I walk across the grass, still damp from last night’s rain. A cool breeze brushes over me and my skin breaks out in goosebumps, but I don’t try to seek shelter. Instead, I pull my beautiful dress a few more inches above the ground and keep moving. It may not be the best day, but any day is wonderful when I’m with him. I float down the aisle with perfect poise and come to a graceful stop as I reach the front.
There he is.
There is my love.
The others sit in the chairs that have been set up. I hand the flowers I had been carrying to a nearby woman before turning back to the man who has always held a special place in my heart. I smile softly, a few tears escaping as I touch his face. Then I step back as the priest begins to speak.
I remember when we first met. We were little more than children back then: crazy high school students still trying to figure out our lives and destinies. I’d been sixteen; he’d been seventeen. Everyone thought it was just one of those naïve teenage romances, but I knew better. The moment I first laid eyes on him, I knew that he was the one. No matter what, until the end of time, I would never stop loving him and he’d never stop loving me.
The priest begins to sing, and I give a soft sigh, swaying lightly in time with the music.
Our first kiss was at the high school prom. We’d been dating for nearly a year, and he’d loved me so much that he’d agreed to take it incredibly slow. That night, he worked so hard to make everything perfect. He couldn’t afford a limo, so he picked me up in his dad’s black Chrysler. It was old and not the nicest thing in the world, but to me, it was better than any silly limo. He’d brought me a corsage to match my elegant blue dress and my parents had gone crazy taking pictures. We’d had the most wonderful night dancing, and during the last song, a slow dance, he kissed me. If it were possible, I loved him even more in that moment than ever before.
I feel a hand take hold of mine. I look up at the handsome young man standing next to me and he offers a smile. I return it before turning back to the priest.
We went off to college together. He got accepted to Harvard, the genius, but he denied them in favor of going to a simple state college with me. He ignored the threats and pleas of his parents and only thought about his love for me. Everyone on the campus knew that we were the perfect couple, and no one ever tried to tear us apart. It was just something that somehow became normal. I don’t know how, but it did. We did everything together, and no one found it strange, not even the freshmen that came in every year. They would send us one glance, and then completely accept the fact that we were meant for each other.
He waited until we graduated to ask me for my hand, but not a moment after. As soon as our hats were thrown, he asked me to be his forever. And I, of course, agreed.
The priest finishes his chanting. The woman I’d handed my flowers to earlier hands them back to me. I lean forward and lay them on the altar before my love. I don’t wait for him to look at me. His eyes are closed.
We stayed married for a happy sixty-three years. We raised three wonderful children, and spoiled seven wonderful grandchildren. We even saw the birth of one perfect little great-grandchild. We worked and struggled together, we smiled and danced together. I worked in the office, and he worked as a doctor before becoming a stay-at-home dad for the kids. I earned enough so that he could do so, and it made him so happy. Every day when I came home from work, he’d pull me in for a kiss and dance me around the living room for a bit while the kids watched and laughed.
When the kids left the house, we sat on the couch, reminiscing over the past and every beautiful moment we shared. When we retired, we traveled the world together. Our last trip was to Europe, where we visited Germany, Italy, France, Greece, and Ireland. It had been so amazing. We’d been discussing going back when he was suddenly bombarded by medical issues. I remember talking to the doctors at the hospital and them telling me that we couldn’t travel anymore. He was ill and couldn’t handle it. So we stayed at home together. Eventually, we moved to a retirement home together. We’d become old and frail, but he’d still take me by the hand and dance me around the home’s living room each night.
People begin to stand and leave. I feel one more tear trace down the hollow of my cheek.
I remember that last night clearly. We were dancing around the room, just a soft slow dance, and he leaned down to kiss me one last time…
I feel a gentle hand on my shoulder, and I’m led away from the grave.
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