To Have and to Hold

April 6, 2011
She didn’t know why or what made her actually agree.
Was it pity? Was it pressure? Was it God’s plan? Or was it actually love?
She was pretty sure it was all of the above, except the last one…
But was she sure? Really sure?

“Chrysanthemum, what are you thinking about now?” Her sister, Peony, asked.
Chrys, short for her ridiculously long and embarrassing name, flipped on her back, on the bed that her sister and her both shared.
“Nothing, I just don’t know if I should go through with this.” She sighed.
Peony has always been the prettier one of the two sisters, and although both sisters were named after flowers, people made sure that Chrys knew that her looks contradicted her name.

Peony sat down next to her big sister and smiled.
“Why do I feel like you are still unsure? Didn’t you make up your mind already?”
“I made up my mind? Don’t you mean everyone else has already made up their minds about this and what I should do?”
“Oh Sis, come on, don’t be so pessimistic. Think about it from this way. He obviously really cares about you since he came with his older brother, knelt down, and begged your forgiveness, our entire family’s consent, and might I add, did all of this with tears? I mean, come on, why would a grown man, do all of this to someone he didn’t care about?”
Chrys also asked herself that question. Why would he do all of this to someone he didn’t care about? And if he did care about her, why did everything he did to her represent that opposite?

Chrys heaved a big sigh and flipped onto her stomach. She couldn’t think with all of this clutter in her mind. Everyone was taking his side. Everyone was saying all of these great things about him. Everyone was dropping lovey-dovey scenarios in her head. She couldn’t think straight.
“I just don’t know if…”
“What? What are you so worried about?”
“I’m just…”
“Okay, stop! You’re getting overworked about nothing. Mom already agreed, although not willingly. Grandmother, your friends, and most of our relatives have already heartily given their blessings, me, and also our two brothers have already accepted him as our brother-in-law. I mean, what more do you need?”
“I just think… I don’t think he actually cares about me. I have this feeling.”
“So you think that he doesn’t care about you… when all evidence points to that fact that he does care about you. Sis, sometimes I just know what’s in that head of yours.”
“Don’t you think I agreed too fast? I didn’t give myself enough time to think about it? It is a decision that I will affect my entire life.”
“He’s handsome, he’s polite, he’s kind and filial towards elders, he has been trained by the military, he has a stable job provided by the government, he has a stable income, his big brother and his little brother have vouched for him and they respect you. What more do you want from a husband?”
“He’s all of that…”
“Yes, he’s all of that and more! He cares about you. He can take care of you. He can be your reliance.” Peony sighed and shook her head. “Sis, you’ve had to work your entire life, ever since Dad passed away. You even had to give up school and every single one of your interests. You had to pay back debts; you had to take care of your three younger siblings. You’ve spent a good amount of your life caring for others and looking out for others, putting everyone before you, and now that you’ve met a man that truly cares for you, someone who puts you before…?”
“I just think that I am being too hasty. I mean, what if…”
“Just stop with all of this what if, what if. How do you know what’s going to happen in the future? How can you make silly predictions? Just stop and smell the flowers and look at the good things that are happening to you right now! Right now! And right now, a good man, a prospective husband, your next half of your life’s happiness is in front of you, and all you have to do is stop thinking about all of this and let go.”

Chrys closed her eyes, and for a moment pictured herself with him: living in a house, living a life that every married couple wished for. She closed her eyes and imagined, for a moment, what life would be like with him as her husband. She tried to wipe away how he treated her. She tried to keep all that down within her and cover it up with this image: her happily ever after with him.
She tried to swallow the doubt that was eating away at her heart, at her possible happily ever after. She was trying so hard.

“Chrys! Listen to me, as your sister, I am telling you how I feel, and it’s up to you to make the decision, whether or not you want to go through with it. I don’t know what will happen in the future and I don’t know him all that well, but in my opinion and through my interactions with him, I feel that he is a good person, and that he will be a good husband to you. But that is only my opinion and how I see him. No matter what your choice is I will stand by you.”

Chrys sat up and looked at her younger sister. She remembered when Peony came to her to figure out her problems and she had been the one to reassure her, to help her, to give her advice. But now it was the other way around.
“Thanks Pe, I appreciate your support, I appreciate you listening. I will make the right decision and I will be happy with it, because I am making it for myself. Everything will be okay… It will be okay.”
“Good, I’m glad you are okay now.”
“I’m glad too… I’m glad too.”
“So has he given you the ring yet?”
“No… no he hasn’t.”
“I’m sure he will.” Peony said, smiling, patting Chrys’s hand.
“Sure…” Chrys nodded, “Sure….”

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