Sitting in the uncomfortable seats in my class, my mind could not stop wondering about last night’s dream. Abby sits next to me, trying to be obvious but not obvious at the same time. Her eyes eyeing up and down our professor’s body like she is studying for an exam. She is wearing white jeans and a pink-orange tank top. She says it helps her stand out without looking like she is trying to. I think she is brave to wear white pants. I would probably stand all day finding ways to avoid getting a stain on it.
Today’s class feels like the longest lecture ever given to man. Billion of hours of trying to focus. Our professor spoke about the concept of balance in a space and different ways to design a spare room. Which would normally be fine but at day five, I can officially say that all the padding left in my butt has disintegrated. Guess the back row of this auditorium does not get much love.
I mean we already have to twist and turn our heads around the tallest student who well forgot they were born inches taller than us average people. Then he conveniently sat in the row directly in front of us. Like the thought that he could have sat one row back had not crossed his mind but he decided to be adventurous today and sit one row up.
I look down the row and wonder if I am the only one suffering. A few students tap their pencils on their desk. Others are mostly sleeping on their folded arms while many are sleeping with their heads ups. I already know that Abby is uncomfortable by the constant grunts as she twists and turns in her seat. The occasionally evil eyes my way is a dead giveaway as well. I did not mean to be late to class but Abby took it as I am punishing her.
“What is the history between me and David?” I ask Abby.
Abby looks at me confused then her smile grew wider. “You are interested in David?” She is a little too excited for my liking.
“What, no, I dreamed about him last night, that is it,” As the words left my lips, I then realized how that could have sound to someone.
“Two boys now. What kind of dreams have you been having?” By Abby’s curious smile, I could see that the gears in her head were now turning from trying to get our teacher’s attention to completely switching over to me.
“Stop, it doesn’t mean anything. David just fixed my tire and told me that he loved me. It‘s normal.”
“Sure doesn’t sound normal. Did someone send you this dream too?” I didn’t even have to say anything because she could see the answer by the deep breath that I took. She knows me too well. “Then there you go, it was David. Mystery solved. It is love notes, done in a creepy way but if that is the way you guys rock and roll then cool.”
“Why would he send a dream with us in it but not with us together?”
“Why do people do anything?” Abby places the end of her pen by her mouth, “It is clearly David. I am so glad that I could solve this for you. Can you let me take my notes before professor sexy decides he wants to surprise me by popping the question?”
“He is never going to date you,” I shake my head.
Abby looks at me as if I insulted her. She hits me in the arm. “You think so? Just watch and see. He loves me.”
“I think he is married,” I say.
“See you are not sure,” Abby waves to the professor. She knew the answer, knew everything she needed to know the day, no the minute, she set her eyes on our professor. That is what she got her masters in. That is what she has been doing since kindergarten. She knows about her crushes like a well written Wikipedia page yet she couldn’t resist the urge to prove me right. She had to take every chance she got just to be the one to win.
He looks up from his book. Black framed glasses hung on his face as it usually does when he reads. “Do you have a question, Abby?” He asks taking it off.
“I actually can’t see what that one word on the board says. Do you mind pointing it out for me with your left hand and telling me what it says?” She says.
The professor gets up and points at the word with his left hand, following all that she had requested. “This word?” He asks. Abby nods with the widest smile I have ever seen. “The word says pattern,” He continues, returning to his desk and his book.
“Thank you,” Abby looks at me, “Did you see the lack of metal on his finger? No ring which means… more me,” She sticks her tongue out with the taste of satisfaction while I did not have the slightest care in the world because I know he will not date her. Ring or not.
“Fine, he is not married,” I say, “He is still never going to date you though.”
For as long as I could remember Abby has been boy crazy for older men. Don’t judge, she likes them mature not as an old sugar daddy type but at least in the 25-30 category. Plus, I can’t imagine her giving Mr. Sugar Daddy any kind of care. The sight of his smashed-up dinner and sponge baths would cause her to malfunction.
She has high standards when it comes to guys. She wants a man and not a boy who sags his pants. It is not normally hard for her to get who she wants but a professor at our school sure is testing her abilities. If Abby was a contestant on the bachelor, he wouldn’t choose her. If she wasn’t his student then I could see the possibility, however, I am not betting on this one because she may just surprise me.
From a first look, our professor doesn’t look like he could be an interior designer. He looks like he rather take a saw, throw on a plaid shirt and those construction boots. Create a home with his bare hands and two popsicle sticks kind of guy instead of the pressed suit he regularly wears.
I find myself wondering how on earth he got here without the obvious answer that his mother gave birth to him. What I mean is what made him choose to become a professor to talk about designing instead of actually going out there and doing it. I am starting to feel like Abby. I am sure she is far from thinking about his career. She is too distracted by his looks.
“I hope you all enjoy your long weekend,” the professor says. “Mine will be spent grading papers so that will be fun,” He makes his way passing papers to the class. He hands Abby her paper and smiles before going to the next set of rows.
“He didn’t want to announce what he will be really doing this long weekend. Grading papers is a cover-up for spending the long weekend with me. I get it, his job is important and our relationship together should not be advertised to everyone. I respect his privacy,” She whispers to me. She hands me my paper then intensively stares at hers. “Can you believe this, my husband gave me a low grade,” She says.
“It could be because he is not really your husband,” I reply.
“Okay, what is wrong? Other than the fact that you wish you had my husband first,” Abby turns her seat towards me. “What happened in this dream this time?”
The bell rings. Students excitedly start packing up their things into their bags.
Abby shakes her head as she crumples the assignment paper into her large purse. “Don’t forget that I know you all too well, your silence means something is clearly bothering you.”
“It was just a stupid dream. It’s not real,” I say grabbing my things.
“Finally! I keep telling you that,” She says.
We make our way to the hallway and outside to the courtyard. Abby vents about her grade, how her hair looks and then back to her grade. She is a person who can find topics about herself and never run out of it while my mind keeps wondering about David. Once she tossed her bag into the passenger seat of her white SUV car, I knew we weren’t going the same way home.
“Have a great break, Abby,” I say.
“Don’t I always!” She grins. Trouble is written all over her face already and she hasn’t even left the parking lot yet. There is a whole list I can imagine her being up to. One thing I know for sure is that she is going to tell me all about it.
“If you think I am going to behave myself then I should give you the disappointing news now,” She winks.
I leave Abby behind. My head was killing me and I don’t know how to bring this up without sounding insane. This whole situation is insane. I am so glad that it is Friday. My plans are very simple, I am going to visit my family for the long weekend and finally clear my head. I, for one, need a break from all of this.
As I arrive home with the full intent of getting my hands on the envelope, the thought of David being the person behind all of this doesn’t sit right with me. There had to be more clues to find, it can’t be this easy. There had to be more to this.
I close my eyes.
The sound of violins tickles at my ears as I open my eyes. Two French doors with white soft curtains open to rows of familiar and unfamiliar faces. They turn and stand towards me with bright gleeful smiles. Around me looks like a photograph, almost too good to be true with the water rippling towards the city in the distant horizon.
There are rose petals shaped in an S shape design on the aisle leading down towards Matt who is nervously standing at the podium with the biggest smile. He looks like a man, dressed in a black tuxedo jacket, blue pocket hanky sticking out of his left side and a white rose pinned underneath. He rubbed his hands against his lightly shaved head resisting the urge to look at me in fear of tearing up.
I caught a glimpse of the reflection of the window, a white chiffon gown carved to fit my body rest softly on me. Sweetheart neckline with sparkling Swarovski crystals placed perfectly at the top. It is not too fluffy or grand. It is absolutely beautiful with the train following close behind like a shadow. It is everything I ever wanted it to be.
My parents link arms with me with excitement pierced in their cheeks. I feel like I haven’t seen them in forever. They are both dressed in formal wear matching the guest in their rows. I can’t remember the last time I have seen them so dressed up. We begin to walk.
“You can tell me that I am right,” my mom nudges me. “Didn’t I tell you that good things like love, always happens to those who wait? Yes, I believe it was prom. Now here you are, getting married to the same one who brought you to prom. Funny, how things turn out, huh?” she says flashing friendly smiles to family members. She was loving this attention, getting to showcase that her only daughter found a fantastic man.
I thought it was funny that my mom wanted me to tell her that she was indeed correct about her advice at this exact moment. “You were right.”
“Mothers always are and don’t you go arguing against me either. I tried that with your grandma,” she says.
My mom saying that brought me to a moment when we are sitting on my bed talking. I am curled up by my headboard clenching a pillow while she is sitting at the edge. A time that I love the most. We can talk about anything and everything with little to no exceptions.
“What held you two together for so long?” I ask.
“Unconditional love. Not just the love but the kind where there would be no air without him. Where I love you is not enough to say. Whenever you are with him it is like you are dating again… like this love is new all over again,” She replies.
My heart melts a little. It is the way her eyes light up whenever she talks about my dad. I could hear the same story a hundred times and still see that spark of joy. I still remember my dad poking his head through the door ease-dropping. His steps heavy against my squeaky board by my bedroom door made it hard to not hear him.
“That doesn’t mean you won’t have arguments and disagreements. Don’t expect your future marriage or husband-to-be perfect unless you are absolutely perfect yourself,” He says.
“I know. No one is perfect,”
My dad’s words linger through my head. No one is perfect. I look up to see that we are inches away from Matt.
“Be ready for a whole new rollercoaster of life. If both of your love is not strong, does not concur the bumps and mountains that life throws at you then your love wasn’t as strong as you thought. Doesn’t mean you give up. It means something has changed and it takes two to fix it to keep your love on the right track.” My mom tells me.
“Why are you telling me all this now?” I laugh.
“Because you are entering a whole new chapter in your life. My mom told me the same thing before I walked down the aisle. It was my flashlight to see your dad as who he is. She wanted me to tie the knot knowing life wouldn’t always be a fairytale,” she says. “Not every parent sets their child up for that preparation.”
“I thought your mom was telling you the exit route to run away,” Dad says. “Now, I believe she is very prepared and ready to marry. I never met two people more meant to be together than the two of you.”
“I love you guys,” I say as we reach to the end.
“Don’t go starting that, you will make me cry,” My mom gives me a hug.
Dad gives me a kiss on the cheek. He pats Matt on the back before standing by his seat.
“You may be seated,” the officiate says. He is wearing his very expensive suit. Gold watch on his wrist slightly hidden under his suit sleeve. I could tell that he is trying not to draw too much attention but enough to notice it if he moves. He has a deep smell of a musky cologne on.
Matt’s eyes are in awe. He is looking at me as if it was the first time he has ever seen me. “You look beautiful.”
“Thank you,” I reply.
“Matt, I know that you wanted to go first with your vows. You may do so now,” the officiate says holding his iPad close to his chest. That’s what happened to this generation, we went from Bibles to apps.
Matt takes a hold of my hands. He tries to say something but immediately pauses to clear his voice. I could tell he was nervous by how long he took and the extra two deep breaths he let out.
“Christy, I have loved you from since the moment that we met. Even though I may have predicted this day in my head, I did not actually know that you would give me such an incredible gift to have you in my life. You are truly amazing that words cannot express. We can both agree that the words I love you don’t feel good enough to say anymore. Their seriously needs to be a grander word to express how much I am in love with you,” He says.
The guests laughed. Tears began building up unstable bricks in my eyes, he continues anyway.
“My life would not be complete without you in it and I thank you for being there for me throughout the years and never giving up on me. I only wish my mom could have been here on this day with us. I do promise you that I will be the best husband that I can be for you. I will make you and my mom proud every day of my life. I love you,” He smiles.
What can you say after that? My heart begins to race fast and my mouth dries by the thought of all these people came to witness our wedding and I don’t know what to say.
I felt a hand touch my shoulder behind me. Abby hands me a piece of paper that she had conveniently placed in the bra of her two-toned bridesmaid dress. “You said that you might need this.”
I unfold the warm note and read. “Matt, let me be the first to say that you were right about falling in love with me the first day we met. What I did not know is how that day could have changed my whole entire life. I was unaware of how much love someone could have for a person like the way you love me. How could I have not fallen in love with you? We have been through many trials but we made many amazing moments and memories that I cherish. I couldn’t have gone through all that we did if you weren’t by my side.”
I look up at Matt and smile. I wipe away the tear that is forming before continuing. “My dad always told me to love a guy who loves me more than I love him, who is my best friend and someone that I could never live a day without. They are still married till this day. You are my best friend, my everything and most importantly you are the love of my life. I will forever be proud to be called your wife. I love you.”
“Beautiful vows. I doubt anyone has any reason for you two to not be getting married but I will give everyone a chance to reject this love,” the officiate says looking around. “Speak now or forever, forever, FOREVER hold your peace. Well, on that note, Matt you may now kiss your bride.”
This is the moment that the entire wedding guests and family wait for and so does the couple. The kiss. I didn’t realize the pressure of having to kiss with a thousand eyes on you until this moment. It is a little unsettling. The kiss is the official stamp on staying together until death. Once you are in, you are all in. I could hear the owes and awes from the guests and the random ewws from the children. Focus.
We lean in. Our eyes locked on each other. This is our moment. The first kiss as a married couple. Deep breath. Here we go. Inching closer to each other, my butterflies begin to lift. My heart stays at ease as I continue closer. Almost touching. Our lips nearly touching. And.
My alarm rings. Not the best time but when does it ever turn on at the best time? I was supposed to be aiming for clues and ended up being emerged in the moment, leaving me just as confused as before.
I reach for my cell phone and search through my contacts for Matt’s number. My finger hovers over the call button. What would I say to him? I haven’t spoken to him in years and now I am randomly calling him to say what? My finger presses the talk button by accident. It doesn’t take long before the phone starts ringing. I could feel my heart racing around in circles as I am repeatedly pressing the end button.
Please end, please end, PLEASE END!
“Hello?” I hear on the other end.
“Hi…umm… Matt? This is Christina well Christy.” I say.
“Christina? ...” There is silence for a moment. I could hear the cars pass in the background, the laughter of girls walking past and even a barking dog. He couldn’t have forgotten me. Each second of dead air causes my hands to sweat more. “Umm, Oh I am sorry Christina, I believe that you have the wrong number,” He says.
“That is fine. Thank you anyway,” I reply. The words speed right out of my mouth. A sigh of relief explodes through my body as I plop back down on my pillow. I dodged a bullet.