Page 50 of The One

Maybe the ticket for her is to not get married, who knows. The future is unknown and has its own ideas on how things will go. It’s not my place to interfere, and I’m not about to.

I’m still a bit of a freak about getting rid of things. Thank goodness, Van built me another big shed on the property and helps me to keep everything organized.

I got a letter from Ruby about a year ago. An actual letter. She’s had a time going through her own struggles, but one of the points she was trying to achieve is to make amends.

Her letter went into some personal details about her childhood. She wasn’t looking for sympathy but trying to explain some of her bitterness toward the world and why she fixated on me for so many years.

In short, her father was—as he always appeared—a jerk. But, turns out her mother was just as bad. Disapproving of nearly everything about Ruby. When she saw how me and my mom were together, she said it always made her jealous, and she turned that back onto me.

In the end, her apology was sincere. We won’t be friends, but that chapter is closed, and at least I’ve forgiven and moved on.

An hour later, the table is full of love and food. Van stands, as he usually does at the holiday meals, and raises his glass.

Everyone follows, the conversation quieting except for the babble of babies and toddlers.

“Another year. And I can’t imagine being more thankful. I’m the luckiest man in the world. Friends, family and a wife who I knew from the first moment I saw her was the one.”

Everyone toasts, clinking glasses, and I look over at Van who is staring at me. I lean over, and he leans down to kiss me, then whispers in my ear: “Family first.”