“Oh my god,” I say in surprise as I gaze at the most breath-taking pair of Prada heels I’ve had the pleasure of seeing and now owning. “I love it...”
“It’s just a little something new I found when shopping for wedding gifts with Vincent,” Lisa states with a proud smile as we girls ogle the merchandise.
“With heels like that I swear Cinderella will be jealous of you at the ball,” Shan mutters and I can’t help but agree.
The shoes are made of reflective glass-plastic material. If taking a glance you’d believe it was made from cut diamonds. It has a real traditional diamond heart in place of the one laid on Cinderella’s glass slippers. Its heel is about five inches and diamond studded.
It was just... wow...
“Lisa I can’t tell you how thankful I am... This is... Thank you,” I say as the beauty of my present jumbles my thoughts
“You’re welcome, Christina...” she smiles before placing the box on the vanity and proceeding to put my hair in a classical up do.
“I’m doing this... I’m getting married,” I mumble as I look at my reflection in the mirror.
“Izzy, you’ve been saying that on repeat for the last couple hours. It’s okay,” Shan says placing a hand on my shoulder as she stoops beside me. “It’s not the end of the world...”
“I know, I know... isn’t a girl allowed to be nervous?”
“Not when you waited almost three years,” Chev says as she enters the room catching my rant.
I eye her through the mirror and she sticks out her tongue at me, chowing down a slice of black forest chocolate cake. The scent causes my stomach to knot and I fight the urge to vomit.
“I hope that didn’t come from our wedding cake,” I state and Chev freezes.
I raise a brow and she smiles sheepishly a little chocolate on her teeth. “No, man...”
We chuckle as her Jamaican accent comes out... it sounds so thick and exotic.
“How is it that you’re still so energetic after last night?” Shan asks as she lays in the sofa to our left in a robe similar to the others.
“Yeah, I mean you were practically on the stage with those men shaking your money maker...” Lisa adds as she braids my hair.
Last night was the most comical night of my life. Take four adventurous ladies, one pregnant Chev and a club full of male strippers and what do you get? A pregnant woman grinding on a Magic Mike live dancer while her friends laugh their asses off.
Chev was the wildest of us all, she out did us that night and worst of all she was pregnant. The boys ended up crashing our party after Eddie got tagged in a video of Chev shaking what her mom gave her on Instagram.
After that our nights became a personal Magic Mike Show, as our men gave us a show to member...
“Cause I’m a bonified momma,” Chev jests stuffing cake into her mouth.
At that we laugh causing Chev to roll her eyes.
“Finished,” Lisa says as she steps away from my person giving me a once over. “Spin so I can see the front.”
I do as she instructs and at that moment Josephine walks into the room, closing the door behind her. Her eyes land on me and she smiles widely.
“You look spectacular Christina,” she comments and the girls chorus their approvals as well.
Lisa suddenly clears her throat loudly and Josephine chuckles before giving her the praise she deserves. “That is a masterpiece Carolisa. The neatness of the flower shaped cornrows, the hint of wildness exhibited by the tendrils framing the side of her face, the beautiful fish plat woven with blue pearls and the elegant vanilla-chocolate bun which it’s wrapped around... This is truly beautiful... Thank you.”
Lisa blushes before holding her robe and giving a curtsey. “Thank you ma’am.”
We chuckle at this thanking Lisa heartily for her work... all except Chev.
“In my home country, saying thanks after a hairdo will cause your hair to fall off... Just saying,” she shrugs stuffing her face with cake. We eye her with pursed lips ganging up on her and she looks at us startled before sighing. “Fine... Great work Lisa.”
“Great,” Josephine says clasping a small square box in her hands. “It’s time to bestow the traditional gifts.”
“I already gave her something new,” Lisa says moving towards the wine table to our left.
I gesture to the heels behind me and Johnattan’s mother falls into a whole three minutes of gawking...
“I know, it’s beautiful,” I say as she snaps out of her trance and she chuckles.
“It is... I think it outdid mine by far,” she jests before handing me the box. “But regardless here you are...”
I thank her taking the gold box into my hands slowly uncovering it. I gasp as an exotic, traditional Japanese hairpin comes into view. It’s silver with gold lining and golden flowers, the craftsmanship is excellent and the piece is light in weight but not easily bent or broken.
There are two Japanese symbols written with gold strips on it and I look up at Josephine in question.
“They mean Strong and Pure...” she states walking closer to me. “It has been passed down for five generations... It’s been loaned to women of my family marriage after marriage and now I’m loaning it to you.”
“Something borrowed,” I smile before thanking her.
She bends to hug me and I feel the warmth of her love around me.
“Next, we have something old and blue,” Shan says as Chev walks towards me one hand on her round stomach and the other holding a red box.
A familiar red, worn out box.
“L-Lexi wanted us to give this to you on your wedding day... Just in case she c-couldn’t...” Shan says a solemn smile on her lips.
I carefully take the box and my mouth goes dry. I lift the top, the rusty gold hinges putting up resistance. A beautiful silver necklace soon reveals itself to me and my eyes well up with tears as I take it from the small box.
It has a thick, broad chain which tapers from the center outwards. In the centre lies a pear-cut sapphire...
It was the first gift Momma Jacobs got from Lexi’s father... After his death she’d kept it close to her and bestowed it to Lexi while on her death bed.
“I-I...” I cup my hand over my mouth as I sob...
I wanted her here with me. She was supposed to be the one giving this to me.
“Christina?” Josephine asks as she caresses my cheek.
“P-Put it on... for me,” I get out and she nods spinning me around.
She takes the necklace from me, placing it around my neck and latches it. I look at the mirror at my tear stained face... thank god the makeup hadn’t gone on yet.
The jewellery sits inches from my bosom and shines brightly in the afternoon sun. The girls compliment me and give their sympathies while looking at me through the mirror but I pay no mind to them.
I look at the necklace on my chest and place my hand over it, whilst my eyes fall close.
She’s here with me... I can do this.
“To your marks people,” Tanya says viewing the check board in her hands.
She stands before us in a beautiful red dress that hugs her torso and flares out to her knees in ruffles. The halter top does wonders for her boobs and around her midriff is a slash shaped into a rose. Her hair is in a high ponytail and her make-up is smokey.
“So it’s Lisa and Vincent, Shanice and Dimitri, Cheverlie and Edward and finally, Ryan and Rudana.” Tanya announces as she walks towards us her red heels tapping on the hardwood floor.
They all line up in the order specified and as they do we notice a gap beside Ryan, meaning Rudana is still not here. She’d told me prior to today that she’d be a little late so I changed the time to an hour later... and she’s still not here.
“Hey hazel, where’s your sister?” Ryan asks fixing his grey suit and royal blue tie, which similar to the ones the other guys are wearing.
“I’m not sure,” I reply looking around the hall, anxiously. “She should be here.”
“Okay, we still have a few minutes. Hopefully, she’ll show up,” Tanya says optimistically to me before turning her attention to the person speaking from her earpiece.
“Hey, calm down,” Ryan says as he notices the bouquet shaking in my hands. “She’ll be here.”
“It’s not that Ry,” I say as I look into his grey eyes. “I’m scared... I-I love Johnattan... I do...but this scares me...”
“I understand Hazel,” he says clasping my shaking hands. “You’re only human, it’s okay to be scared. You are beautiful, a good friend, a wonderful fiancé and a great mother... and there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll be an even better wife. Johnattan loves you dearly and he can’t wait to be your husband... We all have our doubts but sometimes you have to take that leap of faith hoping everything will work out.”
I breathe deeply, nodding my head as his comforting words sink in. “Thank you...” I reply genuinely.
“No worries, Hazel.” he grins before stepping away as a body comes barrelling onto me.
“Wow, Momma!” I hear my little angel gush as she hugs my legs and I hand my bouquet to Ryan with a chuckle before scooping her into my arms.
“Hello my little angel,” I smile as her eyes widen in glee at my attire.
“Momma, you look like a princess!” she grins touching my veil. “You’re so pwetty.”
“Thank you honey,” I say with a chuckle snuggling closer to her before setting her on her feet, taking a good look at her.
Indiana is in a blue ballerina dress that reaches her knees, her hair is in an elegant bun like mine and her feet are covered in white ballerina slippers.
“You look beautiful sweetheart.”
“I know momma. I’m going to get Cistan so he can see you...” she grins mispronouncing her words before prancing down the hall.
Soon she returns with Christan and Dylan, who are decked out in royal blue suits and carrying our wedding rings on a pillow in their hands. Orvalee is also here, wearing an identical outfit to Indie’s.
Johnattan wanted the crew to be a part of the ceremony and I had no problem with it. I adored children so the more the merrier right? Demar and Daeshaun however couldn’t make it... They’d been adopted as a package and their parents had taken them out the country for a while.
The children gush as they see my all white attire. They use the words beautiful, princess, pretty, magical and royalty to get their points across and I hug them in thanks.
“I’m here!” Rudana cries as she runs into the hall dressed in an off the shoulder, royal blue Versace dress with a mermaid tail similar to what the other bride maids are wearing.
“Sorry I’m late,” she whispers touching my veil covered cheek with hers before taking her place in front of me.
“Traffic was a bi–female dog.” she states correcting herself as she notices the children.
She greets everyone with an apologetic smile and takes her bouquet before looping her arm with Ryan’s.
Ryan hands my bouquet to me as Tanya appears ushering the group out. I watch as Lisa and Vini march forward and on their third step are followed by Shan and Dimitri...and so on so forth.
The ring bearers follow the group then Orva and Indie march next throwing flowers onto the isle.
Fingers taps my shoulder and I jump looking up only to see my dad.
He’s in a sharp, black suit. His hair is slicked back and an evenly shaven beard lies on his face. Not much had changed over the years, his hair is still salt and peppered and he’s still with that witch, Rachel. Same old, same old...
“It’s time Chris. You kind of zoned out a while ago,” he states as he looks at me with pride and adoration.
He holds out his hand for my own and I place my hand in his. He kisses my knuckles and I giggle as his beard tickles me.
“You look spectacular, Chris...”
“Thank you daddy,” I smile and he pulls me into a hug, threatening Johnattan with his life if he doesn’t treat me right, before pulling away.
The pianist starts to play the song for my march and my heart hammers as Chris starts to sing Heaven. That’s my cue.
“Ready?” Dad asks and I nod, taking a deep breath.
Oh, thinking about our younger years.
We take a step forward and I clutch the bouquet to my chest as my heart drums violently.
It was only you and me we were young and wild and free.
We emerge through the doors and onto the isle, blue and while decorations all around us.
Now nothing can take you away from me, we’ve been down that road before, that’s over now...
The people oh and ah as they see my attire and I keep my eyes on the path before me refusing to look upwards.
Keep me coming back for more...
I feel his gaze burning my skin and I shiver as my heart beats a tattoo against my chest...
“Head up Chris,” my dad whispers from beside me. “Look towards your future and embrace it. If it’s not what you want it’s not too late to change it.”
Hesitantly, I look upwards and towards the alter. My breath is non-existent as I gaze at the man before me.
Baby you’re all that I want.
Johnattan is in a clean cut, coal black suit. The outfit clings to his body highlighting every part of his exquisite body. From his bulging biceps, his toned stomach to his thick thighs. Johnattan’s hair is cut short with wild curls glistening in the sunlight, just how I like it.
When you’re lying here in my arms, I’m finding it hard to believe we’re in heaven...
His chest rises and falls rapidly as he stares at me and I truly feel beautiful as his electric blue eyes take me in.
I’m in a traditionally white, wedding gown. The bust is a V cut with mesh covering my arms and up to my clavicle. The midriff of the dress clings to my form highlighting the curve of my hips before flaring outwards. The details on the shirt of the dress are breath-taking.
The designer has manipulated white pearls surrounded by embroidered roses into the thin transparent fabric that glimmers with each move I make. The fabric below that is thicker and gives body to the skirt, allowing it to move gracefully as I walk. A long train of embroidered flowers and pearls trails behind me, the veil top my head practically the same length at the back.
The Japanese hair pin sits at the front of my bun holding the veil in place and on show for everyone to see. Lexi’s necklace sits around my neck pairing with the blue pearls in my hair and with my knob earrings. Lisa’s present taps against the floor as I walk and I can practically feel the envious looks from the ladies in the congregation burning into me.
In no time I’m at the alter and my father hands me off to Johnattan but not before whispering something in his ear... Judging by the hesitant gulp coming from Johnattan, it’s a threat.
I stare at the man before me in awe...
“You’re so beautiful Christi...” He gives me a beautiful scarred smile and my heart flutters.
Love is all that I need and I found it here in your arms and I’m finding it hard to believe I’m in heaven...
“Definition of Love: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Johnattan says looking me in the eyes, meaning every word uttered from his lips.
“Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away...”
He takes the ring from the pillow in Dylan’s grasp and gestures for my hand. As I place it in his grasp he slides the band onto my ring finger.
The band fits snuggly onto my engagement ring. It has a diamond studded band and at the centre it curves the acute shape of my pear cut diamond so it fits like a crown upon a head.
“Two Are Better Than One: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.”
I continue a contented smile on my lips as I stare into his eyes. This is happening, I’m marrying Johnattan.
“Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm [alone]? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three [strands] is not quickly torn apart.”
I take the ring from Christan’s pillow and hold out my hand for Johnattan’s. I slip the ring onto his ring finger... it’s a simple white gold band with clear diamonds lining it and yellow diamonds studded in the middle. It matches mine and as simple as Johnattan wants it.
“And finally... Love: 1 John 4:18.”
We say as we join hands, looking into each other’s eyes...
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
We finish our vows and the crowd applauses. This isn’t the typical hand written vows but it’s our way of doing things.
“If any one has any reason for these two not to be joined speak now or forever hold your peace.” Pastor Harmony Grey says with a smile on her lips.
She’s the woman that wedded Al and Tanya... With chocolate skin, salt and pepper dreadlocks and a warm smile she’s a match maker in disguise looking for a next couple to bind... and thankfully she’d taken pleasure in bounding us together.
“Okay, so no one,” Chev says as the words roll off Harmony’s tongue.
“Move on,” our bride’s maids and groom’s men voice in sync and everyone laughs at their little spectacle.
They had planned this.
“Okay, okay,” Harmony laughs. “Do you Johnattan Joseph Blake take Christina Hase Authoró to be your lawfully wedded wife... to love and treasure for the rest of your lives... for good and bad... better or worse?”
“I do,” he states confidently and I can’t help but allow a few joyful tears to stream down my cheeks... thank god for waterproof mascara.
“Do you Christina Isabelle Hase Authoró take Johnattan Joseph Blake to be your lawfully wedded husband... to love and treasure for the rest of your lives... for good and bad... better or worse?”
“I do,” I say with an eye to eye wide grin and the crowds erupts in cheers.
“Well go on, kiss your bride...” Harmony jests. “You know you want to...”
Johnattan laughs lifting my veil and not even a second later dips me into a kiss...
Sealing my soul to his.... forever...
“Now... welcome the wedding party!” Tanya announces and almost immediately Luv me Luv me by Shaggy plays on the stereos.
Our group whoop as the song plays rocking as they make their way into the dining area. We march out as couples rocking our bodies as Shaggy sings out then as it hits the chorus things got crazy.
Ooh boy, I love you so
Never, ever, ever gonna let you go. (That’s right) .
Once I get my hands on you. (Luv me, luv me, luv me sex machine)
Lisa and Vini are first to enter the dining area moving to the beat of the song, shaking and gyrating all over each other– in a PG 2 matter of course. The crowd roars and laugh as they move and our party cheer them on.
Ooh boy, I love you so. (Mmm hmm)
Never, ever, ever gonna let you go. (That’s right, uh)
I hope you feel the same way too (You know dat)
They soon reach the centre of the room and Al grins before holding up Shan’s camera and snapping a pic as they pose. Vini pulls her to his side, arm around her waist and her hands are on his chest while her leg is bent back showcasing her beautiful heels. They smile as the photo is snapped and then hurriedly walk to their seats.
Sweet, succulent and fine.
A twinkling eye on my darling divine.
I love the way you move all the way you’re designed.
Your only lines are my mind, forget the corny line.
Shan and Dimitri are next and they step out dancing in sync. They use their hand to brush their left shoulder then right as they shimmy side to side while moving forward.
Now let me hit you off with this question sign.
You seem to be the type for me to wine and dine.
A little candlelight dinner toasted over some wine.
Well, I will hit you off with this lyrical rhyme
Next they burst into the running man moving around in a circle, causing our audience to laugh. They then grab hands and pull each other’s body together as they reach the centre. Shan’s legs is propped on Dimitri’s waist and he holds her thigh, her hands are on his chest and they seductively stare at the camera as it flashes.
Now Mr. Lover keep her rockin’, Mr. Lover keep her rockin’
Mr. Lover keep her rockin’ and swing.
Now Mr. Lover keep her rockin’, Mr. Lover keep her rockin’
Mr. Lover keep her rockin’ and swing.
As they go to their seats, Chev and Edward make their way into the room. They rock side to side on the beat keeping the dance simple since Chev is near her due date and as the pic is snapped Chev braces her bum on him placing the hand with her big diamond ring over her mouth as if saying ‘oops’.
Ryan and Rudana is next doing something just for the heck of it and let me tell you they suck at dancing. After their horrific dancing is over they snap a pic where they hold each other at a respective distance... so no romance there.
“Now, let’s get the bride and groom in here!”
Johnattan looks over at me with a smile and I nod taking his outstretched hand.
Girlie, girlie. You woke up a real love machine. Girlie, girlie.
I live to make your heart start beat
Girlie, girlie. Huh, I’ll hit you between da sheets. Girlie, girlie.
Whoo, I’ll make you moan and scream. Girlie, Girlie.
Yeah, you woke a real love machine. Girlie, girlie.
We rock into the room his hands around my waist and my back against his front. Thanks to the design of the dress the puffy skirt can be removed and under that there’s a flaring skirt that ends above my knees. Another TanRhode design...
The crowd whoops as we rock along and we laugh enjoying ourselves. Johnattan then relinquishes his hold and we brace to opposite sides moving our arms in circular motions or as Chev calls it ”the no-linga“.
We pose for the pics like any normal couple would... I’m taken up bridal style in his arms and his lips locked on mine.
After all that excitement the dinner goes rather smoothly, the newlywed’s dance here – serenaded by Chris who sings I do by Jaccques, the embarrassing stories there – which we owe to our dear siblings and friends, the food– which is spectacular and now we’re the toasts and let’s say no one is holding back on their “encouraging” words.
“... so long story short. Johnattan and Christina we wish you the absolute best and many happy years.”
As Chev and Shan say those lines in sync the people cheer clinking their glasses before taking a sip.
They are the last toasters for the night and after listening to our friends and family talk for an hour and a half, I was glad.
I sip on the glass of water before me and I feel Johnattan poke my side. I look over at him to see a confused look on his face.
“You’re not drinking?” he asks with an arched brow.
“You want a sober wife tonight, don’t you?” I ask playfully and that mischievous grin slips onto his lips.
“You do make an excellent point,” he says leaning forward so he’s whispering in my ear. “Because the things I want to do to you are going to require your full attention... and cooperation.”
His hand slips up my legs under my dress and I inhale sharply as he massages my inner thigh. “I can’t wait to see what you’ve got under here... and I’m sure I’ll enjoy taking it all off with my teeth.”
I grin as he licks my ear and kisses my neck... his hand working magic under my dress. Two years and two angels later and I’m still as infatuated with him as the first time I met him... this is two good to be true.
“Christina,” Shan calls with a knowing grin on her face. “There’s someone who wanted to share a few words with you. She may not be here with us but she wanted you to see this.”
Shan presses a button and an image of Lexi on a hospital bed appears and I place my hand over my mouth as the video plays.
“Is this on?” She asks looking up at someone.
“Yeah, it is,” Chev voice answers. “Go ahead.”
“Okay,” she smiles softly staring at the camera. “Hey guys, if you’re watching this that means I’m probably... gone. I had really hope you wouldn’t have to see this but if it does happen just know it’s okay... I’ll always be with you.”
She rests her hand on her stomach patting it as baby Dylan kicks in there. “Also... If you’re watching this, that means Johnattan finally popped the question and my thick headed best friend finally picked a date and married his ass.”
The audience laughs but I’m too engrossed in the video to take notice.
“I wish you two the best in your pursuit of happiness and I wish you luck in your endeavours as parents... god knows you need it,” she chuckles. “Any ways, I didn’t make this video to just talk non-stop... Christina, the girls and I came up with the best wedding gift for you... Girls...” She says outstretching her hand. “God, I do hope they cue this right.”
She and Chev laugh at this.
The dining room door opens and Dimitri and Edward carrying in a large, rectangular object with a sheet over it.
“It’s a little something for you to have... to remember our wild days. To remember our friendship.”
Chev and Shan step up to the rectangular object and together rip the sheet off. I gasp as I take in the scene before me and before I know it I’m on my feet moving towards it.
“It’s a memory board. It’s a compilation of all our best memories...”
True to her words, there in front of me is a film like compilation of high school and college photos of me and Lexi each carrying a tag. There’s a photo of us at the football game, me on Lexi’s shoulders with pom-poms raised and a bright smile while Lexi’s face is scrunched; and under it are the words #when_she’s_dead_weight.
There are many more photos all leading up to two years ago. I reach out to touch the glass, tears streaming down my face. On the edges of the frame there are words written in gold... Our pledge... Our promise.
“No matter what Chrissie we’ll still be best friends... For now...”
“Best friends forever...” I say as I touch the words.
“Through good times...”
“Through bad times,” I say as my lips tremble.
“And through the tantrums of that bitch called life,” we say in sync and I break down in tears.
Johnattan wraps his arms around me and as I look up at the screen I see tears on Lexi’s face as well.
“I love you Chrissie... and I love you too my baby,” she states staring at the camera. “And as much as it pains me. This is goodbye. I hope everything works out for you and I’ll always love you don’t forget that...”
The screen goes black after she says that and I hug Johnattan as my heart weeps in pain and happiness.
“Did you like it?” I hear Shan ask timidly after a few minutes and I pull away to engulf her and Chev in hugs.
“I loved it,” I say as I pull away. I look around to find everyone smiling sadly at me and I smile back as I dry my tears.
“I’m okay,” I chuckle and they all smile brightly at me.
“This is the best surprise guys,” I state looking at my gift... It’s so beautiful.
It’s time... It’s definitely time...
“But now I think it’s time to bestow a gift of my own...” I say turning around to take Johnattan’s hands.
He looks at me confused and I merely smile at him as I make the words slip from my lips.
Shan, Chev, Lisa, Rudana and Josephine turn to stare at me in with knowing grins and I jump in shock as they bellow.
“I knew it!”
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