Dear J, I know the wedding isn’t until late this afternoon, but I’m a bag full of nerves right now, so there I am in my tux at the crack of dawn (with Aunt Keniesha’s husband Samuel, Dad, Tia’s husband Grant, and Josh), making sure everything is set up and ready to roll. Luckily, Rachel and my mom are whizzes at party planning, so everything looked really nice.
I had a few concerns, you see. The biggest priority was making certain Chrissy wouldn’t show up. Things have been really tense the past couple weeks since she came back to Hidden Springs. Blue has decided that for now, she doesn’t want to see her biological mother. Chrissy is having a rough time with that, but I’m far too preoccupied at the moment with the wedding and honeymoon arrangements to take the time to stroke her ego. My hope is that when Leela and I get back, we can sit down with Chrissy and make a productive plan of approach. For the time being, I’ve been paying for a fancy hotel room because the first one Chrissy had didn’t meet with her approval. Something about the amenities. You might be wondering why I would humor this situation at all and the reason is simple. I want to placate her until I get back from my trip so she won’t do anything stupid that involves Blue. Then we can really decide how this is going to be handled.
The second concern is Blue herself. She has been kind of distant with me which is incredibly unusual. In fact, if I had to narrow it down, I’d say she’s barely been more than cordial with me. I’m not sure what the exact problem is since she won’t talk to me about it, but it all began with Chrissy’s return. Leela thinks that maybe Blue needs some space since this was bound to upset her. I just hope Blue can put aside whatever it is that is bothering her and enjoy today. She and Ruby have both looked forward to this for so long.
Glancing nervously at Josh, I wondered aloud how he could be so calm and collected.
“It’s not my wedding,” he grinned at me.
“Relax, Kid,” my dad said as he adjusted his sleeve, “it’s going to be fine.”
Man, I sure hoped he was right.
I made Josh walk to the front with me to stand under the arch. How could I be so nervous when I’d spent a huge chunk of my life acting crazy on stage in front of thousands of people every night?
As if in a daze, I stared slack-jawed at all of the perfect white chairs. There were so many of them. Leela and I had wanted a rather quiet affair, but my family was so large, names kept getting added to the guest list. In the end, we decided to only invite family. We were hoping that if we kept it on the smaller side, the paparazzi wouldn’t find out about it.
The Formal Bridal Photos:
As the music began to play, Ruby slowly began her timed march down the aisle. She was radiant in her yellow dress. In just a short time, she would be my daughter, too.
Then it was Blue’s turn. Despite her recent foul mood, it looked to me as if she was holding back tears. Our eyes met and she gave me a small, almost imperceptible smile. I winked at her and gave her a little smile back.
My throat began to constrict and I blinked away tears when I saw my beautiful bride on the arm of my father. I never thought I’d be so emotional, but the mere sight of her brought it out of me.
Well, I’ll stop writing for the next few pics because there isn’t much to say except that I was exceptionally proud yet at the same time left in stunned wonder that this woman I loved so much would agree to marry me.
When I saw how happy my dad was, my heart swelled with love and pride for him. I’d been a difficult child and a worse teen. But he raised me well and it made me so happy to know he was proud of me, too.
Blue and Ruby hopped around like little birds, squealing and laughing as they threw rice into the air.
That was when Ruby said something that made everyone laugh, including me and Leela, “Our parents are finally married!”
The sun was setting by the time we got the photos out of the way. The girls were tired, but looking at this picture, I can’t help but think that I have everything anyone could ever want.
While I was cutting the cake, Leela whispered, “Your hair is all one color.”
Grinning, I said, “You’re just now noticing?”
She laughed. “No, I would have said something earlier, but we were kind of busy!”
“Well, I thought it was time I grew up a little bit,” I said. “Hey, quit standing around! You’re supposed to cut the cake with me!”
As we fed our cake to one another, my family cheered us on. I love this picture.
From left to right: Ramona, Daylynn, Aunt Keniesha, Ruby, Grace Marie, Tia, Rachel and Blue.
Afterwards, we had our first dance. I concentrated very hard so I wouldn’t step on her toes. We danced to our favorite song, “Honey, Hold Me.” As the song played, I leaned my head in for a kiss, then softly sang the lyrics into her ear.
Eventually, others joined us on the dance floor.
I can only hope that when Leela and I are old, we will love and cherish each other the same way my parents still do.
The way they look into each others’ eyes even after all the heartache they’ve been through during their marriage… it makes me envious but determined to have the same kind of thing with Leela.
Aunt Keniesha and Samuel began to dance, too. Leave it to my aunt to do her moves a little differently than anyone else. I don’t care what anyone says, she still has it!
Finally, I got to dance with Mom.
“I’m so happy for you,” she said as we swayed to the music.
“Thanks, Mom. I’m so glad you and Dad could come. Thank you for taking the girls while we’re on our honeymoon.”
“It’s our pleasure, dear. We both want you to have a nice time while you’re away.”
As Dad danced with Leela, I goofed around with my moves. I just couldn’t help it! Mom laughed and gave me that tolerant “he’ll never change” look.
As the party died down and the sun began to come up, we decided it was finally time to say our goodbyes and get going on our trip. We were headed to a secluded house where we could hole up and just enjoy our time alone together.
Pulling Blue aside, I said, “Well, I guess we’re about ready to go.”
“Have a nice time, Daddy.”
Regarding her with caution, I said, “You know, you can always talk to me. I really wish you’d tell me what’s going on with you.”
Averting her eyes from mine, she stared at her feet. “Everything’s fine. I hope you and Leela have a good time.”
When I gave her a doubtful look, she added, “Really. Go. Have fun.”
“All right,” I said with a sigh. “Call me if you need anything and don’t give Grandpa and Grandma a hard time while you’re staying with them.”
With sudden tears in her eyes, she flew into my arms, hugging me tightly. “I love you, Daddy.”
“I love you, too,” I murmured, kissing her cheek.
It was with some reluctance that I left her. Something about the way she was acting didn’t sit right with me. But it was clear she wasn’t going to enlighten me. Perhaps Leela was right and I should just give her some space. I was sure that eventually, she would talk to me.
Finally, that afternoon, worn out but content, we arrived at our honeymoon destination.
Author’s Note: Well, Leo finally did it! 🙂 I just wanted to mention that the honeymoon destination was created by Lil of Lil’s Creative Corner. You’ll see more of it in the next chapter.