Head Over Heels

Fiction By Damaris Ann // 4/25/2018

I held the flowing bouquet of woodland flowers in both my hands and walked down the isle at a measured pace. Once I had reached my designated spot, I turned and met the eyes of—no, not my groom. Sheesh. I’m single. I have yet to find a man that is willing to put up with this much sarcasm on a daily basis. Not that I’m looking for a man. Anyways, back to my story. I looked up and met the smiling gaze of my baby sister. Caitlyn looked ethereal in her shimmering white gown, with a cathedral vail trailing yards behind her. The congregation breathed a collective sigh as they watched her slowly make her way down the isle. Or rather, up the isle. Yes, up. Because from here it will all be downhill. Okay, enough with the jokes.
Cait looked gorgeous. Her blue eyes were crinkled into that warm smile I have loved since the day she was born, and her rose-tinted lips were curling upwards in a show of contented joyfulness. Never have I seen such a vision of grace and beauty to match it. She reached her place next to David, her groom, and I took her bouquet. Cait winked at me before David took her hands and one-hundred percent of her attention.
From where I stood, I had the perfect vantage-point to study my almost-brother-in-law’s face. And so I did. Even though I was in ridiculously tall heels (I begged Cait to let me wear flats, but she wouldn’t hear of it), I was able to stand very still and focus on David’s facial features. I saw every blink, and counted every dishonest shudder his eyelids made. Which was exactly zero. Zip. Not a single one. As much as I tried to dislike David for marrying my sister, I couldn’t help but understand that he was the most wonderful young man I had ever met. I knew that he was right for my Cait on the day that I stopped wondering if he was worthy enough for her, and began to wonder if she was worthy enough for him.
I was interrupted from my careful study of David’s face when my pastor spoke up. “Who has the rings?” He asked.
I panicked for two consecutive seconds until I remembered that I had David’s shiny, silver wedding band shoved onto my index finger. I smiled mischievously and felt around my nonexistent pockets just long enough for Cait to feel panicked, then I produced the ring. The best man one-upped me drastically by actually forgetting Cait’s wedding band altogether, so they just took her engagement ring off so that David could slip it back on.
They shared their first kiss, and I cried for the first time in, well, maybe an hour? Anyways, my singleness was suddenly bothering me more than it usually did. But I bit the inside of my cheek and chided myself for thinking of me, myself, and I right then. This was Cait’s big day! And I was incredibly happy for her.
I handed Cait her bouquet, and she and David walked up the isle. Or no, they walked down the isle. Then the best man, Kyle, offered me his arm and we took two steps down the isle. I say two, because suddenly the world started spinning around my head, and I began my everlasting fall down to the ground. It felt like I was twirling as I fell, and a thousand constellations spun past me before I felt grounded. Not grounded as in lying on the ground. No. Grounded as in anchored. Held. Safe. I was wrapped protectively in strong arms, and my last conscious glimpse of reality before I blacked out for five minutes was the look of absolute panic in Kyle’s eyes while he held me.
The next thing I knew, I was sprawled out across a pew in the almost-empty chapel (it was a very small wedding, and I’m told that my dad and the ushers shooed all of the guests off to the reception while I was out cold), and someone was holding my hand.
“What happened?” I croaked.
Kyle self-consciously dropped my fingers and ran from the room. I smirked. Cait and my mother bent over me, both of them looking worried.
“Chloe! You fainted.” My mother said, dabbing at a few tears. “You’ve been asleep for an hour.”
Cait giggled. “It’s only been a few minutes, Dear, but you certainly gave us a scare!”
At that moment Kyle walked up and handed me a glass of water. Cait helped me sit up, and my mother fussed over my dress and hair. I downed the glass of water and then stood up. I wobbled, and Kyle panicked while grabbing my elbows to steady me.
“Are you okay?” He asked. His eyes were very serious and warm, and I felt like he was staring straight into my soul.
“I—yes. I think so.” I was void of snarky comments and clever quips for once in my life. I shook my shoulders lightly and noticed David hovering around Cait. “Don’t pause the wedding any longer on my account, you love birds. The show must go on!”
I picked up my bouquet (which had miraculously made it out of the fray without a single crushed blossom), and marched down the isle behind most of the wedding party. Kyle lagged behind with me and tucked my fingers into the crook of his elbow. I looked quizzically up at him (at least, I was trying to look quizzical. It probably came across more as the look a half-drunk psychopath would give you if you told them that their nonexistent pet alligator named Fred had just died), and he smiled gravely back down at me.
“I wouldn’t want to have you swooning at my feet more than once today.” His face was dead-pan while he spoke, but as soon as the words were out of his mouth his eyes broke into a jolly twinkle.
Kyle stayed near me during the rest of the reception, and was standing close behind me when I tripped over my feet as Cait tossed her bouquet. I caught the flowers, and Kyle caught me. I looked up into his eyes and said “Well, would you look at that?”
“What?” He asked.
“Prince Charming wears a pink bow tie.”
“That’s stupid.” He said, but I’m pretty sure he was blushing underneath his dark brown beard. Not over being called Prince Charming, but over the fact that he was wearing a pink bow tie. I’m pretty sure none of the male members of the wedding party will forgive Cait for that.
Anyways, he shocked me with an amazing comeback. He said, “That’s stupid because Prince Charming carried off Cinderella, and I’m pretty sure she was graceful. You, on the other hand, seem to take pleasure in tripping over every blessed thing you come in contact with.”
My mouth fell open, and I was almost offended. But then his eyes broke out into that same jolly twinkle, and I grinned. “Good one.” I said, and I high-fived him.
After David and my sister had driven away in their shiny, black Dodge Charger, the wedding party began cleanup duty.
I’m not sure who started it, but somehow I found myself in the middle of a water fight in the empty parking lot after we had locked up the building. There was a hose and a stack of plastic buckets, and all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen had already changed into their everyday clothes. After nearly an hour of running around like madmen, we all walked down the street to a dollar store where we bought towels and cheap, dry clothes to put on.
From there we walked to a nearby Sonic and bought food because, as everyone knows, water fights and weddings make you hungry. We stayed out until nearly 3am, just laughing and talking. Jen (one of the 8 bridesmaids) asked us all for our most embarrassing moments. Before I could tell mine, Kyle cleared his throat and spoke up. “I know Chloe’s.” He said. “It was today when she passed out at the end of the ceremony.”
“Excuse me.” I glared at him. “I have actually been more embarrassed about something than I was by that. I mean, I couldn’t help that. I’ve been known to pass out from stress before, so that’s actually not a big deal. Besides, if I recall correctly, you’re the one who left Cait’s wedding band in your truck.”
“Oh. Fair point.” He said. “Well, please enlighten us. What is your TRUE most embarrassing moment?”
“My MOST embarrassing moment is that time when I was 11 and I was supposed to sing a solo at my voice teacher’s concert. I sang the wrong lyrics, and then ran down the isle in the middle of the song and locked myself in the janitors closet for two hours. They had to call the fire department to come get me out, and I never spoke to my teacher after that.”
Kyle began a slow clap, and all of the girls tittered and giggled. I’m pretty sure my story was the best of all.
So that, dear journal, is the story of how I nearly ruined my sister’s wedding today. But it was all worth it in the end because I have a feeling I discovered a friend for life in Kyle, and when I have a feeling about something, I’m rarely ever wrong.
Update: so, ever since Cait and Davey-Boy came home from their honeymoon (nearly 2 months ago), I’ve been dropping in at random times just to inspect their housekeeping and pester them during dinner. Actually, if I’m being honest I’ll admit that I’m super lonely and I miss my best friend.
Anyways, 9 times out of 10 Kyle is already over there, so I often get stuck spending time with him while we’re at Cait’s place. His sarcasm and dry humor make my skin crawl because BOY has that man got a sharp mind! His snarky comments are much more clever than mine, and it makes my blood boil. Every time I up my game, he ups his even more. Sigh.
He’s also super nice and generous, which is disconcerting because it feels like every time we eat dinner together I have to RACE him to the kitchen in order to get to the dirty dishes first.
Yet at the same time, I miss Kyle the 1 out of 10 times that he’s NOT around. Sarcasm is flavorless when used on two meek and mild lovebirds who have eyes and ears only for each other.
Well, Journal o’ mine, during my last stretch of silence, things have taken a deadly turn. Well, only deadly if you count falling head-over-heels in love with someone deadly.
In the last six months, Kyle and I have insulted each other TO EACH OTHERS FACES, insulted Cait and Davey-Boy (except they never really caught on), laughed, fought over dirty dishes (literally; one time there were soap suds all over the kitchen and we ended up on our hands and knees mopping it up), and over-all just teaching one another to depend on the other for happiness.
Then Kyle went away on a business trip for two weeks, and I went absolutely crazy without him. Three days into his trip he texted me, and it turns out that he was going crazy without me, too. So we FaceTimed almost every night while he was away, and when he got back, he came over to my house and proposed.
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “they only knew each other for half a year” or something like that. Technically, Kyle and I grew up together. It’s just that he moved away when I was 10, and only moved back a year ago. And so I’m very happy to know and trust the man I’m going to call my husband. I’ve seen him happy and sad, excited and angry, I know how he treats his mother and mine, how he handles authority, and how he handles disappointment. I know he’s a good man, and I love him even more for all of that.
Sometimes all you need for life and love is someone who will be there to pick you up when you fall. Both literally and figuratively. Now I know that someone is Kyle.

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