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The dress was perfect. He was perfect. Then again, he probably should have been thought of before the dress, but this mostly signifies how jumbled the day had been. My stomach was flying and I had to keep reminding myself to inhale and exhale properly so I didn’t start a coughing conundrum. I wasn’t good at performing in front of crowds: sadly, this included walking about ten yards. I watched my best friends walk out before me, each offering an anxious smile, while I remembered the night I spent before with River in our house. We had been lying on the couch, viewing some time-consuming movie, his fingers absent-mindedly playing with my hair.
“Ray, I can hear your heart beating,” he had laughed, rolling over so I was on top of him, distracting me even more. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m going to mess up!” I blurted anxiously, sighing when River laughed at my worried expression. “I’m going to fall, or rip the dress, or say the wrong-” He kissed me then, The Master of Distractions, and I struggled to stand my ground and pull away.
“Stop worrying.” he demanded, smiling at my contented expression and caressing my cheek with his hand. “I don’t care if you fall, or say the wrong words. I don’t even care if the dress falls off…” River paused, considering this, and I smacked him playfully in the chest. “Seriously, babe. Nothing else matters. I just want you, at the end of that aisle, holding my hand, vowing to never let go. That is all I care about. And the honeymoon.” he added, trying to make me laugh. I chocked out a giggle. “Pay attention to me. Only me, and no one else, and we’ll get through everything else. I promise.”
I did as I was told. Only him. He was the only one there.
“Daddy?” I called, knowing he had been behind me a second ago. He came around the corner, his eyes red. “daddy,” I whined, “no, no, no, now I’m going to cry too,”
“Don’t.” he said, primped up in his tux, a rarity I had never before imagined seeing. “You look so beautiful.” he added. I grinned, blushing, and kissed him on the cheek.
The music started. I sucked in a gasp of air and could almost hear River laugh: “breath.” The doors opened and everyone stood, looking expectantly back at my father and me.
Out of almost two hundred pairs of eyes, I found his immediately: just so beautiful. He was waiting for me, as promised, and that was all that mattered. Before I knew it, the preacher asked who gave this woman and my dad began to leave. Panic actually hit me at that moment. My dad had it in his mind that I was forever leaving him. I could see it in his eyes. I turned around quickly, the ball gown skirt, train, veil, and all other accessories following me, and hugged my father.
“Daddy, I love you so much and I will always be your baby girl no matter where I go or what I do, and you will know that for ever, right?” I whispered hurriedly, ignoring the audiences laughs and cute comments.
“Yeah, baby, I know,” he laughed, smiling, before placing my hand in Rivers and taking his seat. The audience recovered from my unusual display as I greeted River.
“Hi,” I smiled oddly, as he stared, a peculiar, awestruck look on his face. Then he kissed me. I was taken aback, as I figured was everyone else, but I recovered quickly, enjoying the little moment and forgetting where we were and what we were supposed to be doing.
“Ahem?” the preacher said. River pulled away, breathing heavily and looking at me with the same awed expression.
“Sorry,” he muttered, not sounding as sorry as the preacher wanted him to be. “You look so beautiful,” he whispered to me. I smiled and pushed him away only enough to see the preacher; I heard my best friend, Maggie, giggle.
The ceremony went by easily after that, as he had promised, and he was kissing me again. We pulled away and he grinned as cameras flashed. “I’m almost disappointed the dress didn’t fall off,” I giggled as we walked down the small stairs. “Mrs. Dawson.”