Day 6: poetry | dance | holiday
“Come on, Andrew. Dance with me,” Neil said from where he was sitting next to Andrew. The foxes had come to Chicago for their wedding, where Neil and Andrew were playing for the Chicago Bears. They were a package deal – it was both of them or none of them. Andrew had made sure of that, when Neil were playing in Tennessee and it got out that he and Andrew were in a relationship. Before Neil could count to ten in very language he knew, he was being transferred to Denver and onto Andrew’s team.
Ever since then, Andrew had made sure they were being drafted together.
Neil was glad the foxes had come to the wedding reception.
The day had started with Neil and Andrew going to the City hall with Bee and Renee, because they both knew that they would be the only ones who wouldn’t cry, who wouldn’t ask questions and who wouldn’t take pictures without their knowing.
They had then gone to a local restaurant where the rest of their friends and found family and actual family met then for a late lunch, before they moved to a bar to get a few drinks.
Neil was having a glass of white wine, Andrew a glass of Whiskey.
Dan and Matt were on the floor, dancing with their three-year-old son and five-year-old daughter. Dan and the kids had been in Japan when they won the Olympic and they had been the first to congratulate them, before Kevin had decided to yell at them for making things harder for themselves, despite being out and proud.
Allison, Renee, Nicky and Eric were talking over a bottle red wine for them and a can of coke for Renee.
Aaron and Katelyn were dancing too, slow dancing to whatever was playing low in the background.
Wymack, Bee and Abby were sitting by the bar, enjoying themselves with Irish coffee and Kevin was somewhere with Thea, probably in the bathroom having sex.
Andrew looked at Neil with a raised eyebrow, “No. I told you months ago I wouldn’t dance with you on our wedding day.”
“But it’s our wedding day Andrew. You can’t not dance with me at least once,” Neil said, carefully nudging his arm.
“No, Neil,” Andrew said. He had to look away because Neil started pouting and it hurt to see Neil pout.
“Fine,” Neil said and sipped his glass of white wine, before he got up and went to talk to Wymack about the new foxes.
Renee appeared next to Andrew not long after Neil’s seat had been vacated.
“How are you feeling?” Renee asked quietly.
Andrew looked at her with furrowed brows. “I got married.”
“That you did. I was there,” she said and smiled at him. She pulled out her phone and found one of the pictures of Neil and Andrew exchanging their vows. Andrew was giving his vows and Neil looked at him like he was greatest thing on earth.
Then she showed him one, where Neil was sliding the ring onto Andrew’s finger and Andrew looked at Neil like he had never seen anything more precious before.
And the last picture was of them, sharing their first kiss as husbands. Andrew’s right hand wrapped around Neil’s neck, pulling him down. Neil’s right hand was nestled on his cheek, their left hands joined between them.
Andrew liked the pictures, thought he was angry with Renee for taking the pictures without their knowledge, but he was also glad that she had taken them for them.
“Dance with him Andrew. You know he won’t ask you again,” she said as he emailed the pictures to Andrew. “I won’t take any pictures, but I can’t promise for the others.”
Andrew sighed and looked at Neil next to Kevin now, probably talking about how Jean and Jeremy was doing and what people would probably be a good addition to the National team.
“Get a good picture,” Andrew told Renee as he finished his Whiskey. He got up and walked down to the bar, asking the bartender to put on a slow song and turn up the volume a little, before he went and stood behind Neil.
“Dance with me Neil,” Andrew said.
Neil turned around and stared at Andrew with wide eyes.
“What?” he asked, his breathing getting stuck in his throat.
“I’m not going to repeat myself,” Andrew huffed and held his hand out for Neil to take. “Yes or no?”
Neil looked at Andrew, then down at Andrew’s hand and back up. “Yes,” he whispered as he slid his hand into Andrew’s and let Andrew take him away to the dance floor.
Dan and Matt vacated the floor with their kids to watch the newlyweds. Aaron and Katelyn stepped off to the side as well.
Neil wrapped his arms around Andrew’s shoulders and Andrew put his hands on Neil’s waist, holding him close to him.
Andrew began to sway first, then Neil got he que and began to sway as well. Before they knew it, they were dancing, carefully stepping around each other as the music played in the background. Andrew carefully slid his arms around Neil’s waist, burying his nose in the crook of Neil’s neck where his shoulder and neck met.
Neil smiled and buried the fingers in Andrew’s hair, holding his head there. He was very well aware of Renee walking around them, taking several pictures of them and Neil didn’t mind. Andrew had probably asked her to. He pressed his lips against Andrew’s forehead, pressing just a gentle kiss against his forehead, holding them still long enough for Renee to get a decent picture of them dancing. A picture, Neil would forever carry around with him. A picture, he would put in a frame and put on their desk at home and in his locker.
“I love you,” Neil whispered against Andrew’s skin. Words, he hadn’t uttered before today. He said them in his vows, because he knew it would be his only chance to say them and the only time Andrew had to be quiet long enough to hear them.
But Andrew had said them too. In his vows. And Neil had been flying on a pink sky.
“I love you too.”
Andrew’s voice could barely be heard. But Neil heard him, and he couldn’t stop the wide, goofy smile that spread on his face. The same goofy smile that had been there when Andrew had said them in his vows.
Andrew pulled back and sneered at Neil.
“Stop smiling,” he told him.
But Neil couldn’t stop smiling. This was the best day in his life.
“I can’t,” Neil told Andrew.
In all honesty, Andrew didn’t want Neil to stop smiling. Neil’s smiles could light up a room for week at a time and Andrew didn’t want him to ever stop smiling. Andrew would have to kill the person who would one day kill the smile Neil wore, even if it were himself.
He leaned up and pressed his lips against Neil’s, wiping the smile of his face, even if it was just for a while.
He would have to get all the pictures from Renee. And the video Nicky taken of their dance.
This was a day that Andrew would never forget.