Friday, March 21, 2014

The Wedding

It was Jessica and Stanley’s wedding. People all agreed: it was a good wedding to remember.

Jessica was very beautiful on that special day; many guests couldn’t take their eyes off her. Her spotless white wedding dress flew elegantly from her body to the ground like a waterfall of cream. People took a breath when she walked by with such a pleasant fragrance. A swallowtail butterfly was circling right above her brown hair.

“Look at you.” Her mother held her hands. “Just look at you!”

Jessica tried to force a smile, but her hands were icy cold and trembling. She finally uttered: “Mom, I…”

“What’s wrong?” Her mother asked in great concern.

Jessica looked into her eyes. “Nothing.” She shook her head.

Jessica’s father came along extending his arm to her. “It’s time now. Shall we?”

She bit her lip, reluctantly held her father’s arm. They walked together up the aisle.

The wedding music started playing. At the other end of the aisle stood Stanley. He was smiling. All the quests were smiling too.

The voice of the priest became muffled. Jessica had a hard time to concentrate. Suddenly Stanley said: “I do.” She held her breath and closed her eyes.

Now everybody was looking at her in great anticipation.

“I do.”

In the wedding reception, the photographer took some pictures of the newlywed couple. Stanley grinned to the camera, held Jessica into his arms, and pressed a kiss on her lips. People chuckled and sighed: “What a lovely couple.”

The band started the music. It was country music. “How do you like it?” Stanley asked. “It was nice,” Jessica forged a smile then looked away.

“Jess, I thought you wanted Josh Groban’s songs?” Jessica’s sister Linda asked.

“She doesn’t like Josh Groban, does she?” Stanley frowned.

“Are you kidding?” Linda scowled, “Jess loves Josh Groban. I love Josh Groban.”

“That’s ok, I really don’t mind.” Jessica said.

Linda was distracted, looking ahead: “Wait, is that Jason? What is he doing on the stage?”

Jessica was looking at Jason. Stanley shrugged. “He asked me if he could sing us a song, I figured it wouldn’t hurt. After all, he and Jess are such good friends. Right?”

“Jason singing? Really?”

“What?” Stanley smirked.

“Well, let’s just say he wasn’t the best singer last time I checked. Why don’t you sing to my sister? It’s your wedding.”

Stanley laughed. “Me singing? C’mon. And who would care anyway? Nobody’s paying attention.”

Jason stood quietly on the stage like a lonely shadow. The music started flowing from under the pianist’s fingers. Linda shook her head in disapproval: “What? Josh Groban!? Can he pull it off?” People continued their chats, some walked around to get drinks. Stanley started a conversation with one of the bridesmaids.

Only Jessica was gazing at Jason. He raised his head and looked at her; their eyes locked together.

Jason started singing:

Like the sound of silence calling,

I hear your voice and suddenly

I'm falling, lost in a dream.

Suddenly, the audience fell into dead silence. Everyone turned to the stage.

Like the echoes of our souls are meeting,

You say those words and my heart stops beating.

I wonder what it means.

What could it be that comes over me?

At times I can't move.

At times I can hardly breathe.

“Who is he?” Some asked. People slowly gathered around.

Tears came into Jessica’s eyes. She remembered the first time Jason sang this song to her. He was smiling then; his hazel eyes were glowing. It was right after she said those words to him that sent him to ecstasy.

When you say you love me

The world goes still, so still inside and

When you say you love me

For a moment, there's no one else alive

The girl next to Linda nudged her: “I didn’t know he can sing like this! Remember…” “Shh…” Linda stopped her, locked her eyes on the stage.

You're the one I've always thought of.

I don't know how, but I feel sheltered in your love.

You're where I belong.

And when you're with me if I close my eyes,

There are times I swear I feel like I can fly

For a moment in time.

Somewhere between the Heavens and Earth,

And frozen in time, oh when you say those words.

Images from the past flashed before Jessica’s eyes: Jason looked at her in admiration while she made a canary come to life on canvas; his mischievous smile when they were preparing a surprise party for a friend’s birthday together; they shared a sandwich together on a raining day; they performed a musical together, he played piano, she played flute; they walked in the falling snow together; the way he looked at her when he was listening to her…

And this journey that we're on.

How far we've come and I celebrate every moment…

When you say you love me

In that moment, I know why I'm alive

A teardrop fell. Jessica quickly wiped her face. She remembered the moment she left him standing on the street. He stood there motionless, his face distorted, his eyes darkened. She never turned back; she couldn’t bear to see him like that.

She clenched her trembling fists. The knuckles turned white.

The music paused. The world was so silent one could almost hear leaves fall.

Then came the coda:

When you say you love me.

Do you know how I love you?

For a while nobody moved. Then the audience burst into applause and cheers, people surrounded Jason, enthusiastically buried him with compliments and questions. “I’ve found myself a keeper,” Linda said.

Jason didn’t respond to anyone around him. He was looking at Jessica. “Awwh, look at what you did to our Jess; she’s in tears!” One of the bridesmaids said to Stanley while hugging her. “I’m fine,” Jessica said. “I didn’t do nothing,” Stanley joked.

Jason left.

“Didn’t I say this is the best wedding or what?” Stanley gave a toast, everyone laughed and said: “Cheers!”

And people all agreed: it was a good wedding to remember.

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