Third time’s a Charm

She straightened the soft fabric of her self-designed wedding dress around her legs as the car pulled up in front of the church. This was her big day, the day she was to marry the love of her life; her handsome man. A last glance in the mirror to check her hair and the flowers in it, and she was ready to get out. She never liked being in the spotlight, but today was her day — their day — and she knew he would be waiting for her at the altar.

A couple of family members, mainly her mom, aunts and female cousins, as well as her dad waited for her in front of the church. Her father looked handsome in his brown suit, and just like she expected, he was happy to be in the spotlight. Today he was the proud dad, walking his daughter down the isle, keeping up appearances. Ever since she fell pregnant four years before, their relationship had been on rocky roads.

Once everyone but she and her father were seated inside the church, the sounds of Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” drifted towards them, announcing the start of the wedding ceremony. Ever so slowly, they started walking down the isle and then she saw him, her future husband. His beautiful smile beckoned her towards him, and she had to restrain herself to not let go of her father’s arm and run down the isle. There was no veil to lift — her wedding dress wasn’t a traditional one — so her father turned, kissed her on her mouth and turned to sit down next to her mother. For this day they pretended to be friendly with each other. After all, it was their daughter’s wedding day and the fact that they had been divorced for more than a year was of insignificant value.

About half an hour later the words “I now pronounce you husband and wife” were spoken. They turned and left the church, and started their married life together.

A married life that ended two years and one month later.

* * * * *
Different country, different traditions.

Even though they had been living together for a couple of weeks, the night before their wedding day she went to stay with her mother. Tradition said that he had to pick her up from her parental home, hand her the flowers she will hold during the ceremony and then drive to the city hall with her. Church weddings weren’t legal here without being married in the city hall too.

The morning of their wedding day she dressed in her long white satin skirt, a satin top and a long lace blazer over that. Her cousin did her hair — a bob style now — and make-up, and as the doorbell rang she picked up her white hat with the yellow roses on the rim, and gently walked down the stairs to where he stood at the bottom, holding her bouquet of yellow roses. They kissed, hugged and posed for a couple of photos before he escorted her to the waiting car, opened the back door, helped her in and then got in on the other side. He nervously wiped the sweat from his forehead and she pretended not to see.

Family was waiting at the city hall, and for a moment she had a déjà vu. She was really doing this again. They greeted some of the people, posed for some pictures and then waited just inside the doors of the city hall for everyone to be seated inside the wedding room. The assistant official finally beckoned them to come inside, and their family and friends and the wedding official waited for them to be seated on the two chairs in front of the lectern.

They listened as their stories were told by the official — she had visited them at home a week or two before — and then finally were able to give each other a kiss after they had exchanged rings and were pronounced husband and wife.

Their status changed from married to divorced four years and eleven months later.

* * * * *
Never again, she said.

Famous last words, right?

She had helped him to get dressed, and he was already waiting for her downstairs. He knew that her dress was dark red, since his tie had the same color, but he hadn’t seen her dress yet. The first moment he lay eyes on her when she walked down the stairs, she could see the love and pride sharing there. No nerves. Just a quiet satisfaction that this is what they both wanted.

Both their moms were present, as were their three children, the girlfriend of their son and the boyfriend of their oldest daughter. Their witnesses would wait for them at the city hall. They helped his elderly mom to the car, and with two cars they drove over to city hall. The photographers were there too. Both of them walked with the photographers to take some snapshots in the beautiful park next to the city hall. He never smiles on photos; her smile couldn’t be broader. She had a faux fur stole to keep her shoulders warm, but this November day wasn’t as cold as it could be at this time of year. The pale winter sun warmed her shoulders enough for photos without the stole.

They moved inside and took some more photos with the beautiful stained glass windows as a backdrop, as well as on the stairs. Then it was time for them to move to the wedding room, where the two witnesses waited. As a surprise two of her colleagues were there too, wanting to share in their joy.

Half an hour later she looked up at him, her love for him burning deep in her soul, and seeing it reflected in his eyes. They were married. Her third time. His first. They drove over to a restaurant to celebrate — the moms, the kids and the witnesses. And them. If it wasn’t for their wedding close — her dark red evening dress, his black suit, white shirt and dark red tie — this could have been a regular evening out with family. But it wasn’t; it was the start of something beautiful. No, it was the next level of something that started three and a half years before their wedding day.

Fourteen years after that beautiful day in November, they are still going strong.

© Rebel’s Notes

Wicked Wednesday

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