Masamune and I decided our wedding date by the next week. We decided to get married three weeks from this upcoming Saturday; July 5th. I realized too that it would already be a month in my six-month life span by that time.
I called my parents again to inform them of the date. They were delighted and didn’t say a word about anything else. I also informed Kisa, inviting him to the small court wedding. Of course he squealed in happiness with an enthusiastic yes.
I made Masamune call his mother as well. It was tense and uncomfortable, but I knew it was for the better. Though she said she wasn’t going to go because of work, I still felt relieved. Though Masamune wouldn’t admit it, I could tell a weight of some kind was lifted from his shoulders and his past.
As the weeks passed and the big day approached, I could see myself slowly, slowly deteriorating. The daily vomiting sometimes was twice a day now. I would suddenly have shortness of breath and chest pain, especially doing simple exercise like walking up the stairs. I was growing skinnier and skinnier, despite how much I ate. Though the symptoms were small and almost unnoticeable by a stranger, they soon wouldn’t be. Already, a month was almost gone. I only had five left.
But Masamune was still there. He still loved me and still cherished me. He called me beautiful as he held me close every night. He’d kiss me good morning and hug me tight, never wanting to let go. Usually I’d be embarrassed by these lovey-dovey acts of his, but I wanted to appreciate what I soon wouldn’t have. It was always the small moments I concentrated on so I could remember.
Remember and cherish, just as Masamune was.
The day finally arrived. Masamune and I woke up early, the blissful smiles on our faces reflecting one another. Masamune joked he wouldn’t let me leave the bed tonight since it was our wedding night, and I couldn’t help but laugh in happiness. It would be one of the limited nights we had left to share our bodies like this as I grew weaker every day. I would happily appreciate and participate, despite my pride.
We drove to the courthouse, meeting Kisa and my parents there. They happily acknowledged and congratulated us once again, even my father. We filed into the building, going to our assigned room when we scheduled the date.
The judge was professional and didn’t ask questions; he went straight into it. While Kisa and my parents took their seats and we stood with our hands laced together, I remembered my vows. When I wrote them, I had reflected on the time I had had so far and the time I would have left. It was heartfelt and maybe even clichéd, but it meant everything I was to Masamune.
Masamune repeated his vows first, “Ritsu, you were not only my first love, but you are my only love. I will love and treasure you until the end. Whenever that may be, I will give you a lifetime worth of happiness and love. I don’t ask anything from you but that you love me back and will stay with me until you can’t anymore. You are my life and I will never let you go. I will love you forever and more.”
I couldn’t tell if my mother or I was crying more. Dammit, why did I let him go first? I knew that Masamune didn’t have to work for days to write those; those were his truths. Every time he looked at me, that was what he thought. It was all he knew when he saw me.
It took me a minute to regain my composure to repeat mine. My voice cracked as I started, “Masamune, you are my love, my light, and my life. My time is devoted to you and only you. I will make the most of my time to love you and to make you happy. I hope my love and life will be enough to make you happy forever, no matter what. When I think of happiness, I think of you.”
I have never seen Masamune so happy. His smile was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Not even the stars could outshine his bliss now. This caused me to silently cry in happiness again. To know I could make Masamune as happy as he made me was a feeling I would never forget.
As the judge read our marriage legal rights, I saw out of the corner of my eye a woman standing in the back of the room by the door with short, straight black hair. She was dressed professionally in a black and white skirt suit with matching black heels. She looked like a lawyer, but she also looked like Masamune. Her sharp features and golden eyes watched serenely, but I caught the small smile on her lips. How long has she been there? Will she actually acknowledge her son after so many years?
I decided I wouldn’t say anything. This was better for both of them; for her to silently let her son go properly and for him to unknowingly let her go as well.
“Do you, Takano Masamune, take Onodera Ritsu as your lawfully wedded husband?”
“I do,” Masamune replied.
“Do you, Onodera Ritsu, take Takano Masamune as your lawfully wedded husband?”
“I do,” I sighed with completion.
We slipped on the silver rings we had chosen earlier in the month on each other’s fingers to symbolize our bond. I was finally Masamune’s and Masamune was finally mine.
“You may now kiss. Congratulations.”
Masamune instantly leaned in, giving me a kiss that reiterates his vows. I generously kissed him back, my hands on his cheeks as his were on my waist. Though the kiss only lasted seconds, it was a lifetime for us.
Everyone in the room clapped, even the judge. I looked back to the door, seeing the back of Masamune’s mother leaving.
I turned back to Masamune, matching a smile so big that my cheeks hurt. I couldn’t remember anything else but what was happening now. I wanted to freeze this moment, living in it until my last dying breath. The prospect of my death would always be looming over me, but life goes on.
And now I know for the better.