Joy felt the aching heat. His neat lavender bow tie stifled his neck, instinctively making him gulp down air. The beige tuxedo shirt; every crease and plait ironed to crisps; smelled of mild mint fabric softener. The shoes, formal as they come, the ones you put on for a special occasion.
Yes, today is special.
Special enough for custom made, white, hand-stitched brogues, and a light blue suit to match his bow tie. Special enough for him to lie back on a chair and have someone prod and prong every inch of his face and hair, in the name of bridal beauty package.
He had his hair gelled back, just the way a particular someone preferred. The formal dress code was not something you do often, but the photos to be adorning the living room frames have to be perfect.
Amnest had settled on a pastel pink suit with an ivory white shirt. The pastel green bow tie was the last-minute addition during yesterday’s dress rehearsal. They had planned this for a while, a close circuit of friends and family together on a weekend getaway to a small resort. Today they would accept and let their close ones acknowledge their formal promise of a lifetime together; for better or for worse.
Friends were the easier part when it came to the announcement. It appalled the families on both sides, even though the truth was they were part of their lives, which could never be up for a bargain. They made them complete. All they had asked for was a little acceptance of the same pure, unabashed love that society deemed wrong.
Joy was never in denial. He dreaded the constant nag of his heart deep down. He preferred to assume they hated him for being different, for his fears consumed him, “What if they never respect the sanctity of our relationship?”. He was not to be fooled by the sanctimonious leagues of thoughts and beliefs he had been nagged with. All he knew was, they had each other.
The note simply stated, “Come, find me on the Dais, half an hour before the ceremony. I will meet you there. Soon to be promoted to ‘forever yours’, Amnest.”
It skipped mentioning the “whys” and the “where”. Thus, Joy stood with the ache of his mind and soul in a constant duel, his minuscule vision of a happy future even without his parents by his side. Standing on the Dais had given him the perspective to contemplate his views on a fair judgement. Was he right? They should have tried harder, convinced them about their plans and needs, showed them what it meant to them, what they meant for them.
A good half an hour left for the ceremony, Joy could see his best friends work tirelessly to make everything perfect. They had helped plan his most valuable day with the utmost care. They had a canopy of red and white roses lined from an installed arched pillar entrance, leading to the Dais: an elegant outdoor wedding. Guests were working their way towards the cane chairs, covered in red and white satin. The servers were passing on glasses of white wine around. The couple would exchange their vows, register officially and end with a brief intimate celebration, with the people who would grace them with their presence and bouquet of best wishes.
Passively rethinking his decision, blaming it on marriage jitters, Joy moved to take his place on the Dais. A moment later, Amnest strode up to him, visibly exhilarated. As he held out his hand to Amnest, he smiled and leaned in to whisper, “I know you always love my surprises, but today I have brought you much more. I know that you would overthink. Both of us have prayed for a little acceptance from our folks. Look to your left.”
There, amongst the small gathering, sat both of their families. A look of surreal happiness radiating from their faces. They had more than mere acceptance; they had their blessings. He had never experienced this stage of elation. There can never be any plausible reason not to marry Amnest, never a reason to not honour their love with the utmost vow of togetherness.
“What day is it? And in what month? This clock never seemed so alive I can’t keep up and I can’t back down I’ve been losing so much time ’Cause it’s you and me and all of the people with nothing to do Nothing to lose And it’s you and me and all of the people And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you All of the things that I want to say just aren’t coming out right I’m tripping on words You’ve got my head spinning I don’t know where to go from here ’Cause it’s you and me and all of the people with nothing to do Nothing to prove And it’s you and me and all of the people And I don’t know why I can’t keep my eyes off of you………” ~You and Me, Lifehouse
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