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I met Edgar in high school. We were both fourteen. He and his family had just immigrated from Mexico, so he was a little nervous, being in a new school. I was, too, because it was my first year of high school. We met in choir. We both shared a passion for music, and we quickly became the best of friends. Edd started hanging out with me and my other best friend, Lexi. We didn't know it at the time, but we felt something more for each other than just friendship. Well, maybe we did know it. We were just too afraid to admit it. Even Lexi could see we liked each other, but she didn't say anything. I guess everyone knew there was something between us, because we spent so much time together. We went to all the school dances together. We went to each other's houses often, and we told each other our secrets. Senior year, we both went to the prom together, and we both were crowned Prom King and Queen. Edd was pretty popular in high school. Everybody loved him. The girls were wild about him, and the boys looked to him as a role model. He wasn't popular because of superficial reasons. He was popular, because he was kind to everyone. He always smiled at the people walking by, and he was never afraid to walk up to someone to say hello. He was an excellent friend to everybody. He was a straight "A" student, and a tutor for others who struggled with their academics. He was especially great at tutoring in Spanish, since that was his first language. He was even valedictorian by the time graduation rolled around. After graduation, we both went to the same college together, and we never stopped spending every waking minute together. Our friendship only grew stronger. I can't believe we missed all the signs, though, telling us we were in love. My name is Céili O'Sullivan. My name is pronounced Kay-lee. My family is from Ireland, but we have been living in Honolulu, Hawaii for a long time. I can't remember much from Ireland. I was only two years old when we moved. My older sister, Máiréad, remembers a little more than I do, and by the way, Máiréad is an easy name to pronounce. It rhymes with "parade." That what she tells everybody. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. My name is Céili O'Sullivan, and this is my love story about me and Edgar.
It was ten years after I met Edgar, and I was sharing a small house with Lexi. It was in late August. By then, I was starting to realize my real feelings for him. However, I was seeing someone at the time. His name was Logan. I was trying to deny what I felt for Edgar, and hold onto Logan, but the truth is, there really wasn't anything between me and Logan. I didn't see that yet. I was too busy running from the truth. Well, Edd was very supportive of me. He and Lexi even helped me get ready for my dates. One night, I was getting ready for another date, and as always, Edd and Lexi helped me get ready. I had no idea this would be the last date with Logan. He was taking me to a fancy, Italian restaurant. "I like the black dress," said Lexi, handing me a knee-length, spaghettistrap dress. "Me, too," I agreed. I hid in the closet to change. Edd looked at Lexi with a sad expression in his eyes. Lexi patted his shoulder. "I know," she said softly. "I know, Sweetie." I came back out of the closet when I was dressed. "How do I look?" "Great!" Lexi replied. "Now, let me do your hair and makeup." "Okay." Edd just watched as Lexi applied the makeup and lipstick to my face, and brushed and curled my hair. Then, he grabbed my flats out of my closet, and placed them in front of me. I stepped into them after Lexi finished making me over. "You look gorgeous," said Lexi. "Oh, wait." She opened my jewelry box, pulled out a pearl necklace, and tied it around my neck. It was the necklace Edd gave me on my twenty-first birthday. Lexi eyed me. "You look perfect. Turn around. Show Edd." I did so. Edd just stared at me, smiling uncontrollably. "Doesn't she look gorgeous?" Lexi asked. "Like an angel," Edd replied. I sprayed myself with the perfume Edd gave me for Christmas as the doorbell rang. "Bye," I said hastily as I raced to the front door. When I opened it, there was Logan in a three-piece suit. Wow, he looked great. "You look very handsome," I flirted. "You look hot!" Logan laughed. I giggled. "You ready to go?" "Yep." After I left the house, Edd slowly sauntered out of my bedroom, and into the living room. He sat down on the couch by himself, and just stared at the floor, deep in thought. Lexi followed him in a few minutes later, and sat down next to him. "Hey," she said. "You okay?"
Edd looked up at Lexi. "Why did it take me so long to realize how I feel about Céili?" "I don't know, but sometimes, it does." "Now, it's too late." "Don't be so sure yet. Céili and Logan aren't getting to serious yet." "But, what if they do?" "I really don't think they will." "How do you know?" "I don't see any real sparks between them." "You saw how excited she got." "Yeah, but when she looks at him, her face doesn't light up. She's just trying to hold onto him, because she's scared." "I don't know." "Honey, I've known her since preschool. I know how she works, and I can tell she really likes you. I could tell there was something between you two from day one." "Why didn't you say something?" "I didn't wanna get involved." "Why is she scared?" "Because, you've been best friends for so long, and she's afraid that'll be ruined if the relationship doesn't work between you two." "I understand." "She'll come to you someday. Just keep believing." "Gracias, Lexi." "De nada. I'm always here if you need me."
That night, I came home with an absent-minded smile on my face. "Hey, girl," Lexi greeted at the front door. "How was the date?" "Great," I replied. "You looked tired." "I am." "You feel like some hot chocolate before bed?" "Sure." I followed Lexi into the kitchen. "Where's Edd?" I asked as Lexi turned the kettle on. "He went home," Lexi replied, pouring the chocolate powder into two cups. When the hot chocolate was ready, Lexi and I sat at the kitchen table. "Was the food good at the restaurant?" asked Lexi. "Yeah, it was great." "I know that was kinda random." "It's okay," I chuckled. "So, how are you and Logan getting along?" "Great." "Do you like him?" "Of course." "How much?" "I don't know. We've only known each other for a few weeks." "So, you're taking it slow?" "Yep." "That's good." Lexi could see I was holding something back. I wanted to say more, but I just couldn't get it out. I couldn't tell her I didn't feel right with Logan. Something was missing. A lot of things were missing—chemistry, sparks, and real love. I didn't feel real love for him, so why was I still hanging on? Why couldn't I admit that Edd was the one I wanted to be with? I really wanted Lexi to just make me break the ice. Just bring Edd up, and ask me how I felt about him! "Do you think you might fall in love with him?" asked Lexi. "Maybe," I lied. "I don't know." Come on, Lexi. Ask me about Edd! There was a few seconds of awkward silence. Lexi and I both took sips from our drinks. "What about Edd?" Yes! Lexi finally asked! "What about him?" I asked. "Do you like him?" "Of course. He's my friend." "No, I mean, do you like him, like him?" I didn't speak for a few seconds. All I could do was wipe away vast tears from my eyes. "Awww, you do like him." "I do," I sniffled. "Do you like him more than you like Logan?"
"I think so." "Haven't you always had feelings for Edd?" "I really think I have." Give me a break. I was only just beginning to realize it. "I know so. I knew there was something between you two from day one. I didn't say anything, because I didn't wanna get involved. I didn't wanna make things awkward for you." "What if Edd doesn't want me?" "Honey, he does." "How do you know?" "I talked to him while you were out." I hesitated. "What about Logan? I don't wanna hurt him." "Be as kind as you can, Sweetie, but there's no easy way to break it off." Well, that's what I thought, until the next day. I was at the mall with Lexi, when I saw Logan with another woman. At first, I thought it was no big deal. They were just friends, but when I saw him kissing her, I was so relieved. Well I was relieved, because it would be so much easier to break it off with him, but angry, because he was cheating on me. I stormed over to him. "Logan!" I shouted. "What the hell?!" Logan jumped. "Oh, uh, Céili," he laughed nervously. "I didn't see you there. How are you?" Yeah, right, like that would get him out of trouble. "How long has this been going on?!" "Why does it matter?" "Uh, because you were with me, and kissing someone else behind my back is called cheating!" "Céili—" "Save it, Logan! We're through!" I stormed off, ran back to Lexi, and sighed in relief. Meanwhile, the woman Logan kissed slapped him across the face, and zoomed off! "You okay?" Lexi asked me. "Yeah, it's over," I said. "I guess you were wrong. There is one easy way to break it off." Lexi laughed. "Good thing you didn't like him all that much." "Forget him. I need to talk to Edd tonight." "Are you ready for this?" "Absolutely. Logan was no big deal. I'm not that upset." "Good for you. Sounds like you are ready for a new relationship." "I've been ready. Just took me forever to realize it. I'll call Edd, and invite him over tonight." "Okay." We finished shopping, and went home.
That night, I threw some popcorn into the microwave, and boiled the water in the kettle for hot chocolate. It was all ready just as the doorbell rang. "Coming!" I called as I set the cups and bowls down on the coffee table, in the living room, hurried to the front door, and opened it. "Hi, Edd," I greeted. "Thanks for coming." "Hola, Céili," Edd greeted. "Come in. I made popcorn and hot chocolate." I walked with Edd into the living room. We grabbed our drinks and bowls of popcorn, and sat down next to each other on the sofa. "Where's Lexi?" asked Edd. "She's in her room," I replied. "She wanted to give us some privacy." "So, what do you want to talk about?" "Well, first of all, Logan and I broke up." "Awww, I'm sorry." "No, don't be. I wanted to break it off with him anyway, and then, I caught him kissing another woman." "What a jerk." I laughed. "Yeah, but it's no big deal." "You didn't like him?" "Not nearly as much as…" I paused nervously. "What?" I looked at Edd for a few seconds before I was finally able to spit it out. "You." Edd's face lit up. "You really like me?" I took a deep breath. "Yes." I took another one. "Edd, I don't know why it took me so long to realize this, but I've always liked you. I more than like you. I think I might be falling in love with you." Edd placed his hand on my shoulder. "I feel the same for you, too." "Have you been feeling that way for ten years?" "Yes." "I was too scared to admit it. I stayed with Logan, because I thought I would find love with him. I was so busy running from the truth; I didn't stop to listen to what my heart was saying. I was afraid that it would ruin our friendship, but now, I'm ready to give it a try." "My mother taught me to take chances." "Mine, too." Edd took a handful of popcorn out of his bowl, and ate it. "Mmm," he said. "You made good popcorn." "Thank you." Edd took another bite, and I took a sip of my drink. "So, do you wanna go out tomorrow night?" asked Edd. "On a date?" "Yeah." "Sure. Why not?"
"Good." "Where do you wanna go?" "I'll surprise you." "Ahh, I love surprises!" "I know you do." "It's good we've known each other for so long." "Yeah. It'll make the relationship stronger." "Yeah." "I'll see you tomorrow, then." "You don't have to go yet. Finish your popcorn." Edd chuckled. "Okay." "I can't eat it all by myself." Edd stayed for another hour. We finished our refreshments, talk, and laughed.
The next day, Lexi and I were at the studio with three other friends, Teresa, Cheyenne, and Rosie. The five of us make up a band. We perform a mixture of pop, classical, and even some Irish music. All of our songs have a Celtic sound in them. We call ourselves "Celtic Circle." We are four vocalists and one violinist. Sound familiar? Yes, we are a lot like Celtic Woman, but we do a lot of our own songs as well. That afternoon, we had just finished rehearsing for an upcoming gig. "Great rehearsal, girls," said Cheyenne. Cheyenne was sort of the leader of our group. "See you here tomorrow." "Okay," I said excitedly. "What are you smilin' about?" asked Teresa with a slight grin. "I have a date!" I squeaked. "With Logan?" "Nope. With Edgar." "Awwww!" Teresa and Rosie cooed. "I'm so happy for you!" Teresa exclaimed. "Me, too!" added Rosie. Lexi just smiled. Cheyenne, on the other hand, I didn't see a smile from at all. She just stood there with a stiff face. "Cheyenne, what's wrong?" asked Lexi. "Didn't you just break up with Logan yesterday?" Cheyenne asked me. "Yeah," I replied. "So?" "Aren't you rushing things?" "Normally, I'd agree with you, but no, not this time." "She wasn't all that upset about Logan." "Okay," Cheyenne said hesitantly. Wow, you'd think Cheyenne would be happy for me. I guess not. "Well, I need to go get ready," I said. "See you later." Lexi and I zoomed out of the studio. Teresa and Rosie gave Cheyenne a "serious" look. "Don't do anything stupid, Cheyenne," said Teresa. "What are you—" Teresa covered Cheyenne's mouth. "Cheyenne, I'm not kidding. You know how nosy and controlling you get when it comes to everyone else's personal lives, so stay out of it." "But, she's rushing things," Cheyenne complained. "She knows what she's doing," added Rosie. "Promise us you'll keep your nose out of her business," Teresa demanded. Cheyenne sighed, slightly annoyed. "Okay. Okay, I'll stay out of it." Meanwhile, Lexi was helping me get ready for my date with Edd! Oh, wow, I was so excited!
"What do you think of this dress?" Lexi asked, holding up a long, pink, strapless dress. "Love it!" I laughed. "Me, too!" Lexi laid the dress on the bed. "And, I think your white flats go with it perfectly." "Okay." I grabbed the dress. "I'll go change." I hid in the closet, and quickly changed my clothes. I slid my feet into my white flats, and reopened the door. Lexi did my hair and makeup, and I wore the same necklace and perfume as I did on the last date with Logan. However, this time, the perfume and necklace were more meaningful, because I was going out with the man who gave them to me. Okay, I ramble too much when I'm excited. When I was finally made-up and ready, Lexi turned me towards the mirror. "Look at yourself," she said. "You look so beautiful." I stared in the mirror, and smiled. "Thank you, Lexi." "You're always beautiful, but you're even more beautiful than usual. I guess it's because, in your heart, you know you're gonna be insanely happy." "I think I'm already getting there." Just then, the doorbell rang. "There he is!" I gasped eagerly. "Go get him, tiger," Lexi joked. I flew to the front door, and threw it open. "Hi!" I squealed when I saw Edd in a red sweater and black, silk pants. Edd stood still for a moment, staring and smiling at me. "You look very handsome," I said. "Thank you," Edd said shyly. "Are you okay?" "I never saw you look so beautiful." "Awww, thank you." "Are you ready to go?" "Absolutely." Edd put his arm around me, and walked me to the car. He even opened the car door for me. What a gentleman!
We had a different kind of first date. We didn't go out to eat at a fancy restaurant. We stopped at Taco Bell to pick up some food to go. Edd bought lots of delicious food, enough to last us through breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then, Edd surprised me by pulling into the parking lot of Waimea Beach. My mouth dropped open. Edd opened the car door for me, and even held my hand as I got out. Then, I helped him grab the food, along with a big blanket. We carried everything to the beach. We walked along the sand, until Edd found the perfect spot to lay out the blanket. He and I both laid out the blanket, sat down, and placed the food in front of us. I beamed at Edd. "You've been planning this for a while, haven't you?" Edd chuckled. "Yeah. I thought it would be romantic, but I didn't want to do it with anyone else." "Aww, you're very romantic." "I'm sorry it's not the fancy restaurants Logan brought you to." "No, it's better. Edd, I don't care about fancy things. I like it simple." I dug through one of the paper bags, and pulled out a taco. "Logan was always trying so hard to impress me with all the fancy restaurants and his smooth talk. He wasn't what I wanted. He never even opened the car door for me like you did. He didn't treat me like a lady. He treated me like the 'hot girl,' like a trophy, like I was on display." "I won't do that to you. You deserve better." "You're a true gentleman." "I try to be." "Well, you succeeded." "Muchas gracias." "De nada." "So, how was rehearsal today?" "It was wonderful. We have a gig coming up in a few weeks." "Wow." "Yeah, we get to perform the whole night. I'm really looking forward to it." "I'll be there for you." "Thank you." "I'll be in the front row." I smiled. "Rehearsal was actually better than usual." "Why is that?" "I think it's because of you." "Me?" "I don't know what it is, but you made me sing better today." "How did I do that?" I giggled. "I don't know. I guess…" Edd laughed.
I looked into his eyes. "I guess… maybe because I've never… felt something like this before." "What?" "I don't know. It's a totally new feeling to me. I don't know if it's a crush, or… if… I'm in love for the first time." "I know what you're talking about. I felt like that at first." "At first?" "Now, I know what it is." "It feels… right." "Yeah." For a moment, we couldn't do anything, but stare into each other's eyes. Then, we slowly leaned toward each other. Our lips touched, and formed a kiss. It wasn't one of those short kisses that only lasted for two seconds. It was real, and it lasted for what felt like forever. I loved every second of it. After a while, we slowly separated, and just smiled brightly at each other, completely speechless. "Wow," Edd exhaled. "Yeah," I agreed. "That was—" "Magical?" "Yeah." "I didn't—" "Want it to end?" "No!" And, we wrapped our arms around each other as we kissed again. After we finished our meal, we packed the leftover food and the blanket back into the car, we took a walk along the beach. The waves were so calm, as if they were moving in slow motion, like a dream. The sun dipped behind the clouds, and below the water, creating beautiful colors in the sky. Soon, the stars came out, and the moon shone brightly to guide us along our way. As I held Edd's hand, I could feel a pulse rushing through our joined fingers. It was a gentle pulse. I've held hands with other men in the past, but never had I felt that before. We stopped walking after a while, and gazed up at the moon and the stars. That night, they seemed brighter than ever before. We kissed passionately as the moonbeams hit us. "Are you getting hot in that sweater?" I whispered. "Yeah," Edd replied. "Here." I helped Edd remove his sweater, and I kept hold of it to keep it out of the sand. "Better?" "Yes." Edd wrapped his arms around me again as I gently caressed his backside and shoulders. He kissed me sweetly once again. "Will you dance with me?" asked Edd. "With no music?" "I'll make music for us."
"Okay." I giggled. Edd took the sweater from my arms, and set it down in the sand. I guess he didn't mind shaking sand out of it. He held onto me tightly, and he sang to me. His voice was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard in my life. Soon, I joined in, and we were making our own beautiful music while holding onto each other for dear life.
"It was… magical," I said to my girlfriends at the studio the next day. "He held me like he didn't wanna let go, like I was his lifeline, and… he sang to me. He… sang to me." Tears formed as I spoke. "I've never heard a sound as beautiful as his voice." "Do you love him?" asked Rosie. "I think I do." "Think?" Cheyenne enquired. "Well, I've never felt anything like this before." "Well, you know what a crush feels like," said Teresa. "Yep," I agreed. "Honey, you're in love." "I really am." My face lit up. "Awwwww!" Teresa, Lexi, and Rosie squealed. "When are you gonna see him again?" asked Teresa. "Tonight," I replied. "He invited me to his place." "Guys, we need to rehearse," Cheyenne butted in. "Shut up, Cheyenne," said Teresa. "We're talking to Céili." Cheyenne frowned. "Is he making dinner for you?" asked Rosie. "I think so." "That would be so romantic." "Yeah." I nodded. "You know, I noticed something when we were rehearsing yesterday." "That we need to rehearse today, instead of talk?" added a bitter Cheyenne. "Cheyenne!" Teresa snapped. "Shut up!" Cheyenne went back to frowning. I continued. "I was singing better than before. Edd made me sing better." "Good," Cheyenne interrupted. "Now—" "Shut the hell up!" Teresa shouted, thrashing her hand over Cheyenne's mouth. Once again, I continued. "He gives me my musical inspiration. He gives me the strength to sing from the heart." "Aww, that's great," said Rosie. "I can't wait to hear how you sound today after that night you had with him," added Lexi. Cheyenne tried to open her mouth to speak, but Teresa kept her hand over it. "I'm ready to rehearse now," I said. "You sure you don't wanna talk some more?" asked Teresa. "No. I wanna sing some more. I wanna sing my heart out, loud enough for Edd to hear!"
Well, rehearsal went great! I really sang my heart out. I poured out my emotions through music, like I've never done before. I imagined Edd hearing me from where he was. Although, I think it could've been absolutely perfect if Cheyenne didn't act like such a bitter sourpuss. Oh, well. That's Cheyenne for you. She's a regular pain in the butt. Well, other than her pouting, rehearsal was great!
Edd and I spent every waking minute together. He even came to watch me in rehearsal a few times. Cheyenne didn't really like that, but that was just too bad. It was finally our big night. We were so blessed to be able to perform at the Hawaii Opera Theater. Wow! We had eighteen songs all lined up and rehearsed. Our backing music was prerecorded, which gave us a lot more room to move and dance around on the stage. Five minutes before the show, and we were all backstage, in our gowns. We each wore long, white, strapless gowns with flowy skirts, matching white flats, and our professionally-done hair and makeup. "Well, this is it, guys," said Cheyenne, taking deep breaths. "Our big night." "Yep," agreed a nervous Rosie. "Let's nail it. Don't mess anything up." "Cheyenne, you're putting pressure on us," said Teresa. "Well, I'm sorry," said Cheyenne, "but this has to be perfect. This could be our big chance." Cheyenne's words made me so nervous. I was shaking in my dress. Then, we walked out onto the stage, and I looked in the audience. Edd was there, front and center. As soon as I saw his smiling face, all my nerves disappeared, and I knew everything would work out perfectly. It was my big moment. The music finally started. We began singing as Rosie played her fiddle, and danced like a fairy. Each song had some personal meaning to all of us, which made it so much easier to sing from our hearts. The whole time, I could feel Edd's love around me as I sang and danced. It was like I was singing and dancing for him and me, for the two of us. At the end of the show, we received a standing ovation, which we weren't at all expecting. We looked out into the audience, and saw many people with tears in their eyes. Wow! What a great feeling, knowing we were able to stir up so much emotion. I caught a glance of Edd's face. He was in tears, and at that moment, I suddenly burst into tears myself. I was so happy! We took our bows, and then, exited the stage. When we went backstage, guess who was waiting there. Yes, you're right! Edd! As soon as I saw him sitting there, I immediately ran to him with tears in my eyes, and flew into his arms. He held me tightly. "You were wonderful!" he sobbed. "I'm so proud of you, mi ángel." "We're all proud of you, girl," added Lexi, patting my back. "We're all proud of each other. It was a great show." "Edd, I was so nervous," I sniffled, "but when I saw you out there, I calmed down. You made me feel okay. I wasn't nervous anymore." "I'm glad I could help you," said Edd, drying his tears. He removed his glasses from his face, cleaned them, and then, put them back on again.
"I hope we can do it again sometime," said Teresa. "Yeah, but if we do," said Cheyenne, "Céili, you need to focus more." "I'm sorry?" I asked, confused. "You can't keep focusing on your love life and Edd. You need to focus on our band." "What is your problem, Cheyenne?" asked an agitated Teresa. "Céili, I'm just afraid yours and Edd's relationship is getting in the way of the important stuff." My happy feelings changed to confusion and sadness. "Why can't you just be happy for me?" I asked. "I am. It's just—" "No, you're not!" I snapped. "Every time I even mention Edd's name, you wig out, like I'm ruining the whole band. You can't just be supportive, not once! You always have to make me feel guilty, like I'm doing something wrong. Geez, if you don't support me, just shut up, and leave me alone." I scoffed in frustration, and stormed out. "Céili!" Lexi called, hoping I would turn around again, but I didn't. She glared at Cheyenne. "What was that all about?" "Ever since she and Edd started dating, she's always focusing on him, and it's messing us up!" Cheyenne whined. "What are you talking about?!" exclaimed Teresa. "Ever since she's been with Edd, she's made our music better! She sings with emotion now! She makes the songs more personal, and she sings from the heart! She draws from her love for him, but maybe you're too deaf to hear it!" "Okay, okay!" Cheyenne sighed. "I'm sorry, okay?" "Yeah, well, maybe you should apologize to Céili and Edd," Lexi suggested. Well, that apology never came up. Cheyenne just went on as if nothing happened, so we decided not to pick at it.
The next night, Edd was spending time at my house. We were in my bedroom, snuggling on the bed. "I'm really sorry about Cheyenne's behavior last night," I said. "It's okay, mi ángel," Edd said sweetly. "No, no, it's not okay. She had no right to say that about you." "She can say what she wants about me. I don't care." "But, Edd—" "It's alright, Céiliangel. She can't break us up." I beamed at Edd. "Céiliangel. I like that." Edd giggled. "Céiliangel. Cheyenne can't break us up. I don't care what she says. She won't do anything to hurt us, because I love you." At that moment, the whole world just stopped, and time stood still. My heart slowly started pounding. I was speechless for a few seconds. Then, I was able to talk again. "You love me?" "Sí," said Edd. "I love you so much." A huge smile formed across my face, and my eyes lit up. "I love you, too, Edgar." "See? Cheyenne can't stop us from loving each other." "Nobody can." "No." I closed my eyes, and curled up in Edd's arms. "Edd?" "Hmm?" "Will you make love to me?" Wow! I have never, ever said that before! I never even wanted to do it with any other man, not even Logan. No, especially not Logan. This time, however, I was ready. Every bone in my body was telling me so, especially my heart. I wasn't afraid to do it with Edd. Although, I was afraid that my request might've made him nervous. "What?" Edd enquired, surprised. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pressure you." "It's okay, Baby." "I'm ready, but if you're not, I'll wait for you." Edd sat up in the bed, and bent over me. "No, I'm ready, too." "You are?" I smiled with a little giggle. "I've been ready, but I was waiting for you to be ready." "I'm sorry." "No, I wanted to wait." "Why?" "Because, I wanted it to mean more." "It doesn't mean anything if we're both not ready?" "No." "I love the way you think." "Come here." Edd grabbed my hand, and we helped each other remove our clothes. We snuggled under the blankets, and for the first time, made love.
Wow, it was even better than I ever imagined it to be. I have to confess that I had dreams about it before, doing it with Edd, but the real thing was special. Before Edd, however, I never even dreamt about it, or even pictured any other man naked. I guess I never loved anyone else, but I knew I loved Edd. I don't regret anything with him, except that it took me so long to come to my senses, and realize how I felt about him. I only wish I could've opened my eyes sooner, but it was all worth it in the end. Oh, and yes, we used condoms! "That was wonderful," I said breathlessly. "Totally worth the wait," Edd agreed. I giggled. "Yeah." Edd kissed me. "Oh, God, Edd, I love you so much," I wept. "Awwww, come here, mi ángel preciosa." Edd folded me into his arms, and wiped away my tears. "Awwww, 'precious angel.' That's so sweet." "You are my precious angel." "And, you're mine, too." "I'll always be your angel, mi amor. I'll always protect you from things that could hurt you, and I will always love you." "I'll always, always love you, too." I held on tighter. "This is our special spot," I whispered. "What do you mean?" "My bed, it's our spot. We made love here for the first time, so your presence will always be right where you're laying now." "I'll always be with you in spirit when I'm not here for real." Just then, the phone rang. "Hold on," I said, picking the phone up. "Hello? Oh, hi, Máiréad! Yeah! Yeah, I'll be here then. Oh? Oh, okay! Yes, I will! Okay, see you then. Bye." I hung up. "What did she say?" asked Edd. "She has an announcement. She's coming over tomorrow, and she wants me to invite all my friends to hear it." "Oh, I can't wait to hear it." I giggled. "I can't, either." Then, we made love again.
The next day, Lexi and I prepared dinner. We had invited Edd, Teresa, and Rosie over. Yeah, that's right. We didn't invite Cheyenne. None of us wanted to deal with her criticism. We didn't even tell her about it, because we knew she would give us a hard time about it. Anyway, Lexi and I had just finished preparing the food when the doorbell rang. Lexi flew to the door while I moved the food onto the plates, and set them on the dining room table. Finally, everyone had arrived—Teresa, Edd, Rosie, Máiréad, and Brian, Máiréad's husband. We all gathered around the dining table for dinner. "Okay, before we start," said Máiréad, "I have some news." We all listened. "Everyone…" Máiréad paused dramatically. "I'm pregnant!" she exclaimed. The rest of us squealed and shouted with excitement! "We're so happy for you, Máiréad!" Lexi squealed. "Thank you so much." We started eating, and continued talking. "So, how far along are you?" asked Teresa. "Six weeks," said Máiréad. "She was feeling sick, the other day," Brian chimed in, "so we went to the doctor to see if she was okay." "Well, I almost fell off the table when the doctor said I was pregnant!" "Have you decided on names yet?" asked Lexi. "Well, if it's a boy, I might name Patrick, after Dad." Our father, Patrick, passed away when I was only fifteen, and Máiréad was almost eighteen. He had a nasty heart attack. Máiréad continued. "If it's a girl, I might name it Céili, after my awesome, little sis." "Awwwww!" Lexi and I cooed. Later on, it was just me, Lexi, Teresa, and Rosie. We were gathered in the living room. "How was your night with Edd last night?" asked Rosie. "Well, he came over here, and we were snuggling in my bed," I said. "I apologized for Cheyenne's behavior." The others laughed. "He said he didn't care what she said. Nothing could ever break us up. Then, he said… he loves me." The others gasped and squealed. "Did you say it back?" asked Rosie. "Well, of course!" I joked. We all laughed. I continued. "And, then…" "There's more?!" Teresa enquired eagerly. I paused for dramatic effect. "We had sex."
The other girls screamed. "Oh, my gosh!" Teresa shrieked. "How was it?" asked Lexi. "There are no words to describe it," I said. "That good?" Rosie chuckled. "Yes, that good!" I laughed. "Edd is a master under the sheets!" The others burst out laughing. "Oh, but it was special," I sighed happily. "It was absolutely magical. I love him so much." "We're so happy for you, Hun," said Rosie. "Thank you." "It's so nice being able to talk without Cheyenne butting in," Teresa snarled. The rest of us laughed. "Oh, gosh," I cringed, "if Cheyenne knew I was having sex, I would never hear the end of it from her!" "I have no clue what her problem is," said Teresa. "She's always up in people's faces, and she has to control everything around her." "Lately, it seems she's picking on me more than anyone else," I added. "We should talk more like this," said Lexi, "just the four of us." "Yeah," Rosie agreed, "that way we can talk about our personal lives without being judged." "Honestly, the only reason we're keeping Cheyenne in the band is because of her talent," said Teresa. "Other than that, she's a royal pain in the ass." "Even more so lately," added Lexi. "She was a total bitch to us the other night. "I don't know what she was complaining about, but we nailed that show." "Yeah," I agreed, "and she just attacked me. Then, she attacked my Edd." "She still hasn't apologized to you for that?" asked Rosie. "Oh, come on," I joked. "It's Cheyenne. She never apologizes." We laughed softly. "Well, I disagree with her," said Teresa. "I think Edd made a huge difference in you in our music, in a good way. You made us sound awesome together, because of him." "I think Cheyenne is delusional," Lexi snickered. "She obviously didn't see the reaction from the crowd." "Well, we did," said Rosie, "and if she doesn't like the way we perform, she's more than welcome to leave." I changed the subject. "So, anyone for popcorn?"
That night, I stayed up late. I sat at my desk, just doodling on paper. I couldn't sleep just yet, so I just stayed up, until I was ready to. I doodled for a few minutes. Then, I ripped up the sloppy sheet up paper, and threw it in the trash. I had a blank sheet of paper in front of me again, to start over again, but this time, I didn't doodle anymore. I began writing, writing lines of words that seemed to have meaning to them. I just kept writing and writing, until I had written a full song. I poured my heart out through song lyrics. I hadn't done that since I was a teenager, when I used to write about Ireland, and the vague memories I had of it. After a while, I didn't have anything else to write a song about, until that night. All the doodling I did was like the past. After I finished, I would throw it away, just like letting go of the past, and just move onto whatever was next. Usually, it was more doodling and scribbling, until that night. That night, the doodling was Logan, and throwing it away was my wise choice to walk away from him. The song was Edd. The song was about Edd. The lyrics, I thought, described our love perfectly. They talked about the first time we confessed our feelings for each other, our first date, our first kiss, the first time we said "I love you," and the first time we made love. They also spoke of the bright future ahead. Sitting at my desk, and reading over the lyrics, I could definitely see a bright future for me and Edd. I read over the lyrics once again, and decided to add music to them. I took my song into the piano room, along with more blank paper. I closed the door to keep the music from waking Lexi, and took my seat at the piano. When I was younger, it took forever to write music to my songs, but this time, the notes, the chords, and the whole arrangement came so quickly. I wrote out the music fast. Then, I went back to the beginning to play and sing through it, and hear how it sounded. I was more than satisfied with the outcome, and finally able to go to bed, and sleep soundly. In the morning, I woke up later than usual, an hour before lunchtime. I jumped out of bed, threw my clothes on, brushed my teeth, and zoomed into the kitchen, where Lexi was boiling water for hot chocolate. "Morning, Céili," Lexi greeted. "Morning," I greeted cheerfully. "What are you so happy about?" Lexi giggled. "I was up late." "And?" "I wrote a song," I said, as if I was making a major announcement to the world. "Ohhh, really?!" "Yep." "You haven't written a song in a long time!" "Nope, until now." "Well, I wanna hear it." Lexi poured the hot water into two cups of chocolate powder, and stirred quickly and thoroughly. "It should stay hot for five
minutes," she said, following me into the piano room, where I had left my written music. I sat at the piano, and Lexi stood next to me as I played and sang my song. Unlike the night before, I sang it out loud, and I was able to let out all my emotions. With that, all the beautiful memories with Edd came flooding back, and made me sing stronger. There was a few seconds of complete silence when I finished. Then, Lexi finally spoke. "Wow!" she exhaled. "Just… wow!" "You like it?" I asked. "No, Honey, I love it!" I laughed. "I absolutely love it! You should sing that for Celtic Circle." "You think so?" "Well, duh!" I giggled. "Maybe I will." "Well, then, good." I smirked at Lexi. "Do you think I should sing it to Edd?" "Again, duh!" Lexi and I both laughed. "He would really love that. In fact, I have an idea. Why don't you record that for him?" "That's a good idea!" "Of course. All my ideas are brilliant." "Now, don't get a big head." Lexi giggled. "You won't fit through the front door." We both laughed out loud. "Do you think this is good with just piano accompaniment, or do I need a band?" I asked. "It's perfect with just the piano, because then, it's all just from you. It makes it more personal when it's all from the same person." "Thanks, Lexi." "We'll record it after lunch." And of course, we did. There was no rehearsal that day. It was Friday, and we only rehearsed from Monday to Thursday.
That night, Edd and I were lying in our spot again—my bed. We were holding onto each other for dear life, and kissing passionately. "So, how was your day, my love?" Edd asked in a sexy voice. "Wonderful," I said with a grin on my face. "I have something for you." "Oh? A present?" I giggled. "Yes." I reached over to my bedside table, grabbed the CD with the recording of my song, and inserted it into my Boom Box. "I want you to hear this." I hit play, and the music started with a piano intro. "Who's this?" asked Edd. "Shh," I whispered. Then, my voice came through the speakers, loud and clear, and Edd's face lit up like the sun as he listened to the words. "I wrote this," I said during an instrumental break. "Last night, I couldn't sleep, so I wrote a song." Then, my voice came back on again, and Edd listened. "That was so beautiful," Edd said after the song ended. "You wrote that?" "Yes. I wrote it for you," "Awwwww." Edd kissed me. "So sweet! Come here." He threw his arms around me. "I would do anything for you, Edd. I really would." "Awww, I love you so much." "I love you, too, Sweetheart." "I'll never let go of you." "I'll get the super-superglue." Edd and I laughed. "And, I'll glue you to my arms forever, so you can't escape me." I giggled. "You can't escape my love!" Edd flirted in an adorable, evil voice. I laughed harder. "I don't want to anyway," I growled jokingly. Edd giggled. "I love the way you sound," I said. "What do you mean?" "Your voice, when you laugh and speak and sing. Every sound that comes out of your mouth makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. You have the sweetest voice in the world." "Awwwww, no, you do." "I could listen to you all day, and never, ever get tired of it. I just… love everything about you." "Everything?" "Yes, everything." "There's nothing you don't like about me?" "I haven't seen it yet, and I've known you for ten years," I flirted. "What's everything you love about me?"
"Your voice, your smile, your face, your kind heart, your sense of humor, your forgiving heart, your eyes, those adorable glasses you wear all the time, that sexy Mexican accent…" Edd chuckled. "And, I love the way you look naked." Edd burst out laughing. "I could go on forever about the things I love about you, but I'd lose my voice after a while," I snickered. "I don't want you to lose your voice." "And, don't you dare lose yours, Edgar Moreno!" I teased. We both laughed and kissed. "Remember the song we sang when we danced?" asked Edd. "It was on the first date." "I remember it well." "Do you want to record a video of it?" I looked up at Edd. "I mean, of us singing it again." "I'd love that." "That way, we can always hear each other's voices when we're apart." "And, see each other," I added. "Sí." "I would really love that." So, the very next night, Edd and I dressed up in the exact same clothes we wore on our first date, and took his video camera to Waimea Beach. We set it up on the stand that came with it, in the exact same spot we danced. Surprisingly, the night was just as beautiful as it was on that first night. We danced while singing our song. We even kissed at the end, and when we tested the video, it came out perfectly. It wasn't just something to hold onto to feel closer to the other whenever we were apart. It was also really nice to go back down Memory Lane, and relive that one moment. Normally, it's so hard to capture the most beautiful moments on camera, but for us, it was just as magical the second time as it was the first time. We were so proud of the way our video turned out that we decided to upload it on YouTube. We received many hits on the video, as well as many kind responses. Meanwhile, Cheyenne had just turned off her computer. She picked up her phone, and dialed a number. "Hola," she said.
A week and a half later, I was at the studio, rehearsing with Celtic Circle. Surprisingly, Cheyenne liked my new song, so we decided to use it. She even agreed that it was better with just the piano accompaniment. Wow! Anyway, I was in the middle of rehearsing that peace, when Edd suddenly entered with a serious face. "Céili, I need to talk to you," he said glumly. "Okay," I replied, worried. "Can't this wait?" Cheyenne whined. "We're in the middle of rehearsal." "Cheyenne, don't talk to my angel like that," I snapped. "Fine." The other girls gave her a dirty look. Edd sat next to me on the piano stool, and put his arm around me. I saw the sad expression in his eyes. It worried me. "Are you okay?" Edd took a deep breath, and sighed. "I got a job offer as a local singer." "That's great!" I exclaimed. "You don't sound very happy about it." "I am. It's just…" "What's wrong?" "It's in Mexico, my home country." I suddenly felt as if someone had punched me in the heart. I tried to swallow my tears. "Oh," I said, trying desperately to smile, but couldn't. "They saw our video on YouTube, and they loved my voice. They loved yours, too." Edd chuckled. Then, he squeezed me tightly while stroking my hair. "I don't wanna leave you, Baby, but I have to take this job, just for a little while." "I think you should. How much would they pay you?" "A lot." "You should go for it." "I just need to earn enough." "For what?" "Whenever we get married, I wanna give you the wedding of your dreams, and I wanna take care of you." "When do you leave?" "In two weeks, but until then, we can enjoy our time together." "I agree." And, we did. For the next two weeks, we were attached at the hip. We spent as much time as possible together. On the night before Edd's departure, he stopped by Taco Bell to pick up plenty of food. He wore the same outfit as on the first date. I wore the same pink dress, and I was standing outside my house, waiting for him when he pulled into the driveway. I was trying desperately to keep it together when he walked up the driveway and across the pathway. "Hola, mi amor," he greeted sweetly. "Hi, Sweetheart," I greeted with a smile, covering up the sadness inside. "Are you ready?" This would be the last time I would hear that for a while. "Yes."
Once again, Edd wrapped his arm around my shoulder, and led me the car. He opened the door for me, and closed it when I was in. We ate our dinner on the same blanket, in the same spot, at Waimea Beach. That night, the food tasted even better, maybe because it would be our last one for a while. The Dr. Pepper I was drinking was the only thing to keep me from crying. When we finished our meals, we threw the garbage in a nearby trash bin. Then, we lay down on the blanket, and held each other. "I'll miss you so much," Edd said softly. I didn't have any more Dr. Pepper to drown my tears with, so I had to try to swallow them on my own. "I'll miss you, too, Sweetie." "But, we're not breaking up. I will never do that to you. We won't let distance get in our way." "No." "And, I promise I'll come back to you before you know it." "I'll be waiting." "I'll even sing for you." "Awww." "When I sing in Mexico, I'll sing for you, and you'll hear my voice from wherever you go." Swallowing my tears was getting harder. "My soul will be with you. I'll be with you in spirit. You'll see me there, and you'll feel me holding you, and you'll hear my voice. I'll sing to you. I'll go everywhere you go, and I'll keep you safe." How was Edd able to keep it together? I was having the hardest time hiding my emotions, because I just wanted to enjoy our last night together. Unfortunately, I guess my attempt failed, because Edd saw the look on my face. "Awwwwwwww, come here, Baby." He folded me in his arms. "It's okay. You can cry if you have to. Don't hold it in." I burst out sobbing. "Awwww, I'm here." He stroked and played with my hair. "I'm here, Baby. It's okay." "I'm sorry," I sobbed. "No, you don't have to be sorry." "I was trying so hard not to cry, because I wanted to enjoy our last night together." "It's okay. We can still enjoy it." "How?" "It's a lot better if we just let out all our feelings." "I'm gonna miss you so much." "I'll miss you, too, mi ángel preciosa. I love you more than you can imagine." Edd suddenly broke down into tears, and cuddled up tighter. "I wish I could go with you," I wept, "but I can't afford it." "You'll be with me," Edd sniffled, pointing to his heart, "right here, in my heart. Every time it beats, it's you." "Will you stay over with me tonight?" I sniffled.
"Of course, I will, Sweetheart." He dried my tears, and then, dried his. "Wanna go for another walk?" "Sure." We packed the blanket back into the car, and took a stroll along the beach. The sunset was even more beautiful. The moon and stars sparkled even more. The waves were even calmer, and our dance was even more special. Afterwards, as promised, Edd stayed over at my house. That night, we helped each other get ready for bed. Then, we crawled under the blanket together, both naked. We snuggled in each other's arms, and made love for the last time. Yes, it was even more special. Afterwards, we fell asleep in each other's arms. The next day was the day I was dreading. Edd had his entire luggage ready to go. We both went to the airport, along with Lexi, Teresa, Rosie, and Máiréad. We enjoyed a cup of coffee, along with some breakfast together. Then, the moment I dreaded the most had finally arrived—dropping Edd off at the gate. The other girls each gave him a big hug. He reached for his luggage. On top of one of his suitcases was a large package, wrapped in paper and a bow, with an envelope attached. He picked up the package, and handed it to me. "I made this for you," he said to me. "It'll make you feel closer to me." "Thank you," I said. Edd folded me in his arms one last time. "I love you, Baby. You'll always be my ángel preciosa. I'll be back before you know it." "I love you, Sweetheart," I said. "I love you, too." We kissed one last time before saying our goodbyes. "Bye, Baby," Edd said sweetly. "Adios, mi amor," I said sadly. I watched Edd slowly walk away. Tears began forming in my eyes. When he disappeared, they shot out, and my face looked as if I had just dipped it in a tub of water. My friends huddled together, and pulled me into a group hug, consoling me, and drying my tears. "I know, Sweetie," Lexi whispered. "I know."
That night, I locked myself in my room. I didn't want to talk to anybody. I just wanted to be alone, so I could let out all my emotions. I changed into my nightgown, and crawled into bed. I just sat there for a few minutes, staring at nothing. Then, I reached for the package Edd had given me. I grabbed it off my bedside table. I removed the envelope and bow, and tore through the wrapping paper. It was a rather large book. It felt like a photo album. I opened the album, and the pages were filled with pictures of me and Edd. I picked up the envelope, opened it, and took out the letter. I unfolded it, and as I read it, I could almost hear Edd's voice repeating the words. "Dear Céiliangel, I miss you already, very much. I made this photo album for you with all our pictures in it, from when we first met, until now. I hope this will comfort you when you feel sad. Remember, I love you more than you can imagine. I'll always love you forever. I'll be back home before you know it, but until then, I won't let the long distance get in the way. We have to keep holding on. I won't give up on you, and I won't let you give up, either. Also remember that I'm there in spirit, so you'll never be alone. I'm with you all the time, and I'll follow you everywhere you go, except when you go to use the bathroom. I'm not staying in Mexico forever. I'm coming back. I don't know when yet, but it won't be too long. We can stay in touch on Facebook and Skype, and I'll e-mail you every chance I get. I love you, Baby. I'll see you soon. I send you many hugs and kisses. Love, Edgar." I looked through the photos. So many memories came flooding back to me. There were photos of us when we were teenagers, hanging out with Lexi. There were prom photos, graduation photos, photos of us after we finally got together, and even screenshots from the video we made. I closed the book after I finished looking at the pictures, hung my head, and sobbed. A few minutes later, I felt an arm around me. It was so gentle and familiar. No, I thought. It couldn't be. I looked to my left, and sure enough, it was Edd. No, I'm not making this up. It was him. "Hola, Sweetheart," Edd said softly. "Edd?" "It's me. I promised I would always be with you." "And, here you are." I cheered up a bit. "I see you got my gift." "Yes." I was totally speechless. "Do you like it?" "I love it. Thank you so much." "You're welcome." "I'm so happy you're here again." "Me, too. I miss you already." "I miss you, too." The rest of my tears burst out. "Awwwwwwww, come here." Edd held me in his arms, and dried my tears away. "I'm still right here. I'm never leaving you." "This is so magical."
"It is. Nobody else can see me, unless they look with their hearts, just like you're doing right now." I threw the trash away, and moved the album and letter to the bedside table. I placed the bow on top of the album. "I wanna make love again," I said, "but I have to go to the bathroom first." "Okay," said Edd. "I'll be right here when you come back." So, I went to the bathroom, did my business, brushed my teeth, and came back in. I took my nightgown off, and climbed under the covers with Edd. As we used to, we made love, and it felt just the same, just as wonderful and magical. I cheered up again, knowing that Edd was still with me in spirit. All I had to do was look for him with my heart.
During the afternoon, the next day, our band rehearsed in the studio again. As always, rehearsal went well. "Great rehearsal, guys," said Cheyenne at the end of rehearsal. "See you here tomorrow." We were just heading towards the door, when Cheyenne stopped us. "Oh, wait," she said. We stopped in our tracks, and turned around again. "Céili, I'm glad you finally broke up with Edd," she said. "He was really getting in the way of the important stuff." "I did not break up with Edd," I said, slightly annoyed. "Oh, so… he broke up with you?" "Nope. We did not break up, and we never will." Cheyenne looked at me with disappointment. "Cheyenne, I don't appreciate the way you talk about him. He is not getting in the way of the 'important stuff,' as you so erroneously put it. I don't care how you feel about us. We're not breaking up, no matter what you say. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but that's the way it's gonna be. Deal with it." "How can you still be together? He's a million miles away in Mexico!" "Maybe, but he's still with me in spirit." Cheyenne snickered, and burst out laughing. Teresa slapped her. "Oww!" Cheyenne shouted. "Don't hit me! Don't even touch me!" "Don’t' laugh at Céili," Teresa said in her warning voice. "Bitch," she whispered in Lexi's ear. "I heard that!" Cheyenne shrieked. We just laughed, and left the studio. That evening, Lexi and I were enjoying our dinner, when I saw Edd walk in, and sit down at the table with us. "Hey, Edd," said Lexi. "You can see me?" asked a surprised Edd. "Yep," Lexi replied. "Céili told me everything." "I told her she has to look with her heart," I said to Edd. "Edd, you're like a brother to me," said Lexi, "and I've never had a brother of my own. You're always welcome in our house, and I'm glad you can still be here for Céili, even in spirit." "I'll be here for you, too," said Edd, "because you're like a sister to me." "Awwww!" Lexi and I cooed. "Hey, you want something to eat?" asked Lexi. "No, thank you," said Edd. "So, how was rehearsal?" "It was great," I said hesitantly. "But?" I sighed. "Cheyenne won't get off my back." "Awww, what did she do to my baby?" Edd stroked my back. "She automatically assumed we broke up, just because of the circumstances. Then, when I told her we weren't, she got all upset."
"Remember what I tell you, though. She can't break us up." "I know, Sweetie. That's what I told her. I'm just sick of her." "We're all sick of her," added Lexi. "Thank God for Teresa." "She slapped Cheyenne!" I laughed. Lexi burst out laughing. "She's like, 'Oww, don't hit me!'" she mocked. "'Don't even touch me!'" The three of us laughed. "I think she's scared of Teresa," I snickered. Lexi nearly spit her drink everywhere from laughing so hard. Instead, it took a different direction. I laughed even harder. "Lexi, you have hot chocolate coming out of your nose!" We all laughed even harder. We put our heads down on the table, and laughed, until we cried. "My sides hurt!" Lexi laughed. "My entire body hurts!" I added, laughing loudly. "I'm a spirit, so nothing hurts!" Edd laughed. "You're so lucky!" I teased. We all tried to calm down, so we could go back to eating our dinner. Unfortunately, after two calm seconds, we burst out into laughter once again. Yep, epic fail!
So, we continued our close relationship. We stayed in contact online— Facebook, Skype, e-mail, and all that. When we were not online, Edd was with me in spirit. We kept our love strong. We refused to give up on each other, especially over something as stupid as distance. A week after Edd's departure, I was lying in bed, thinking about him. His spirit was standing over me, watching me rest. My mind went back to high school, on the day we first met. For a moment, I traveled back in time to that day. We were in choir class. Our choir director was holding auditions for solo and duet parts in one of the songs we were rehearsing. "Okay, Céili," she said to me. "Let's hear what ya got." She played the accompaniment on the piano, as I sang the solo. "Good job," she said. "Okay, Edgar." Edgar sang his part while the director played the accompaniment. "Good job. Now, let's try the duet." She played the accompaniment again, and we sang through the duet. "Beautiful!" she said. "Beautiful harmonies. Okay, you got the parts. Great job. You can go back to your seats." We smiled at each other as we returned to our seats. After class, it was lunchtime, and I caught Edd before he walked out the door. "Hi," I greeted. "Hola!" he greeted. "I'm Céili O'Sullivan. Welcome to America." I reached out my hand to shake his. "Ah, thank you," he said as he shook my hand. "I'm Edgar Moreno." "It's so nice to meet you." "You, too." We walked to the cafeteria together. "You sang beautifully!" Edd blushed and laughed shyly. "No, I'm not very good." "Oh, what are you talking about? You were great!" "Thank you," Edd chuckled. "You have the most beautiful voice." "Awww, thank you!" "De nada." "So, how long have you lived here?" "I just moved here with my family." "Oh, I hope you like it here." "I do, but I get homesick." "I know, but if you ever need a friend to help you through that, I'm here for you." "Awww, thank you." "For someone who just moved here, your English is excellent." "I learn English back in Mexico." "Very good."
"Gracias." "My family's from Ireland." "I could hear you had a little accent." "Yeah, I've lived here since I was two, so I barely have an accent at all. My sister has a little more of one, though." "You have a sister?" We stood in the lunch line together. "Yep, her name is Máiréad." "I love that name." "Me, too." "I love your name, too." "Aww, thank you. I love yours, too. I've always loved the name Edgar." "Thank you. You can call me Edd for short." "I like that, too," I chuckled. Edd laughed quietly. "You're funny." "I try to be." We finally reached the food buffet. They were serving pizza, just as they do every Friday. "Their pizza is delicious," I commented. "You'll love it. They always make good food here." "It looks delicious," said Edd. We picked out the foods we wanted, and put them onto our plates. We paid for our lunches, and sat at an empty table together. "So, you love singing?" I enquired. "Sí," said Edd. "I love to sing." "Me, too. I've always wanted to be a singer." "Me, too. Although, I wanna be a translator… for movies." "Ohh, you wanna make the subtitles in different languages?" "Yeah." "That would be amazing." "You're amazing at singing. You'll be a great singer someday." "Thank you." "Thank you for being my first friend here. I was very scared." "It's okay to be scared. You don't know anyone here. That's scary at first, until you finally make your first true friend. I'll be your friend." "Thank you." "I don't remember much about Ireland, but I remember how frightened I was when I came to America, being in unknown territory, and not knowing any of the faces around me. On top of that, I was just a little girl. It was even scarier back then." "Awwww, you poor thing." "But, when I started preschool, I met my best friend, Lexi." "That's nice." "Yeah. We met on the playground, in the sandbox. I was all by myself, trying to build a sand castle, and it kept coming out wrong. I was really
frustrated, until Lexi came to play, and she showed me how to make a beautiful sand castle. We've been best friends ever since." "So sweet." "Yeah." "Where is she?" "She's not here today. She's sick." "Is she okay?" "Yeah, she just has the flu. She'll be okay by Monday." "Good. I want to meet her." "I'd be more than happy to introduce you." And, I did, when she returned to school on Monday. She took to Edd immediately. Ever since then, they've been the closest people to my heart, besides my parents and sister. I opened my eyes again, and came back to the present. I looked up, and saw that Edd was standing over me. He leaned over me, and caressed my face. "Are you okay?" he asked sweetly. "Yeah," I exhaled. "Just… remembering things." "Like what?" "Us, the day we first met… and became best friends." "I remember that." "Yeah, like it was yesterday." "I remember when I first heard you sing. It was the most beautiful voice I ever heard." "I thought the same about your voice, and I still do, even more now." "Me, too." "Will you lay with me please?" I asked like an innocent child. "Of course, I will, Baby." Edd crawled into bed with me, and cuddled me in his arms. "Sing to me?" And, he did.
The weeks went by, and Edd and I still held on tight. We were still going on strong, and we kept looking to the future, to that wonderful day when he would return for good. Nothing could destroy our love and faith in each other. Unfortunately, this was all making Cheyenne very uneasy. I don't understand why. I was working hard in rehearsals, focusing and singing from the heart. Cheyenne wouldn't get off my back. One afternoon, Lexi went out shopping, and I had the house to myself. I stayed behind, so I could make dinner. While I was in the middle of cooking, the doorbell rang. I was irritated, because I absolutely hated interruptions. I left the stove to answer the door. To my dismay, guess who it was. "Hey, Céili." Yep, it was Cheyenne. "Cheyenne?" I tried to hide the fact that I didn't want to talk to her. "What are you doing here?" "We need to talk." "Um, can it wait? I'm cooking dinner." "No, it can't wait," Cheyenne snapped. "You have to break it off with Edd." "Oh, I 'have to?' Last time I checked, I didn't." "I'm serious! This 'love' or whatever you call it is getting in the way of our band! Just give up on him already!" "Cheyenne, no! How many times do I have to tell you that I'm not listening to you?! You can beg and beg all you want, but it's not gonna happen! You're not gonna win this, Cheyenne! I love Edd, and there's nothing you can do about it! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have dinner to make, so please, leave!" Cheyenne sighed. "Okay, I didn't wanna have to say this, but I'm going to. Edd is not coming back." "How do you know?" "He's in Mexico, his home country! He's finally got the job of his dreams, and he's getting paid like a millionaire! Do you really think he'd just give that up for some stupid girl?! I mean, seriously! Do you realize what you're doing to him by waiting for him to come back?! You're destroying his dream! What kind of girlfriend are you?! What kind of person are you?! You're destroying your boyfriend's dreams, and you're destroying the band! If you don't cut the crap, I'm kicking you out of the band, so just give up on him already!" Then, she stormed off, leaving me standing in the doorway, all by myself. My heart suddenly started pounding, as I slowly closed the door, and went back to cooking dinner. I tried desperately to fight this awful feeling, but I couldn't shake it away. I felt unbearable guilt. Was I really ruining everyone's life by holding onto Edd? Was I really that awful? I finished cooking, and put the food onto the plates, and into bowls. I set the table, when the phone rang. "What now, Cheyenne?" I mumbled. I picked up the phone. "Leave me alone, Cheyenne!" I shouted. "It's Máiréad," said a gloomy voice. "Oh, sorry."
"It's okay." The sadness in Máiréad's voice worried me. "Máiréad, are you okay?" Máiréad suddenly began crying. "I lost the baby." "Oh, no!" I cried. "What happened?" "I don't know. I was doing everything right." "I'm so sorry, Máiréad." "Thanks." Five minutes later, Lexi arrived home again. She found me at the kitchen table, staring at my plate with tears in my eyes. She patted my shoulder. "You okay?" she asked, worried. "Máiréad lost the baby," I replied, holding in my emotions. "Ohhh, poor thing!" "She doesn't know why." "She might have a hostile uterus. That can cause miscarriages." "Maybe." Lexi could see I was very upset. "Honey, are you sure that's not the only thing that's got you down?" She moved her dinner in front of the seat next to me, instead of across from me. "No." "What happened?" I paused. "Cheyenne came over while you were out." "What?! What did she say to you?" "She said I should break up with Edd, because I'm ruining everyone's life." "That's crazy! How?" "Well, Edd's in Mexico, where he used to live, and he has the job of his dreams. He's getting paid a lot," I sobbed, "and here I am, waiting like an idiot for him to come back! I'm ruining his life, and I'm ruining the band! I'm ruining everyone's life! I'm a horrible person!" I sunk my head in my hands, bawling. Lexi stroked my back and hair. "Oh, Sweetie, no, you're not. It's okay." "Yes, I am. Maybe she's right. Maybe I should let Edd go." "No, Sweetie, she's wrong, and I will talk to her. I will give that bitch an earful, and I will kick her ass into next week! I'm not kidding. I will do it, because she's really gone too far! She had no right to say that to you, or about Edd. I'm fed up with her. I will talk to her in rehearsal, in front of the other girls." "Thanks," I sniffled. "No problem, Honey." "Oh, she threatened to kick me out of the band if I didn't break it off with Edd, or as she put it, if I didn't 'cut the crap.'" "What?!" Lexi shrieked. "Oh, she is in big trouble!"
In the middle of the night, I woke up in tears, and saw Edd sitting next to me. He was. He was looking down at me, leaning over slightly. He saw my eyes open with the tears pouring out, and he gently wiped them away. He cooed sweetly and sympathetically. "You okay, mi ángel preciosa?" he asked softly. "I'm sorry I'm ruining your life," I said glumly. "You're not ruining my life." "Oh, come on. You have the job of your dreams in your home country. You're getting the VIP treatment, and I'm waiting for you like an idiot. I'm sorry I'm holding you back from your dream." "It's not my dream." "What are you talking about?" "I'm not living my dream, not yet." "I thought you loved it." "I do, but my dream is to sing with you." "You don't have to say things just to please me." Edd ran his fingers through my hair. "I'm not. I mean it from the heart. You're my dream. I love singing, but I don't wanna sing without you in my arms. I wanna sing to you or with you." "But, Edd, I'm ruining the band, too, and I'm a horrible sister." "You're not ruining the band. You're doing a great job." "Cheyenne's probably right. Maybe I should let you go." Edd held onto me tightly. "No, she's wrong. Please don't listen to her. Don't do what she tells you. I love you." "Edd, my sister lost her baby, and I wasn't there for her. She called me on the phone, and she was crying." "You were there for her." "How do you know?" "I watched you talk to her on the phone. You were very kind to her, and you made her feel better. You make everything better for everybody." "Not according to Cheyenne." "Cheyenne is wrong about you. She needs to open her eyes, and see what an angel you are." "I'm really an angel?" I enquired in disbelief. "Yes, you are. You're an angel to Lexi and Teresa and Rosie and Máiréad and Brian and the rest of your family… and to me. You're my angel. Please don't let Cheyenne tell you what to do with your life. I won't let you go, or let you give up on us, Baby. I can't live without you." My jaw dropped open. "Did you just say you can't live without me?" "Yes, and I mean it from my heart." "I can't live without you, either, Edd. I really can't. I need you." "We're two halves of one person." "Yeah." "So, please don't go away." "I won't. I'm so sorry I even thought about it."
Edd caressed me. "It's okay. Don't be sorry. Cheyenne's words hurt you in a special place." "Well, I'm not listening to her anymore," I said with anger in my voice. "You're angry with her, aren't you?" "Yes." "It's okay to be angry with her." "She even threatened to kick me out of the band if I didn't break up with you." "She can't do that to you." "Nope, because tomorrow, I'm gonna tell her how she made me feel, and I'm gonna turn the table on her." "Good." "Meanwhile…" I said in a sexy tone. "I'm gonna rip my clothes off, and we're gonna have hot sex." Edd giggled. "I can't wait."
Well, the very next day, Cheyenne was in big trouble. As soon as Lexi and I stepped into the studio, Cheyenne saw the looks on our faces. "Okay, everyone's here," said Cheyenne. "Time to rehearse." "Not so fast, bitch!" Lexi roared. "We need to talk." "Okay," Cheyenne said, pretending to be confused. "Who the hell were you thinking when you came by our house?! What in the world possessed you to say all those horrible things to Céili?! Do you realize what you did to her?! You hurt her self-esteem! You made her feel like the worst person to ever live, and then, her sister called to say she had a miscarriage, and she felt even worse! What is wrong with you, Cheyenne Stevens?! Why do you always have to pick on her?! Why can't you just leave her alone?! Why can't you just leave everything alone?!" "You're always trying to control everyone!" I added. "You can't just keep your nose out of everyone's business, and you always get mad if we don't do everything you want us to do! Well, I've got news for you, Cheyenne. I'm not breaking up with Edd, and I'm not ruining his dream! I told him everything, and you're wrong! His dream is to sing with me. Oh, and one more thing. You can't kick me out of the band, but you butt into my life, or any of our lives one more time, I swear to God, I will kick you out of the band!" "We all will," added Teresa. "The only reason we've kept you with us for so long is because of your talent, but you have no personality. Another thing, you're not our band leader anymore. I'm taking your job, and as the new band leader, I say rehearsal is cancelled for today!" We all watched as Cheyenne huffed angrily, and stormed out of the studio like a child throwing a tantrum.
That evening, Lexi, Edd, and I were lounging in the living room with the television turned down low. "How did it go?" asked Edd. "Oh, we really busted Cheyenne's butt," said Lexi. "I gave her a little guilt trip about Céili's self-esteem, and Céili basically called her a control freak, and we all threatened to kick her out of the band if she ever butted in again." "Wow!" "Yep." "Oh, Lexi, you forgot that Teresa took over Cheyenne's role as 'leader' of the group," I added. "Oh, oops," Lexi laughed, not at all embarrassed. "Good for Teresa," Edd commented. Lexi sighed. "I just… hope that's enough to make her stop. I don't think so, though. I'm just fed up with her. What she put you guys through, that really pissed me off." "I've actually started dreading rehearsal, because of her. Even when I go to rehearsal, and work my butt off, she picks a fight." I looked at Edd. "She brings up you and me, and when she doesn't get the answer she wants, she gets up in my face about it." "Believe me. We've all tried to ignore her, but she has a way of digging her nails in deep." "You have to run, and slam the door to get away from her." "And, lately, she's only been pickin' on Céili. I don't understand why she had to choose my best friend to pick on. Why does she have to pick on anybody?" "I don't get what her stinkin' problem is, but… I've had all I can take of her nonstop crap." "I really hope threatening to kick her out shuts her up." "Ugh, I've talked to her so many times. I could talk 'till I'm blue in the face, but everything I say goes in one ear, and out the other. I really don't know why she's so manipulative and controlling and…and…" "A royal pain in the butt?" added Lexi. I chuckled. "Yeah, and I have so many other ways to describe her, but I'm not going to say any of them." "Trust me, Honey," said Lexi. "You have no idea what's been going through my head about her." Edd put his arm around me. "I hope she stops picking on mi ángel preciosa." He kissed my cheek. "I don't like seeing you hurting. It breaks my heart." "Awww, Eddy-Bear," I flirted. Edd giggled. "Eddy-Bear? I like that." "Aww, you two are so adorable," said Lexi. "I love mi ángel preciosa so much." Edd squeezed me, and kissed my cheek.
"And, I love my wittle Eddy-Bear," I cooed as I snuggled in Edd's arms, and kissed his lips. Lexi giggled, watching us together. Meanwhile, Cheyenne was in her apartment, finishing up some housework. She folded her laundry, put it away, and turned on her television. She sat at her desk, in front of her laptop, and began typing.
During lunchtime, the next day, Lexi came in with a small stack of envelopes. "Céili? You've got mail!" she said, imitating the generic e-mail voice. She placed the envelope in front of me. "Here you go." I read the envelope. "It says it's from Edd," I said, "but there's no return address." "Weird." I ripped the envelope open, and unfolded the letter. It was a nasty, hurtful break-up letter. "What?!" I shrieked. "This can't be from Edd!" "Why?" asked Lexi. "What does it say?" "Look at this." I handed the letter to Lexi. Lexi read through it. "Oh… wow… this is just mean, and it sure doesn't sound like Edd. None of it sounds like anything he would say." Then, she looked at it again. "Oh, he signed it with a red pen, and that doesn't look like his handwriting. Do you still have the letter he gave you with the photo album?" "Yep, I keep it tucked inside the album, safe and sound." "I think you should compare the handwriting, because this doesn't look like his, and this letter is so out of character." After lunch, Lexi followed me into my room. I opened the album, and pulled Edd's letter out of the cover pocket. I looked at the two letters, and sure enough, the handwriting was very different. "That is not his handwriting," I said. "The question now is, if it's not from him, who would be stupid enough to write something like this?" I thought for two seconds. "I think I know." "Give me that." Lexi took the break-up letter out of my hands, and kept staring at the signature. "That looks like… Cheyenne's handwriting." She slammed the letter against her side in anger. "That bitch," I mumbled. We both called up Rosie and Teresa. We arrived at the studio early, and showed the letter to them. They decided not to wait for Cheyenne to arrive, so we all took a little trip to her house. Teresa banged on Cheyenne's front door. "Cheyenne Stevens, get your ass out here right now!" she screamed. Cheyenne threw the door open. "What?!" she snapped. "Care to explain this?" I asked, holding up the letter. "Uhhh…" Cheyenne pretended to be confused. "Don't play dumb with us, Cheyenne," Rosie scolded. "We know you're the one that wrote this." "I did not!" Cheyenne whined. "Cheyenne, this is your handwriting," Lexi scoffed. "Besides, who else would do this sort of thing?" "How could you do this?" I asked. "What is wrong with you? What makes you think it's okay to treat people like this, and why are you always picking on me?" "Why can't you just leave her alone?!" Teresa yelled.
"Do you even remember why we started this band?" asked Rosie. There was a short pause. Obviously, Cheyenne forgot. Rosie continued. "We wanted to follow in the footsteps of Celtic Woman, but you seem to have forgotten that. Well, a Celtic Woman would never act like this? She would never treat people like this? See, a Celtic Woman actually knows what the word 'friend' means, and you obviously don't. You're the worst excuse for a Celtic Woman, let alone a team player. You don't even know what the word 'friend' means." "We warned you," said Teresa, "one more time, and we'd kick you out of the band. Well, you didn't take our warning seriously. You crossed the line again, and we're tired of it. I'm sorry, but you are out of the band." "What?!" Cheyenne shrieked. "Yep, you heard her," I said. "You're fired." At that moment, my cell phone rang. "Hello?" I answered. "Ohh, hola, Mrs. Moreno! How are you?! Is everything okay?" A concerned expression suddenly appeared in my eyes. "What happened?" My heart began pounding again, and I lost my breath. "Oh, my God," I whimpered.
"What's wrong?" asked Lexi as I hung up my phone. "It was Edd's mom," I replied, shuddering. "He's in the hospital." "What happened?" Rosie asked, concerned. "He was in a nasty car accident." I burst into tears, and turned to Cheyenne. "Are you happy now, Cheyenne?!" I screamed. "You got your wish, Edd out of the picture! Are you happy now?! Damn it!" I began hyperventilating. "I… can't… breathe… without him…" I sobbed, struggling to breathe. "Shh, come here, Sweetie," Lexi whispered, wrapping her arms around me, and pulling me into a hug. "It's okay." She stroked my hair as I wept heavily, trying to catch my breath. "It's okay, Honey." Cheyenne didn't say a word. She could only stand still in her doorway, watching me fall apart. She couldn't think of anything to say. Back at home, I decided to take a nap. I needed to lie down. What a horrible day! I did my usual bedtime routine—bathroom, brushing teeth, and changing into my nightgown. I crawled into bed, and snuggled under the sheets. As I curled up, and closed my eyes, I remembered the day I came home from school, fifteen years old, and my mother meeting me at the door with a serious look on her face. She told me Daddy was in the hospital, because he had a severe heart attack. My mind took me back to the waiting room at the hospital, where I was waiting with Mom, Máiréad, Lexi, and Edd. "What's taking them so long?" I whimpered. "It's alright, Darling," said Mom. "It's Daddy!" I cried. "I know, Sweetie." Mom hugged me. "I'm sure the doctor's on his way to talk to us now." "I don't want him to die!" My whole body was shaking. "It's okay, Céili," Edd said sweetly, stroking my shoulder. "It's okay." I remember that caress. At the time, I didn't realize how it made me feel, but looking back on it sent chills down my spine. It was so sweet. Then, the doctor came out, and I still remember the look on his face. It cut like a knife, and I knew something had happened. "I'm very sorry," he sighed. "We did everything we could." The words, "I'm very sorry," and "We did everything we could," kept echoing in my head, over and over and over. I couldn't speak for a few seconds. No! I was screaming inside. No! No! This can't be happening! This is just a dream! No! I broke down into tears. "No!" I wailed. "No! Daddy!" I screamed. I was more hysterical than Mom. "No!" Edd folded me into a warm embrace. "It's okay, Céili," he sniffled. "Your dad's not gone. He's in heaven now. He's an angel, and he'll watch over you, and keep you safe." I continued sobbing hysterically while sinking my face in Edd's sweater. He caressed my backside, and ran his fingers through my hair. "He's always with you, too, in spirit. You have to look with your heart, and he's there." I looked up at Edd's kind face. "Thank you, Edd," I wept.
"I'll always be here for you, Céili," he said sweetly. I came back to the present, but the doctor's words started echoing in my head again. I thought about Edd in the hospital, scared to death I would hear those words again. I came back to Earth when Lexi knocked on my door, and walked in. "Hey, Céili," she said sweetly. "How you feelin'?" "Awful," I sobbed. "Scared, guilty." "Why do you feel guilty?" "Edd's in the hospital, and I'm not even there." "Yeah, but you will be." I turned over, and showed Lexi my wet face. "What?" What did she mean by that? "I booked a trip to Mexico. He's in a hospital in Chiapas, and we're gonna go there as soon as we land." "But, what if it's too late?" I worried. "Honey, Edd is a survivor. No matter how bad it is, I know he can beat it." "Okay." I sniffed back my tears. "When do we leave?" "Tonight, and don't worry. I've already started packing. I've got our passports out. They're on the kitchen table. I'm almost done packing my stuff. You can keep resting if you have to, because you have enough time to pack your things, too. I'll even help you if you want." "Thanks, Lexi. What would I do without you?" "I'm here for you, girl, always. You're my sister."
Later on, Lexi and I had just finished packing, when the doorbell rang. Lexi lined the suitcases and bags against the wall, as I answered the door. "What do you want now, Cheyenne?" I sighed, completely exasperated, and fed up. "Can I come in?" asked Cheyenne. "Whatever." I figured she'd just dig her way in anyway, so I gave into her. Cheyenne stepped in, and I closed the door. "What do you want?" I asked, not really all that interested. "I need to talk to you," Cheyenne said glumly. "About what?" "About Edd." I groaned angrily. "Would you drop the shit already?!" I screamed. Wow! I covered my mouth for a second after screaming that. I normally don't use that kind of language, but I couldn't help it. I finally exploded. "Damn it, Cheyenne! Edd is in the hospital! We're leaving in a few minutes, so we can make sure he's okay! He could die from this, and here you are, again, trying to force me away from him! Just give it up, Cheyenne, because you're not gonna win!" "I know," Cheyenne said calmly. Huh? I thought, did Cheyenne actually back down? She continued. "That's not what I came here to tell you." She took a deep breath. "I came to say I'm sorry. After you left earlier, I had time to think about what I did, and what you guys said to me. You were right. I have no right to tell you how to run your life. When you broke down from the phone call, I could really see how much you love him, and… I support you from now on. I also had time to think about the band, and I watched the tape from our concert a few months ago. The girls were right. Edd did make you sing better. I was too blind to see it. I was… too deaf. I'm so sorry for blaming you and Edd." "Thanks," I replied in disbelief. "There's more." I stopped in my tracks. "I was the one that set up that job in Mexico for Edd. I sent him away." "What?!" I exhaled in shock. "I made a phone call to Mexico, sent them your YouTube video, and recommended Edd." She held back tears. "I am so sorry. I just thought that if Edd was out of the picture, you'd finally focus on the band, but now, I know I really hurt you. Céili, I am so sorry." I couldn't speak for a moment. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! "Can you ever forgive me?" I still couldn't speak for a second. "No." The word came out of my mouth with no effort. Then, suddenly, I could barely breathe. "I can't… forgive you," I wept. "I can't believe you did this! I ca—I can't believe you would hurt me like this! You… broke me! You tried to tear me and Edd apart, and now, he's in the hospital. How could you?! I will never forgive you for this, never!" I opened the front door. "Get out of my house, and don't ever come back."
Cheyenne slowly walked out the door, and I slammed it behind her. Lexi wrapped her arms around me. "I'm so sorry, Sweetie," she whispered. "Let's go now." We grabbed our suitcases, and loaded the car. Then, we headed off to the airport. We caught our plane, and headed off to Mexico.
As soon as we landed, we rushed to the hospital to visit Edd. When we arrived, the doctors informed us that they did all they could. The rest was up to Edd. They explained that there was severe head trauma. He was in a coma, and they weren't sure if he'd come out of it. Lexi and I zoomed off to his room. I peaked in the door, and I almost fainted when I saw Edd, lying so still in the hospital bed with machines around him. It was so scary to see him in that state. I rushed to his side, and leaned over him. I gently caressed his face, and placed one hand on his chest. His heart was still beating, and when I pressed my ear against his mouth, I felt his warm, familiar breath hit me. My heart stopped. "Edd," I whispered softly. "I'm right here." I held back my tears, trying to stay strong. "Edd, you will survive," I said. "You will come out of this coma, and you will be fine. You can come back home with me, because Cheyenne was the one that sent you here. She did this to you. She's an idiot. She hurt us both, and we're not gonna let her win." I crawled into the bed with Edd, and rested my head on his chest to make sure his heart would keep beating. So many memories came flooding back to me. I remembered the day we told each other how we felt, the first date, our first kiss, our first dance, when we sang together, the first time we said "I love you" to each other, and the first time we had sex. I remembered the horrible day we dropped Edd off at the airport, the tears I cried when we said goodbye, and the horrible feeling that hit me when he walked away, that I might never see him again. That day would never have happened if it wasn't for Cheyenne. I could feel the anger boiling inside me, the anger at Cheyenne, and the anger at the idiot who hit Edd, landing him in the hospital. I thought, how could they do this to us?! Why are people trying to keep us apart?! Why can't everyone just leave us alone, and let us be with each other? I remembered all the times Cheyenne tried to convince me to give up on Edd, and I wanted to scream. It felt like the driver who hit Edd was saying the same thing to him! I wanted to scream! Shut up, I thought! Shut up! You don't get to tell us we can't be together! You stay out of our lives! We are staying together, despite your "disapproval," and we are not sorry! I tried to calm myself down, but there was too much anger that would not go away. It felt like being a kid again, wanting so badly to hug your best friend, but the adults wouldn't allow it. Why couldn't they just shut up, and let you hug your best friend? Why would they hurt you like that?! Why would they cause you that awful pain of making you feel further and further away from your best friend? It's like they were trying to take them away from you! Well, that's how it felt for me and Edd. We were the two best friends that wanted to hug each other, but the grown-ups wouldn't let us. The grown-ups were causing us unbearable pain. They were taking my Edd away from me! I wanted to scream! Go away!! Leave us alone! I took deep breaths to try to calm myself down, but it still didn't work. I wanted justice. I wanted the driver to go to prison. I wanted Cheyenne to pay for
what she put us through. I wanted them to pay their debts before I could forgive them! I was in too much pain to even consider forgiving them. I started thinking about Edd, and how he was able to forgive so quickly. I wished so hard to be like that. So many times in my life, I've tried to be like that, but I couldn't. Too many emotions were running through me—anger, confusion, fear, hurt, sadness—so many emotions, tumbling on top of each other. I looked over at Lexi, who was sitting in the corner of the room with her hand on her heart. She looked like she was praying silently. I thought, thank you, Lexi. Thank you for everything. Thank you for being the best friend anyone could ever ask for. Thank you for not being one of the grown-ups who wouldn't let me hug Edd. Thank you for giving us your blessing. Thank you for praying for him, and thank you for being you. Then, I looked at Edd again, and suddenly broke down. "Edd, do not die!" I shouted tearfully. "Do not quit on me! Do not leave me! Please, do not die! You will survive this, because if you die, I will die, too! I will die without you! I will die, Edd! Don't leave me! Edd, you are a survivor! You're not a quitter! Don't you quit on me! I love you! I need you! Please!" I sung my head in his chest, and cried hysterically. "Please don't leave me!" As I cried, I felt someone's hands stroking my head, and running their fingers through my hair.
At first, I thought it was Lexi comforting me, but when I lifted my head, I saw that Edd had opened his eyes. I lost my breath. "Edd?" He continued caressing me. "I'm not leaving you, Baby," he said softly. I burst out crying, so relieved to see him awake and alive. "Awwwww, come here, mi ángel preciosa." I moved upwards in the bed, and rested my head on the pillow. Edd held me close. "It's okay. I'm not gonna die. I could never leave my beautiful angel." "I love you so much!" I cried. "I love you, too." "I'll go tell the doctors you're awake," said Lexi. "Okay," said Edd. Lexi rushed out of the room to find a doctor. "I was really scared," I said. "Me, too, but I kept fighting, because I wanted to be with you." "Well, now, you can. When you get out of here, you can come home with me again." "No, not yet." "Yes, you can." "I still need—" "No, Edd, listen. Cheyenne sent you here. She's the one who made the phone call, and recommended you. She send the people our YouTube video." "Why would she do that?" Edd asked. "She wanted to get you out of the picture. She tried everything to break us up. She even wrote a really mean break-up letter, and signed your name to it." "You didn't believe it, right?" "No way! It was so out of character. I knew it wasn't you, and when I looked at the signature, it wasn't your handwriting." "What did it say?" "Stuff like, 'I hate you' and 'I wish I never met you' and 'You're a clingy slut.' It was so mean." "Awwww, I would never say that to you." "I know you wouldn't. I knew it wasn't you the second I read it." "So, what did you tell Cheyenne?" "We kicked her out of the band." Edd laughed. "Good." "Then, I got the phone call about you in the hospital. Your aunt called your mom, and your mom called me. When we were about to leave for the airport, that's when Cheyenne came by, and confessed about the job offer thingy." "I'm so sorry she put you through al that." "Thanks. I just… can't forgive her. I'm so angry with her." "It's okay."
"I wish I was forgiving like you. I mean, no matter how badly someone hurts you, you forgive them really fast, and you're friends again. I wish I could be that way." "It's okay, Céili. I love you the way you are." "I feel bad that I'm not as forgiving." "Don't feel bad. You've been hurt. You don't have to forgive before you're ready." "Thanks." "I don't want you to change anything about you." I kissed Edd. "Edd, I love you. You make me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. You don't care about my flaws. You look at me, and all you see is beautiful to you. You probably wouldn't care if I suddenly gained a million pounds." "No, you'd still be beautiful." "Same goes to you. I love everything about you. You're the most beautiful person I know. You're an angel, a real angel." "You're an angel, too, a real one." Edd played with my hair. "You helped me out of my coma." "Are you in any pain?" "No, and I believe it's because of you." "Well, I think it's because you're a survivor. You could survive anything. You're the strongest person I know." "You are, too." Edd had to remain in the hospital for another week for observation, but after that, he was released. The doctor said everything was normal. He was finally able to come home with us. As for the driver, the police arrested him for drunk driving and attempted murder, and put him away for a long time. Thank goodness!
Not long after we arrived home, Edd decided to take me to Waimea Beach again. Once again, he bought our food from Taco Bell. We wore the same attire, and we laid the same blanket in the same spot. "I'm so sorry for leaving you," said Edd. "You never left me, Eddy-Bear," I said. "You were still with me." "In spirit?" "Yes, just as you promised." "Well, I'll never leave you again. I promise." I smiled. "I was miserable without you." "Awww." "I missed you so much." "I missed you, too, Sweetie." "I'm never leaving you again. Wherever I go, I'll take you with me." "I would follow you to the end of the universe." "So would I." "You'd be surprised how far I could travel for you." We stared into each other's eyes for a few seconds. "Feel like the first time, doesn't it?" I remarked. "Yeah, except…" Edd paused. "Except what?" I asked. Edd answered by handing me a small box, wrapped in tissue paper. "Open it," he said with a sparkle in his eye. I did so. I removed the paper, and opened the small box to find a beautiful ring with a huge shamrock on it! Edd put his hand on my shoulder, and looked deep into my eyes. "Céili, I can't imagine the rest of my life without you by my side. You're the most beautiful angel in the world. I love you so much, and I wanna spend the rest of my life with you. ¿Quieres casarte conmigo?" "Huh?" "Will you marry me?" I kept staring at the beautiful ring, and then, stared into Edd's eyes. "Yes!" I shrieked, throwing my arms around him, and kissing him passionately. We spent the rest of the night, celebrating our engagement with a walk along the beach, and of course, our romantic dance. As he held me, sang to me, and spun me around, I got a glimpse of our life together. I saw us, living in a simple but beautiful house together. We had a family—a little boy and girl. They were the sweetest little things. I saw us growing old together. I saw us dying in each other's arms, and being buried in the same grave together.
The next day, I paid Cheyenne a visit. I pulled up at her house, and knocked on her door. "Hey, Céili," Cheyenne greeted, opening the door. "I thought of a way you can make it up to me," I said. "Okay. Shoot." "Edd and I are getting married." Cheyenne gasped. "Congratulations! When's the big day?" "Valentine's Day." "Aww, that's so sweet! So, what do you want me to do?" "We need you to plan the wedding. We'll tell you what we want for it, and you have to set it up for us. Edd quit his job in Mexico, of course, so he doesn't think he can afford it." " I can do it. I can afford it." "Okay." "So, that's it? I plan your wedding, and I'm off the hook?" "Yes." "Okay." "Except… I need another bride's maid." "Okay, you got it." "Thanks." I turned to walk away. "Oh, and Céili?" "Yeah?" I stopped, and turned back around. "Congratulations again. I'm really happy for you guys. I mean that." "Thank you." I smiled at Cheyenne. "That means a lot to me." Then, I walked away again. Well, Cheyenne was very helpful. She booked a beautiful church. She ordered the flowers, the rings, everything. Edd and I decided to have a traditional wedding, but with a mixture of Latin and Celtic music at the reception. By Valentine's Day, everything was all ready to go. It would be the perfect wedding, the perfect day, with the most perfect man in the world.
Well, it was finally our big day. I was sitting in the bridal room, staring at myself in the mirror. I couldn't believe it was finally happening. I was finally marrying Edd. I never thought this day would come, at least, not this soon. My sister slowly opened the door, and stepped in. "Hey, girl," she greeted. "Hey," I replied, still staring in the mirror, half aware of the world around me. "You okay?" I came back to Earth, and turned away from the mirror. "Oh, yeah," I chuckled. "I'm fine. Just…" "Nervous?" "No." "Excited?" "Putting it mildly, but yes." Máiréad chuckled. "I can't believe I'm finally getting married." "You guys are gonna be crazy happy together." "You think so?" "I know so." "Me, too." "I'm sorry Daddy's not here to give you away." "He is." "He is?" "In spirit." Máiréad smiled. "Yeah, you're right." "Just like Edd was with me in spirit when he was in Mexico. All I had to do was look with my heart." "That's how to keep someone close when they're away." "Yeah." "Mom's on her way back here, so she can give you away." "Okay." Soon, it was time to walk down the aisle on Mom's arm. "I can't believe my baby's getting married," she said softly while walking me down. I just smiled at her. Then, I looked ahead, and saw Edd in his tuxedo. Oh, he looked so handsome! Well, he always looked that handsome to me. I took my place beside Edd as the music stopped, and the minister began reciting a beautiful speech for us. Actually, it was more of a, um, poem, if you will. "We are gathered here today, under God," he said, "to join this man, and this woman in Holy matrimony. When I am down, and oh, my soul so weary. When troubles come, and my heart burdened be, then, I am still, and wait here in the silence, until you come, and sit a while with me. There is no life, no life without its hunger. Each restless heart beats so imperfectly, but when you come, and I am filled with wonder. Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity. You raise me
up, so I can stand on mountains. You raise me up to walk on stormy seas. I am strong when I am on your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be." Sound familiar to you? Edd and I asked the minister to recite that for us, because that's exactly how we felt about each other. We recited out vows. It was my turn first. I looked into Edd's eyes, and spoke. "Edd, you have always been there for me over the years. You were there to make me laugh when I was depressed. You made me smile when I was down. You made me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. There's no way to describe how wonderful you are, and how much I love you." I wiped a few tears away. "I promise I will always be faithful to you. I will never abandon you. I will be by your side, no matter what happens, and I will never, ever let you go. If you go anywhere, I will follow you, even if it was to the end of the universe. I will always love you. You are my angel. I'll be yours, too." Goodness! I sure do cry a lot. Anyway, it was Edd's turn. Edd couldn't hold his emotions back. He just let the tears fall as he spoke. "Céili, you are the most beautiful angel in the world. You look like an angel. You sing like an angel, and you have the heart of an angel. You're the light of my life. I can't wait to fall asleep, holding you, and wake up to your angel light. I promise I'll always be faithful to you, too. I won't ever leave you. Everywhere I go, I'll take you with me. I'll be there for you, no matter what happens. I'll take care of you, and I'll protect you. I won't let anything hurt you. I'll always love you forever, mi ángel preciosa. Te quiero mucho." The minister faced me. "Do you, Céili Alexandria O'Sullivan, take Edgar Antonio Moreno to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you promised to love, honor, and cherish him, for rich or poor, for better or worse, in sickness, and in health for as long as you both shall live?" I beamed at Edd. "I do." Then, the minister turned to face Edd. "Do you, Edgar Antonio Moreno, take Céili Alexandria O'Sullivan to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you promised to love, honor, and cherish her, for rich or poor, for better or worse, in sickness, and in health for as long as you both shall live?" "I do," Edd wept happily, smiling at me. "Then, by the power vested in me by the state of Hawaii, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Edgar, you may now kiss your bride." Edd lifted my veil, and we share the most magical kiss, as our guests clapped and cheered for us, and The Wedding March began to play. We met our friends and family in the front hall before going to the reception. I flew to Lexi, and gave her the biggest hug. "Oh, Lexi!" I cried. "I'm moving out of our house! I'm so sorry to leave you all alone." "Aww, it's okay, Hun," Lexi chuckled. "I'm just so happy for you guys." "I'll still rehearse with Celtic Circle. I promise." "You better. The band wouldn't be the same without you, girl." "I know," I teased. "What would you guys do without me?"
Lexi and I laughed. Cheyenne suddenly tapped me from behind. I jumped. "Oh, Cheyenne!" I laughed. "So, am I forgiven?" asked Cheyenne. "Absolutely," I said, "and we want you back in Celtic Circle." "Thanks, and I promise I'll behave myself." "You better!" I teased. Cheyenne giggled, and I pulled her into a hug. "So, we're still friends?" she asked. "Of course." "Thanks, and congratulations." Then, it was time to head off to the reception.
On that beautiful night, I moved in with Edd. His house was absolutely perfect for the two of us. Máiréad and the other band members helped me move my belongings in. Edd helped me sort through my boxes, and organize my belongings. Afterwards, we went to bed together for the first time as husband and wife. In the morning, Edd was the first to wake up. He gently caressed me to wake me up. "Céili," he whispered. I slowly opened my eyes. "Morning, wife." "Morning, husband," I replied groggily. "You want some breakfast?" "Sure." We got up together, showered, brushed our teeth, and got dressed. We went into the kitchen to make breakfast. We made it together. We cooked a delicious meal of hash browns, bacon, and toast, and we poured the coffee. "Tomorrow, I'm making a Mexican breakfast for you," said Edd, as we carried our plates to the table. "Mmmm, I can't wait," I said, sitting down with Edd. "Would you like some jam or peanut butter for your toast?" "Jam," Edd replied. "Here you go, Sweetie." I slid the jar of jam to Edd, and then, squeezed some Ketchup on my plate for my potatoes. "You made great bacon," said Edd after chewing his food. "Thank you." I moved my hand to pick up my fork, and accidentally knocked over my cup of coffee. "Ohh, crap!" Coffee spilt all over the table and floor. Edd laughed. "It's okay." I jumped up from my seat, and pulled a towel out from the cupboard. I cleaned up the mess, and tossed the towel in the hamper. "Well, now, I have nothing to drink," I joked. "It's okay. I have something for you to try." Edd got up from his seat, and opened the refrigerator door. He pulled out a large pitcher, poured a deliciouslooking juice into a glass, and added some ice cubes. He brought the drink back to the table, and set it in front of me. "This is called 'Agua de Sandia.' It's a watermelon juice." "Ohhh, I love watermelon," I said. "Try it." I took a sip. "Oh, this is delicious! I love it! Thank you!" "There's more if you knock it over," Edd teased. I giggled. What a wonderful first morning together. We finished our breakfast, and relaxed for the rest of the day. This was only the beginning. We couldn't wait for more mornings together, maybe even better than this one, maybe without me knocking over any drinks.
Two months later, I came home late from rehearsal. I had called Edd to tell him I would be late, but I didn't tell him why. I found him in the kitchen, preparing a Mexican meal. "Hey, Honey," I greeted. "Hola, Sweetheart," Edd replied sweetly. "I've got some news." "Okay." "Well, I actually left rehearsal at the normal time, because I had a doctor's appointment." "Are you okay?" "More than okay." "Huh?" "I'm pregnant!" Edd dropped what he was doing, and threw his arms around me. "I'm already a month in!" I laughed excitedly. "We're having a baby?" "Yes!" "I'm gonna be a father!" "I know! What do you wanna name the baby? I know it's early, but I wanna start thinking now." "I've always wanted a son named Matteo." "I love that name. What if it's a girl?" "Katherine." "Awww." "You like both names?" I smiled. "I love them." Later that day, I called my friends and family to tell them the happy news. Although, I was hesitant to tell Máiréad, because I didn't want her to feel bad. It turned out she was happy for me, and it didn't bother her at all. Well, that's what she said, and I prayed it was true. It was finally the ninth month, and I could have the baby any day. One night, I was watching television with Edd. He was rubbing my belly, and feeling the baby kick. Then, suddenly, I felt a puddle underneath me. I turned to Edd. "Edd," I said, "my water just broke!" Edd's face lit up. We rushed to the hospital. All my best friends, my big sister, my mom, and Edd were in the delivery room with me. I was in labor for eight hours, until the nurse came in, and told me I was fully dilated. "Okay," she said. "Time to push." "I'm right here, mi ángel," said Edd, latching onto my hand. "I'm scared!" I whimpered. "I know, but I'm here for you. You can do it." I spent the next half hour, pushing and screaming at the top of my lungs. Edd was a real trooper. He didn't gag or faint or throw up. He didn't seem at all
grossed out by watching me give birth. He stayed right by my side, and kept smiling at me. I could see the smile was genuine. "One more push," said the nurse, "and you're done." "No, I… I can't do it!" I panted. "Yes, you can, Baby," said Edd. "I'm right here." "It hurts too much!" I shouted. "I know, Baby." Edd put his arm around my neck. "I know it hurts, but just think about the beautiful baby. Think about that adorable face, that sweet laugh, how much they'll look like you, and I'll still be right here, smiling at you." "Okay, I'll do it," I panted. I pushed one more time, and screamed at the top of my lungs, until the baby was finally born. It was a beautiful baby boy, just as Edd had hoped for, and he looked so much like his daddy! A few minutes later, the nurse brought the baby back in after taking him away to bathe him. She placed him in my lap, and left the room. I looked at my son's face, and into his eyes. "Hi," I greeted him. "Hi, Matteo. It's Mommy. Aren't you beautiful? You look just like Daddy. Yes, you do. Wanna meet your daddy? Go on." I lifted him up, and handed him over to Edd. "There you go." Edd held our Matteo in his arms, and smiled ever so sweetly at him. "Hi, Baby," he said softly. "I'm your daddy." Matteo cooed, and smiled at Edd. "Awwwww, you're so precious," Edd sighed. "Yes, you are. Daddy loves you." He gently tickled Matteo's face, and watched him flash an adorable smile. "Want me to sing to you?" Edd opened his mouth to sing a lullaby, and my heart stopped when I, once again, heard the beautiful sound he made. He sang a mesmerizing lullaby, Duérmete Mi Niño, meaning "Sleep, my child." I wiped tears from my eyes while listening to him singing. I wasn't the only one in tears. I looked up at my friends and family, and saw that Cheyenne was also getting emotional. After he finished singing to Matteo, l leaned over, and kissed Edd. He climbed into the bed with me, and continued I gently lifted the baby out of his arms. Matteo was sleeping so soundly. Edd wrapped his arm around me, and kissed my cheek. "Céili, I love you so much." "I love you, too, Eddy-Bear," I answered. "I can't wait to raise our baby with you. You'll be the most amazing mother." "And, you'll be the most wonderful father. I'm scared, but I know we'll raise him right. I have a feeling he'll turn out exactly like his father." I smiled at Edd. "In other words, he'll be the sweetest boy in the world." "Awwwwww, mi ángel preciosa! I want to sing my love to both of you." With that, he did, and once again, there was not a dry eye in the room. This was the wonderful start to a magical future for the three of us.
Well, it's five years later. Edd and I are still very happy together, even more than before. We now have a second child—a beautiful daughter named Katherine. We're still living in the same house. It's the perfect size, and the kids absolutely love it. In the past couple of years, Celtic Circle has performed several shows around Honolulu, and we've been paid quite well. We've all received positive feedback from our audiences, and we've even been working on our first album. Along with Celtic Circle, I have also been singing a lot with Edgar. He and I plan to record a duet together, sometime in the future. I remembered how Edd told me he wanted to be a translator for movies, so I asked him to be the translator for any DVDs or music videos Celtic Circle may record. He was more than excited about my request. Cheyenne has definitely straightened up her attitude. She's been behaving herself in Celtic Circle. She finally remembered the reason why we formed the group, and realized a Celtic Woman is a good woman. Máiréad's wish for a baby finally came true. Two years after I gave birth to Matteo, she became pregnant, and there was no miscarriage. She had a healthy baby girl, and named her Céili. Awwww! She and Brian are still happily married, and considering having a second child. As for Lexi, she is still single, but enjoying it. She is Matteo's and Katherine's godmother. And finally, Edd and I are still crazy about each other. Like I said before, we are still very happy together. He still calls me his ángel preciosa, and I still call him my Eddy-Bear. Every year, on our anniversary, Lexi babysits the children, while we go back to Waimea Beach with a picnic blanket, food from Taco Bell, and the same attire, and we relive that first date. We eat our meal together, take a walk along the beach, and dance and sing under the stars and the moon. Actually, we have good news! I'm pregnant with our third child! If it's a girl, I'm thinking of naming her Chloë, or if it's a boy, I think I just might name him after his father, Edgar. Yes, Edd and I are unbreakable!