Her mouth was agape as she examined my face.
“Did you say Rose?”
“Yes. Who are you?”
“Emily…Evangeline’s sister.” She looked anxiously behind her shoulder. “They didn’t know you were coming?”
“Do you know who I am?”
Her eyes started to water. “Yes. Yes, I do. I…I only recently found out…like very recently. Oh my God.” She covered her mouth and repeated, “Oh, my God. I can’t believe this.” Then, she suddenly pulled me into a hug. The man standing next to her looked really confused. Still flustered, she turned to introduce him. “Um…sorry, this is my husband…um…”
“Zachary,” he reminded her.
I waved at him before asking, “Where are they?”
Emily was still examining my face when she said, “They’re inside getting ready to bring the food out. We were just about to eat dinner outside.”
I pointed my thumb back to the waiting car. “I can come back.”
“Are you kidding?” She held out her hands to stop me from leaving. “Don’t you move! Stay right there.” She kept muttering as she walked away, “Oh my God. Oh my God.”
Zachary and I smiled awkwardly at each other while we waited in silence. My throat felt dry. I really needed a glass of water. My thoughts were racing. What was I going to say? Would I call him Sevin? Mr. Montgomery? Her…Evangeline? Were they even married? Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery? No…I’d call them Sevin and Evangeline.
I was nervously removing pieces of lint from my dress when I heard footsteps and looked up. My heart beat faster.
He was holding her hand as they both rushed out before stopping short to take me in.
The two people who’d given me life.
Evangeline was stunningly beautiful, her long black hair tied up into a messy knot. She was holding a wooden spoon that looked like it had Cool Whip on it, an indication that she was literally whisked out of the kitchen. She lifted her trembling hand to her mouth and froze, while Sevin approached me slowly.
Choking back tears, he placed his hands on my shoulders and just looked at me for the longest time before finally whispering, “Hello, Rose.”
My own tears really caught me off guard as he pulled me into him. His heart was hammering against mine as he started to full on cry. I didn’t know what the future held, certainly not when it came to a relationship with Evangeline. While there was so much I still didn’t know, there were a few things I was sure of. One, that this man loved me. Two, that tears definitely smudged the ink on that letter. Three, that there was no doubt in my mind anymore about what I should call him.
When he pulled back, I looked into his glistening eyes and answered, not with my head—but with my heart.