“Isak, are you sure you can’t come to London with all of us for the wedding?” Even asked, his blue eyes wide and pleading. “It would mean so much to me if you came, you’re one of my best friends and I want you there with me. It just wouldn’t be the same without you.”
“I can’t, Even. I have that big biology exam coming up that’s worth like half of my grade that I still need to study for, I told you. I’m sorry.” replied Isak, feeling bad even before he finished his lie.
Even simply nodded in response, continuing to gaze sadly at Isak. Isak bit his lip as he looked back at Even, hoping he would drop the subject. He hated lying to Even but he just-he couldn’t go to Even’s wedding. He just couldn’t. Luckily, Eva saved Isak from any further inquiry by choosing that moment to cut in through the chaos going on in her apartment.
“Guys, come on! We’re going to miss our flight if we don’t leave for the airport now!”
At her words, Jonas, Magnus, Sana, Mahdi, and Noora began filing out the door with their suitcases, calling out goodbyes as they went.
“Bye, Vilde and Isak!” Noora said as she gave a kiss to Vilde’s cheek. Unlike Isak, Vilde really wasn’t lying about not being able to make the wedding. She had recently started a new job and had been unable to get off work to attend Even’s wedding in London. Isak knew that she was genuinely disappointed about missing it, but he couldn’t help but to be secretly happy that he wouldn’t be alone in Oslo while Even was off getting married.
“See you, Isak.” said Even softly, reaching out to pull Isak into a hug.
Isak felt his heart clench as he wrapped his arms around Even’s shoulders and hugged him back. This was stupid. He was over Even, he was. They had broken up two years ago after an intense yet tumultuous relationship. Even had been his best friend for years and when he had admitted to having a crush on Isak since Nissen, Isak had confessed his own feelings for Even. Even had been Isak’s first love and Isak had loved him with everything he had. He had thought that they were soulmates and meant to be together forever, but the universe had other plans for them. They had a few too many fights, and in a fit of anger, Isak had suggested they take a break and Even hadn’t fought him on it. Isak had assumed they would get back together eventually, but time went on and they just never did. Then Isak started going on dates with other guys and Even got back together with his ex-girlfriend, Sonja. A few months later, Even was announcing his engagement to Sonja and Isak found himself facing the realization that him and Even were destined to only be friends. It had hurt at first, but Isak was over Even now. He was. He just didn’t want to see the first and only man he had ever loved getting married, and that’s why he had lied about being too busy with school to attend the wedding.
“Bye, Even.” Isak said as Even pulled away from the hug. “I’m sure everything will be perfect.”
“Yeah.” Even replied, still seeming a little down. “I’ll show you the pictures and videos when I get back. Good luck on your exam. Don’t forget, you’re a genius and you’ll do great.”
As he spoke, Even walked away from Isak and over to Vilde to give her a kiss on the cheek and a hug. “Bye, Vilde. Wish you could make it as well. I’ll miss you guys there.”
“Bye, Even!” Vilde said cheerfully as she hugged him back. “I’m so happy for you and Sonja and can’t wait to hear how everything went! I can’t believe that next time we see you, you’ll be a married man!”
“All right guys, now we really have to go!” Eva gestured to Even frantically from where she was standing by the open door to her apartment with her suitcase.
“I’m coming, I’m coming.” Even grabbed his own suitcase from the floor and went over to join Eva by the door, giving Isak and Vilde one final wave and smile as he went through the doorway. After giving her own goodbye, Eva was following behind him, closing the door as she went.
Isak stood there for a moment, feeling strange and not quite sure what he was meant to do now. He felt like his skin was crawling and like something was off and he wasn’t sure why. However, before he could think too much into this, Vilde’s voice cut in through the fog in his head.
“Well, are you going to go get your biology stuff or not? Come on, you might as well study here if we are gonna be stuck in Oslo together while all of our friends are off living it up in London.”
Isak rolled his eyes at Vilde’s words, though he felt no real annoyance. It was simply a natural reaction to Vilde at this point, programmed into him since their time at Nissen.
And with that, Isak grabbed his backpack and went to sit down with Vilde at the kitchen table, shaking off the still lingering sensation in his bones that something was wrong. It would pass, Isak was sure of it. It was nothing.
Some hours later, Isak was taking a much-needed study break by talking over the details of Even’s wedding with Vilde. Even and Sonja had decided to be married in London as it was there that Even had proposed to her. The wedding date had been a bit rushed, but Even and Sonja had been thorough and quick in their planning, and Isak was sure it would turn out beautiful. Vilde was going over the details of the flower arrangements that she had helped Sonja pick out when Isak suddenly spoke, still feeling unsettled after his earlier conversation with Even.
“I do feel a little bad about lying to Even about not being able to make the wedding though. He seemed really upset about it. I just couldn’t do it, you know? Too weird.” Isak said casually. He really couldn’t get Even’s sad face as he had said goodbye out of his head. Isak hated disappointing Even more than anything.
“Well, I don’t blame you for lying, Isak. I wouldn’t want to see the person I love marrying someone else either,” replied Vilde in a very matter-of-fact tone of voice.
“Wait, what? What are you talking about? I am not in love with Even. It’s been a few years since we were together and I am long over him. It would just be awkward to see someone I used to date getting married, you know? Who would want to see that?” Isak was flustered. What was Vilde talking about? Him, still being in love with Even? That was ridiculous. Isak had gotten over him a long time ago and only friendly feelings remained. Even was his best friend, nothing more.
“Oh...yeah. Okay.” Vilde nodded her head as she spoke, not sounding convinced at all.
“Vilde! I’m not. I am not in love with Even. That part of my life is over and in the past. I’m happy for him and Sonja. They’re getting married- that’s so great for them! Isn’t it great?!”
“I get it, Isak. You don’t have to justify yourself to me. You’re not in love with Even, it’s okay.”
“Yep. Not in love with Even. Not at all. So what if sometimes I think about what might have happened if I had never asked him for that break? What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing’s wrong with that at all.”
“And so what if sometimes I find myself wanting to touch him and kiss him like we used to? I mean, that’s totally normal. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“Doesn’t mean anything at all, Isak. You’re right.”
“So I still have some feelings for Even. That’s to be expected with any ex, especially your first love. It doesn’t mean I’m in love with him still.”
“Yep. Not at all.”
“And so what if I wish we were still together? So what if I miss being with him? So what if I’m still in love with him?” Isak’s rambling came to a sudden stop as it finally hit him. “Oh, fuck. I’m...I’m still in love with Even.” Shock washed over Isak at his realization and he was suddenly overcome with all of the emotions and feelings that he had been repressing for so long. He didn’t understand how he had ever fooled himself into thinking he was over Even. Now that his blinders were finally lifted, Isak could finally see that his love for Even had never waned, not at all.
“Well, it’s about time you figured it out,” replied Vilde, rolling her eyes. Unlike with him, Isak’s revelation didn’t seem to surprise her at all.
“Why the fuck didn’t you tell me?!”
“I thought you knew but just didn’t want to ruin things for him and Sonja! We all did. It’s so obvious to all of us how you feel about him. The way you still look at him, it’s clear you never got over him.”
“Well, fuck. What am I supposed to do now? He’s marrying Sonja tomorrow.” Now that he was over his initial shock, Isak felt despair begin to settle in its place. Even was getting married tomorrow- getting married to someone who wasn’t Isak. What the fuck was Isak going to do?
“I don’t think there’s anything you can do, Isak.” Vilde said as she reached out to put her hand on Isak’s arm in comfort. “He’s in love with Sonja, and he’s committing himself to her for life tomorrow. I think you missed your chance with him. I’m so sorry Isak, I really am.”
Isak couldn’t reply. He was numb. Why had this taken so long for him to figure out? Fuck, why had he ever asked Even for that stupid break in the first place? How could he have ever fooled himself into thinking he was over Even? Now he was about to lose Even forever, and it was all his fault.
However, as Isak continued to wallow in his despair, he slowly found himself growing more and more determined. Why should he give up on Even this easily? He had done that once before and now he was on the verge of losing Even forever because of that horrible mistake. No, there was still time. Even wasn’t married yet. Even didn’t know how Isak felt. There was still a chance for them. As long as there was still a chance, Isak refused to give up so easily. Even was too important to Isak. They were too important.
“No. No, I refuse to accept that. The wedding isn’t until tomorrow afternoon, I have time. He hasn’t married her yet. And he deserves to know how I feel. Him and I, we deserve a chance.” As he spoke, Isak began to gather up his stuff. He had to get home, he had to pack as fast as possible, and then he had to get to the airport. He had a flight to catch and there was no more time to be wasted.
“Isak! You can’t do that! Even’s happy with Sonja and he loves her. You can’t ruin this for him!”
“Even deserves to know all of his options, Vilde!”
“Isak, this isn’t fair to Sonja and it isn’t fair to Even! You can’t spring this on him right before he’s going to get married to her!”
“Vilde, Even and I are soulmates. I know we are. I fucked up by breaking up with him once, I can’t fuck up again by letting him marry someone else. I can’t stand by and let him go, not while there’s still a chance. I just can’t.”
Isak could see that Vilde still wanted to argue with him, but he had finished packing his backpack at this point and quickly swung it over his shoulders. There was no more time to spare. He moved in to give Vilde a quick hug and kiss on the cheek, which surprised Vilde so much that she abruptly stopped speaking.
“I know you don’t agree with this, Vilde. But I have to do it. I can’t give up on him yet.”
Vilde sighed, resigned.
“I still think you’re making a mistake. But I understand why you think you need to do this. Good luck, Isak.”
“Thanks, Vilde.” And with that, Isak was gone, rushing from the apartment to go home and get his stuff together to pack. He knew what he had to do and his time was limited. He had to get to London, he had to tell Even he still loved him, and he had to convince Even that he belonged with Isak, not Sonja. Isak knew that he had a slim chance of succeeding, but a slim chance was better than no chance. Either way, he would know that he had done everything he possibly could. That was all he could ask for at this point.
Unfortunately, Isak’s trip did not go smoothly. Since Isak hadn’t had his realization until late in the day, he had been unable to get on a plane right away and had to wait until the next day- the day of Even’s wedding- to find a flight to London. And what was worse, the flight ended up being delayed by a few hours due to poor weather. Isak felt himself become more and more frazzled as he fretted over whether he would make it to Even in time. On top of that, he still hadn’t decided what he was going to say to Even when he was faced with him in person or what he was going to do if Even rejected him. Needless to say, by the time Isak’s plane landed in Gatwick airport, he felt like he was going to explode from all of the anxiety inside him. However, Isak shoved all his stress down as he made his way through the airport as fast as possible without calling too much attention to himself- he had a wedding to get to and there was no time to stop and freak out. Not right now.
By the time Isak arrived at the church where Even and Sonja’s wedding was being held, he was running on nothing but pure adrenaline. He was on a mission and it was time to complete that mission. Isak ignored Mahdi and Jonas’s surprised greetings as he raced by them shortly after entering the church. He had to find Even, he had to talk to him before he married Sonja. Even had to know how Isak felt.
After looking around for a moment, Isak spotted Even near the altar. Isak felt his franticness evaporate at the sight of Even who was standing with his back to Isak, talking to his parents. Fuck, he looked so good standing there in his tuxedo. Isak wanted nothing more than to run up and kiss him senseless, but he knew he couldn’t. Not yet. As Isak continued to stand there, just stupidly staring at Even in a lovesick daze, Even turned around and noticed Isak. Isak felt his heart jolt as Even immediately broke out into a huge grin and began to walk towards him.
“Isak! What are you doing here?” Even was still beaming as he walked over to Isak and wrapped him up in a hug. Isak felt his stomach fill with butterflies as he hugged Even back. God, he loved Even so much. He meant so much to Isak and now that he had realized that he had never gotten over him, Isak just longed to be with him again.
“I came to tell you something. I had to tell you-” Isak was cut off as Even’s best man, Yousef suddenly walked up to them. Even looked up at Yousef expectantly.
“Well? Did you see her?” Even asked excitedly.
“Yes, Yes, Even, I went and saw her, just like you asked me to. She looks beautiful and she’s just as excited as you are.” Yousef shook his head in fond exasperation at his friend.
“Sorry for asking you to do that. I’m just so nervous, you know? I had to know how Sonja was doing too.” replied Even.
“Hey, Isak.” Yousef greeted him. “What are you doing here, man? I thought you couldn’t make it?”
“Yeah, I didn’t think I would be able to make it either. I just couldn’t miss my best friend’s wedding though.” Isak said, watching as Yousef gave him an almost knowing look. Isak guessed Vilde hadn’t been lying when she told him that he was obvious about his still lingering feelings for Even.
“Well, I’ll give you guys a moment alone then.” Yousef gave a final reassuring smile to Even and then walked away, approaching Sana where she was watching Isak and Even carefully. Isak ignored the warning look she gave him and turned back to Even. It was time to tell Even- finally. He couldn’t let anything hold him back, not now. He had come too far.
“Sorry about that, Isak.” Even said before Isak could speak. “I’m just really excited to finally be marrying Sonja and I needed Yousef to check on her to help reassure me that everything is going to go down smoothly, you know? I just really want everything to be perfect for us and for her. I love her so much and she deserves a perfect wedding for everything I put her through.”
“Even. You don’t put anything through anything. You’re not a burden, how many times do I have to tell you that?” Isak had to put his mission on hold for a moment to correct Even. Even could never be allowed to call himself a burden without being corrected. Even was amazing and was the furthest thing from a burden that there was.
“I know, I know. It’s just still hard for me to really accept that sometimes. I didn’t think I would ever get to have this. Sonja’s so good for me though and I know that she doesn’t see me as a burden either.”
As Even spoke and Isak saw the pure love on his face when he spoke about Sonja, Isak felt his confidence begin to falter. Even did love Sonja. Sonja did accept Even for everything that he was and she was good for him. They were happy together. Was Isak really doing the right thing here? Or was he just being selfish and only thinking about himself?
“Anyways, I’m sorry about that interruption. What did you need to tell me?” Even smiled at Isak, waiting for his response. As Isak looked back at Even and felt the love for him coursing through his body, he knew what he needed to do.
“I just came to say...congratulations. You and Sonja are going to be really happy together.” Isak said. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t go through with it and ruin this for Even. Even was glowing with happiness, and Isak could see that he was truly happy with Sonja. Isak was in love with Even, he really and truly was, and Isak suspected that he always would be. And because he loved Even, he had to let him go. Even deserved happiness, and Sonja gave him that happiness. Isak had missed his chance with Even and he had to accept that. He had to let Even go.
“Thank you, Isak. You being here means everything to me. You’re my best friend and have always been there for me. I love you.”
Isak felt tears spring to his eyes and he reached out to pull Even into a hug, not wanting Even to notice and ask him what was wrong. Isak couldn’t ruin his day.
“I love you too,” Isak replied even as saying the words crushed something inside of him, knowing that his love was different from Even’s own.
“I wish I had known you were going to be able to make it after all.” Even said as him and Isak pulled away from their hug. “I would have loved to have you up there as my best man. But, I’ll settle for you just being here at all.”
Isak simply nodded and gave a smile in reply, unable to speak as his throat still felt choked up.
“Well, the wedding’s about to start so I better get going. I’ll see you afterward though, okay?”
“Yeah, I’ll see you then,” Isak replied softly, watching as Even smiled back at him and walked away, going to gather up Yousef and his other groomsmen to prepare them for the wedding. Isak was so caught up in watching Even that he didn’t notice Jonas approaching him until he spoke.
“So, you finally figured it out, huh?” said Jonas. Isak started for a moment and ripped his eyes away from Even to look at his best friend.
“Yeah.” Isak didn’t need to ask what Jonas meant.
“Did you tell him?”
“I couldn’t, Jonas. Look how happy he is. I can’t fuck that up for him on one of the most important days of his life.” Isak’s eyes found Even again where he was now laughing with Yousef, looking radiant.
“I’m sorry, Isak.”
“Yeah. Well, I only have myself to blame. I’m the one who broke up with him, remember? I just have to live with that choice I made.”
“Come on, the wedding’s about to start,” Isak cut off Jonas, not wanting to discuss Even anymore. It already hurt enough without rehashing through everything once again. “Let’s go sit down.” Isak walked away before Jonas could reply, knowing that he would drop the subject for now. And Isak was right as Jonas settled in comfortably by Isak’s side in one of the front pews without bringing up Even again. Isak took a deep breath and felt Jonas put a comforting arm on his shoulder for a moment. Well. It looked like it was time for Isak to watch the man of his dreams marry someone else.
The wedding was beautiful. It really was. Isak had to admit that, even as he felt his heart clench more and more as each member of the wedding party made their way to the altar. Then, as every person in the church watched Sonja’s entrance and walk down the aisle, Isak’s eyes were instead on Even. Even was staring at Sonja, radiant in his happiness as he grinned that beautiful blinding smile at her. Isak stared at Even, wondering how he was ever supposed to get over him and find someone else to love that made him feel the way that Even did.
It was then, as Isak looked at Even with both despair and love, that he thought he saw it. It was quick, but Isak could have sworn that he saw Even’s eyes flick away from Sonja for a second straight into Isak’s own eyes. Isak blinked in surprise, but the moment was over as quickly as it had started. What was that? Why had Even looked at him? Isak felt flustered at the thought of Even looking at him when he should be looking at his bride making her way to him. What was going on?
However, before Isak let his thoughts wander too far, he stopped himself. He was reading way too much into it. It was a simple glance, nothing more. Even was now holding Sonja’s hands as the ceremony began and hadn’t looked Isak’s way once since the quick look. Isak was seeing things that weren’t there. Isak forced himself to stop obsessing over the look and instead concentrated on what was occurring at the altar. As difficult as it was to watch, Isak knew that he needed to see it in order to really accept that he had lost Even. Since Even and Sonja had elected for a simplistic ceremony, it went by fast and before Isak knew it, it was time for the vows.
Sonja held Even’s hand, staring at him with a smile on her face as she repeated their vows after the pastor.
“I, Sonja, take thee, Even as my lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, till death parts us.”
Isak swallowed hard as he watched with a lump in his throat. This was it. Time for Even’s vows and for him to commit himself to Sonja for life. Time for Isak to truly lose Even forever.
“I, Even, take thee Isak-”
What? Isak felt his heart jolt with surprise as Even’s words hit him. Did Even just say what he think he said? Did he really just say Isak’s name instead of Sonja’s during his vows? What the fuck was going on? Next to him, Isak felt Jonas grab his arm and squeeze hard, but Isak was too shocked to even move to look at Jonas. Even was all he saw in this moment.
Up at the altar, Sonja was looking at Even, her mouth open in shock. Even had frozen too and was simply looking back at Sonja. Isak could see his mouth moving, but nothing was coming out. The guests were beginning to murmur to themselves and Magnus was blatantly staring at Isak from his place with the rest of the groomsmen, not even trying to be subtle. Isak was still frozen. What the fuck was he supposed to do?
“I mean, Sonja. Sonja. Of course, I meant Sonja. Sorry, I misspoke.” Even suddenly blurted out, his face still bright red in embarrassment. “I, Even, take thee Sonja-”
The pastor looked uncertain as he looked between Even and Sonja. Isak was pretty sure nothing like this had ever happened before and it was obvious the poor man had no clue of how he was meant to handle it. Despite Even’s protests, there was no way saying Isak instead of Sonja could be a simple case of misspeaking- the two names were nothing alike. The tension was palpable in the church as everyone waited to see what would happen next.
“Shall I continue…?” The pastor finally said, still sounding uncertain.
As he spoke, Sonja’s face began to shift through a range of emotions- from shock to anger to disbelief until finally, it settled on sadness. She looked at Even for a moment more and simply shook her head in response.
“No, don’t continue. I’m done. Goodbye, Even.”
Sonja then turned away from Even and began to make her way down the aisle, her head held high in defiance of the horrible moment. Even took a step forward as if he wanted to go after her, but Yousef reached out and put a hand on Even’s arm to stop him. Isak saw as Yousef shook his head slightly at Even and could just make out Yousef softly say “Not right now.”
As Sonja reached the end of the aisle, what had occurred finally seemed to settle over the guests. Sonja’s maid of honor and her bridesmaids quickly went to follow Sonja, each of them giving Even a murderous look as they passed by him. Isak saw as Sonja’s family also got up and went after her, shaking their heads in disbelief. The pastor cleared his throat, obviously still uncomfortable with the sudden turn of events in the wedding.
“Well...thanks for attending, everyone. God bless you all.” he awkwardly said and then swiftly made his exit, clearly not wanting to linger any more than he needed to in the tense environment.
By that point, Sonja had exited the church completely. Isak watched as Even stood at the altar, looking devastated and confused at what had happened. He seemed to be at a loss for words, and Yousef seemed to sense that Even could not address the remaining guests as he stepped forward for his friend.
“The wedding’s over, everyone. Thanks for coming and showing your support. Sorry things didn’t turn out as we had hoped.”
The guests, who by this point were mainly just Even’s friends and family, slowly began to get up. Some of them left the venue, muttering quietly amongst themselves about what had occurred. Others such as Even’s parents approached Even, offering him quiet words of support and comfort. Isak, however- Isak was still frozen in his seat in shock. He had no clue of what he was meant to do now. He hadn’t seen any of this coming, not at all.
“Go to him,” said Jonas quietly, still sitting next to Isak.
At his words, Isak turned to look at Jonas. Jonas had his brows raised and nodded in Even’s direction encouragingly.
“It doesn’t seem like the time,” Isak said hesitantly. “I mean, I can’t take advantage of Even’s pain like this.”
“Isak. You’re Even’s absolute best friend in the world. If he wants anyone right now, it’s you. Just be there for him. You don’t have to tell him about your feelings if you don’t want to take advantage of him, yeah? Just be there for him as a friend.”
And honestly, did Jonas always have to make sense? Isak couldn’t argue with his logic, especially as he saw Even lift his head and finally turn to look at Isak. Isak saw the raw pain in Even’s eyes as he looked desperately at Isak. Jonas was right, Even needed him. And it was with that thought in his head that Isak quickly stood up and went to Even.
As Isak approached the altar, the crowd around Even parted and let him through so he could wrap Even up in his arms. Isak felt his heart break that little bit more as Even grabbed at him desperately and buried his face in Isak’s neck.
“Shh. Let’s go somewhere private, okay?” Isak looked at Even’s parents as he spoke, hoping they would know of a place in the church that they could go. Isak knew that Even wouldn’t want to talk about this and potentially break down in front of all of their friends.
“There’s a room in the back. It’s where Son-well, it’s private. You guys can go there.” Even’s mom said as she looked at her son sadly.
Isak nodded at her in appreciation as he pulled back from the hug, wrapping his arm around Even’s shoulder instead as he began to lead him to the back of the church to find the private room. Even kept both arms around Isak’s waist as they walked, seeming almost incapable of walking without using Isak as support. As soon as Isak found the room and led them both inside, Even collapsed on one of the armchairs and hid his face in his hands. Isak felt helpless as he looked at him.
“Even, I’m so sorry about what happened. But it’s going to be okay, you know? It’ll be okay.”
Even just shook his head, his face still hidden in his hands.
“Yeah, it’s going to be okay. We can figure this out. I’ll help you.” Isak tried again to comfort Even, feeling desperate to help ease his pain if only a little bit.
“I fucked up.” Even finally spoke even as he kept his face hidden.
“Well...yeah, you did.” Isak didn’t see a point in lying. Even had fucked up, it was undeniable. “But you can fix it. Just let Sonja calm down for a day or so and then talk to her. You can tell her it was just a simple mistake. Come on, she loves you and she knows you want to be with her, not me.”
“But...what if I don’t?” Even replied so quietly that Isak wasn’t sure that he had heard him correctly at first.
However, it seemed that Even was incapable of speaking once again as he could only shake his head at Isak’s question. Isak got on his knees in front of Even, putting a hand on Even’s leg in comfort.
“Even. Come on. This is me. You can talk to me. What’s going on?” Isak rubbed his hand on Even’s leg as he spoke, hoping that it would help soothe Even’s nerves a bit. It seemed to work as Even’s breath began to slow down from its rapid pace and he was finally able to lift his face from his hands. Isak’s breath caught as Even looked at him, an indecipherable expression on his face.
“What if it wasn’t a mistake?”
And that- that was enough to startle Isak enough that he jerked back with enough force to tumble from his knees on to his butt on the floor. It should have been funny- Isak was sure the sight of his limbs flailing in shock had to be comical. However, neither him or Even laughed like they normally would. Instead, Isak gaped in shock at Even as Even looked nervously back.
“What are you talking about, Even?”
“What if saying your name wasn’t a mistake?”
“Well, of course it was a mistake.” Isak gave a nervous laugh. “You’re in love with Sonja, not me. You want to be with her.”
“What the fuck, Even? We are literally at the church where you and Sonja were supposed to be getting married today. What are you trying to say right now?”
Even finally broke the intense eye contact with Isak and began to chew at his bottom lip, apparently lost in thought for a moment. Isak couldn’t help but give a small smile at the sight. That had always been his favorite tic of Even’s.
“I’m saying…” Even began as he moved his eyes back to Isak. “I’m saying that I love Sonja and that I did want to marry her. I really did. I was so happy. But...I think I’m still in love with you, Isak. Fuck. I don’t know how I didn’t see it. But seeing you here today, I just felt that something again. And watching Sonja come down that aisle towards me- I found myself wondering what it would be like if it was you coming down it instead. And then I looked at you in that moment, just for a second, and it just all fucking hit me again. I love you, Isak. I don’t know that I ever stopped.”
Isak was in shock. Even was staring at him, his big eyes imploring Isak to respond. But Isak didn’t know what to say. He had not expected this, not at all. Of course he had hoped for it only a few hours ago, but he never actually expected that Even still wanted him, not really. He had finally accepted that he was losing Even, only for this to happen. Isak was so overwhelmed by Even’s words and it was only when Even spoke again that Isak realized that he had been silent for a bit too long.
“Isak? Please say something. You don’t have to worry about upsetting me, I know you don’t feel the same way. I didn’t say it so you could say it back. I just thought you should know. And anyway, I can’t be with Sonja when I still love you. It wouldn’t be fair for me to marry her when my heart belongs to someone else, you know? And I love her, I do, but it’s nothing like I feel for you. Nothing comes close to that. Nothing ever has. I don’t think anything ever will either. But like I said- I know you don’t feel the same way.”
“Even.” Isak cut off Even’s nervous rambling. Even abruptly stopped talking as soon as Isak spoke. Isak looked at Even and as the love he felt for Even coursed through him, Isak slowly went from a tiny smile to a huge grin, watching as Even’s face mirrored his own.
“Even,” Isak spoke again. “Even, I love you too.”
Isak watched in delight as Even’s grin got impossibly bigger and he laughed a bit in disbelief.
“Even, I didn’t come here to see you get married. Well, not initially. I came here because right after you left Oslo, I realized that I was still in love with you and that I should have never broken up with you in the first place. I came to tell you that. The only reason I didn’t is because I didn’t want to ruin your happiness with Sonja.”
“Well, fuck. We both are pretty oblivious, huh?”
“Pretty much. Vilde told me that all of our friends knew that we were still in love a long time ago.”
“Really?!” Even laughed and Isak’s heart skipped a beat. “Well, all that matters is that we figured out it eventually, right?”
“Hmmm. I think I can think of one other thing that matters.”
“Oh really? And what’s that?”
“You kissing me. Right now.” Isak was tired of waiting and really, why hadn’t they kissed yet? Hadn’t they wasted enough time over the past couple of years?
Isak watched as Even smiled at his words and got down from his chair, slowly crawling towards where Isak was still splayed on the floor. On instinct, Isak lifted his chin and waited for Even’s kiss. Just like he had done all the time back when Even and him were together.
And just like when they were together, Even teased him a bit, leaning in like he was going to kiss Isak until his lips were just a breath away before moving back slightly. He looked at Isak with a raised eyebrow.
But Isak would not wait. Not anymore. He cut Even off, shifting his weight onto one hand to bring the other one up to Even’s neck to finally pull him in for a deep kiss. His stomach fluttered in delight as he felt Even’s smile against his lips as they kissed. As the kiss continued, Isak eventually let the weight in his hand go, falling completely on to the floor with Even’s weight on top of him. However, they didn’t miss a beat, continuing to kiss and just letting the love they felt for each other be expressed through their hands, their lips, and their tongues.
Isak knew that they still had a lot to sort out. Even still had to talk to Sonja, he owed her that much for everything that they had meant to each other. For their part, Isak and Even still had to address the things that had torn their original relationship apart so that they could be stronger this time together. So they could fight harder this time, for each other and for themselves. But laying there on the carpeted floor of a tiny church in London, kissing the man that he had been in love with for so long, Isak finally knew in his heart that things would work out. He had been through too much with Even for him to believe that they wouldn’t be together as long as their lives lasted and maybe even beyond.
And later, a few years in the future in front of all of their friends and family, Isak and Even found themselves in a church once again. As the clock turned to 21:21, Even looked at Isak with nothing but adoration and love in his eyes as he finally said the words with the right name this time- “I, Even, take thee Isak-”