I woke up slowly to the sound of the vent fan kicking on. I opened my eyes and looked up at the pristine white ceiling. Outside, cars were passing by. Children were shouting as they played, their voices carrying in the open air.
I sat up and looked at my childhood room. It was the room I’d chosen myself, after I’d decided I’d grown too old for the bedroom that had once been my nursery. I’d called Tommy for the first time in here on the sofa. A very different first had happened in the bed. We’d been such stupid, horny teenagers. It was actually kind of a miracle we’d managed to make it until we moved in together to resume our physical relationship. I really must’ve had the fear of Watcher put into me.
I got up and went to the mirror over my dresser. In just a few hours, I would meet Tommy at the altar and vow to love him forever. Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous. Though I’d been ready for this day for months, I’d thought I’d get the typical wedding jitters when the day finally came. Maybe even Nora would have to talk me off of the roof. But that wasn’t there. I was excited. I was so. ready. to be…well I’d still be Ms. Thoreau, but I was excited to be Tommy’s wife. He could call me Mrs. Smithson.
I headed downstairs and was met with the smell of French toast. I smiled as I went into the kitchen and saw Mama there at the stove. “You’re making breakfast?”
She turned to smile at me over her shoulder. “Of course. No bride should go to the altar on an empty stomach. Come sit down, honey.”
I did as she bade, taking a seat at the island. I looked over out of the back door and fell back through the years to the day my parents had gotten married. A smile curled my lips; I’d been more worried then about going to play on the monkey bars than on keeping my dress clean. I wondered if Theresa was more interested in getting messy than taking care of her clothes.
Thinking of the monkey bars brought forth another playground memory.
”Hey, rich girl!”
Who would’ve thought that that angry little boy would grow up to be the most kind, wonderful man in the world? It was so funny the way that life worked out. What if Mama hadn’t told me to make friends with him? What if his father hadn’t complained about my parents? So many little things added up to this day.
“You’re looking thoughtful,” Mama said softly, putting a plate in front of me.
I smiled. “Yeah, I guess I am. I was just thinking about how funny life is and about all the little things that had to happen for this day to be happening right now.”
Mama reached over and stroked my hair. “Heavy thoughts for your wedding day.”
“Did someone say heavy thoughts?” Mom walked in, dressed for the wedding. “Nobody is thinking of running are they?”
I smiled and shook my head. “Nothing like that. You look great, Mom.”
“You look fantastic,” Mama said and gave her wife a kiss. “I’ll go and get ready now that you can keep our bride occupied.”
“I’m not going to go all Runaway Bride on you.” I rolled my eyes at them. “I’m not having wedding jitters.”
They shared a look. “Just wait,” Mom said.
They were right. The nerves set in as I looked down the aisle and saw the seats full of people waiting to watch me get married. It wasn’t nerves about actually marrying Tommy – it was about the getting to it. What if I tripped over my skirt? What if I stuttered when I said my vows? What if I accidentally said the wrong name?
Then the music started and Tommy looked back at me. My breath caught in my chest and the world around me went still. On steady legs, I walked down the aisle to my soulmate.