This is it, no turning back for you anymore, Lily.
There is your soon-to-be husband, handsome and charming, awaiting you at the end of the aisle. And you are happy, happy to walk down said aisle to him, happy at the gathering of friends and family around you. Happy that he was nice enough to realize that you loved peacocks and had your, no our, wedding cake topped with one instead of the traditional phoenix.
You absolutely do not feel a twang of unease. No, you do not.
“Oh, Sev, aren’t peacocks the most beautiful creatures in the world?” exclaimed a twelve year old at seeing one at the riverside.
Her companion scrutinized her face and features closely and said at last, “I beg to differ.”
The music has started, you need to walk now. And gather your skirts around you. You need to appear the perfect bride. Correction, you are the perfect bride. Happy, blushing, carrying half a dozen stemmed roses in your arms.
Who you are not is someone who misses the dead roses a boy of fourteen once saved for you all summer.
“I got them for you because you said you liked them, but when I came back, you’d already gone on vacation with your folks,” the boy said hesitantly.
“So you kept them all this time?” the girl asked incredulously.
“Not very well as you can see, they died a week later,” the boy said attempting, his usual sarcasm.
“All the better,” said the girl, scooping the dead roses in her arms.
You are there now, beside the man who will be yours to love and cherish forevermore, in riches and in poverty, in sickness and in health. Till death do you part.
And you are still happy, still smiling, still the picture of joy. You are only thinking of your happy life and future ahead.
You most certainly are not thinking of all those letters, unfinished and unsent, that you threw in the fireplace last night, fighting back tears.
I don’t know how long forever is, but I will love you till then.
And it is done now. You and your husband are bonded for life. And you are perfectly happy. And the tears that are rolling down your cheeks are happy ones.
You are lucky to have met and married such a man. And you are happy.