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Vows

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I stared at a blank computer screen.

Much like my sister, Katie, I found myself struggling to come up with wedding vows. I was never one to be open with my emotions, but especially not in front of a large group of people. After several minutes of typing and undoing, I sat back in my chair, rubbed my eyes and went for a pot of coffee in the breakroom.

So far, I’d had three cups, and all I’d accomplished was making myself need to go to the bathroom about a half dozen times that morning. I reached over for some creamer and sugar cubes, and as I dropped them in my mug, I heard a familiar voice.

“Do you want some coffee with your sugar?”

With a jolt of energy that no amount of coffee could give me, I spun around, and there she was. Elena Sanchez. The woman I was going to marry. She was beautiful as ever with her perfect, hazel eyes, dark brown hair loosely tied in a ponytail and her red dress, fiery as her personality. I blushed as I pictured it on our bedroom floor pooled around her feet so I could gaze upon her full glory.

After years of knowing me, Elena can read me like a book, and given the sultry look on her face, she knew exactly what I was thinking. She sauntered over, wrapped her arms around my neck and whispered in my ear, “later.”

Now my face was even redder, and I let out a yelp. Maybe I needed a little “inspiration” from my wife to be before I could continue, or more accurately, start my vows. As much as I would have loved to heat things up, that seemed in bad taste, so I offered up a much more innocent date to Coney Island.

Elena squealed in excitement. Her energy affects me in the best way possible, counterbalancing my restrained nature. In the years that we’ve known each other, she’s always seen me for the man she knew I could be.

At Elena’s insistence, we went back home to dress more casually, trading in my suit and her dress for ripped up jeans and sweaters. She even had me put on a cap to complete the look. To be honest, I was surprised to find out that I owned one. Perhaps it was Leo’s, and he accidentally left it here. Then I looked up at Elena checking herself out in the mirror. She certainly didn’t need a fancy dress to look like a stunning vision. I absent-mindedly put on the cap and walked up behind her. The warmth of her body and the scent of her perfume made me want her desperately, but she wasn’t having it. At least, not until after our date.

***

The Boardwalk was never my kind of place, but Elena always relishes it when we go, so I figured it couldn’t hurt since it makes her happy. After a day filled with fried Oreos and carnival games, my laid back sense of fun gave way to a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach when I saw Deno’s Wonder Wheel. I already knew that Elena would want to go, and each time I’d managed to slink out taking that terrifying ride. But I had a feeling she was dead set on it this time.

I know it was a trick that my mind was playing on me, but at the time, I swore the wheel got bigger as we walked closer. Perhaps, I should have told Elena how petrified I am of heights, but when she gets excited, I find that I’d do anything to keep that smile on her flawless face. There’s an innocence, that’s very endearing in moments like these. She gets so excited to do something fun that she becomes oblivious to my anxieties. It’s not malicious at all. In fact, I’m inspired by how freeing that must be. As we stepped inside, we already felt ourselves swaying, and the blood drained from my face. Elena giggled and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

“You’re so cute, Alex. Abject cowardice isn’t a good look on most men, but you pull it off nicely.”

“Th- thanks,” was all I managed to get out.

The shock of our sudden ascent made me clutch to Elena for dear life. She simply laughed and patted me on the back.

“How did you ever survive being in a shipwreck and stranded on a deserted island?”

“That was different,” I asserted, “you and I were separated. Nothing was going to stop me from making sure you were safe.”

“Oh, so when I’m in danger, you become courageous?”

“Well, I suppose…”

“That’s very sweet. It’s nice to know that I have a knight in shining armor that I can also make fun of.”

“Oh, God!” Dangling high above Brooklyn was not my idea of a good time. Then, Elena cupped my face, and I felt myself get lost in those hazel beauties before me.

“Alex, you should try to loosen up. Maybe if you focus on me, it won’t seem as scary.”

Elena was right. I looked into her eyes and saw unmitigated splendor. I’d ride on a thousand Ferris Wheels for one second of her time. And here she was, ready to devote her life to me. My paralyzing fear of heights was gone, and I surrendered myself to the sensuality of her full, soft lips in a passionate kiss.

It was at that moment that I knew what I would say on that most glorious day of our union. Elena makes me braver, she brings adventure into my life and helps me have more fun than I thought possible. I’ve always played life safe, but that wasn’t how life was meant to be for us. Nana knew that, Elena knows that, and now I know it. No thrill could match when we touch each other, and express our love, and I can’t wait to spend every day of my life and beyond bound to her, body and soul.