Chasing Sunshine

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26 - Questions And Answers

***

The next video was special. It was a SDE of their wedding. There were many clips shown but what lingered the most to him was the clip of the doors opening to reveal his bride… Serene… Beautiful… Ethereal…

***

They got married in a little chapel on a hill with a view of the beach on the sunset of the 3rd of March.

They chose her birthday to celebrate their union. "Easy to remember, practical and figuratively, it will be like my rebirth as Mrs. Faulkner." She said during their planning.

He stood in front of the altar with the red, blue, yellow and green hues of the stained glass dancing around him as the final rays of sunlight of the day shone through the window.

His Dad, Rick, patted his shoulder and smiled as the doors opened to reveal James’s bride.

The small crowd who gathered to witness their wedding, consisting only of their families and closest friends, gasped when the radiant bride was unveiled.

With her parents behind her, she sat on that wheeled chair with regality. Her bright smile can be seen through the thin veil she wore over her perfectly made up face with only just the slightest blush, a tint of pink on her luscious lips and her long thick lashes fanning over her beautiful doe eyes. There was also a bouquet of white carnations and sunflowers in her hands over her lap which complemented her pristine white lace wedding dress.

As the lone sound of a piano played the bridal march, Ann slowly pushed the chair down the aisle.

"She's like a fairy princess hovering over the carpet. She's so beautiful." Angel whispered to her older sister Rina as they stood beside each other in their yellow bridesmaid and flower girl dresses.

With tears brimming his eyes, James smiled as he met his bride and her parents. He stood behind her and took her to face the altar with her hand snugly enveloped in his.

As the orange and pink hues ushered the evening skies outside, James and Sunshine exchanged vows and rings. With the blessings of God, they promised to love each other for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health until death do them part.

"Til death do us part..."

To James it was not a question of how long anymore because every second spent with Sunshine was an answer to his prayers and he has hope in a miracle that will save his wife and child.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds and their family and friends continued the celebration with dinner and dancing on the beach. Everyone expressed their well wishes and salutations to the happy couple.

And when the music started to fade and the chatter had lowered to a hush as the night was coming to an end, James took his wife nearer to the coastline where they were to fulfill the last item on her list.

Wish on sky lanterns.

He took two lighted sky lanterns and handed one to her. He knelt beside her and whispered in her ear. "Make a wish, my love."

She smiled at him and said. "I wish what you wish for. I wish for all your dreams to come true. I wish for all your heart's desire to be fulfilled and all your prayers to be answered. My wish is for you to be always happy, my darling."

"Then... I wish to have you forever. I wish for you and our little Mallows to always be healthy and safe. I wish to spend many more years with you, my wife because you are my joy, my life, my everything."

After their wishes were made, they released their lanterns to the sky followed by those held by their families and friends, each lit up the heavens one by one bearing a hopeful wish for the newlyweds and their little bun.

Shine looked up and sighed, watching the exquisite display above them.

He gently kissed her cheek and whispered. "I love you, my Sunshine."

She turned to him and caressed his face. "I love you more, James."

And inch by inch, their lips drew closer until they touched and shared a loving kiss full of dreams and hope for their future.

For her, there were no more questions.

No more "Why me?"

No more "Why this disease?"

No more "How long will I live?"

No more "What did I do to deserve this?"

There were no more questions to ask because she found all her answers in her husband James.

***

James clicked the replay button as soon as the next video ended. He has been playing it over and over for the past thirty minutes. He usually did that with this particular clip whenever he watched it.

It was undoubtedly his favorite. It was raw. There were no effects, no music and most of all, it was private. Sunshine gave it to him personally and never uploaded it to her video blog site.

It has been a while but James could still clearly remember when Sunshine handed it to him.

It was exactly a month after their wedding. After they celebrated with a simple dinner, James took Sunshine out to the porch where he carried her to lounge with him on the daybed.

As they cuddled while they watched the stars in the clear evening sky, she took out a small piece of paper and a USB flash drive from the pocket of her cardigan.

"For you, my dear. Happy 1st Month." She smiled.

"Happy 1st Month, Mrs. Faulkner. Should we have prepared gifts? I don't have one for you, my love." He grinned coyly and scratched the back of his head.

"Don't worry about it. Monthsaries don't need to be celebrated after the wedding. I just made that up so I can give this to you." She laughed.

With her back and head leaned against his chest, he circled his arms around her waist and kissed her temple before he unfolded the piece of paper.

It was her boyfriend bucket list with all the things they have done together already ticked but there was one item more at the end.

Say "I love you" while you sleep.

There was also a check mark beside it.

"What's this? Why is there one more?" He asked.

"Because it's a secret." She giggled. "I should do it alone. I didn't mean to but I realized I did it anyway without planning to."

"How did you do it? When?"

"Watch this. You'll know." She smiled as she got her phone from her side and played the video. "That's what's in the flash drive."

The video started with a few thuds and clicks as she set up the camera. Sunshine focused and zoomed in on James's sleeping face as he napped in his room in the Malden mansion one afternoon. He recognized from the shirt and shorts he was wearing that it was from when they got back after a random trip to visit his family for the first time.

She snickered as she zoomed in and out of his face, intending to make a little prank video while he dozed off.

Sunshine then appeared on screen and sat on the floor beside his bed with baby powder, eyeliner and lipstick on hand. By the mischievous look on her face, she had every intention of turning his handsome face into a mural.

She was about to draw on his cheek with the lipstick but stopped when she heard him whisper.

"Shine..." She carefully drew her hand back and listened. "Come here. Let me wipe your back. It's sweaty. It will be bad for you if the sweat dries up on your back. Have you eaten? Are you hungry?", he mumbled in his sleep.

She quietly smiled as she watched him sleep then with her forefinger, very close to but not touching his skin, started to slowly trace a line from his forehead down the bridge of his nose to his lips. She sighed as tears began to trickle down the side of her face.

"Oh, James, what am I to do with you?" She whispered. "Why do you have to be so nice and sweet and kind and thoughtful and chivalrous and caring and so god damned handsome all the time?"

Sunshine bit her lip and placed the items in her hands on the carpeted floor.

"Why did you have to make it hard for me? This was supposed to be just fun. Something fun to do with my life before I left. It wasn't supposed to be this way. I shouldn't be feeling things like this. I shouldn't be afraid to leave you. I shouldn't... I should not have fallen in love with you." She sobbed.

"This is your fault. It's all your fault, James. You're too nice. It's annoying. I hate you! I hate you..."

She paused and sighed as she closed her eyes. She took a slow deep breath then quietly stared at him again. Before she knew it, she slowly leaned towards him and gently kissed his forehead then touched her forehead on it.

"I love you, James," she whispered in a voice as soft as feathers.

She bit her lip to stifle her sobs as silent tears fell from her eyes. Moments later. She got up, walked to the camera and stopped recording.

"My love..." He sobbed and pulled her closer as he nuzzled in her hair and cried quietly.

She let him. He needed it. He has always been strong for her because of his promise to be her beacon of hope even though she saw the fear in his eyes everyday as they were faced with the reality of the inevitable. She was slowly wilting away as her pregnancy progressed.

"I guess during our dance in the rain, I realized I will eventually have to choose if our relationship would be, friendship or love because I had developed feelings for you then. It's a waste of a perfectly handsome guy I danced with if I don't make him my boyfriend." She chuckled to lighten up his mood.

He laughed as he wiped his tears away. "It's a relief that you thought that way because it was torture to keep hiding my feelings for you," he said.

"Damn feelings! They're the worst, right?", she giggled. "Tell me, my darling. When did you have hidden desires towards me?" She smirked at him and wiggled her eyebrows.

He chuckled as he helped her roll to her side so they laid down facing each other.

"Hmmm... I never thought that we could be just friends. I went from "looking forward to meet my first patient" to "She's the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. I want to be with her, love her and take care of her for the rest of my life" in a second but you laid out that deal so I had to hold back." He grinned and they both laughed.

As the cool ocean breeze blew and the stars shone brightly above them, James and Sunshine spent the rest of the evening chatting and laughing and looking back on their happy memories while hoping for many more years to create new ones.

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