Loving What I Know of You, Trusting What I Do Not Yet Know
The weekend goes by faster than I would have liked. Each passing day brings us closer to the day which will live in infamy, as FDR will say in a week.
Paige spends most of her time with Theo. Since Paige took off, I’ve been spending a lot of alone time with William.
That’s fine by me, but sometimes we all hang out together. At times, Betty, Evelyn, Mary, Ethel, Rodrigo, and Roger are with us. Other times it’s William, Theo, Paige, and I. Most times, it’s just William and me alone.
William offered to let Paige and I stay with him and we wouldn’t have to work, but I enjoy working at the hospital and want to continue so I can learn what I need for the bombing.
I know William just wants as much time with me as possible before I leave again; if I leave again.
Paige is currently in a place I’ve been a few times before. She really likes Theo and thus wants to spend all her disposable time with him. It probably makes it worse that there’s an end date looming over them, though Theo doesn’t know that.
Over the last few days, Theo has taken Paige all over the island to see all there is to see. She’s been coming home late and leaving early.
I’ve barely seen her unless we hang out as a group, but there isn’t any one-on-one time with her. I miss her but I understand. We’ll have time together if we get home.
“Bye, Liv. I’ll see you later,” Paige says rushing out of the house after she got dressed this morning. I sigh and say,
“Bye.” Paige didn’t hear it before she left the room though.
I look out the window and see Theo grab her into a long hug and kiss her deeply. Theo dips her back, and it looks like a good scene for painting if I were an artist.
William knocks on the door, startling me out of my thoughts. He asks me to go on a walk with him. We go to the beach again, and I take off my shoes to walk barefoot in the sand.
“Are you okay?” William asks after I’ve been quiet for a while.
“Yeah, fine. I just miss Paige. It sounds a little petty, but usually, she’s always around when I want to see or talk to her. Now Theo’s monopolizing all her time, granted it has only been two days. It used to be me that was too busy to talk to her,” I reply, annoyed that I’m feeling annoyed with Paige’s lack of time for me.
William nods in acknowledgment but says nothing to my mini-rant.
I think that’s kind of odd. William usually has advice or at least kind words for me to make me feel better.
William and I walk on in silence and William is fidgeting. I narrow my eyes at him.
“Are you okay?” I ask. William fidgets some more and breathes out a long breath. He stops and steps in front of me so I stop walking too.
William appears to be nervous and I imagine the worst. Is he breaking up with me? Has he decided even though we are soulmates that all my complications aren’t worth it?
“I’m fine, I just… I love you and I know we only have a week left and there are so many things I want to do with you before it’s too late. I’d like to get married, have kids, build a home together, and grow old. There’s not much I can do about most of those things because we are just continually running out of time and when you get home, I’ll be dead.”
This is a sad sort of morbid discussion. Why does he have to send a dagger into my heart repeatedly talking of things we will never get to do? William continues though.
“This isn’t coming out right. I’m trying to say that there are a lot of things I want us to do, but I can’t do anything about most of them. I can do something about one of those things though,” William says.
William reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small black box. He lowers himself to one knee, and I gasp once I realize what he’s doing.
When I was going over reasons for our conversation, this did not cross my mind. I have so many emotions fighting for attention, but love and happiness win out.
“We don’t have a lot of time, but I can at least say I married you. So Olivia Hannah Wells, will you do me the pleasure of marrying me and becoming my wife?”
William opens the box and inside is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen and it’s mine… if I say yes.
The ring is stunning. There’s no other word for it. The ring has a solitary diamond in the middle, at least a carat, with two smaller diamonds on each side. It’s made of platinum and probably cost a small fortune.
I want to say yes more than anything, but parts of me ask what’s the point and others say I’m too young.
“Yes!” I yell once I clamp down my negative thoughts. In the end, this is what my heart wants and always would.
William smiles so radiantly and picks me up into a hug and twists me around, kissing me. I’m so caught up in his ecstasy. He slips the ring on my finger and it fits perfectly. I feel the weight of it and it feels right.
William wants to get married as quickly as possible so we can enjoy our week as husband and wife. I am totally on board with it because why wait at this point?
Though I wasn’t expecting the proposal, I am thrilled he asked. My life has turned out so much more complicated than I ever thought possible. It’s a simple enough choice to marry the love of my life… even if we’ll only be together a week.
“I want Paige there,” I say feeling more excited as I start planning in my head.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” William says, seeming to walk with a spring in his step.
It makes me feel warm inside to know that someone is so happy that they get to marry me.
“Paige might be home. Let’s go see,” I say. William nods, and we head back to the house.
As luck would have it, Paige and Theo are sitting on the front steps. William and I both look so happy, Paige immediately knows something is going on.
“What’s up?” Paige asks, uncertain. I smile so wide I think my face will crack.
“William and I are getting married,” I reply, flashing my beautiful ring at her.
Paige gives me a confused look. I know what she’s thinking. It’s all the same thoughts that have passed through my mind too.
“When?” she asks, looking at my ring.
“Tomorrow,” I reply. Paige looks up and deep into my eyes. We have a silent conversation about my reasons for saying yes and she nods, understanding.
“Okay. We’ve got some work to do,” Paige says. I’m so happy she’s on board. I can’t do it without her there supporting me.
“Will you come too? It will just be a small thing,” William asks Theo. I know it must confuse Theo, but he nods.
“I’d be happy to. Congratulations,” Theo replies, getting up to shake William’s hand.
“Oh Paige, will you please play for me?” I ask. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of.
“Yeah, of course. I’ll need to borrow a cello though,” Paige says.
I’m so happy right now, nothing can bring me down. I’ll be marrying the absolute love of my life in less than twenty-four hours.
I’m shocked by Liv and William’s news, but after my silent conversation with Olivia, I know exactly why they are getting married. With only a week left until the bombing, why not?
None of us know what’ll happen after that. Our working theory is that we go home, but we could very well be stuck here, so why not go all in?
Theo says he’ll take care of finding me a cello and William gives us some money to get some dresses and decorations. William will find someone to perform the ceremony and a suitable place to do it.
Just looking at Olivia, I can tell she’s out of this world happy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her eyes sparkle before. She just has this aura of happiness she’s never had before. That is how I know this isn’t a mistake.
It makes my heart want to burst seeing it and it’s impossible not to get caught up in her euphoria.
Olivia and I go into town to find a wedding dress store. Luckily, it’s only early afternoon, so we’ll have a good few hours to find something beautiful.
We look through rack after rack flipping through the white silk dresses. It’s difficult finding one Olivia likes. The styles of the 1940s contradict what she thinks is stylish.
Olivia finds a nice straight ball gown for me to wear though. It’s lilac purple and has short sleeves. It drapes to the floor.
Olivia and I visit several stores, and the sun is dipping below the horizon. We go into the last store in the area and begin our search through the many racks.
Olivia’s getting deflated. Even though the wedding is rushed, she still wants it to be as she had always imagined and that includes a dress she adores.
Finally, on the last rack, we find the one. It’s a silk dress that dips low in the back and the sleeves are off her shoulder. It’s a straight dress and has no train, but she finds a simple veil to go with it and some gorgeous shoes.
Olivia and I go to a flower shop and find a bouquet of local flowers. A bakery around the corner has beautiful white cakes ready to buy. The baker agrees to deliver it once we pin down the venue.
Once we buy everything on our list, we make our way back to William’s hotel room to drop and store everything.
William is already here and greets us warmly.
“Hello, love. I hope you had a magnificent afternoon,” William says, kissing Liv on the forehead. She smiles up at him adoringly.
“Great. We got everything we need. How’d you do?” Olivia asks.
“I found a tux and booked a church and pastor for tomorrow, Monday, December the first,” William replies.
There’s a knock at the door. I answer it and find Theo with a large case. I know what it holds and my heart races at the prospect of playing again.
Theo comes inside with the cello and sets it down carefully. I just stare at it.
“Are you going to open it?” Theo asks.
I shake myself and open the clasps that hold it shut. I can’t help but gasp when I see the beautiful instrument. It’s reddish and shiny, but you can tell it’s not brand new. It’s worn in all the right places, but very well taken care of.
I gingerly take it out of the case and fall into the chair William got me. As I adjust the endpin, Theo hands me the bow. There’s some rosin in a compartment and I run the rosin over the horsehair of the bow religiously.
When the bow is ready, I run it along the strings. The notes ring out slightly off-key. I adjust the knobs until the cello is tuned. When I pass the bow over the strings again, it’s melodic.
I close my eyes and play one of the many songs I have memorized. I can feel my arm muscles stretching, the movements familiar but also just a little rusty. I’ll be sore tomorrow if I play too much.
Theo, William, and Olivia stay silent as I play, and when the final note rings out, all is silent for several minutes. I open my eyes and I see all three of them grinning at me. I feel self-conscious and my cheeks flood with heat.
“This is a nice cello. How long can we borrow it for?” I ask.
“It’s yours. You said you had to leave yours behind in Nevada and I know how much you miss playing. This one is used but in good condition,” Theo says.
I’m speechless. If I wasn’t already head over heels in love with this man, this simple gesture would have thrown me over the edge.
I sit the cello down on its side and hug Theo tightly. It’s the nicest, most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me.
“I love you,” I blurt because that’s all I am feeling right now. Theo smiles widely at me.
“Love you too, beautiful,” he replies smoothly. I kiss him once and glance back at my cello.
“It’s a gorgeous cello. Thank you,” I say, looking at Theo.
It’s only then that I realize Olivia and William are still in the room and embarrassment filled me again.
“I think we are ready for your wedding,” I say, smiling at them.
Theo and I leave Liv and William alone for the rest of the night. There are some things I need to tell Theo, anyway.
I just expressed my love for him and he needs to know the truth…. or as much as I dare tell him. He’ll better understand William and Olivia’s relationship then.
It’s full dark when we walk out of the hotel, and the stars shine in the black sky. Theo and I walk to the beach and listen to the surf break.
We sit quietly for a little while, not speaking. When the moment feels right, I pour out all the truth I can onto him.
“Theo, I need to tell you something,” I say. Theo looks sideways at me, waiting for me to go on.
“I haven’t been entirely truthful about where Liv and I come from,” I start.
“Please don’t tell me you’re from Jersey. I don’t think I can handle that,” Theo replies, a smile starting at the corners of his mouth. I give him a confused look.
“I’m just kidding. I know you’ve only told a condensed version of the truth. I’ve been waiting for you to trust me enough with the truth,” Theo says seriously.
“What do you think you know?” I ask, curious.
“I don’t know any specifics, but you and Olivia are too weird to be from around here. You’re all secretive and say things I don’t always understand. Besides, there has to be something more to explain why William and Olivia want to get married, given their age difference,” Theo says. God, this man is perceptive.
“Thanks for calling me weird. As if I didn’t get that enough growing up,” I reply, feeling a bit put off that he feels that way even though it’s completely off-topic. I should shrug it off like I usually did.
“I didn’t mean it badly, but you can tell you’re maybe not from around here,” Theo replies.
“Well, you’re right. Liv and I are from the year 2019. We traveled back in time to the Titanic in 1912 a few days before it sank. That’s where we met William. He was twenty-two then and Olivia and he fell in love. When it was sinking, we traveled again to now. The night we met was the first night Liv and I were in 1941,” I tell him.
Theo is quiet and I can’t tell what he’s thinking. All I can hope for is that he doesn’t think I’m insane.
“I don’t know how to respond to that. It sounds insane,” Theo answers truthfully.
“I understand. It’s the truth though. I didn’t mean to lie to you before, but it’s not something I can just tell people. I don’t want to end up in an asylum. You said it yourself, it sounds insane,” I reply.
“Why did you tell me?” Theo asks.
“Isn’t it obvious? I wasn’t planning on it, but I fell in love with you. Where I come from, people aren’t that nice to me. I’m a freak and I get ignored. Guys would ask me on dates as a joke, so I stopped accepting. I stayed home and played and that was it. You’re so much more kind and decent than anyone I’ve ever met and I couldn’t help but fall in love with you. I didn’t want to continue lying to you if I could help it. I just hoped you’d love me enough back to believe me,” I explain. Theo’s expression is sad.
“You are an incredible person. You’re smart, kind, and an amazing musician. You’re so beautiful inside and out. It breaks my heart to know anyone treated you so badly,” Theo replies, brushing a lock of my hair behind my ear. I shudder at his touch.
“Do you believe me, then?” I ask not entirely sure I want to know the answer.
“You’ve given me no reason not to trust you,” Theo replies. That isn’t a yes, but he’s not running while calling me crazy either.
I lay my head on Theo’s shoulder and sigh. Theo’s arm materializes around me and we sit like that a while longer.
There’s something I want to do before I go home. Theo is my soulmate and probably the only man I’ll ever love.
I’m a virgin, and I want to lose my virginity to someone I love. I want Theo to be my first, well only, really. I don’t know how to bring it up or how Theo will react though.
We’re in a very secluded part of the beach and it’s dark. I don’t know of a better place. I want to let him know it’s okay, but I don’t know what to do or how to start. My heart is pounding as I turn toward Theo.
The only light comes from the nearly full moon and the stars, but Theo gazes at me as though he can see every detail of my face.
I lean in and kiss him, probably a little too hard, but Theo doesn’t seem to notice. He kisses me back.
Theo and I have had some makeout sessions before, but this is different. Everything seems more urgent, and I have feelings I’ve never had before.
I go to pull Theo’s shirt off, and he pulls away. There’s a brief moment I’m hurt by the action, but all he said is,
“Are you sure you want to do this?” I smile and nod. I’m very sure.
I didn’t go home last night, but in the morning, I leisurely walk to the house alone. I’m feeling light and happy. It’s like the entire world is more beautiful. The sun is shining, the birds singing, and the breeze whisks around me like a caress.
Memories of last night pop into my mind, making me smile. The breeze is like Theo’s gentle touches.
Olivia is just getting out of the shower when I walk in. She eyes me, but she isn’t upset. I can tell she’s nervous though. I smile because I can’t do anything else.
“I’m going to shower then we can get ready,” I say practically floating to the bathroom.
I get into the shower and can only think about the pleasantness of last night.
I’ve heard many people say, Olivia included, that their first time was horrible and awkward, but that was not my experience. It was magical. Perhaps it’s because Theo isn’t some random guy. Maybe it’s because we are soulmates. That’s what the string I keep seeing implies, at least.
In any case, I classify last night as one of my top ten nights. Most of the ones occupying those spots include Theo.
I wake up feeling nervous and look across the room to see Paige hasn’t come home. I’m not worried. I figure she’s with Theo. I hope she comes home soon because I need her to be with me for the wedding.
William and I spent the rest of the evening together, but I went home before it was too late. That’s part of the wedding traditions, right? To spend the last night before the wedding apart.
Our wedding is scheduled for two o’clock this afternoon. I need Paige with me to help me get ready and to just be here. It’s a big step I’m taking. Although I’m ready to take it, I’d prefer it if my big sister be there to take the step beside me.
As it is, Paige turns up about five minutes after I get out of the shower. She has an airy look on her face and seems relaxed and happy. I can literally hear her humming.
I’m putting on lotion when Paige comes in from the shower. She’s still humming.
“What’s up with you?” I ask. Paige smiles widely at me.
“Theo and I made love last night!” she all but squeals.
I’m shocked and taken aback. This is Paige we’re talking about. Before Theo, she had never even kissed a boy, and now they sleep together.
Once the shock has worn off though, I find myself happy for Paige. For a while there, I was afraid she would never find someone to share her life with, and I don’t want her to be alone.
“I told him the truth too,” Paige whispers. I figured this was coming.
“Did you tell him about the bombing?” I ask. Paige shakes her head.
“He would try to stop it and with all the unknowns, I can’t let him do that,” Paige replies.
I look at her face and see the fear. Not really for what’s coming, but for when it comes. Theo will wonder if we knew.
“Well, let’s deal with that later. Right now, let’s get me married,” I say upbeat. Paige smiles at me and we get ready.
Paige does my makeup, which is too modern for the times, and puts my hair into a wonderfully intricate braided updo that compliments my veil.
Paige and I decide not to get our gowns on until we reach the church because we don’t want the other girls in the house to know what’s going on.
I debate telling and inviting them to the wedding, but based on all the judgy questions Betty asked at Thanksgiving, I don’t think they’d support the marriage. The last thing I want is an objection in the middle of it.
Paige does her hair in a loose side braid and makeup. It’s nearing noon now, and we leave the house to head over to William’s hotel.
William isn’t there, so I assume he’s doing last-minute things for the wedding. I have a key to his room, so Paige and I slip in to grab our dresses, shoes, and other accessories.
Paige helps me put on the pearl earrings and necklace I bought. I glance down at my bare wrist and sigh at the sight. I miss my bracelet, and it’s odd not to feel it move around.
Paige grabs my hand and stares at my wrist as well. She smiles and puts on the pearl bracelet to complete the set.
I help her into her jewelry too, and we head out to the church. When the cab pulls up, I can see Theo waiting outside the front doors. He looks nice in his dress uniform.
Theo smiles widely in our direction and blushes upon seeing Paige. I smile to myself at how adorable they are.
“William’s inside. I’m supposed to escort you to the changing room so you can finish getting ready,” Theo says holding out each of his arms for Paige and me to take.
“I’ll wait outside to take Paige down the aisle when you’re finished,” Theo says, squeezing my arm.
“Thank you for being here, Theo,” I say, grateful. He smiles back at me warmly.
“Your situation is unique and in any case, it’s my pleasure to be here for your special day. Thank you for including me,” Theo replies. Paige kisses him quickly before we both go inside to put our dresses on.
I help get Paige into hers first. It’s a nice lilac color and silk. It drops elegantly down to the floor and she puts on the silver shoes we picked out. She stands just barely shorter than me for the moment and looks drop-dead gorgeous with her makeup and hair done.
Paige is one of those people who wears loose-fitting clothes for comfort, usually with a pair of chucks, hair up in a messy bun, and minimal to no makeup. Despite not doing her hair much, she’s quite talented at doing others.
I’ve always been the more preppy one, dressing with the style. I’m not afraid in the slightest of being upstaged at my wedding, though.
Paige unbuttons the buttons that line the back of my dress and gingerly puts it over the top of my head as to not mess up my hair. When it’s in place, Paige buttons it back up. The dress is silk and fits as if it was made for me.
I step into the shoes with Paige’s help then she situates the veil on my head. She takes a step back and smiles at me. Her eyes look like they are glistening.
“You look amazing, Liv,” she says, sniffing.
“Thanks. I wish Mom and Dad were here.”
I turn to look in the mirror and gasp at my reflection. Though the wedding isn’t what I always dreamed of, it’s pretty damn close.
“They would be so happy for you, Liv,” Paige replies, moving a stray bit of hair. I smile though there’s sadness in it.
“I know. I’m glad you’re here,” I say.
“Ready to marry the love of your life?” Paige asks handing me my bouquet, shaking me out of my thoughts. I take a deep breath.
“Definitely,” I reply surer than I’ve ever been of anything in my life.
Paige nods and leaves the room. Theo and Paige will walk down the aisle together as the maid of honor and best man. At the end of the aisle, Paige will break off and start playing Pachelbel’s Canon.
William hasn’t known Theo much longer than me, but it’s not like William has any friends on the island.
I open the door, step out into the hall, and wait. I imagine my dad standing next to me with a nervous smile on his face as he shifts from one foot to the other. When he hears Paige’s cello begin, he looks down at me and says, Are you ready, Babygirl? I nod and he holds my arm tightly so I don’t fall as we stroll toward the chapel. Before the doors open, he looks at me again with one more questioning look before walking me toward my soulmate and giving me away.
Finally, I hear Paige’s soothing cello and I know it’s time for me to walk, but I will do it alone. I walk slowly at first and I can feel the butterflies flying erratically in my stomach, but as soon as I turn the corner and see William standing at the altar with the pastor behind him, the butterflies disappear.
I smile and walk calmly down while Paige’s cello drowns out any other sound.
William holds his hand out to me when I get close. He has the biggest smile I have ever seen on him. I smile back and grasp his strong hand. I take my spot opposite him and Paige’s music ends.
Paige comes up behind me and I give her my bouquet. I grab William’s other hand, and the pastor begins. He talks a little about the promises of marriage and that by saying these vows to each other and in the presence of God; we are making covenants not to be broken.
At the end of the pastor’s mini-sermon, he speaks the vows for William to repeat. William smiles at me and says the words that will bind us together in yet another way.
“I, William James McCarthy, take you, Olivia Hannah Wells, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, I will respect your integrity and have faith in your abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.”
I smile, and though I tried my hardest not to, tears fall as William places the band he bought onto my left ring finger. I slipped my engagement ring to my right hand earlier to leave room on my finger.
“I, Olivia Hannah Wells, take you, William James McCarthy, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, I will respect your integrity and have faith in your abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.”
I feel warm inside as I speak the words. I slide the ring Paige hands me onto William’s ring finger.
“I now pronounce you, husband and wife. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy.”