"I can't believe the day is here!" Stasi let out a little shriek as Amara helped pull her dress over her head.

"Sit still before this thing rips or something," Amara zipped up the dress and began arranging the bottom. When she was done Stasi stood in front of the full-length mirror slightly swaying back and forth. "You look beautiful."

Stasi's dress was a strapless ballroom style gown with crystal embellishments around the top, near the bust. The same crystals lined the bottom of the dress, creating the illusion of a diamond hemline. Since her wedding colors were gold and sage, Stasi had a thick golden sash, which tied around her waist and flowed to the ground in a train-like fashion. The bottom of the sash was also adorned with crystals.

"Can you believe my mother threw a fit over a dress as beautiful as this?" Stasi put on her earrings, which dangled alluringly beside her cheeks, before reaching across the small table to pick up the rest of her jewelry. "She nearly died when she saw it wasn't all white. It's a good thing red wasn't one of my wedding colors."

"Well, you know," Amara said, switching to a Nigerian accent, "red is for danger!"

Both girls broke out into incessant laughter. Their parents had always seen red as the color of sin. Growing up, neither was allowed to wear red lipstick or nail polish. And although they had red in their wardrobes, God forbid they wore too much of it. Amara had been surprised when her mom finally caved and gave into her love for red, letting her have a red themed room senior year in high school and now a very red apartment.

"As long as you don't strut the color around like a whore it can actually be classy," her mother had said. Color was meant to accentuate, not to dominate.

Stasi's mom wasn't as accepting. Bright colors called for attention. And red was a very bright color.

It wasn't that Stasi's mom hated color, but she felt it had no place on a wedding dress. She felt it suggested a lack of purity. Wedding dresses are meant to be white, she had said. She nearly had a heart attack when Stasi mentioned that red was considered the color of purity in Chinese culture and that Indians often wore the same color in their wedding ceremonies.

"Who cares what other cultures do?" Mrs. Abbah asked as she tried to convince Stasi to wear all white. She eventually saw the beauty in the dress, but still didn't like that it was strapless. She felt it revealed too much. Especially in a church. If it weren't for Mr. Abbah, who thought the dress looked beautiful, Stasi might have never heard the end of it.

Mrs. Abbah walked into the room just as Stasi and Amara got their laughter under control. If she was unhappy about the way her daughter looked, it wasn't apparent on the expression on her face.

"Are you girls ready? The wedding planner said we're to start down the aisle in about five minutes." She took Stasi's hands in her own. She could hardly believe her little girl was getting married. "You look beautiful. Both of you."

She gave Stasi a quick hug before turning to give Amara one too. "Soon it'll be your turn, eh?" She said to Amara, who was like another daughter to her.

Amara gave Mrs. Abbah a weak smile. She didn't think her time would come anytime soon and didn't want to think about it either. Mrs. Abbah continued to prattle about weddings and Amara wasn't so sure how much of it she could take. As much as she was glad for Stasi, and as much as she enjoyed weddings, today was beginning to feel like a major overload.

She had only had two boyfriends in her life and both relationships had been total failures. Stasi on the other hand had only dated one boy in her life. And now she was marrying him. She didn't think she was any better than Stasi – by all means, Stasi deserved this day as much, if not more, than anybody. But somehow Amara felt gypped.

She looked at Stasi. Her face was glowing with pride and happiness. Stasi caught Amara's eye and rolled her own at her mother's talk of love and romance. Even as they shared a little smile, Amara knew Stasi was enjoying every moment of it. It was her day. All of the love and romance in the world had come true for her.

There was no way she could begrudge Stasi's moment, even as she wondered if such a day would ever come for her. Amara looked at Mrs. Abbah who was beginning to tell the girls about her own wedding. Will she ever stop? Amara was tempted to strangle Stasi's mom when the wedding planner came into the room.

"It's time. Mrs. Abbah, you'll be escorted in first."

Mrs. Abbah rushed from the room as Stasi turned to Amara, her face a mix of nervousness and excitement.

"Do I look okay?" she asked, trying to straighten the curls on her head for the hundredth time. Amara pushed back any feelings of discontentment. She was happy for Stasi. If anyone deserved all this, it was her.

"You've never looked better," Amara said honestly, pulling Stasi's hands down and giving her a kiss on the cheek. "Come on, it's time for you to make one young man very happy."

Jonathan watched as each of the bridesmaids came down the aisle in their sage dresses. His heart was beating fiercely in his tux and he prayed that he wouldn't sweat too much. He began to count the bridesmaids – one … two … three … four … only one more left before his bride stepped through the doors. As the last groomsmen escorted the fifth bridesmaids to her place, Jonathan straightened himself up, keeping his eyes focused on the back door. The music switched from the classical melody to a love song. He was too nervous to place the music, but it moved him. The back doors opened and Jonathan held his breath. In walked Amara, in a strapless gold dress. Jonathan let out the breath he had been holding. In his excitement, he forgot about the maid of honor.

Amara looked beautiful as she came down the aisle and she gave him a smile accompanied with a little wink as she passed him. He smiled back. He owed this day to her since she was the one to hook him up with Stasi.

He and Amara's parents were childhood friends and had spent most of their childhood making them do everything together. They had grown close over the years and were like brother and sister. When Stasi and Amara first became friends, he has been interested but was too scared to say anything. It would be awkward if it didn't work out. Although he never told Amara he was interested in her friend, she could tell and began playing matchmaker.

"What wouldn't make me happier than my two best friends together for all time?" she had said. "You two will be perfect together. Now get together!"

He and Stasi had been together for five years now, all because Amara kept pushing.

The music changed again and this time Jonathan recognized it as Kenny Latimore's "For You."

For you I give a lifetime of stability, anything you want of me; nothing is impossible. For you there are no words or ways to show my love or all the thoughts I'm thinking of …

Stasi appeared at the end of the aisle, escorted by her father. Jonathan's heart surged with all the love he had for this girl. Although he couldn't see her face through her veil, he was sure her face reflected the same goofy grin he had on his own.

Everything I do know makes sense, all roads end and all I do is for you.

The song ended and Stasi stood before him. Soon, they'd be one.

"That was just beautiful! So beautiful!" Mrs. Abbah said as she watched the newly wedded Mr. and Mrs. Oludare exit the reception. Amara nodded her head in agreement before waving a final goodbye to Stasi. Everything had been perfect. If anything went wrong, no one noticed.

It had been a big wedding. Over a thousand people showed up, mostly to the reception. And they had danced and danced and danced like there was no tomorrow. Amara was sure that Stasi and Jonathan received a lot of money from all the well wishers who came forward to "spray" the couple, in adherence to the Nigerian tradition of throwing money at the celebrants as they danced. Mrs. Abbah had already recruited Amara to help her count it all later that night.

As the limo disappeared from sight, Amara and Mrs. Abbah went back inside to help clean up. With the bride and groom gone, most of the guests also began to make their way home.

"We will do it all at Stasi's house," Mrs. Abbah said. "She left me her keys. Go and start placing the presents in her car." Stasi's mom handed Amara the keys to the Honda Accord she and her husband had given Stasi as a wedding present. Since she and Jonathan would not be living directly in the City, they felt it important that she had a vehicle to get around in.

Amara headed to the parking lot, deciding it'd be better to pull the car to the entrance of the reception hall to make the transfer easier. It really had been a beautiful wedding. She was sad her parents were not here to share it. They had sent their regrets the previous week, having been held over in Mozambique where Amara's mother was working on site with a World Vision team. Amara's father was a missionary and used his wife's trips as opportunities to start new mission fields. Whatever project they were in the middle of did not end in time for them to make it to Stasi's wedding.

They missed out, Amara thought, lifting the train of her dress up to keep it from trailing on the asphalt. The pictures will never be able to do this wedding justice.

As she walked through the parking lot, she occasionally stopped to say hi to people ran into. She had been so busy during the reception that she didn't get much of a chance to say speak to anyone then. Not to mention the sheer amount of guests that came; it was impossible to know who all had been there.

When she finally got the car and re-parked it in front, she noticed that Mr. and Mrs. Abbah had already placed many of the gifts outside. Stasi's little brother, Daniel, stood guarding the gifts.

"They said I should help you," Daniel said, picking up one of the gifts and placing it in the trunk of the car. He turned and watched his parents disappear into the building, on their way to get more. "We're going to need another car."

Amara smiled and began to help Daniel with the presents. Mr. and Mrs. Abbah kept on appearing with more. Soon the Accord was full and there were still a lot of presents left on the pavement.

"Daniel, go and get our van," Mr. Abbah threw his son the keys. Daniel didn't need to be asked twice. He had just gotten his license and jumped at any opportunity to drive, even if it was simply across the parking lot. "We will go and get what's left. Watch the gifts."

Mr. Abbah sounded like he expected someone to try and make away with some of the gifts. Amara was glad to comply. It gave her an opportunity to rest. She leaned against the car, catching a glimpse of herself in its tinted mirrors.

"Ugh, I look horrible!" Amara turned and began fixing her fallen curls.

"Getting ready for your close up?"

Amara swiveled around, recognizing the voice instantly.

"What … what are you doing here?" she asked, her mouth dropping open in shock.

Standing before her was her ex, James.