A/n: I shouldn't be here, but I can't help it, it just keeps coming :S
I wonder if I've told you this, but I love writing. The fact that I can't write well doesn't seem to hamper my fondness for written diarrhoea. When I was a little kid, one of my ambitions was to be an author. Of romance stories. I used to love happy endings; I was one of those girly girls who dressed their Barbies in lovely evening gowns and imagined them at elaborate balls where tall, dark and handsome men would sweep them off their feet in huge, beautiful ballrooms with black and gold marble floors and floor length velvet red curtains under sparkling chandeliers, and kiss them in the royal garden or the desolate balcony under the pale moonlight and twinkling stars smiling down at them...
Yeah, you get the idea.
Ever wondered about your Prince Charming? About palaces and castles and kings and queens and their vast kingdoms. (I preferred palaces and princes myself; kings and castles seemed all too gloomy and old for me.) I bet you have. I hope you have, or else I haven't brought you up reading fairytales. Which is so unlikely it's impossible. I'm not that much of a feminist.
Well, I used to wonder about all sorts of happy endings, all sorts of clichés and non-clichés that basically involved a great guy, me, and a happily ever after. Okay they were all clichés. Whatever. Point is, every girl -most girls- want a happily ever after with their own smart, handsome, sensitive, romantic prince. Along with all his flaws and tempers and everything that makes him him.
(Be a dear and play Shania Twain's From This Moment on your iTunes now. NOW. Put it on repeat or something. It's an order, you hear?! Trust me on this.)
This, this is a story of a happily ever after.
She strolled down the stretch of carpet grass, exhaling slowly, singing a few random notes to make sure her voice was sufficiently warmed up for her to sing later on. Her serene expression and calm facade were but a mask to hide the turmoil beneath her smile, to hide the trembling of her fingers.
She turned to walk back to the beautiful church, where her best friend was about to get married. She had been in love with him since forever, yet now... She pushed that thought to a corner of her mind. It didn't bother her now, not anymore.
She saw his dress shoes first. She had never seen them before since he had worn his customary sneakers to the wedding rehearsal, but there was something about them that was so... him. Her heart palpitated in her chest, light as a butterfly's wings, yet as strong and firm as those of an eagle. Her eyes rose slowly, up his formal dress pants, to his tuxedo, to his neck (no bow tie, how typical), up his strong chin, his lips (no, don't go there), right up to his eyes.
She averted her gaze to behind his shoulder immediately, not daring to see what was within those eyes.
Was he playing a fool? Or was he being serious, that night, last night, when he had tackled her on the beach, precisely at twilight (her favourite time of the day), and carried her bridal style and set her carefully down on a slope, as if she were a precious, delicate, fragile vase, and solemnly asked her to marry him?
He had brushed aside the silky strands of hair that covered her face, and tucked them behind her ear gently, letting his hand linger on her flushed cheeks. He gazed at her with such intensity that she had turned around, just in case he was staring at someone else.
When she'd turned back, the question on her lips died as the single diamond sparkled in the light of the setting sun. She couldn't breathe, she couldn't think, and she couldn't help her hand reaching out to touch the ring, as if to ascertain it wasn't a dream.
"Will you marry me?"
A warm whisper in the wind.
She had never seen him this serious, perhaps except the time when that he had rescued her from the hooligan who had threatened her in an alley, or when he was dressing her wound after she had slipped while yelling at him.
She couldn't look at him then, and she couldn't look at him now. The refreshing autumn air caught in her chest and she hurried indoors past him, nodding a polite greeting as she passed.
Weddings take forever to plan, as anyone who has been through one will know. They'd met when the couple had begged them to sing a duet together, for when she walked down the aisle. They had the best voices they knew, they would sound perfect together, they wheedled. The potential bride and groom, being who they were, had their requests granted by both of them. Who had, perhaps not so subtly, smiled sadly as their respective best friends thanked them profusely and promised to make them best man and maid of honour respectively.
But I'm supposed to be the groom.
But I'm supposed to be the bride.
Neither said a word, of course, for fear of hurting their beloveds, but immediately despised the other for not having the guts to bare their emotions to their respective objects of affection.
She stood on a hidden balcony somewhere behind the altar. It had a great vantage point; she could see the groom, her best friend; she could see the closed oak doors that were weathered with age; she could see the all the individual excited expressions of the guests and of their fidgety children.
Something in the air beside her shifted, and she could smell his clean scent before she felt his warmth beside her.
It was a reflex action at the sound of his voice, cultivated over the trying period of a year. The edges of her lips turned up into a smile.
She looked into his eyes, and her heart stopped in trepidation of what she would see. She started to turn away. It was a mistake, it was a mistake, it was a mistake...
She felt his hand on hers, the warmth diffusing through her body, coursing through her blood like a drug.
"Look at me."
The sombre, quiet tone that was so unlike him wasn't what made her turn to him. It was the desperation in his voice that surprised her, that sent a jolt down to her entrails, made her insides twist and dissolve to mush.
He tightened his grip a little as she searched his eyes, his callused thumb rubbing her hand slowly.
A silence fell upon the whole church, and the strains of the opening drifted up to them. She turned toward the doors as they opened slowly, revealing his best friend, the girl he'd told her he'd been in love with forever.
Infatuation, she thought, and she wondered if she had imagined it, or he had whispered it. Either way, she knew it to be true.
From this moment, life has begun
From this moment, you are the one
Right beside you is where I belong
From this moment on
She was beautiful, she looked like an angel in the dress. She glanced down - her best friend, the groom, was enraptured, his face split in an insanely happy, goofy smile. She had never seen him so happy, and she was glad. He was gazing at his bride adoringly, like the whole world had ceased to exist.
She took a deep breath.
From this moment, I have been blessed
I live only for your happiness
And for you, I'd give my last breath
From this moment on
She turned back to look at the man beside her, and for the second time in as many days, her heart stopped dead in her chest.
He was staring at her with exactly the same expression.
He squeezed her hand gently, a question. He was nervous, a little scared; she could read it in his eyes. Another squeeze. Persistent.
The courage came out of nowhere. She took his other hand and placed it on her heart.
I give my hand to you with all my heart
Can't wait to live my life with you, can't wait to start
You and I will never be apart
My dreams came true, because of you
He broke into a smile so bright it dazzled her; it could have chased a thousand storm clouds away. He took her other hand, the one he was still holding on to, and brought it to rest on his heart.
From this moment, as long as I live
I will love you, I promise you this
There is nothing I wouldn't give
From this moment on
Told you to put the music on! Hope you did! Are you shuddering now? I would, if my mother wrote stuff like that. Still... was it any good?
Oh, we all want fairytale endings. I have this vague feeling that all the 'he's and 'she's made the story rather confusing... Oh well, I'm not about to rewrite it, Biology is sitting in front of me (untouched). I hope you enjoyed it anyway.
Another 'AWWW' moment: I was on the bus home today, and I saw this elderly man with his bicycle by the side of the road. He'd stopped to let his old woman settle more comfortably in front of him. It was... touching, the way they did little things for one another like that.
I hope you'll find happiness of this sort one day.