I wish sometimes that I had chosen a longer name for myself. I loved the playfully exasperated tone in her voice and found myself wanting a middle name just to prolong the resonance.
“Get out! You are supposed to be waiting for me on the terrace.”
“But I want you now.”
She wanted to remind me that I’d already had her twice since we’d arrived at the plantation, but since Manen and Hunter were watching our tet a tet and she couldn’t think of a way to veil the innuendo, she bit her tongue instead.
I gave her a look daring her to say it.
She responded… by shoving me through the door while I laughed.
I wouldn’t use the word nervous. Restless… Eager… Impatient… Not at all nervous.
In my long life no other 5 minute period had ever pulsed by at such an infuriatingly snaillike pace. It truly caught me by surprise that since she returned from court, the last few days sped through our lives with greeting our company and last minute organizing of details. But now, now… 5 minutes, 300 seconds might as well have been 300 years.
Time can be a cruel bitch.
I ran out of polite conversation for David Thrash after about 90 seconds… After another 60 seconds, I’d grown bored of making eye contact and nodding to our visitors…
Adrenaline, or whatever you could call what I have that might resemble it, took over and my memory was flooded with her to pacify my wanting.
The way she looked with my blood on her lips for the first time. The way she’d hold her chin high to show me her vigor. The tears of frustration, fear, pain, loss… Her many smiles and laughs. The way she dances. The intermingling smells of excitement and determination she carries into battle.
But most of all, the way she’d cared for me, in every way, in a manner that I’d never tasted in all of my many years. She’d boarded me, healed me and humbled me. She’d read minds for me, been a target because of me and returned to me in spite of it all.
I had watched her, over a short pass of time, become what no one could have expected.
In that passage, I had dug deep to unearth the man I hoped she might love.
Somehow, we work and for no rational reason… Today, she blesses me.
My gaze had been fixed on one of the many butterflies who’d escaped their embossed envelopes. It was resting atop a stone finial on the terrace bulkhead. Its wings beating slowly to dry. I dare say, its rhythm matched that of Sookie’s resting heart.
My marvel was broken by the sound of strummed cords and the beginning of a slow and familiar song I’d danced to many times, but only with my Sookie.
As Angela’s sweet voice fluttered from the PA like so many butterflies, I listened.
Then I saw her.
All of these lines across my face… Tell you the story of who I am… So many stories of where I’ve been… And how I got to where I am… But these stories don’t mean anything… When you’ve got no one to tell them to… It’s true…I was made for you… I climbed across the mountain tops… Swam all across the ocean blue… I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules… But baby I broke them all for you… Because even when I was flat broke… You made me feel like a million bucks… You do… I was made for you… You see the smile that’s on my mouth… It’s hiding the words that don’t come out… And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed… They don’t know my head is a mess… No, they don’t know who I really am… And they don’t know what … I’ve been through like you do… And I was made for you…
Sookie was a vision. I’d seen her in her dress before, breaking whatever pedestrian taboos.
The way she looked in it 5 minutes ago was different.
Now… Her makeup was smoky, her hair was pinned to her crown in a loose twist, as she had worn it the night we became ‘us’ just a few short weeks ago. Her dress a perfect fit, her flowers a perfect match.
In an effort to hold back the flow of crimson emotion from my eyes, I probed the bond. I thought, rather hoped, I’d be distracted by a hint of something I could concern myself with.
What I felt was love.
No fear, resilience, melancholy, inferiority or aversion.
She wanted this. With everything. She wanted me.
Every one of her 118 steps were confident.
Every one of her 118 steps were determined.
Most importantly, every 118 of them were toward me.
When she finally met me, I took her hand to find that it was a rock of promise.
I paid no attention to anything Thrash said until I was given my cue.
“Sookie, you surprise me. Every day you teach me a new lesson.
When I first met you, you surprised me.
Over time, I would feel like I was starting to understand you, but still… you surprise me.
I’d expect you to run, yet you’d stand tall.
I’d expect you to fight, yet you’d show reason.
I’d expect you to resign, yet you’d steel yourself and triumph.
I have never met such a kind, loyal, loving, tender and brave person in my life or death.
After all these years you’ve surprised me by impressing me, but most of all, by loving me.”
As I waited for the official to cue her to her turn the lyrics of the song, gently being played, echoed through my memory.
“Eric, you are a con artist.
You robbed me of my blanket of fear and stoked my spirit with bravery.
You took my familiar emptiness and fueled me with a new purpose.
You swindled me of pain and healed me.
You sir, are a thief.
You have pillaged me for everything I was, and in your aftermath left only confidence.
Of all the things I fought against parting with…
My heart, my soul, my love… I beg you to keep them. I will consider them your spoils, forever.
In all of the ways that I have been broken and damaged, after all of the losses; you complete me…
by loving me.”
My hand shook while waiting to put the ring on her finger, in spite of the trite love/honor/obey lines we would need to repeat, but the anticipation I’d felt was replaced with curiosity when Thrash announced that Sookie had rewritten them to suit us…
We repeated after him at the same time…
“I take you as mine…
We have become one another…
We seize each other…
We nourish each other…
Make, maka, skapare, barn, Som en fram till det slutgiltiga död.
Before our kind, I do swear.”
Make, maka, skapre, barn, Som en fram till det slutgiltiga död
Husband, wife, maker, child, as one until final death.