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A genuine smile spread across Mercy's lips. She had suspected for a while now that Rafael Romeiro was something different, somebody who affected Valerie in a way that nobody else had. The love that Mercy and Valerie had for each other was legendary and unimpeachable, but it was a very very different type of love than the one that lit her best friends golden features up like so much as a mention of Rafael.
It was something that Mercy had always wished for her, knowing what a good force a solid stabilizer in her life could be from firsthand experience. Valerie was wild, and to a large degree untameable, but there was something in her that had always sought out a stabilizing partner, a partner who could handle her at her worst and who deserved her at her best. From all appearances, Rafael more than fit that bill.
"There's a kind of love that fills your world. It changes the way you see things, the way you view things. It changes you. But not into anything you never were before, it just turns you into the best version of yourself. True love is...well, it's a miracle in and of itself." Mercy's eyes rested lovingly on her daughter as the little toddler watched the world with eyes that saw and understood more than her limited years should have allowed.
"I know from my own experience with love that it finds you when you're least expecting it. I never set out to love Andres. I set out to do the opposite of that, actually. I didn't want attachments, I didn't want romance, I didn't want to care about him on that level at all." At that point in her life she had been looking for some mutual fun, and that was what the power couple had started out as, but it had quickly become something else, something more. What was between them had been undeniable, even to one who wanted to deny it at all costs.
"Love doesn't care what you want. And it can be the best thing in the world, or the hardest heartache you will ever bear. But when you find that right love, there is nothing else in the world that compares to it, Valerie." Mercy paused for a moment, weighing her next words carefully. Valerie and Mercy were used to complete disclosure and no filter, but this was something that needed to be said, and something that deserved more weight.
"But he shouldn't be your everything. We know we'll always have each other, but he can't be your sole purpose and driving force in life. Because as perfect as love can be, there are ways to shatter and end it. Ways that would rip you to your core should they happen to you." She remember the nights spent inconsolable, and the days where she put up an Oscar-worthy front for her daughter. Her daughter, who had ended up being the salvation of both her parents. "I want nothing but happiness and the best for you, and I believe that he brings those qualities to your life. I've never seen you this way over somebody in all the years I've known you, and that alone would mark him as something special, something unique, somebody worthy. Just make sure that he doesn't become your sole purpose, for me, please."
As if on cue, Catriona let loose another set of infectious giggles as she caught sight of colorful birds chasing each other through the skies.