BEFORE THE CEREMONY
It was August 21, 2012 in Brooklyn when I stood in front of the church in my best Sunday clothes.
“Today's the big day.” I thought aloud.
This wasn't my big day. But it was close enough. I was dreading it. Today I was supposed to be my dad's best man. I was nineteen years old, I wasn't one to complain, but I thought I deserved to complain a little on the day my 45 year old dad was marring a 30 year old woman. Despite being resentful, I couldn't help but be a little happy when I looked around the outside of the church. There were a fountains, flowers, big cedar trees, and freshly mowed grass. It provided a wonderful sight, and smell. I walked to the front door. The sidewalk was beautiful pebble stone. And the door was a rather grand, big door, made from mahogany and brass. As I pulled the insanely heavy door open I was amazed at what I saw; dozens of people frantically running around. Decorating, and decorating, and decorating some more. Beautiful draping flowers covered the walls. Ribbons and lace covered the stage. The chairs were exquisite embroidered white silk. The aisle was covered in white rose petals. There was piano on the left side of the back of the building and a large flower bouquet on the other. When I looked down I saw the floor's white marble was so shiny I could see my reflection.
I don't look that bad. In my black suit, and my hair all slicked back I wasn't that bad. I wish I wasn't so tall, six foot four, and I have broad shoulders. Dark hair and dark eyes, if I were a girl I wouldn't be totally disgusted.
I was thinking this when one of the bridesmaids came out--It was Marietta Edward--the daughter of a friend of Dad's new wife. I saw her at school even before my dad met Mary Louis.
She's so pretty with brown eyes and red hair. I was thinking when she interrupted me.
“Are you excited about the wedding?”
“Yeah, sure.” I said halfheartedly, hoping she didn't notice my reluctance.
She noticed.“You seem reluctant. What's wrong?” She said in such a happy tone. It was hard to be resentful talking to her.
“I'm just tired, I was up late last night planning everything.” I lied. I really hadn't done anything for this wedding, because I was trying to avoid it at all costs. But she seemed to take that as an answer as she went half dancing, half skipping back behind the white curtains where they were getting ready.
“Wow, what a girl.” I said half thought as I was walking towards the door, and then almost ran into it. Thankfully Mary stopped me. I turned and looked at her. She was very pretty, but still fifteen years younger than my dad. Why can't he marry a person his own age?
“You look very nice Michael.” Mary said.
“Thanks you do too.” I replied as quickley as possible.
“I'm really excited; your dad is taking me to the beach for our honeymoon!”
“That'll be nice.”
“Will you be okay by yourself?”
“I'll be fine.”
“I hope you enjoy the ceremony.”
There was awkward silence after that. That made me want to run away. But I stayed, like the gentleman that I am. Finally Dad started to walk over, and she ran off because it is bad luck, or something, to see the bride before the wedding. I don't ever think I was more glad to see Dad in my life.
“Wow! She looked pretty.” Dad asked me.
“Oh no! You saw her before the wedding. Now your marriage is destined to fail.” I said very sarcastic.
“Oh stop Michael! You know how much this means to us. Speaking of which, how do I look?”
“Old.” I said this time really actually joking, and laughing a little.
“Thanks that's what I was going for!” He said laughing.
“No, you actually look good!”
“Good I was starting to think I actually did look old!” He said as he was laughing and walking off. I could tell he was really excited.
My dad was a very handsome man. He was colored like me. But much more broad and stout. Had a kindness in his smile, when I was mad he could melt me like butter; which could be annoying on occasions. But that also means we got along really well. I was standing there thinking for about ten minutes, and just as I was getting lost in thought. I heard the very irritating drone of chruch bells. It was four o’clock. The wedding was starting in one hour.
I looked around, everything seemed perfect. The decorators had really pulled it together. Everything was in place. But still I went outside and took a look at the world before it went dark. I found a big oak tree and climbed up.
If mother was here she would be yelling at me. But now I'm nineteen I can take care of myself. At least Father waited to get married till I could leave if I wanted to. But where would I go too. My job is what is paying the bills since Dad almost broke his ankle. He hasn't been able to work at the factory because he can't stand for long. He's been doing small jobs and that helps.
Just as I decided I better stay, my line of thought got interrupted, Dad came outside and called for me. I figured I would hide then go find him once he got back inside. So I stood up on a branch to get a better hiding place. Thank goodness he went in, because right as I stood up, the branch started to crack. And down I went. Thankfully there was a branch right under the one I was standing on. On my way down I grabbed it with my hands, I was caught holding on to the branch. Even though it was uncomfortable I hung there for a minute deciding what to do. Then the pastor started to walk up to the church. And there I was hanging from the tree about five feet from the ground. I was really hoping he wasn't going to see me. But unfortunately he couldn't miss a tall, boy in a black suit suspended from a tree.
“Need help?” He asked me.
“Nope, very therapeutic.” I replied hoping he would leave. But then I realized I was just sarcastic to a pastor, it made the situation even more uncomfortable. Eventually he walked on. When he went in he must have asked if anyone was missing a tall, tree climbing, dark-headed boy, wearing a suit. Of course I knew my father would come rushing out knowing it was me. So I jumped down and ran behind the building as fast as possible. My feet kind of hurt: jumping down five feet made the ground feel really hard.
Dad and Marietta ran outside with the pastor. When I wasn't there they went back inside wandering what the heck the pastor was talking about. I went to the restroom and wiped off my suit and hair. I looked as good as new. You never knew I fell through a tree and had to hang there while I got preached to by a pastor. When I came out a old lady gave me a weird look wondering why I was in the bathroom so long. I shot her a what-ya-gonna-do look, and she hurried off, away from the bathroom. Then for some reason my soon to be step mother snuck up behind me.
“Ah! Oh, Mary! Don't sneak up on me like that!" I said then added "Please.” When she looked irritated. Although I wouldn't mind if she was annoyed, at least a little, she scared the wits out of me.
“Sorry. Are you okay?” She replied annoyingly.
“Yeah.” I said as I walked off.
It was now about thirty minutes to the wedding and people were starting to arrive. I went into the main sanctuary of the church and looked around. All the women were wearing very attractive white dresses and the men were wearing slick black suits. The women's hair was usually up with silver and gold pins. They were also wearing silk slippers, and the men had on shiny shoes.
I got there just in time to walk Marietta down the aisle. It was one of the best five minutes or so in my life. Her hands were so soft. She probably thought I was awkward, because my hand kept shaking. I tried to walk as slow as possible, but still that walk down the aisle went by way to fast. We probably looked funny. Besides the fact I stood over a foot above her head, we were walking so slow. She kinda had to hold her hand up to reach mine. But I didn't care. It was wonderful. When we reached my dad, she smiled at me and I smiled at her. My dad also smiled at me. As in saying it's okay. I gave a very fake reassuring smile. The pastor looked at me with a look of utter surprise. And I gave him a look of, yeah the guy in the tree is me. And the pastor looked away and started the ceremony.
Having Mary in the house is going to change everything. How is this going to work... I thought to myself as I stood beside my dad, getting married.