In Pieces – Epilogue

So, I lie awake another hour
Just like the one before

It was New Years Eve. Ashleigh and Nick were in attendance at a party that had been thrown by a friend of hers. As such, Nick had flown into Minneapolis that morning. He had been tired from the flight, but not too tired to enjoy a night with Ashleigh. As he mingled with the guests and got introduced to people, he couldn’t help but smile. Here he was with a girl he hadn’t given a second thought to six months ago. Now she was overly excited, but in a different way than he’d seen her in the past. She was happy to be with her friends, and eager to introduce them to her new boyfriend.

The shadows play a game with my head
I can’t take this anymore

“It’s a really funny story actually…” Ashleigh laughed, as yet another person asked how the two of them met. She slipped her arm around Nick’s waist, and gazed into his eyes. They’d only been together for a short time, and yet he’d consumed so much of her life. She didn’t even know where to start. She’d never thought that she’d see him ever again. She’d definitely thanked Joey time and time again for dragging her to the concert earlier that past summer.

I hear the sound of my own breathing
It makes me miss you more

Nick took a sip of his champagne as he noticed Ashleigh’s glass was empty. “I’ll fill that up for you, he said, taking the flute from her hand when she quickly nodded to him. Walking over to the drink table, he spied Joey standing quietly, surveying the room. “Hey.” He said as he began to fill Ashleigh’s glass.

“Hey.” She smiled back at him. Nick had pissed her off quite a bit, the way he’d come into Ashleigh’s life and intervened when things had finally started to get on track for her. Looking at her smiling friend now, she could no longer be angry with him. He’d done some good after all. “I’m glad you were able to come, Nick.” She said honestly.

Nick chuckled. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” He replied.

Joey nodded. “You make her really happy, you know.”

Wake me up when it’s over
After the ending
When the damage is already done

Nick handed Ashleigh her re-filled glass and she quickly continued her story. “Do you remember that time that your bus broke down and we were stuck in the middle of nowhere?” She asked him, recalling a fond memory from the Black and Blue tour. Memories that she hadn’t dared to touch until now.

Nick laughed. “Man, that was really funny. See what happened was…”

Ashleigh smiled as Nick began to tell the story. He was so comfortable in any situation, a quality which she admired in him. He seemed to be genuinely having a good time talking to her friends, hearing stories about her as well as telling them.

I don’t wanna be somewhere
Where you can watch me as I breathe
Just leave me here in pieces…in pieces

“You guys are just too adorable.” One of her friends commented as the story finished. Ashleigh and Nick had been talking over each other and giggling over the other’s words. “Let me take a picture for you.” She said, pulling out her camera.

Ashleigh and Nick quickly set their drinks down on a nearby table and posed for the picture, which was sure to end up on Facebook the next day. Ashleigh grinned as Nick kissed her cheek. Simply put, she was in heaven. Before walking off to take another picture, Ashleigh’s friend touched her arm. “Good for you, Ash.” She said softly, with a smile on her face.

I can’t take the chance of running into
You running into me

Ashleigh looked up at Nick with a smile. She was glad that her friends seemed to like him, especially after she’d broken up with Matt whom they’d all seemed to love. Never had she felt so happy in her life. Everything was beginning to fall into place.

So lock the door and close the window
I just wanna sleep

Nick surveyed the room. Ashleigh certainly knew a wide array of people. He’d been introduced to so many people that night, it was hard to keep all of them straight. Most of them were friends of hers from University, a few of them were from High School. It seemed as though Ashleigh was able to get along with most anybody. Nick greatly admired and appreciated this quality in her.

Until the day inside my future
When I’ll be on my feet

“It’s two minutes until midnight!” Someone shouted, and Ashleigh glanced at the clock. Sure enough, it read 11:58. Nick quickly grabbed Ashleigh’s hand. “Get your coat.” He instructed. She gave him a puzzled look, but didn’t question him.

Wake me up when it’s over
After the ending
When the damage is already done

Ashleigh and Nick stepped outside and were met with a wall of cold air. The street was dead, as everyone was inside watching the clock. Nick turned to Ashleigh and kissed her lightly. “I wanted this moment to be ours.” He grinned, looking up at the sky. Earlier that day, Ashleigh had explained that there would be fireworks going off at midnight, which they would probably be able to see from the house.

I don’t wanna be somewhere
Where you can watch me as I breathe
Just leave me here in pieces…in pieces

Sure enough, as everyone in the house yelled “Happy New Year!” (Which Nick and Ashleigh could faintly hear) the first of many fireworks went off. Nick kissed Ashleigh deeply as they stood at the edge of the sidewalk. “Happy new year, Ash.” He whispered.

If you want you can find me on the dark side of the sun
Babe, I don’t wanna see what we’ve become
The damage is already done

“Happy new year, Nick.” She said quietly, not caring that her bare legs were turning to ice. She wanted this moment with him to last forever. His blue eyes pierced hers, looking at her with so much happiness.

Wake me up when it’s over
After the ending
When the damage is already done

Nick softly touched her face. After all these years, he’d never thought that she would be able to capture his heart. It was time to tell her.

“I love you, Ash.”

I don’t wanna be somewhere
Where you can watch me as I breathe
Just leave me here in pieces…in pieces

Ashleigh nearly melted at his words. Words she’d dreamt of hearing since she was fourteen years old, which held more meaning than she’d ever thought possible. Finally, she was really and truly, his.

“I love you too, Nick.”

So wake me up when it’s over

The two of them kissed, both oblivious to the cold, lost in a world that was completely their own.

Just wake me up when it’s over…

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