheeks. “It has a happily ever after,” I whispered to myself, stunned. Graham had never in his life written a happily ever after ending.

Until me.

Until us.

Until now.

I stood up from the bridge and hurriedly found my sister. “Mari, we have to go back.”

She smiled wide and nodded knowingly. “I was hoping you would say that.” She took off the heart-shaped necklace Mama gave to me and placed it back around my neck. “Now come on,” she softly said. “Let’s go home.”

I stood on Graham’s porch, my heart pounding in my chest. I wasn’t certain what was on the other side of that door, but I knew whatever it was wouldn’t make me run. I was going to stay. Forever and always, I was staying.

I knocked a few times and rang the doorbell, and then I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

When I turned the doorknob, I was surprised to find it open. “Hello?” I called.

The room was dark, and it was clear that Graham wasn’t home. When I heard footsteps, I tensed up. Lyric came from the bedroom hurriedly, two suitcases in her hands. She didn’t see me right away, and when she looked up, there was a look of panic in her eyes.

“Lucy,” she said breathlessly. Her hair was wild, like how Mama’s had always looked, and her eyes were bloodshot. I knew I owed her nothing. I knew I didn’t have a word to say to her, or comfort to give her way.

But the way her eyes looked, the heaviness of her shoulders…

Sometimes the ugliest people were the ones who were the most broken.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

She snickered, and a few tears fell from her eyes. “As if you care.”

“Why do you think I hate you?” I blurted out. “Why in the world do you hate me?”

She shifted her feet and stood tall. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Sure you do, Lyric. I don’t know why, but it seems you’ve always had a problem with me, especially after Mama passed away. I just never understood why. I always looked up to you.” She huffed, not believing me. “Seriously.”

She parted her lips and at first, no words came out, but then she tried again. “She loved you more, okay? She always loved you more.”

“What? That’s ridiculous. She loved all three of us girls the same.”

“No, that’s just not true. You were her heart. She was always talking about you, how free you were, how smart you were, how amazing you were. You were her light.”

“Lyric, she loved you.”

“I resented you. I resented how she loved you, and then, I come back here and he loves you too. Everyone has always loved you, Lucy, and I was left unlovable.”

“I always loved you, Lyric,” I said, my chest hurting from the pain in her voice.

She snickered in disbelief as her body shook and tears rolled down her cheeks. “You know the last thing Mama said to me as she was lying on her death bed and I was holding her hand?”

“What’s that?”

“Go get your sister,” she said, her voice cracking. “I want Lucy.”

I felt it, too, the way those words cracked my sister’s heart, how ever since she’d never been able to put the pieces back together.

“Lyric…” I started, but she shook her head.

“No. I’m done. I’m just done. Don’t worry, you can have your life. I don’t belong here. Nothing about this house is home to me.”

“You’re leaving?” I asked, confused. “Does Graham know you’re leaving?”


“Lyric, you can’t just walk out on them, not again.”

“Why? I did it before. Besides, he doesn’t want me here, and I don’t want to be here.”

“But you could’ve at least left a note like you did last time,” Graham said, making us turn to face him. When his eyes locked with mine, I felt my heart remember how to beat.

“I didn’t think it was necessary,” Lyric said, grabbing the handles on her suitcases.

“Okay, but before you go, wait here,” Graham said, walking over to me with Talon in his hands. “Lucille,” he whispered, his voice low, his eyes filled with that same gentleness I’d seen a few months back.

“Graham Cracker,” I replied.

“Can you hold her?” he asked.

“Always,” I replied.

He wandered off to his office, and when he came back, he was holding paperwork and a pen.

“What is this?” Lyric asked as he held the sheets of paper out to her.

“Divorce papers, and legal paperwork granting me full custody of Talon. You don’t get to run again without making this right, Jane. You don’t get to walk away and then leave the possibility of you taking my daughter away hanging over my head.”

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