“You look beautiful.”
“And you are not saying this because I have chosen you to be my best man?”
She grabbed one of the cushions in her dressing room and aimed at him.
Everyone who knew them thought they would end up happy. Their friendship was a story straight out of a movie and everyone predicted the ending but to this day, I think they forgot the twists and turns the plot of a movie travels through before it reaches the ending.
“Please tell me you have the ring! You do right?”
“We will see about that once you stand at the altar and reach out for it. It may or may not appear on your palm.”
Her eyes filled with tears at the sight of him. His jokes, that is what she is going to miss the most. He never failed to crack one even at the most tensing of times. Even when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer at the age of 29, he teased her about it. Her family was not so happy about these jokes but it made her laugh and that is all what they cared about.
“Don’t marry him.”
Her face jerked out of the trance she was in. Her eyes searching his face wondering if this was another one of his jokes.
“I am serious! You do not even like him. You are settling and that is something you never wanted to do.”
“That was before I came to know that I am not going to remember all this in a few years or even months.”
“Don’t say that! You are going to be fine.”
“What am I supposed to do then? Sit around till I am a walking vegetable?”
“Well it is much better than getting married to someone you do not want to!”
“I do not think so and that is the last I am going to hear about it.”
“I have asked you so many times. Got down on one knee thinking maybe that is what you wanted. Brought balloons, sang stupid songs, made plans to elope; thinking that maybe you would say yes to at least one of the many options I gave you but your answer has always been that same wretched word. Why? Did I do something wrong? What is it?”
“I am not going to give you my reasons the day I am getting married to your brother. I love your brother and that is who I want to spend the rest of my life with; at least the part of which I can remember.”
She walked out of the room with him on her heels.
Grace. That would be the word he would describe her. She was always graceful even when she was drunk and today, as she walked down the aisle, that is exactly what she was – Graceful.
He knew the disease was eating her and that every time she wakes up from a sleep, she is completely lost for about 15 minutes before she realizes who and where she is. He knew that sometimes when he talks to her, she gets a little lost and that she would never admit to being lost but he knows. He also knows that she hates white gowns which is why she decided to wear black today. He knows that she liked her lipstick bright. Brighter the better she used to say and she looked ravishing in them. He knew she had a pair of magnets that she rubs together every time she forgets something. He also remembers the day they stole it from their first grade teacher’s table. He loved her; to the moon and back but somewhere along the line, he forgot his way back to the earth and was now lost in space forever.
“Do you Gracie Bernie Rose take Jake Mathew Landon to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
She also hated her middle name.
After the ceremony, she walked around the crowds a little before she went and took the seat with her new husband.
“So, how does it feel to be a wife?”
“The ring is tight. You sure someone gave him the right measurements?”
“You gave him your measurements!”
“I need to go.”
“No, you can’t leave! You promised.”
“I promised to be your best man and I did. I did not promise to stay and see you happily dancing with my brother.”
“Gracie…I love you. I always have and I always will. I am sorry life had other plans but I would have stayed if I could.”
Her eyes clouded with tears as she saw him walking away, in that black suit and pants that never fitted him right.
“You would be the first bride to ever be so sad on her wedding day. We usually leave that to the groom” her father joked.
“Robert just left that is all.”
“Oh my love! He left you three years back when he overdosed and took his own life. I am so sorry baby…”
Her father hugged her as she looked at him, one last time.
His figure had turned so tiny in the distance and as he turned to look back, she could see he was smiling. Suddenly she remembered the last words he had spoken to her the day he died
“One day, I will be your best man. Even if I die, I will not miss your wedding.”
And he din’t.