I have uploaded this story before but I think I deleted it. I wanted to put it back up. Hope you enjoy!
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“Hell yeah!” she roared while joyful tears fell from her face. Her unfiltered excitement had everyone in the church laughing and crying along with her.
She looked stunning. She was wearing the same wedding dress that her mother wore on our wedding. It was a long sleeved lace gown with a silver and gold waistband. She curled her hair and had it up in a loose bun. Richard, the groom wore what I thought was a simple tux but he insisted it was designer.
“Olivia,” I softly said giving her a heatless scowl. “Be serious.”
Olivia’s smile dimmed a bit but her eyes remained bright. “In all seriousness,” she said wiping away her tears and taking a deep breath, “I do.”
“Then, by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now-.” Olivia and Richard didn’t wait for the priest to finish before they smacked their lips together in a heated kiss. “Husband and wife,” the priest continued yelling over everyone’s rambunctious cheers and applause.
Looking around me, everything was beautifully chaotic. My beautiful wife of thirty years, Elise, was crying uncontrollably. Her makeup was running and there was snot leaking from her nose. I’d warned her about this but like everything else I warned her about, she ignored me. My two sons, Ethan and Malik were clapping and cheering louder than anyone else. They had their wives and children with them, who were sharing the same enthusiasm. My sister was throwing rice everywhere. Even my ninety-six year old mother was waving her cane around in glee.
The look of happiness on Olivia and Richard’s face after they stopped kissing made my heart happily clench.
I liked Richard. I was thrilled my little girl found someone like him. Richard was better than the other guy she was briefly engaged to. The other guy, hadn’t even bothered to ask me for my blessing, but Richard, Richard did. It really touched my heart that he’d secretly sought me out without the knowledge of anyone else simply to ask for my blessing. I had given it to him before he’d even finished asking.
“Our little girl is all grown up,” Elise mumbled as Olivia and Richard ran down the aisle.
“It feels like she was born just yesterday,” I replied rubbing Elise’s shoulders.
I’ll never forget the day Olivia was born. I was in a meeting with my boss when my cell phone went off. Seeing that it was Elise, I ignored the call because one, I was in a meeting and because two, Elise always called me when she was craving something. It was usually deep fried pickles and shawarmas.
After the meeting, I had completely forgotten to call Elise back and by the time I remembered, I’d finished working out at the gym and was in the car heading back home just in time for dinner. I didn’t think it mattered much to call her back since I was on my way home and whatever she had to tell me could wait. Besides, I had already bought her a shawarma and fried pickles.
When I got home, opened the door, shawarma and pickles in hand and yelled out, “hi guys,” I should’ve realized straight away that something was wrong because the house was far too quiet. With our two boys who were five and three, the house was always a loud disorganized lawless place filled with shrieks, screams, laughter and the occasional crying.
It took me roughly ten minutes to finally realize that something was wrong. I picked up my phone to see if perhaps Elise had called me and I hadn’t heard it but, just my luck, my phone was dead. I checked our home phone line to see if maybe she had left a message on the answer machine but she hadn’t. I started to freak out. This was the longest I’ve gone in an entire day without hearing a word from Elise and it brought me into panic mode.
There was only one person I knew who could help me, my nosy neighbour Larry. I quickly ran to his house and knocked on his door.
“Just a second!” Larry shouted. A second wasn’t quick enough so I knocked quicker and harder. “Alright alright!” Larry angrily said pulling the door open. “Daniel!” he exclaimed in shock. “What are you doing here? Why aren’t you at the hospital?”
“Hospital?” I asked feeling my heart sink.
“Elise went into labour sometime this afternoon.”
I didn’t know whether or not Larry continued talking nor did I care truth be told. All that mattered to me was that my family was safe and healthy. Especially Elise and the baby since the baby’s due date was next month.
The traveling time between my house and the hospital was half an hour. I’d managed to get there in fifteen minutes. Everything between getting out of the car and running into Elise’s delivery room was a blur.
When I swung the door open, I expected to see my family all gathered up around Elise and the baby. What I found instead was Elise laying down doing breathing exercises.
“You’re still in labour?” I had asked in shock.
“Yes,” Elise had said through clenched teeth.
To this day, Elise still doesn’t know that I was secretly pleased that she had been in labour for so long. I was happy because though I was an idiot not to call my pregnant wife after she had called me, I hadn’t been punished by missing the birth our third child.
Five hours after I had arrived at the hospital, Elise finally gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
She was so small and pink and wrinkly, but God was she beautiful. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life and from the moment that I finally got to hold her, I whispered to her that I would love her and protect her no matter what.
She was my entire world. Still is.
Growing up, Olivia showed signs of being a leader. She was determined, passionate, motivated and inspiring. Elise thought Olivia would be a bit disobedient towards us but that was never the case. Olivia knew to treat us with respect and kindness.
Now, that little adorable girl had grown into a beautiful woman.
Richard and Olivia held their reception in the building right next to the church. The church had built it for wedding receptions so that when a couple got married they wouldn’t have to travel far for their reception.
“Hey guys!” Malik said grabbing a seat at the table Elise, my mother, my sister and I sat at. “Last night I was looking for some memorabilia to bring to the wedding and I found this.”
Malik gently laid the family scrapbook onto the table in front of Elise.
“You sneaky kid,” I said grinning at him. “You’re the one that stole it. I was looking for that!” I reached across the table and gave Malik a light smack across his head.
“We spent all month looking for that!” Elise said angrily. “I thought I had misplaced it or accidentally thrown it out.”
“Sorry,” Malik said with no hint of remorse.
“Aww look at you Malik,” Elise said preening at the first picture in the book. “That was you on your first day home. You wouldn’t stop crying that night. Your father spent the entire night cradling you.”
“It was no trouble at all,” I said kissing Elise’s cheek.
The scrapbook, a small binder of photos and notes, had such a huge impact on us. The rollercoaster of emotions we experienced was indescribable.
“Oh look,” Elise wheezed pointing at a picture with one hand and holding her chest with the other. I peered at the picture and groaned while everyone erupted in laughter. “You’re such an idiot, Daniel,” Elise said laughing softly while wiping joyful tears from her eyes.
The picture was of me from the time I got a black eye and a chipped tooth from getting into fight with a seven year old. Now, before you get any ideas, I didn’t actually hit the kid, the kid hit me. It was a one way fight.
“You’re all just going to sit here instead of dance?” Ethan asked joining us. “What’s so funny?” smiling despite not knowing what was funny.
“We just saw this picture of dad,” Malik explained.
Ethan laughed when he saw the picture. “This is probably my favourite picture.”
Rethinking the event leading to my bruised face made me put my head in my hands and groan.
It was just a normal summer day when our neighbour’s son, Matthew, came by to ask Malik, Ethan and Olivia if they wanted to play outside with him. I told them they could play out in our backyard so that I could keep an eye on them while I made dinner. Everything was going fine until I heard Olivia scream and Malik and Ethan yelling for me.
In a blink of an eye, I was outside running towards them. Matthew had Olivia pinned down on the grass and was repeatedly hitting her. I remember the fear and anger that made my blood boil and had me seeing red. No one hit my kids. Not even a scrawny seven year old with a temper.
Without thinking, I picked Matthew off of Olivia and looked at him right in the eyes to scold him. That was when he hit me in the eye…hard. Who would’ve thought that a small child would have such a strong and powerful punch? The punch caught me completely off guard that I didn’t register the second one coming. Nor the third. To try to stop Matthew from repeatedly hitting me in the face, I wrapped my arms around him in a bear hug, but Matthew, a seven year old child, was better at hand on hand combat than I was. He head butted me right in the mouth. The pain I felt made me release my hold on Matthew.
I don’t remember much of what happened after that. I was too wrapped up in pain to look at what was going on around me.
The following day, Matthew had stopped by with his parents; to apologize to Olivia and I.
I’m not certain what Matthew’s parents’ did to him as punishment but after that day, he was a changed kid. He wasn’t violent anymore nor did he throw tantrums.
“Oh it’s time for speeches!” Elise announced clapping her hands and bringing my attention back to the present.
The best man and the maid of honor made their speeches first. They both had sweet and wonderful things to say about Richard and Olivia.
“It’s your turn for the surprise speech, Daniel,” Elise said smiling sweetly.
With a pounding heart, I stood up and walked up to the microphone.
“Hey everyone,” I said waving around. I took a deep breath, fixed my tux and grabbed the nearest glass of champagne I saw. “As most of you know, I’m not big on speeches so I’m going to keep this short and simple. Olivia doesn’t know that I made a speech for her wedding. Richard, if you hurt my little girl, I will kill you. I will be your worst nightmare. With that out of the way, I know you won’t hurt her because I see the way you look at her.” Olivia wiped away the tears from her face, just as I’d expected. “Olivia,” I said in an exasperated voice. “Stop crying. I haven’t even said anything cry worthy yet. Nor will I,” I stated looking around at everyone. “I wrote Olivia a very touching letter which she will read privately when this is over. Nonetheless,” I beamed lifting up my glass of champagne. “I wish both of you the love and happiness that Elise and I have. I wish both of you endless joy because if there are two people in the world that deserve it the most, it’s you two. I love you both.”
I swallowed the bile that had risen in my throat and walked up to Olivia and Richard. I gave Olivia and gentle kiss on the cheek and Richard and firm pat on the shoulder.
The rest of the reception was great. It was filled with dancing, laughter, music and food.
I was in the middle of dancing to a Bruno Mars song when I noticed Olivia quietly leave the building.
I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed but everyone was minding their own business dancing, eating or talking.
I followed Olivia. I was curious as to where she would be going on her special day.
“What could be more important than your wedding reception?” I asked myself as I followed her out into the cold brisk air.
“Okay,” Olivia said placing a towel on the ground once she’d reached her destination. I hadn’t even seen her holding a towel. Nor the flowers she also held in her hand.
“Why don’t we have a seat dad.” she quietly suggested.
I sat beside her and gently nudged her shoulder. “What’s got you thinking?”
Olivia took in a shaky breath and said, “I got married today, dad.”
“I know,” I laughed. “I was there. Why are you out here? Go back inside. We can do this later.”
“I wish you were there,” Olivia sobbed. “I miss you so much, dad.” She quickly wiped away her tears and unlike her mother, her makeup wasn’t running. “I brought you flowers,” she said laying them in front of my tombstone. “It’s been ten years since you’ve been gone but I miss you every single day. I think about you all the time. It’s not the same with you gone. You were always my biggest supporter.
“I got your letter. I have all the other ones. You know, the ones you wrote for when I had my first child, or when something terrible happened. I know you had requested that I read it after the wedding but I read it before. Dad, the things you said were so touching. I couldn’t stop crying. Robert had to hold me for like two hours because I was crying so hard. Robert also confessed to me that he came to visit your grave to ask you for my hand in marriage. He said that he felt like you had approved. Even though he had never met you, he said he knew you liked him. Which I think is a bit arrogant of him,” she said giggling.
“I just I couldn’t end this day without seeing you at least once. Just to tell you that I miss you and I love you.”
“I love you too,” I said kissing her cheek.
Ten years ago on my death bed, I had promised Elise and the kids that I would always be there for them no matter what and nothing would stop me from doing that. Not even death.
I hope you enjoyed the story (let me know what you thought)!! I also hope you ladies had a great weekend and will have a fantastic week. :)