The Best Day Of His Life

He had never seen anything so beautiful in his life before. Standing at the altar, he saw his bride walk in to the hall, her arm linked to her father’s. He recalled the moment he asked her to marry him. They were on vacation with their families in the Maldives. Shane and Leslie were sitting on the rocks at the beach. The tide was low, and the sea was engulfing the sun at the horizon. An orange hue touched the sky in the moment. Shane looked at Leslie. He was so thankful to have such a wonderful woman in his life. The wind was in her hair, and their toes just touched the water. He extended his arm till his fingers met hers. Kissing her hand, he ran his fingers on hers and said, “You know what would look stunning?”
Leslie looked at him, smiling and asked, “What?”
“A ring on that unfortunately barren finger of yours”, pointing to the ring finger.
It took a few seconds for Leslie to understand what he was saying. When Shane pulled out a black Tiffany’s box, Leslie started screaming and laughing at the same time. He opened the box to reveal a platinum solitaire- The diamond was square cut and sparkled gloriously in the remaining sunlight.
“Leslie Cooper, will you grant me the honour of calling you my wife? Will you marry me?”
“Yes, Shane. YES!” Leslie replied. She was blushing and ecstatic.
They hugged each other and gently kissed. They were about to pull back, when a high tide almost hit them. Shane and Leslie started laughing, and holding hands, walked back to their villa to announce the great news.

Shane snapped back into his senses. Leslie was walking down the aisle, smiling gleefully. Embodied in an ivory strapless silk gown, she took her time, careful to not trip. The gown had a waistband which was encrusted with crystals. There were ivory flowers embroidered extending waist down, but not entirely. There was a train behind her, following the bride to her altar where her to be-husband stood waiting, anxiously. When she reached the altar, she kissed her father on her cheek who then handed his daughter’s hand to Shane. Shane helped his bride up the tiny steps leading to the altar, and then both of them stood together, smiling endlessly. Shane noticed that Leslie had flowers in her hair- white roses. 3 of them, crowning her veil. Her makeup was minimal, and her cheeks were rosy, probably because she was ecstatic about today. She held a bouquet of red roses, which she handed to her maid-of-honour before snuggling her hands into Shane’s.

The ceremony began and the minister started his speech. Shane couldn’t keep his eyes off Leslie, who silently giggled when she noticed Shane looking at her. He mouthed “You look beautiful” to Leslie and she replied with a bashful “thank you”.
“Shane. The vows?”
“Oh! Yeah!” Shane responded suddenly. Leslie giggled.

“I vow to love you more than life itself. To hold your hand when the times are tough and especially when people are looking at us.”
The gathering laughed.
Shane continued, “I vow to be a good husband and your best friend. To understand your problems and help you deal with issues. To not back off when things are going downhill and try really hard to make this work. I vow to love you fiercely, and to remind myself every day that this is a once in a lifetime kind of love.”
Shane reached his hand out and wiped a tear from Leslie’s face. He knew she’d almost cry. Makeup, he said in an undertone. Leslie smiled, sniffling.

“Leslie?” said Minister Patrick.
Leslie read out her vows while Shane just looked at her in awe. He couldn’t believe that this was the woman he was going to wake up next to every day for the rest of his life. He wanted to grab and kiss her, but he couldn’t do that. Not until the Minister asked them to.

“Do you, Shane Phil Andrews take Leslie Ross Cooper as your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?”
“I do.”
“And do you, Leslie Ross Cooper take Shane Phil Andrews as your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, till death do you part?”
“I do.”
“The rings?” Minister Patrick enquired.
The ring bearer (also Shane’s best friend) handed them the rings.
Shane carefully slipped the gold wedding band onto Leslie’s slim fingers. Leslie placed the ring onto Shane’s.
“You may now kiss the bride.”
Shane had been waiting for this moment for a long time. He placed his arms around Leslie’s waist, pulled her closer and gave her a soft kiss. Even though he had kissed her before, his heart was pounding and he felt like his head would explode. He hugged Leslie, secretly thanking God for introducing her to him.

The crowd cheered, and Leslie and Shane laughed. They stepped down the altar and made way to the door, where Leslie stopped to throw her bouquet. They walked out the door, as husband and wife, holding hands and got into their car.
There was one final kiss, they waved goodbye to their families and drove away, into the sunset.

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The One With The Latte

She sipped her coffee and sighed. Looking out the window, she saw the world pass by- Strangers.  Elderly men, driving their wives, probably to their kitty parties and supposedly hating the task. Younger boys on bikes, with their ladies holding on for dear life. Kids in their buses, heading home from school.
The weather seemed pleasant. The sun was going to bid adieu in an hour or two, and the rays kissed the glass windows of the coffee house, warming Sarah’s hand pressed against it.
A few rays fell on her face, exposing her sun-kissed skin to everyone around her. But nobody noticed the silent girl in the corner who would come in every alternate day, order the regular latte and just sit at the window, observing the people in the street. Maybe she made up stories about them in her head. Maybe she came in, expecting somebody to show up. Maybe she’d hug them and they would tell each other that they came in at different times and missed the other. But these were just a few of the many possibilities related to Sarah’s life.

The brown eyed girl looked at the watch.
6:30. The time read 6:30, the bigger handle at 6 and the tiny one just a little past 6. Sarah smiled, and tucked her hair behind her ear. Placing her hand on her chin, she drank the coffee as she looked out the glass window. The sun was going down, and violet darkness was slowly taking over the sky. Sarah had been sitting here for over an hour. Staring expressionlessly at the people in the street, and sipping from her brown china mug. The coffee must’ve been pleasant. No wonder she came to the café so often. Maybe it was the coffee; maybe she really loved the smell of the place.

She was dressed rather impeccably for somebody who sat alone- soft, peach coloured shirt paired with cotton trousers, usually striped. She would have a long chain, extending till her abdomen, around her neck. Beside her would be her long black coat, which she wore to protect herself from the chilly evening weather. Her hair would often be let down. She wore no other jewellery, except for maybe this vintage white gold ring adorning the ring finger of her left hand. Engaged? Maybe. Or maybe she wore it as a statement, or maybe she just liked wearing it that way. There was a way she had, which made her unconventionally attractive. Her eyes were lined with kohl, and her lips touched with a hint of cherry coloured lip balm. She was never seen looking in a mirror, or touching herself up. She was comfortable in her own skin. A lady like her, she probably smelled really good. Maybe of flowers. Yeah, she looked the kind who would apply a summer scent. Sarah wore flats or ballerinas, and would sit either with her legs crossed or simply together. She was the coffee house’s muse.

One day, Sarah didn’t show up at the coffee house. And I wondered why. Maybe, she’s late. Or maybe she has other plans. But no. Sarah was always there at the coffee house. I found her name out when I overheard a conversation between her and a waiter.
“What can I get you today, Sarah?” the waiter had asked.
“Oh, the usual. Regular latte, please.” Sarah had replied in a low, sweet voice.
That was the first and only time I had heard her speak. She would talk to the waiters in an inaudible tone. (Probably because I was at a distance.)
Any who, my mind was distracted because of Sarah’s absence. Where could she possibly be?

A few minutes later, the wind chimes placed near the coffee house door chimed and I looked up. It was Sarah, and there was somebody with her! A rather well built man, dressed in a Yankees tee shirt and jeans had Sarah’s arm linked to his, and they were laughing! Sarah, for a change, was dressed in a floral tee and skinny jeans. She wore boots and had her tied up in a messy bun. She never looked so happy! The happy couple (safe to assume, as he would constantly give her pecks on her forehead) walked up to the coffee counter and ordered hot chocolate. They sat at Sarah’s trademark place and held hands. They chatted away, constantly laughing. He would say something, probably crack a joke and Sarah would tilt her head back and laugh whole heartedly. There was something about these two that made me happy about their cheerful presence in the café. A waiter went over to their table and placed their mugs of hot chocolate and marshmallows on the table. They seemed to have a conversation with him, and he congratulated the lively couple.

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When the waiter came up to give me my cappuccino, I couldn’t resist myself. I asked him about the man with Sarah. Image
“Oh, that’s James”, he said. “James is Sarah’s husband. He’s a marine, so he surfaces every 6 months.”
My eyes gleamed with curiosity. “Did they meet here?” I asked.
“You bet they did! They even had their first date here. They’ve been our most regular customers since the past 7 years.”
7 years, wow! That’s a really long time, I thought. They are supremely lucky to have this kind of love.
“They even invited the entire staff to their wedding. Really wonderful people”, the waiter continued, “Anyway, if you don’t mind, I have tables waiting.”
“Yeah, sure. Thanks.” I said, unable to take my eyes off the beautiful pair.

After a while, I got up, wore my coat and after glancing at the couple for the last time, walked out of the coffee house. The entire way home I thought of how some people manage to find their soul mate and work it out perfectly. No complications, no stresses, no worries. Of course, the bad days always welcome themselves in our lives, but don’t really stay. It’s all about the journey, the ups and the downs, and the support and silence, the happy and crappy moments which make or break a relationship. I guess in the end, it really boils down to how much you want it.

I looked up towards heaven and silently thanked God for introducing me to Sarah and James. They made me believe that no matter what, things will work their way out, particularly if I want it badly enough.

He loved her for almost everything she was and she decided that was enough to let him stay for a very long time.
Brian Andreas

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