Forever

He and she had made several plans in various ways, shapes, and forms to get married. They were never sure when nor where they should hold such an occasion. It had begun two months into their relationship in January of 2011. She had just returned from an elongated stay with her family. He had planned a special evening away at a nice hotel to have one night where they weren’t worrying about when her roommate would return. At this point, he was practically living in her dorm with her ever since his roommate got upset by her staying with them so often. Being apart wasn’t something he and she were ever fond of.

This night, he had booked the Jacuzzi suite for one night. The bus ride had been long, but he was there waiting to pick her up from the station. They stopped back at the dorms so she could repack some new clothes for their stay. He seemed a bit nervous and anxious for a reason she did not understand, through her excitement to get away with him, she shrugged it off as mutual excitement.

They drove to the hotel that was no more than 15 minutes away from the dorms. Neither of them really cared as long as they were able to spend some quality time together away from roommates and floor monitors. He had already checked in earlier, claiming it was to avoid wasting time with checking-in.

They went up the elevator that was filled with tension over words. Unlocking the door, he led her through the threshold, but it wasn’t at all what she had expected to see when she walked in. The lights were off though the flicker of candles illuminated a magical scene that he had created for her. Rose petals danced across the floor and covered the bed that had been draped in a blanket he had created for her that said, “I Love You.” Never had she had anything like this done for her before nor did she realize at the time just how crafty he was. The hot tub was already full and bubbling and on a small table in the center of the room there was champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.

She knew what this was instantly, though never expected it would happen so soon in their relationship. After her quick once over of the room, her eyes landed back on him. He was already down on one knee with a small black box in his hand. The air in the room felt like it was palpitating along with the nervous rhythms of their hearts as he opened his mouth to speak. “You are the most amazing and beautiful girl I have ever met. You are cool and unique and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” He presented the ring, though her answer had already escaped her lips.

“Yes!”

This was the first time he gave her the ring, though it was certainly not the last. After a two-month break-up, they decided that their second try would be one they would ease into with caution. Marriage was something she figured wouldn’t be set back on the table until they were much older. They were only 19 when he proposed, and after all they had been through, he wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to propose to her again.

Things had gone amazingly over the past two years, and had gotten even stronger with the pregnancy, withering their fights to almost none and never. This love was stronger, better than ever before. He and she had discussed saving about $5000 over the next year or so to hold a small wedding with only immediate family, but over Christmas break talk of eloping just the two of them seemed more like them. They had always been about being in each other’s company, loving each other, and avoiding large awkward social gatherings. Not only that, but they decided that $5000 would be much better spent on a home for them and their son, than on one day.

She returned on a Sunday, and that Monday they went in to the County Recorder’s office to apply for a marriage license. Getting the license had been the easy part, finding someone to officiate the actual ceremony was much more difficult. It took them until Wednesday to finally find someone that would do a simple, non-religious ceremony equipped with two witnesses that Friday. They had to wait until Friday, since it took 3 days to get a marriage license in their state, though this had given them time to prepare their outfits and their witnesses for the event.

For her, they had stopped at the local Dress Barn. Finding a white dress in the winter, she knew, would be difficult, though the woman working there had been very helpful in finding her options. Being 23 weeks into her pregnancy, fitting her stomach into a dress was a feat. Then she found it. It was an off-white dress with a matching floral pattern embroidered on it. It was a size 6, so it was large in the straps for her but fit the baby belly perfectly. It was knee length with a baby doll styled belt that attached in the front with a diamond-studded pendant shaped like a double-infinity. The only thing better than finding the perfect dress was the fact that from its original price of $60, it had been knocked down to $19.

He already had dress pants, a dress shirt, and dress shoes. He had bought a suit jacket from TJ Maxx with a gift card he received on Christmas, though he later found that it didn’t match his pants. The morning of their wedding day, he and she awoke early. He began to iron his outfit while she did her hair and makeup. They had several errands to run before their nuptials at noon. They had to meet his artist professor at her house along with R, his artist friend, who would be their witnesses, by 11am, since the wedding was going to be at their officiant’s apartment 20 minutes away. “I am going to marry you today.” She said smiling as she kissed him several times. He smiled wide and kissed her back with all the love in the world.

First thing they had to do was pick up their marriage papers to bring with, form there they raced back to TJ Maxx where they returned his suit jacket and found him a suit vest instead. She was able to acquire a cheap pair of matching flats and a nice cardigan to complete her look, and from there they raced back home to change. They were ready in ten minutes after returning home, since they had finished the bigger projects before running their errands. In the car, they listened to their song, “All I’ve Ever Needed” by Paul McDonald & Nikki Reed. The smiles couldn’t be taken from their faces and they interlocked their hands. “Do you want to know how I know this is right?” She asked.

“How?”

“Because I don’t feel afraid. I feel so happy.”

“Me too, sweetie.” He replied and kissed the backside of her hand.

From his artist professor’s house, he and she rode in her car while R and his artist professor followed closely behind. The apartment was in a quaint town above a small pizza shop. They were around 25 minutes early, though the woman officiant was ready and waiting. The place was cozy with high ceilings that led up to the small space that the woman had decorated with white Christmas lights that gave off a gentle glow. “I require that the bride and groom hold hands.” The woman said as he and she grasped each other’s hands. Their eyes glued together as the woman read a sweet vow to them, R and the artist professor avidly videoing and snapping photos. It was wonderful, the words wrapped around them in celebration of everything they had gone through as a team and solidified their experiences in an unbreakable union. “If you agree, say, ‘yes, I do.” The woman stated after each vow. He and she both answered with smiles so big they felt their cheeks growing weary.

“Yes, I do.”

“I now pronounce you man and wife.” He reached forward with a hand that pulled her in from the back of her neck into a kiss that she’d never wanted to end.

His artist professor brought them to an amazing Italian restaurant, where they spent hours dining and talking. Later, that night they met up with another couple, E and A, to have conversation and some cheesy fries.

When they got home, they were both exhausted, climbing into bed, as man and wife, and falling asleep in each other’s arms, just like it had always been and just how it would forever be.

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