It was the first day to the rest of their life.
She nervously applied his favourite rogue lipstick. Her quivering hands slowly traced the lipstick over her lips ever so carefully to ensure she doesn’t accidentally go over her lips. She slipped into the dress he meticulously prepared for her. A dress more perfect than she could ever dream of. She felt comfortable in the dress, in more ways than one. It feels like home to her.
Just as he promised, she heard 3 knocks on the door the moment her clock chimed 12.
Standing outside her door was a handsome gentleman. A handsome gentleman she fell in love with since forever ago. He gently held her hand and lead her out to his car. A car filled with memories.
“Where are you bringing me to ?”
“To the past.”
The next few hours of their day were spent in places that made them the happiest. The park where they first celebrated their first anniversary. He prepared a picnic filled with her favourite snacks. He carefully cut the food into smaller pieces and fed them to her. She breathed the cool crisp air into her lungs and felt refreshed. It has been years since she has breathed in air that didn’t come from the thick fog of medicated oil. They then went to the amusement park where they went on their first double date with their friends. It’s a shame their friends can’t join them now, but the memories will forever live. Next was the cinema where she saw her first horror movie. She was always too scared to watch a horror movie, but when his arms are around her, she doesn’t feel like the horrors will follow her home, rendering her sleepless at 3am. They took a stroll along a street, the same street where they were once trapped in the rain and fell sick together for the next 2 weeks. And finally, they arrived at the ballroom where they first got married.
The ballroom was decorated exactly like their wedding. There it all was, the beige tablecloth she picked out all those years ago, the soft music playing in the background, and the white roses placed around the centre of the room. A teardrop fell from her closed eyes as she went back in time to the memories of her wedding. She was so happy then, and she was now, but the thought of it fading away soon is tearing her apart. She wants to stay here forever, right where she is supposed to, right beside him. A soft cough rang in her ears, and he stood blurrily in front of her, one hand held out. She accepted his hands and held him tightly in her arms.
“Thank you for taking me out.”
And for the first time in a long time, they danced their first dance again.
The time they had left together slowly came to an end. Their final steps were buried in silence. Every single word they didn’t get to say were expressed with the silence of their tears. For a long time, only regret was in the air. His regret for doing things without telling her. Her regret of not telling him her feelings. His regret for not talking to her when he is angry. Her regret for not talking to him when she is angry. His regret for taking so long to ask her out. Her regret for not taking the first step. There were many things they would’ve done differently, but as their time inched to a close, regret dissipated. He is glad that she accepted his apology. She is glad that he apologised. He is thankful that she wanted to work on their relationship. She is thankful that he wanted to work on their relationship. He loves the dorky way he used to ask her out. She loves that he finally asked her out.
And right on cue, their time ran out.
Her hands slipped out of his hands. Her head gently rested on his shoulders. Her tired body finally surrendered, and she slowly sank to the ground. He embraced her, relieving every single moment they spent together since their first date when they were 18. Every single laughter, every single fight, and every single moment they fell in love with each other played in his mind. Again and again.
He thought about their wedding day, the fantastic disaster it was. Heavy rain, torn veils, and a melted wedding cake. He wasn’t sure what their friends and family thought about their wedding, but he thought it was perfect. Except for that one line in their vows.
The tighter he held her in his embrace, the less he understood. Their vows were wrong, nothing was going to do them part. If anything, it just amplified his love for her. Love that will echo throughout eternity. Through the high skies and low seas. Through all forms of life. He doesn’t know what he is going to do next, but everything feels right with her in his arms.
Her cold hands gripped onto his for one last time, before her last breath.
After 70 long years, they stopped dancing.
But this was just an intermission. Somewhere down the road, he’ll see her again, and when he does, their dance will resume. And this time they’ll dance for eternity.
© 2021 Alison Lian