I refuse to look back.
I refuse to see my scars again as long as I have you, mending them, tissue by tissue.
As long as you’re there, I promise to give myself to you.
And if you leave, I promise to hold my own.
I promise to be strong.
For you, for us.
P O R T A N G E L E S
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“And now, I pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
“Oh my god, I can’t.” The bridesmaid sniffed, holding onto a six year year old girl as her husband carried their two year old son, Eric.
“You need to see the kiss too, love.” The husband laughed as the bride and groom kissed.
“I can’t believe they took so long to get married.” Chris shrugged.
“I can’t believe you’re 26, and have never fallen in love. Stop trying to bullshit during every wedding.” The wife scowled as Stephen slammed his twin’s head.
“Oh shut up. You got married last year too, okay?”
“That was because of Eric, okay?” The wife argued lowly.
“Stop blaming my son, will you?!” The husband whisper yelled in front of them and then stepped forward to hug the bride, as she came down.
“Roman, get away from her.” Scarlet laughed, asking Chris to hold their son, Eric from Roman’s arms while she hugged Rihanna and Adrian.
“I wonder what took you both so long to get married.” Stephen commented as Bella left his hand and jumped into her dad’s waiting arms.
“Daddy!” She squealed as Adrian kisses his daughter’s cheeks.
“Princess, why don’t you give one to Mommy too?” He asked, as Bella turned to kiss her mother, carefully, in order to not spoil her bridal make-up which had taken a good two hours.
“Congratulations, you guys.” Scarlet smiled, kissing their cheeks as well as Eric began to wail. “Don’t worry, he needs fresh air.” She told them, picking Eric up from Chris’s arms and moving towards the aisle.
“Be back soon, okay?” Rihanna told her as she walked out, holding her son in her arms as he waited on her light pink dress which flew past her as she speed walked outside.
“Eric, not right now, baby.” She cooed, rocking her son lightly as she zoned out for a moment, standing exactly where she had stood a year ago, at her own wedding.
18th September, 2019
“This is a disaster.” I snapped at Rihanna, who still wasn’t done doing my hair.
“No, it isn’t.” Rihanna said, slapping my bare shoulders as Maddie threw the door open.
“WHERE IS HIS MILK BOTTLE?!” She asked, her eyes enlarged as Eric pulled her hair in all places.
“Pink bag, near my bed.” I answered, shutting my mouth so that a chuckle won’t get out as I threw my son a kiss, to which he smiled.
“Muuum.” He began to wail, his arms reaching for me, but Maddie pulled his bag and him out of the room, making my heart clutch at his wailing.
“DONE!” Rihanna yelled, throwing her hands up.
“Great, move out now. The limo is waiting.” One of the crew members of the wedding planner instructed us as she called her boss and told him that everything was ready here and we would leave in a few minutes.
Rihanna took a minute to look into my eyes, as I breathed in, steadying myself. A small knock pulled us out of our thoughts as Adrian entered the room in a tux. “Are my girls good to go?” He asked, smirking at us as I motioned Rihanna to wait for me outside. She left the room, nodding at me and blowing a kiss my way as I turned. I walked to my closet, putting my hand behind it and finding the knob to a little cupboard which I had got made with Richard’s help when no one was at home. Trust me, it took a lot to get his men inside here and make it, after which I began to stuff my immediate belongings here. My hand passed through the rectangular velvet box which I pulled out. My mother’s earrings lay in the box as I carefully lifted them up and wore the stunning diamond drops, intricately made for her, years ago. She wanted me to have them ever since she got them made, hence, left them in a special account for me, only for me. With Richard’s help, I had gained access to this account in London and got them back for my wedding, along with her old dress. I don’t care if the Jonathans realize that it’s all hers and ask me from where I got it. I want my mother to relive her wedding through my eyes. I want her to be with me as I wear this dress and her accessories. I want her to be with me, even though she isn’t alive anymore. After all, it isn’t my dream. It’s ours.
I looked at my dress for once last time before stepping out. My dress? No, it was hers. Her design, her work, her belonging which I had been given.
My mother spent five months on this dress along with her cousin from Oxford to get it right. She postponed their wedding for it and now, I stand in her creation of intricate work of fabric and jewels. The sequence followed the floor as I stepped out, Rihanna adjusting my tiara for one last time as I walked through the main door, my train being lifted up by her as Adrian and I sat in the limo, later joined by her and three other bridesmaids of mine. One, my therapist from Spain and the other, my colleague and the only friend I made in college. The other one was Clarissa, Mason’s wife whom I had pleaded for a full day to be with me.
Rihanna, of course, was the maid of honor.
I clutched Adrian’s arm tightly and took a deep breath as the limo began to drive upwards. Out of all the places in Port Angeles and Seattle, Roman and I chose, his place, our place to get married. We didn’t need a destination wedding, just a close affair with our closest at the place where everything happened for us. Where the first spark of our love first stroked.
“We’re here.” Adrian called out as Eric stepped out, with a basket full of flower petals.
This was it. I breathed in as I got out, my bridesmaids adjusting the train of the delicate material of the dress which would need a little dry cleaning after walking through this hill. The wedding planners had done a good work with the venue, which was simply our place, with wild white flowers blooming in spring and little green grass below the lush green and tall pines. One could smell the nature here, all of it as we looked ahead at the whole of Port Angeles’s bay, sometimes wrapped in a fog.
This was the same place where Roman had driven me, on my very first day in Port Angeles and promised me that he would make me a different person, stronger and better, which he did and because of which I stood here, clutching my ex bully brother’s arms and waiting for the music to start so that I could begin to walk.
Canon in C major began to play as a crew member asked me to walk, along with Adrian. Eric began to tumble his way ahead of us, accompanied by two flower girls behind him, one of them being our Bella who stunned everyone as she walked gracefully with her new best friend as I lovingly looked at my son who won’t stop amusing everyone. He stumbled at little as I began to reach out to hold him but got up on his own and dusted his little tux, holding his head up and showing his little teeth again as he began to walk again, clutching my heart through his little actions. This little creation of ours was everything I had sacrifices my time for. Whether it was playing with him in parks after a lecture or answering his weird questions, I would answer it for him and cook even the weirdest of the dishes if he wanted me to. Eric is my little bundle of joy ever since I began to talk to him, in order to not freak out when he was in me and building up and to when he finally rested in my arms. He was everything Roman and I had asked for as he charmed his way through every crowd, even my students and the people at Roman’s office. Roman on the other hand, won’t let him out of his sight as soon as he would step foot into the house. They played, laughed, joked, ate and did everything together as if they were made for each other, Eric a pure replica of him except the dark brown hair which he got from me.
“This is it.” Adrian chuckled, obviously more nervous than I was, as he took his first step and Rihanna got her flowers in her hands. We began to walk as everyone, which would be around fifty people, rose from their seats, turning to face me.
Nervous? Never. Nervousness had left me the day I walked the same place where the aisle was now with Roman, and he made me sit on a rock beside this place where we talked and he pushed determination into my face, asking me to deal with it and take it. Ever since then, it was mine and nervousness had been thrown out of this very cliff. I looked ahead, searching for Roman who immediately caught my eyes, steadying himself and me. From the corner of my eyes, I saw Cara crying as she mumbled that I looked like my mother and Marcus chuckled, even though his voice was ready to break into emotions of his own. My eyes focused on Rome’s which were barely a few feet away from me by now as he bent down to kiss Eric on his cheeks and giving him a high five. Later, Chris and Stephen caught hold of our son, holding him in their arms as I reached the minister and Roman. He looked.. angelic, standing in his tux with a messy, yet formal hairdo, his hair finally blonde again except a few highlights of brown, here and there. His gray eyes stood out, calling out to me and his mouth opened a little, muttering beautiful as I walked closer and a warm blush left my cheeks.
He was angelic, and he was mine.
Adrian gave him my hand, which sent the warm sensations it always had. I was home with his touch almost immediately as I climbed the two steps to stand with him.
“Can we skip this wedding?” Roman whispered.
“What?” I whisper yelled.
“Yea, I mean, I can’t control. I mean, the dress makes me-”
“Shut up, jeez.” I chuckled lowly as the minister smirked at us and then went back to looking at the guests.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, today we have gathered here...”
Seconds turned into minutes and minutes turned into a full hour until it was time for us to take our vows, which began with Roman, catching my hand in his and looking into my eyes through the veil as he began. As he looked into my eyes, we both knew that none of us had our vows written or revised. We never wrote them because both of us wanted them to be real, not a product of our imagination from three months back or so.
“Scarlet Winters. It’s been a long journey, honestly.” He began, grinning at me. It seemed the guests were more nervous than us at the moment. “And I couldn’t have crossed it without you. You complete me, that’s known to everyone. I have been through hell with you, but I don’t mind surviving it as long as I have you by my side. I promise to protect you and our son with all my strength and keep us together so that no one can break us. I promise to not let you shed a tear as long as I take care of you. I promise to be there for you, the same way you have always been there for me.” He finished, making a tear fall out of my eyes as I nervously let out a laugh, taking a deep breath and nodding at him.
Next, I began, refusing to get affected by the little sniffs and cries around me and our son chuckling our way and trying to say mum, again and again.
“Roman Jonathan. It’s been a long journey and we have brought upon ourselves a lot of scars through it. Some physical, some mental. Some, which we won’t be able to mend ever, but some which will be forgotten by us with time. But for now, I refuse to look back. I refuse to look back on our scars, as you and I, both mend them, tissue by tissue, with time as we grow old with our son. As long as you’re there, I promise to give myself to you and when you’re not, be the stronger person you have made me. I promise to hold onto our little family which we have made and do everything right for it. For us. From now on, I promise to work not only for my good, but for ours and protect us.” I finished, smiling at him as a tear left his eyes.
“Aww, softie.” Chris snickered, which made the minister, I and Roman throw him a scowl and Stephen to hit his head.
“Not right now, brother.” He whisper yelled at him, as Eric pulled out his tongue at his godfathers.
Yes, Godfather Twins.
“Do you, Scarlet Rebecca Theresa Winters take this man, as your husband?” From where the hell did this man get my traditional full name which my grandfather gave me? Oh lord, somebody is conspiring against me to embarrass me somehow. As soon as I looked up to Roman’s mischievous eyes, I knew he was the culprit.
“I-i do.” I spoke, stumbling a little as I realized how close we were to tying ourselves in an unbreakable knot.
“And do you, Roman Edmund Jonathan, take this woman as your bride?” Right back at you, I smoked through the veil as Cara let out a little laugh and Marcus coughed, to hide his own. If he had his sources, I had Richard.
“I do.” He said, clearly, unlike me.
“I now pronounce you man and wife, you may-” The minister was cut in between as my veil was pulled up in a minute and warm lips touched my own. They melted my own, as warm hands clutched my waist and my hands clutched his white shirt. Chuckles erupted beside us as the minister stepped down, coughing a little because he was a little offended maybe.
That day, we sealed ourselves into an undeniably strong knot.
“A penny for your thoughts?”
“I was thinking about my wedding.” I replied, turning to the gray haired man who looked at my son for a brief moment, smiling at him and then looked ahead at the bay. Unlike us, Rihanna and Adrian had chosen the meadows with different colored flowers on the other side of the road to have their wedding.
“I saw that one too.” He said, expertly hiding himself in front of a tree.
“Mum.” Eric yawned, looking at the man one last time before falling on my shoulder and closing his eyes.
“I haven’t met Eric before. He looks a lot like you.” The man smiled, looking at him once again.
“How are you, Richard?” I asked as his eyes travelled to mine.
“Never better, dear.” His British accent flushed voice answered as he chuckled. “The cheques keep coming, I keep myself happy.” He shrugged.
“How’s the house in Oxford coming up?” I asked him.
“Good enough. My wife and I needed a good, warm cozy cottage on the outskirts and that is what we’re getting. All thanks to you.” He answered without a hint of emotions.
“None to me. You did the work well.” I told him.
“You didn’t have to ask me twice, dear. Anything to take revenge for my sister.” He smiled, turning at me. “I must leave now, Scarlet. Your husband is trying to find you.”
“I knew how to find you, and I will know everything else.” He grinned, reminding me of the day he had contacted me while I was here in Port Angeles. “Your mother would be happy to see you, I know.”
“Someday, uncle Richard.” I laughed referring to him as the person he was.
My mother’s brother who now ran a sect of my maternal grandfather’s gang in Europe.
“Someday, little one. Taylors always stick together, remember that.” He called out, turning to walk into the woods as the sun set itself ahead Eric and I. Eric began to snore lightly on my shoulders as exactly after a minute, Roman tapped my shoulders.
“Hmm?” I hummed, holding onto our son in my arms as the sun went deeper into the ocean.
“This place continues to mesmerize me every time.” He said, putting his arms over my waist and placing his head on the empty shoulder of mine.
“Me too.” I nodded as the Bay lightened up for the last time. “I can’t believe it. It’s been almost eight years since I first came here and since then-”
“Every time we come, our life changes but this place remains the same.” He completed the sentence for me.
“Yes.” I smiled warmly remembering all the time we had ended up here. “It changed me from Scarlet Winters to Scarlett Taylor to Scarlet Jonathan. Yes, it changes me every single time.” I mused, resting my head on his collarbone.
“Can’t love you enough.” He chuckled.
“I can’t seem to love both of you men enough.” I laughed, kissing Eric’s cheeks softly.
“Someday, it’ll change our lives again.”
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