It was a strange day - the day of my sister's best friend's wedding. It had started off pretty normal. As normal as days get when you're attending a wedding or in one rather. I had opted out of being a participant since I liked looking from the outside. It made for an even better experience, I felt.
As I mentioned this was a strange day. Not only was the wedding between Devon and Peter finally taking place but I knew something else was going to happen. That's something I was good at knowing. I knew if I should expect something to happen. It could be good or it could be bad. Regardless I had to wait and see it through.
My morning started early as Blake came into my room to see if I could help Alison with a few things. He looked a bit tired but he had a faint smile on his face which gave me the indication that he was feeling okay today. As of late things had gotten a bit shifty. Alison had been getting bigger and the months had passed by much quicker than any of us really imagined it would be.
As a result we were all waiting for the inevitable to happen. If you are still with us then you know that meant that Alison would most likely go into labor sometime soon. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Maybe in a few days. It was up to the kid now.
I had talked to my sister a few times over the course of the past six months about her thoughts about this new adventure her and Blake were about to embark on together. She didn't seem that emotional about it. She had her moments where she got a little teary eyed over the prospect of what was going on. However, it wasn't an "I'm scared" type of moment. If anything it was one of those moments where she started laughing because she was happy.
Alison was a lot like my mom and she was also like my dad. She was like dad in a way because she closed herself off from things at times but when it really mattered she turned into mom a bit and said what was on her mind. She was very sentimental that way. It was nice.
I never really mentioned to anyone but Ricky who for the record is the closest thing I have to a confidant these days. We share a lot of moments together that I probably would be embarrassed to say actually happened with anyone else. It doesn't mean that they were bad times. If anything he's made my time alone a bit easier. He is a sweetheart who I enjoy being around more than I like to believe. He's nice.
I got dressed into something comfortable because we would all be getting ready at Devon's family's home in a few hours when the ceremony would really get underway. This was pre-preparations in our own abode.
Well...not ours exactly. I just haven't felt that I should leave my sister alone just yet. She still needed help when Blake wasn't present. I was kinda like what most saw as an at home nurse slash emotional supporter who resided a few doors down from the mistress and masters of the house. It sounded very old school but it wasn't a bad thing. We were family. Family went lengths for each other.
I joined Alison in the room she shared with her hubby to be and gave her a hug as I came and sat next to her. "How are you feeling?" I asked as she stretched a little.
"Oddly enough, very calm. That's a good thing right?" I gave her a reassuring nod as she slowly got to her feet and began walking around the bed. She did this just to get moving a bit. She stopped short though and touched her stomach. She was looking down at her feet where she stood. I wasn't entirely positive but I was sure that I heard her wince.
I frowned as I walked over to her and asked what's wrong. She just shook her head and smiled at me. "Nothing to worry about. Just a little kick. She does that sometimes."
Yes. A few months ago Blake and Ali had found out that they were have a baby girl. It had been very delightful news to hear. Blake had seemed both shocked but happy about this news.
I don't think any of us knew how Blake would act during any portion of the pregnancy, let alone the day Alison and Devon came home with the news about the sex of the child. He had been surprisingly less panicky about any and all things. Here and now when we were at the home stretch would be the true test as my dad had mentioned a few weeks ago during a particularly fatherly chat with Blake. I managed to be in the kitchen at the time so I heard the majority of the conversation.
It was a little strange in my opinion to hear it. I think my dad really genuinely likes Blake and that's why he decided to give him a few pointers on not only taking care of children but marriage too. It was a really beautiful scene that I would have recorded if I hadn't have left my phone in my room.
I liked documenting things, okay? I'm not the devious kind.
"Are you sure it's not a contraction? You did pass your due date."
There was a flicker of panic that passed through her eyes but it only lasted a moment before she nodded. "Yeah, I'm sure. I mean this hasn't happened again. Besides it doesn't exactly hurt. It just a little spasm at most." She paused a moment as she looked over me. "I called Devon earlier to wake her up since she usually is woken up by Peter. I told her about the dress situation. I mean I could not fit into it. Her mom is coming over in thirty minutes with an alternate just in case."
"You want to try the original one first." I stated knowing that was the only reason why she would be saying any of this. We shared a nod and then I went to her closet and grabbed the white clothes bag that was sitting in front of all the rest of the clothes.
Before you start to wonder about it Alison isn't as huge as most pregnant women get. Her height had given her a bit of an advantage there and it wasn't like she was having twins. There was just a bulge that protruded about the length of what her arms could wrap around her body. Still a bit larger but not humongous in the slightest. She could probably still fit in her dress. It just depended.
I made sure that the bedroom was door was locked just in case one of the men in the house decided to start wandering around looking and we set to work. Alison took off her robe and then slipped off the gown she had on. That just left her in her underclothes.
I pulled the light blue dress from the dress and unfastened the clasp in the back along with sliding down the zipper before handing it to her as she sat back down on the bed. She looked a bit tired, this wasn't too uncommon.
She slipped the dress over her legs and began pulling it up as she stood up a bit. She asked me to assist her when it came to pulling it up over her belly and over her shoulder. It really was a beautiful dress. However, she wouldn't be wearing it today. It kept snagging when I tried to zip it.
Alison not being too upset by this decided to make a joke out of it by saying, "This dress isn't built for a bigger me but it was a nice workout."
I just shook my head at her before she slipped back on her robe and waddled out of her room, most likely going to grab a bite to eat or find her fiancée. Maybe both.
I had come to enjoy how blissfully happy Alison had been with this new adventure coming. It was a nice change in comparison to having her be quiet and making me worry.
I picked up the few clothes that had been put on the ground during our little activity back there and toss them in her little bin before deciding to see if Ricky was up yet or here for that matter. Sometimes he had to go back home to his parents.
While Alison and AnnaBelle were doing their whole dress thing, I decided that now would be a good time to really talk with Ricky. He had come over a few moments ago after having to spend the night back at home. It was these times that I remembered that he was much younger than I realized. Only twenty while I was twenty two. Just a two year difference but he wasn't exactly all that different from me mentality wise.
We were sitting under one of the umbrella shielded tables on the deck out back. A few bowls with fruit had been brought out by me and a few slices of toast and a pitcher of orange juice. It was still pretty early but it didn't mean we couldn't eat.
"I need to ask you something, Ricks." I mumbled as I chewed on a piece of pineapple. He had added a few pieces of strawberries and grapes into a small bowl and was now getting some juice.
"Okay. What's up?"
"I didn't exactly introduce you to AnnaBelle, how'd you get so close?"
Ricky stared at me carefully before beginning to speak. "Devon and Ellie kinda did that on more than one occasions. It doesn't exactly hurt that I thought she was pretty in the first place."
I attempted to shake off the feeling of great discomfort at the way he was talking about AnnaBelle. I was lucky that he wasn't anyone else. I probably would have probably hit him. This was my best friend though. He meant well.
After mulling over what he had shared with me I came up with another question to ask. "What are you two exactly? I just would like to know. Its difficult to tell."
"Honestly, I haven't the slightest clue."
He shrugged in a way that was an attempt to make his statement seem like nothing. We weren't best friends for no reason. I knew when things bothered him. Even knew when to not talk about something with him.
However, this was interesting. Not to sound like a girl (Ali makes me watch things with her sometimes), this was one of those "OH!" moments where you wasn't sure exactly have to move forward. If anything I had been here before. Many times through the course of my acceptance of my feelings about Alison and the way I wanted our relationship to progress.
I took a sip of my drink before turning to him again and giving him a small piece of advice. "You should figure out what you want before anything too complicated arises. I care about you both but I will pick a side if I have to. Just be careful, okay?" I patted him on the shoulder as I got to my feet and my way back into the house to get cleaned up. It would be time to leave soon.
I went to take a shower first before going back to the bedroom to get dressed. Alison was in there still. This time laying down on the bed with her eyes closed. I didn't think she was asleep. I slipped my hoodie over my head as my way over to her and leaned over to see her face more clearly. "Ali?" Her eyes opened up and she wore a faint smile on her face as she spoke. "Hi."
"You okay?" Despite what most people probably think I'm not as relaxed as they think about this whole pregnancy. In fact I've more than one conversation with my dad about it. Usually they turned into me talking to my mom instead seeing as she was used to dealing with types like me: hysterical fathers to be.
I wouldn't go that far but I knew what she saw.
"Yes. Just resting until my other dress gets here."
"Devon did say you didn't have to be in the wedding if you weren't up to it. She could always add in Bessie and substitute Ricky in there in my place."
A frown was what I was met with as I took her hand and held it against my cheek. "I'm fine Blake. For the record, I don't like Bessie and AnnaBelle wouldn't be okay with that. We're going to walk down that aisle."
"You're such a stubborn woman." I chuckled as I placed our conjoined hands over her stomach and pressed my lips against her forehead.
"Finish getting dressed you silly man."
"Fine." I muttered before letting go of her hands. I gave her a quick kiss before moving over to the closet and getting my attire out. I think Devon, Peter and I had to talk for an incredibly long time before I finally became okay with what I was to wear. I wasn't a tie and suit kind guy, nor was a tux wearing man for that matter but we managed to find some common ground with something close to what the other groomsmen were wearing.
"No tie?" Alison asked once I was done slipping on my blazer which was navy blue in color. She was sitting on the bed with her legs folded Indian style. I shook my head at her as I sat down to put my socks and shoes on.
"Ties and I have a really bad history." I smirked at her as she blushed at me and smacked my arm. She knew I was joking but it was always fun to get her to turn red.
All joking was put to rest as a woman who I had only seen once rushed through the door carrying a dark blue dress and a shoe box. "Ali!" She giggled before reaching out for said girlfriend of mines and pulling her to her feet. I stood behind her just in case she got a little overwhelmed or off balance. "It's time to get dressed. I have a feeling Devon wants to see you before we start the ceremony. She was feeling a bit nervous this morning."
"That's good. She's been quite calm lately. She needs to be nervous." Ali smiled, leaving me to my own devices in the room as Devon's mom took her into the bathroom to get changed.
I went to check on the other two who were around. We all would be leaving soon to add a few extra touches to our own persons before the ceremony was under way. They were in the living room watching a Batman film on the couch.
Both were dressing. AnnaBelle in a light blue number that went a little past her knees. Black heels on her feet and her dark red hair was pinned back in curls. Her date was dressed similar to me in dark slacks, a white dress shirt and a blazer. A tie was in AnnaBelle's lap, I wasn't sure if he was going to wear it or not.
"Everything okay, Blake?" AnnaBelle asked.
I jumped, not realizing I had still been staring.
"Oh, yeah. It's almost time to go. Ali's getting dressed now." They both nodded before sharing a look and smiling.
"What?" I asked.
"Nothing." They answered simulateneously as they got to their feet. "We'll meet you outside." Ricky said shortly as he grabbed AnnaBelle's hand and they walked outside.
I just shrugged my shoulders and sat down to wait for Alison.
Ten minutes passed and then I found myself faced with a beautiful sight. Alison stood in front of me in a simple navy blue dress that flowed down to her knees. Instead of heels she had on a pair of sparkling black lace flats.
The fact that she wasn't wearing heels made me sigh in relief. My panicking was shoved to the sidelines as I stood. Her hair was down naturally straight with a few curly strands here and there.
I extended my hand to her and pulled her towards me smiling. "Hello beautiful."
She shook her head at me. "Now you call me beautiful."
"Now you decide to feel insecure. You're always gorgeous." I shot back quickly. She just pecked me on the cheek quickly before pulling me towards the door. "We have a wedding to attend, Rivers."
If I had never been to this house before I probably would have mistaken it for some ethereal garden that frequently held weddings. Because of the change of date for the wedding everything was changed to the home of my best friend's family. I felt this was the best place that this special occasion could ever take place.
This was where Peter and Devon met originally. It was a cute story really.
I went up to the second floor with a bit of help from my sister who seemed to be my spotter for the most part. We went down the hall and knocked on the room that Devon had used on more than one ocassion.
Upon hearing that it was okay for us to come in I was surprised to see a transformation to the single bedroom. The inside was changed into a bridal dressing room. Chairs draped in white and lots of space to move around.
Devon nearly knocked me down as she hugged me and started crying. "You're okay right? I mean I don't need to call in Bessie right?"
"I might have to hurt you if you do that. I've been feeling small bursts of pain but for the most part I'm good to do this."
Devon sighed in relief before smiling. "Thank god. Know this though, if you need to sit down or find yourself wanting to just scream because you're in pain feel free to give your boo some sort of signal. We can move the process along."
"Thank you. You're the best but seriously I think I'll be fine." I nodded as I hugged her.
How wrong I had been.
Mere moments after that I started to feel the pain but I tried my best to ignore it. There was no way in hell that I was going to ruin my best friend's wedding day in this way. Even though my low tolerance for pain was going to be hard to push through.
Something was definitely wrong. Just as I predict it would be. It took for Blake and Ali to walk down the aisle. Alison had two versions of a smile. The first one made her face glow and made her appear very happy, in reality she really was that happy. Then there was the second one, the one that I had become familiar with over time. The fake smile that really was a forced grimace. It was apparent when this baby appeared that things were definitely not okay.
I think Blake knew this too. That's why when he went to leave her with the other bridesmaids he whispered something in her ear before hesitantly joining Peter with the other groomsmen.
I couldn't focus on what was supposed to be a beautiful occasion between two of the sweetest people I've come to know through association with my sister. I was worried about my sister. I didn't know how long she'd be able to take it before she had to get to the hospital.
Devon had made it down the aisle looking gorgeous in her dress with a bouquet of lilies and starched blue baby roses. Peter had taken her hand as an acceptance from her father as he passed her over to him. The ceremony began directly after that.
All had been well until the time of the vows when not only I but Blake saw the flinch that came from my sister as she shut her eyes tightly and then slowly came back to reality. There was a strange tinge of red on her face. This wasn't a blush per say. It was a sign of embarassment.
I knew very little about what happened when a woman went into labor. The most logical reason that would cause that kind of reaction had to be that her water just broke. "Oh god." I whispered as I saw Ali reach out and slowly touch Devon on the shoulder. It wasn't too obvious but I was really observing the situation.
"What happened?" Ricky whispered next to me. I turned to him at the same time that Devon began talking urgently to the priest. "We're gonna need to speed this up a bit." She said before turning to Alison.
"I really expected this to happen. Blake and Ali always have something going on." She chuckled as she motioned for Blake to get his fiancée to the chair that was purposely left vacant in the front. Blake moved quickly and began talking to Alison a few seconds later as he kneeled down in front of her. The ceremony continued on at a quicker pace as requested by Devon and soon Peter and her shared a quick kiss.
The next moments seemed to happen much more hurriedly than I had imagined. Devon and Peter now married moved to the other couple and had the EMTs that were called come through and get Alison onto the gurney with Blake still clutching her hand. Ricky and I both got up and rushed after the group who were heading for the cars.
It had to have been hours since we got to the hospital. Ricky and I both had been asleep at least twice. I would have probably started walking around the wing if it wasn't for Blake coming outside of the room in scrubs. He looked both tired but happy at the same time.
"Ali wants you to come inside so you can meet your niece." He smiled.
I smiled and gave Ricky a shove before he nearly fell over. Blake and I laughed at him before moving towards the room's door. Ricky came up behind me quickly after shaking off his embarrassing moment.
Upon walking into the room I was greeted with a much happier sight than the last time I came into a hospital room with Alison in it. She was propped up on the bed with a bit of a lazy smile on her face as she held a little bundle covered up by a yellow blanket.
Devon was standing by the side in tears as Peter held her. I couldn't help thinking that this what should have been happening earlier on in the day. At least she cried at all.
Blake guided me over to the bed so that I could see the little bundle of joy who had us sitting in a hospital waiting room for nearly thirteen hours. As I peeked over past the yellow covering I could see dark hair covering the face of a cute baby girl. She had Alison's eyes and a small set of lips.
I carefully took her into my arms and smiled as she yawned. I began talking to her. "Hi. I'm your auntie Belle. Well it's AnnaBelle but you can call me Belle. You are the cutest little girl I have ever seen and you have the greatest parents ever." I paused as I sat down in the rocking chair that was positioned by the window.
I looked over at my sister who was looking over at me before she looked at Blake who began talking to her quietly. He had entwined their fingers together once again. I smiled at them once more before turning back to their little bundle of joy. Her eyes looked up at me in wonder. She was really beautiful.
"You wouldn't believe the journey your mommy and daddy have been through to get you here." She made a sound that babies made when they were trying to talk. I heard everyone laugh at that as I let the little girl take hold of one of my fingers. "It's a story for when you're older really, Lily Grey. It's one for the books, I'm positive about that."
I heard Blake scoff a moment before he gasped. Devon had hit him. They really were quite the family. I just hoped she was ready for the even greater adventure that was about to come. It was another one that would need to be told. Maybe I would have the pleasure to see it through. It would definitely be a picture to capture.
Here we have the final chapter of Black Lace. I do hope you enjoyed it. There is more ready to be read in Deranged which is now up! I hope to see you there. Any final thoughts? Haha Thank you so much for reading.