Chapter 8: If Only Us... Chapter 8

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance

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Comments: 1

Dawn of ‘The Big Day’ broke bright and cheerful.  A few clouds, a light breeze, and plenty of butterflies – in my stomach.  I hadn’t seen or even talked to Virginia since yesterday.  My attempts to do so were firmly rebuffed by matron-types who had Taken Charge of Things.  In every instance I was told it was bad luck.  I guess in their minds it was.

The wedding was to start at noon, and it was nine-thirty already, I was startled to see.  I rushed through my shower and shave, anointing myself with oils, and after-shave.  I had a really nifty rental tux that took some getting used to.  Fortunately, the bow tie was already made and snapped on.  I couldn’t have managed to tie it at all with my fumble-fingers.

Both our dad’s had been given the option to wear their uniforms – both decided to do so.  My dad, when decked out in his Class ‘A’ uniform looked really spiffy with all his ribbons and all.  My mom was wearing a really nice off-white dress and just a string of pearls.  Various brothers and sisters from both families were dressy also.  My grandmother had her usual pale lavender outfit on.  She wore it, or one like it, for every festive occasion.

My family gathered at the entrance to the chapel and meandered down the side aisles where most of the family took their seats.  Virginia’s family had arrived just a little before us.  Bear looked simply splendid in his uniform.  He had two more rows of ribbons than my dad, but he’d been in longer, and had chewed a lot more dirt than him.  I went over to them and her mom and dad stood at my approach.  I gave my new mom a big hug, which she returned tightly, and whispered, in my ear.

“Be good to my little girl, Tom.  That’s all I ask.”

“I’ll do my absolute best … Mom”

That started the tears flowing, but she got control of them.  Her dad put out a big paw and engulfed mine, then covered it with the second one.

“Welcome, again, to the family, Tom.”

Thanks, dad.  I’d give my life for her and that’s a no-shitter.”

I heard a quiet little snuffle from mom again as I walked back towards the entrance, lifting a hand to friends of ours in the group.  Virginia had a whole corps of teary-eyed girls sitting in almost three rows; handkerchiefs held tightly in their hands.  I made a bet with myself that I’d be able to hear them during the ceremony.  My male friends were a looser group, but still numbered quite a few.  Bernie, my best man standing there in his dress yarmulke, gave me a big, silent ‘Mazeltof’ and beckoned for me to join him.

I went up and he ushered me back behind the altar through a little door I hadn’t noticed.  When we did, we found we were just in a storage room.  The Chaplain was there and he started right in with who should do what.  We’d covered all this in the rehearsal, but it didn’t hurt to refresh my mushy brain.

“Bernie, when the music starts, you go through the door and take up position one step down and to my left.  Tom, you do the same thing, but don’t go down a step.  Bernie, you have the ring?”

“Oy!”  He exclaimed, slapping his forehead and then all his pockets.  Bernie was a really funny guy.  It broke us all up.  Just what we needed.

We waited in silence for what seemed like several days until, softly, The Wedding March began.  The Chaplain tapped us on the shoulder and pushed us out the door.

In the time I’d been back there the entire church had filled almost all the way.  A lot more of our friends had arrived.  I followed Bernie and, when he stepped down one step, we both pivoted and stood there facing the Chaplain.

The rear doors opened and everyone stood up.

And there she was right after the two young flower girls.  My Virginia.  Dressed in blazing white, with her grey eyes downcast.  She stood a moment to catch the slow cadence and then began floating down the aisle towards me.  I didn’t care, I had to turn fully and watch her.  I choked up, swallowed huge lumps of cotton, blinked tears of joy from my eyes, and followed her every step.  My bride was absolutely stunning in every way.

She had a firm grasp of her dad’s arm and, as they reached the two of us, took her hand from his arm and passed it to my arm.  It was as if we had never touched before.  I felt it like a warm feather had been pressed into my wrist.  Only then did she raise her eyes from the floor and look directly at me.

I felt dizzy from all the emotions that were flowing through me.  I missed the Chaplain’s question and he had to repeat it.  Oh yeah.  I was definitely ready.

The Ceremony:

Chaplain: We are gathered here today in friendship and happiness to witness Virginia and Tom pledge their love in a setting that can never be duplicated in this world.

The reality is that everyone's life is limited to only a certain amount of time.  As Robert G. Ingersoll said, "The time to be happy is now.  The place to be happy is here.”  Take the time to make your partner feel special.  Never take each other for granted.

Take the time to listen and to share.  Give each other the benefit of the doubt because communication will be different at times and misunderstandings are inevitable.  It takes time, effort, courage, and commitment to make a successful marriage.

Take the time to negotiate, to talk about your fears, failures, and disappointments.  Talk about each other's expectations, hopes, and dreams.  Be flexible and willing to adapt well to changes and new circumstances.  Above all, take the time to tell each other what you want.  Take the risk of being vulnerable with each other.

Virginia and Tom take each other by the hand and exchange your vows.  Virginia please go first.

Virginia: We are together now, we two; or haven't you noticed that we seem to spend a lot of time side by side.  We wrote the kind of notes that people in love write, you walked me to class, and we looked into each other's eyes.  Now I promise this day to love you as I did the day we met.  As we grow older together, I will always love you and care for you.  We must work through life together and I will always be by your side.  Together we can do all that we have dreamed.

Tom: Today I will marry my friend: that one I laugh with, live for, and dream with.  We knew we loved each other and no matter what our age, we knew that we were meant to be together.  I promise I will love you forever.  I will work hard all the days of my life to take care of you and if we have to grow older, we can do it together.  I will love you more than anyone has ever loved you and I will take you away to a place that's just our place, and I will protect you all of your life.

Chaplain: Tom, please repeat after me:

(Statement and response)

As your husband and your friend -

I promise that I will stand by you -

In sickness and in health -

For better and for worse -

For richer and for poorer -

For as long as we both shall live -

Chaplain: Do you, Tom take Virginia to be your wife and pledge to her your respect and faithful love from this day forward?

Tom:I do.

Chaplain:Tom, please place Virginia's ring on her finger.

(I turn, get the ring from Bernie, and VERY nervously slide it on Virginia’s finger.)

Chaplain: Virginia, please repeat after me:

(Statement and response)

As your wife and your friend -

I promise that I will stand by you -

In sickness and in health -

For better and for worse -

For richer and for poorer -

For as long as we both shall live -

Do you Virginia, take Tom, to be your husband and pledge to him your respect and faithful love from this day forward?

Virginia: I do.

(A small, stifled sob from her mom behind us.)

Chaplain:Virginia, please place Tom's ring on his finger.

(She turns to the ring bearer, lifts it from the pillow, and eases it up my finger.)

Chaplain: You will be reminded each day of your commitment to this marriage with the wearing of your wedding rings.  Virginia and Tom, you have formalized in our presence the existence of the bond of love between you - vowing to be loyal and loving toward one another.  In expressing your affirmations, you have pronounced yourself husband and wife.

I now pronounce Virginia and Tom to be husband and wife.

(Another small whimper, but this time from my mom.)

(The Chaplain looks up, raises his arms out towards us, and moves his hand together as if he were encompassing both of us.)

Please embrace and kiss for the first time as husband and wife.

(I needed no prompting for this one at all.  I lifted her light veil, folded it carefully back over her shoulders, and bent forward.


(It was as if we had never kissed before.  Her lips melted against mine, and, instead of partially closing her eyes, she looked steadily into my eyes as we held the kiss.)


Chaplain: If any guests wish, please gather at the outside entrance.  The bride and groom and I have some signing to accomplish.


Everyone stood, some cheered, and I noticed four of Virginia’s friends in a row were all hooting into tissues.  I even noticed Gerald over against the far wall.  In the middle distance was Hans and Gerd.  Gerd gave me a very enthusiastic, clenched hands over head salute and a huge smile.  I smiled back.

The Chaplain touched us on the shoulders and motioned towards his office at the side.  We went in and there on a podium was all the paperwork we’d have to sign.  I signed everything where he indicated, as did Virginia.  She edged closer and closer to me until our hips were pressed together.  She turned to look at me.

“Is this really true?”

“Aye, Virginia.  There really is a Santa Claus.”  I said.

The Chaplain turned with a start and said that he simply loved that movie.  We all broke up.  Soon, the signing, stamping, and folding was done and we were free to go.  I took her arm.

“Come, Wife, our chariot waits.”

“Of course, husband mine.  Let us not tarry lest we be late.”

The Chaplain looked between the two of us, clearly trying to decide if he’d done the right thing, until we smirked, stifled a laugh, and then broke up again.  He tittered, but with an uncertain smile on his face.  I could hear his mind saying ‘teenagers!’


Submitted: April 29, 2013

© Copyright 2022 B Douglas Slack. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:



Adorable! Though I sometimes talk like that too O.o

Tue, November 12th, 2013 5:29pm


I do also. My granddaughter just rolls her eyes.

Tue, November 12th, 2013 9:53am

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