Dave Saves The Day
When the large doors opened at last, David gazed down the long aisle. Tammy smiled a little nervously as she entered and nudged a blonde curl out of her face. God she really looks beautiful, he thought, as she slowly walked towards him; although he had been with her when she had finally decided on a dress, this was the first time he had seen her in it.
As the Wedding March played (one of David’s many concessions — he had wanted Sly and the Family Stone’s She’s My Lady), he looked around the large church. It seemed like everyone he knew or had ever known was there: third cousins he hadn’t seen in 20 years, friends of his parents, friends of those friends. But at the moment, he just didn’t care; he was marrying the woman he loved.
He beamed as she joined him. The old minister smiled and nodded. “Dearly beloved,” he began, ”we are gathered here today…”
David couldn’t believe how well things had gone so far. After nearly a year of planning, endless discussions about who should and should not be invited, fights over what food would be served and where to honeymoon, he had expected the day to be a disaster.
What he had been dreading the most was the meeting of the families. Although he and Tammy had been together for over two years, it would be the first time their families had met.
And amazingly, other than a semi-friendly argument David’s Great Uncle Harold had with Tammy’s Grandfather Chuck over a football game, things couldn’t have gone better. Not only was everyone pleasant and friendly, they actually seemed to like each other.
Incredibly, everything else had gone just as well. After he saw how stressed Tammy was getting, he had practically begged her to let him help, and not just with the small stuff. She finally relented and he had taken care of everything she entrusted him to do. The caterers were on time, the hotel where the reception was being held was all set up, the limos were clean. Now came the easy part.
“And now Tammy would like to recite her vows to David,” the minister continued.
David’s heart stopped for a second. Holy crap, the vows! He had remembered everything, even that Tammy’s creepy Aunt Eunice was allergic to asparagus but he forgot the freakin’ vows! And after Tammy had gone on and on about how special and romantic she wanted them to be, they still managed to slip his mind.
Tammy blushed slightly and began: “I’m so glad that everyone could be here with us today. David, you know how much I love you and I’m just so happy that we…”
Fuck! What the hell can I say? Think, man, think!
“You’re just the sweetest guy I’ve ever known. Not a lot of people know this but last year when I was really sick David was just so…”
Crap! Wait, you started writing them a few weeks ago, remember? What did you write?
“And he’s gotten me through some hard times. When I lost my job, David was just so understanding and he even…”
Something about her being a really good girl and always well-behaved. What? What the hell is that? That sounds like you were talking about a dog. Oh, wait, that was about the dog; it was Macie’s application for doggy daycare.
“And there’s nothing we can’t talk about, I mean just the other day we were…”
Okay, don’t panic, dude, don’t panic. Just talk about why you’re marrying her. You can do that, right? Sure, of course I can. Um, okay. I got nothing. Why am I marrying her?
“And I just love you so much, David. You’re just the…”
The love thing, that’s why! You love her, say that.
The minister nodded. “And now David would like to recite his vows to Tammy.”
David swallowed and cleared his throat. “Tammy. I love you.” He glanced at the minister, hoping for a miracle. But he proved to be no help as he was examining a nasty looking hangnail on his left hand. David looked back at Tammy. He cleared he throat again.
“And there are so many reasons why I do. You’re just uh, a really good girl and so well-behaved.”
He heard a murmur from the crowd. Tammy looked confused.
“But of course that’s not all. I just want to say that I love you, again, and I promise to give you the best marriage you’ll ever have, I mean hopefully the only marriage you’ll ever have. And me too, I guess, ‘cause you and I will be married together until death. And then I guess whoever doesn’t die first can go and get remarried if they wanted to but that person might be really old and probably won’t be looking so good. Not that old people can’t get married but it’s kind of gross actually if you think about it, not the wedding but maybe the wedding night if you get where I’m going with this, but if that’s something you’d want to do, you have my blessing, I’m mean I’ll be dead, right? So go nuts.”
Tammy’s brow furrowed.
“But seriously, I just want to be with you. I don’t know what more I can say really, just that I want to be with you, I mean if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t be standing here now, am I right? And there are several exits in here I could’ve used at any time but of course I did not want to use them. And things are gonna be great, you know? I mean, things are good now but they’re just gonna get better. We’ve had our share of problems, I mean, who hasn’t it? Your brother sleeping on our couch for two months kind of sucked and there was that whole thing with your vag, but, you know, these are just small things.”
Tammy had turned bright red.
“And I promise to work really hard at this and I’m not just saying that this time, I mean it. I’ll clean up around the house more and I swear when you ask me to take the garbage out, it’s not gonna sit on the back step, it’s going right out to the curb. That I vow. Hey, there’s a vow, in a vow. How ‘bout that?”
Tammy had crossed her arms and was staring daggers into him; her teeth were clenched and her nostrils flared as she breathed audibly.
“So in closing I’d just like to say that uh…in my life…um there’s been heartache, a lot of heartache and pain and I just don’t know if I can face it again. I can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far to change this lonely life. What I’m trying to say, Tammy, is I want to know what love is, I want you to show me. I want to feel what love is, I know you can show me. I want to know what love is, I want you to- well, I think you get the point. And…those are my vows…for you.”
“Um, okay,” the slightly puzzled-looking minister said. “By the power vested in me, I now declare you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
David leaned in but Tammy didn’t move. Her lips were pursed and he tried using his tongue to open them a little but they weren’t budging. There was a small cheer and some applause from the audience and people started getting up.
Nice save, Dave, he told himself, as he hurried to catch up with Tammy as she bolted down the aisle, nice save.
“I can’t wait to get some of that cake,” he heard someone say just as they got to the doors.
Holy crap! The cake! I forgot the freakin’ cake! What the hell am I gonna do? Wait, I think there’s a Dairy Queen on the way there. Whoa, that was another close one.
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Portland Fiction Project
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