It was Saturday, Christmas Eve. Everyone was laughing, and Chad and Christine were holding hands. Alice and her spinster sisters had cooked a traditional meal, and Michael had helped set the table. He was almost seven, and could not stop talking about all of the many things he expected to get on Christmas morning. He was spending the whole day with Christine's family so that he could be with his mother on Christmas day.

Chad was more relaxed than he realized he knew how to be. The last month, he and Christine had made a concious effort to loosen up and reach out to enjoy life. Christine was continuing to go to therapy and figure out what was important to her life, while he made sure that he talked to her about what she was feeling, and even what she was learning from the therapist. He tried to extend himself to be more physical with her, more boyfriend material.

The thing was, she impressed him so much with her persistent confessions and desire to change, the he fell in love with her all over again. Each day was new for him, and he felt like it was what he needed, also. This accident, this revcelation that she had, was like the creation of a breath of fresh air, blowing them to a bolstered relationship. Their long engagement had finally become something that mad ethem excited to become married, not just waiting for the next step. He noticed that Michael seemed happier, too, and he grinned at them every time he saw them kiss.

Christine looked over at Steven, who had missed the last few jokes, but seemed so satisfied. She remembered last night- they had attended Michael's school play and then had gone out afterwards, trying some wine with their dinner and even sharing a few dances. Her soul was flying high, saying hello to everyone she saw. They went to his house and made love, finally finding a comforting peace in one another's intimacy. Although they had not moved in together, they stayed with one another often, Christine expressing how much she needed the comfort of his embrace, and he learning to use physical intimacy to express his feelings.

They took each day as it came, but also continued to plan for the future in a responsible and organized fashion. She was going back to school in January, as he was receiving his masters in May. After the wedding in September, she convinced him that they should go on a cruise for the honeymoon- economical but romantic. She made him talk about what married life would be like, what they would do to keep passion alive, and how they would keep connecting with each other. Christine would not let him discuss when they would have a baby or what she would do after she finished her degree. She wanted there to be some mystery to life. It was her mission to refuse predictability, and to just relax, and smile, and most of all talk about what was going on.

Not only was she happy, everyone around her seemed happier.

The End

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