If you don’t want sappy love stories, you might as well stop reading.
Four years ago, Kyle and I decided that we were going to devote our lives to sharpening each other, bring out the best in each other, and fight for a life full of love, no matter how tough it gets. I want to tell you a story about the first steps I took towards my future with Kyle. Some of it’s sad, most of it’s happy, but all of it’s my life. Brace yourself world, here it is…
Before I talk about my first steps, I thought you’d enjoy this little story of Kyle buying my ring, written by Kyle himself…
“Wow…right up there as one of the most unnerving experiences of my life! Once I decided to acquire the ring and do the deed before Christmas, I set out to the mall one day and on my way Tori called me to see what my plans were. She informed me that she too might go to the mall that day but was going to coffee first–to which I suggested she call me before heading to the mall–lest she spoil any potential suprises. I casually made my rounds to the jewellery stores and when Tori called me to let me know she was on her way I made up my mind on the ring and asked the clerk how long it would take to do any necessary paperwork. “Don’t worry, just a few minutes,” she assured me.
Tori called me again, and to the tune of “We’re here!” my heart skipped a beat.
“Where did you park?”
–I was gauging her distance–
“We’re coming in the…”
At that moment I slammed my phone shut as I heard her voice bouncing off the tile floor. Horrified, I turned to find Tori and her sister strolling into the mall; Tori still carrying on the conversation she assumed I was still an active participant in. Moments before, I had been a confident big spender, but in leiu of being discovered I was reduced to pleading with the store clerk for any kind of assylum she could offer. The clerk allowed me to crawl (and oh did I crawl) to the back room, where I resumed my conversation with Tori…and tried to convince her to meet me anywhere but where she was standing at that moment.
Once assured she was no where near the ring shop I emerged from my hiding place and carefully conceiled my prize and proceded to meet Tori and her sister, despite her obvious attempt to kill me with my own adrenaline. Like I said before, this ranks up there with the most heart-pounding experiences I have ever been through, and I am stoked it is part of our wedding story…I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
And now for mine…
This is about those final moments. When you realize that in a few minutes, you will no longer be regarded as ‘single’, and that from this point on you’ll be making ONE life out of two. Mine was crazy. Before I tell you about my experience, I want you to know, that I have grown from this. I have forgiven, I have moved on, and I have learned some really great life lessons. I love my family, to the end, no matter what.
There I stood. In a dimly lit 20 x 20 room. 3 bare chalk white walls and one industrial black metal one, Crackers and cheese scattered across a grey plastic table top. Shoes, make-up bags, purses, strewn about the floor. A lone walkie-talkie propped up on a small square table. Hair, veil, dress. All perfectly in place. There was no sound anywhere, at all. No people. Only me, and that tan wooden mirror, waiting for the ‘go ahead’ to make myself to the ceremony.
He really wasn’t coming… No… he’d make it, there were still a few minutes left. There’s no way he’d miss this. Everyone was wrong, there was no reason for a back-up plan. He must be running late or something, he has to come back here to get his suit anyway. I’m sure he’ll come swooping in here right before I go out there. He’s broken his word before, but this was totally different. Dads don’t just skip out on walking their kid down the aisle. “OK, everyone’s in, go ahead and start walking out Tori.” This was not real. This only happens in sad movies. I can’t do this alone. I can’t walk into that room with all those people, just me and my flowers. What could have possibly been more important than this?
Staring. In that lonely mirror. Perfect make-up and hair. My chest rising and falling with every pound of my beating heart. My body shaking, tears barricaded by closed lids. Grow up. Grow up right now. Open your eyes. I looked beautiful. Glistening eyes and red cheeks. I was ready. I was about to walk towards a life with someone who would never break his promises. Someone who would do his best to never let me feel alone. I took the two deep breaths, filled my rib cage with air, and turned the knob.
As I rounded the corner and began walking the long hallway towards the room, I felt my face grow hot with anger, joy, pain, excitement, fury, tranquility. I became bipolar in a matter of twenty steps. I heard faint music in my left ear and lifted my chin. There stood my step-dad. A sad smile across his face. Offering me the corner of his arm, he gently grabbed my shaking hand, placed it in the inside of his elbow and softly whispered, “I’m not your dad, but I would have always said ‘yes’ to walking with you.” I choked on my voice. One silent tear sneaked down my cheek. I smiled, and said, “Thank you.”
The giant gray doors slowly opened, Jack Johnson’s “Angel” sang loudly from the speakers. I took one step into the room. My eyes widened. A 50 foot white runway lined with bright pink rose petals. Two hundred and seventy five faces. All staring at me. Smiling, crying, whispering. People I hadn’t seen in years, some whom I had never met, others new friends. The giant room instantly felt like a tunnel, with tall trees arching over the top of me, and I felt naked. Turn around and run! I involuntarily stopped walking, sped up my breathing, and looked at the floor. I have never felt this way in my life before. Scared. Embarrassed to be on display. Overwhelmed. Happy. Lost. My step-dad squeezed my hand and whispered “It’s OK, look.” I slowly lifted my eyes, and there he was.
Kyle. Standing by the stairs. Shoulders high, hands folded, gently resting at his waist. His eyes bright, slightly squinting with his closed-mouthed smirk. We stared at each other. Every glint of emotion and thought soared from my mind, and my body filled with pride and pure joy. I was safe. My legs were moving, but I couldn’t remember moving them. It was him. He was like gravity, pulling me closer just by being there. With just one look he wiped away my pain, my sadness, my disappointment. It has always felt like this, since the second we met. Together, we could do anything. There was no one else in that room. Only the two of us.
Four years ago I became complete. Four years ago I didn’t even know I was missing anything. Four years ago I made the best decision of my life; To live a life of love with someone who loved me for who I was, but promised to bring out the very best in me. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend. We have laughed away these past four years of life together and turned every unfortunate situation into something beautiful.
And this is just the beginning…