Chuck and Kelly embraced intensely and kissed. The rain kept pouring all around them as the world dissolved for just that one moment.
“I always knew you were alive, I knew it.” Kelly said. “But everybody said I had to stop saying that, that I had to let you go.”
She looked down sadly, hoping Chuck would understand why she married another man. The truth, however, could not be denied.
“I love you.” she said softly and stared him in the eyes. “You’re the love of my life.”
She knew it and had always known that nobody could ever replace him. Chuck was silent for a moment. Then he said in a resigned voice: “I love you too, Kelly. More than you’ll ever know.”
She sighed and they kissed again. Chuck stroked her chin after they broke apart and looked at the woman who had saved his life while he was stuck on that godforsaken island all those years. He took her by the hand and led her to his truck. She was out of breath as Chuck closed the cardoor on her side and walked to his trough the downpour. She felt like a deer in the headlights, looking at the man she was meant to be with. He had changed in appearance, but his essence was exactly the same as the moment when they had said goodbye at the airport, a lifetime ago. He didn’t say a word, he just looked sad and empty. She knew it had to have been a shock seeing her in a new house, with a family she had created so fast to numb the pain of his loss. She sighed again.
“Chuck…” she started, looking at him.
“You have to go home.” he answered.
Part of her wanted to just nod, crawl back in bed and forget this moment, but she couldn’t. She would never want to lose him again, no matter what the cost.
“Home is with you, Chuck.” she whispered. “You are my home, you always were.”
Chuck stayed silent for a while.
“I don’t know what to say.”
She grabbed the back of his head and kissed him fiercely.
“You are the one, Chuck. We should have gotten married. I feel so stupid.” she sobbed.
He looked at her, and she knew the selfless man she loved so deeply would let her go if that was what she wanted. But that was not what she wanted, at all.
“I’m not letting you go this time! We belong together!”
Chuck gave her a wan smile.
“You’re married, Kelly. You have a daughter. A beautiful little girl…”
“Chuck, I mean it. You are the one. I’m sorry for Jerry, but he always knew I still loved you. We’ll make it work. I’m not letting you go!”
Chuck saw Kelly meant it with all of her heart and a sudden happiness spread through his soul. He smiled in earnest now.
“I love you, Kelly. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And I’ll be here for you, every step of the way.”
Reassured, Kelly looked back at the house where her husband was asleep, not knowing which life altering decision his wife had just made. Chuck drove back to the garage and stopped the car.
“I need to take care of things here.” she said.
“I understand. If I can do anything to help…” Chuck implored.“I’ll call you tomorrow, alright? I don’t want to be away from you longer than I have to.”
“We used to plan stuff, as I recall. Christmas, New Years…”
“I’m done planning. I just want to be with the man of my life. And that is you.”
They kissed one last time and Kelly exited the vehicle. One final glance told him everything would turn out okay. He wóuld be with Kelly. Forever. What’s one more night without her?
Chuck drove to his friend and they drank whiskey. He told him everything that had happened.
“I’m so happy I found Kelly. And I’m so grateful that she was with me on that island.” Chuck said, smiling. “And I know what I have to do now. Gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring.”
Perla Schippers, 11/8/16
Watch the actual scene here.