25 minutes before our big day and I’m an absolute wreck. Shambles, disoriented, flustered. I’ve been staring at these vows for the past hour, each line pulls at a different heart string that I never realized was there. Moments like these make me realize that I’ve never understood nor felt heart provoking love until I met you. I’ve seen flashes of it, I’ve mistaken fleeting individuals for life partners but at this moment I can internalize that this is what it feels like. I have such an internal bliss that only I could have provided for myself but you came into my life and added another level to this bliss.
I asked my groomsmen to leave about an hour ago so I could get dressed and look over my vows yet all I’ve done is lay on this couch thinking of your face and you walking down that aisle. Spots of teardrops lay across my vows and I legitimately can’t stay focused. The tears have ruined my vows; I don’t even believe I can read them anymore to be fair so I trash it. Probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve done. I stand to shake off the crazy decision I’ve just made and realize that I’m still in my boxers, the time is 3:09pm and I now have 21 minutes to get ready. I run to the bathroom to regain myself by splashing cold water on my face, it seems to be working until I catch a glimpse of myself and then I begin thinking about you. I start to think about the beginning. I get glimpses of you dosing off on FaceTime, and how we began our nightly rituals. Slowly fluttering your eyes as you drift to the abyss of love and clouds your dreams were made of. I would lay my phone at the edge of my dresser while I watched you sleep. I typically sat and idolized how beautiful you were and I would send you a text on how much I appreciate your presence in my life. I think of our countless moments of long distance sleepovers; keeping my phone on while you fell asleep, making sure you felt safe and confirming that I was always by your side.
I catch a glimpse of myself smiling uncontrollably, I shake out of my daze and head over to my suit. The time is now 3:14 pm. As I put on my suit, with quite a bit of urgency, I catch a quick glimpse of our matching bracelets. A heartbeat engraved, rose gold bracelet that has been an expression of our whirlwind love from the beginning. It triggers a memory. Tears begin to drop again because the moments I begin to think about were the hardest. Every airport has brought a level of excitement to us yet it has also brought us agony. Exciting moments of seeing your face coming out of the terminal smiling when we lock eyes, meeting you with huge hugs and bigger kisses. What we tend to forget in the process is that these trips always have a return flight that one of us has to take. Why must I have to say goodbye to what I’ve always wanted? Why do I have to let go of the hands of the person that loves me most in this world? These thoughts would run through my mind as we waved to each other from the security gate, getting as close as we could before security told the person that wasn’t going home that this was the “furthest we can go”. I remember us running back to each other for final kisses and hugs while we risked missing our flights. I remember looking back waving to you while I bumped into other travelers. I remember keeping my head down until I could wipe all the tears away from the pain of leaving you. Leaving you in those moments left knots in my stomach, you know the feeling you get when you’re so angry that you’re holding back tears? Well with each goodbye the tears were harder to manage but here I am finally locking in my one-way ticket to your heart.
The time is now 3:21 pm as I slide my royal blue tuxedo on. I walk over to the full body mirror to make sure that I am put together appropriately like the king that I am. My mentor knocks on the door to check if I’m ready. I’m not but I smirk with a nod signaling I am. He brushes my shoulders, makes sure I’m good to go and we stroll down to the venue. Walking down what seems to be the longest hallway in the world, my mentor and I take a stroll down memory lane, no pun intended. We laugh about our first ever encounter when he interviewed me for my first job out of college. How crazy I looked in my oversized suit and how unpolished I was to now becoming the man he knew I would become. We hug it out one more time in front of the venue before my life changes forever. I open the door to the sea of beautiful faces of our family and friends. I make the walk that you will be making in a few moments. Electricity runs through my body at the sight of everyone applauding while we make our way down the aisle. I catch the eyes of our moms smiling like no one’s business, I couldn’t help but smile with them. Then I catch the eyes of my little brother shaking his head, calling me a bitch underneath his breath. Gotta love him, duality I guess. I take my spot at the altar, take a quick glimpse at my watch. It’s now 3:30 pm in the UK. As I begin to look up, the music is queued, everyone falls silent and the door at the end of aisle starts to open up.