The Wedding Picture That Sits At My Night Stand

I look at the wedding pictures my mother gave me-not quite “my” pictures.  My eyes scream “Yes!  I did it” and my smile spreads wide over my joy at the accomplishment seemingly of a lifetime.  Stephen has both his hands clasped around mine holding on for his life.  While I grin as if a wonderful joke has been delivered, he smiles politely to the crowd, playing his part-the husband of Shamika Goddard.

Our matrimonial garbs are like costumes: Chinese black suit with white cuffs for him and a white floral Chinese dress for me.  It is as if we are playing wedding, and putting it on for our friends and family.  Just kids.  I am not even wearing my real hair, I had braids put in.  Might as well have a wig on that states, “I’m not a little girl everyone, I’m a woman now.”

I lean toward the congregation of family and friends, away from the altar, eager to join them as a blushing bride-a wife.  Stephen stands firmly on the steps, lingering on the cusp of his new life, his old one now fading away into nothing.  Despite the lights and white flowers, the garland and the people, he stands as if alone.

Of all the things I will remember that day, I cannot seem to remember his face as I walked down the aisle.  I can recall, and tick off one by one, everything that went wrong, didn’t go as planned, or person who messed up.  But, as far as he and I were concerned, I remember our dance-how he held me close and we swayed as if there were no one else in the room (and my siblings and family weren’t chortling).  The rest of our nite from the honeymoon on, didn’t go so smoothly.  But that dance stands out.  Every headache about the wedding melted away as we moved together pondering our life together.  He may not have cheesed in the pictures or hugged me for all to see after the ceremony, but in that dance he let me and the world know that he was mine, and I his, forever.



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