Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chapter Twelve

“One week to the wedding,” Claudia announced as she breezed through the dinning room on her way to the back patio.

Kristy looked up for her work just long enough to send a grimace in her general direction. “Not that I am ready,” Kristy commented to no one in general. Turning her attention to the papers spread across the tabletop, she frowned again. Picking up the nearest one she scanned it.

“Four bedrooms in the heart of a picturesque valley, this spacious home boasts of three bathrooms, a newly renovated kitchen, first floor laundry, den, living room and formal dinning room.” Too big, Kristy decided and tossed it in the general direction of the trash can. It took her a half hour to dispose of fifteen other listings in a similar manner. The only one that passed her inspection ended up in a very short pile at the end of the table.

She was just feeling proud of the fact that she was finally making progress, when the door to the patio opened and a breeze pushed her chosen pile into the mess of pages she had not looked at yet. As she scrambled to recover her hard work, someone came in and shut the door.

“Sorry I am late,” Scott said as he approached the table.

Kristy paused a moment to glare at him. “You messed up my piles.”

“Sorry,” Scott apologized again. “We just finished planting the back flowerbeds. Claudia mentioned that you looked like to needed help, so, I thought I would come and offer my services.”

“I was just trying to work through these listings that the realtor dropped off this morning. By throwing out the obviously inappropriate ones, I was hoping to speed up our discussion process later. Now the ones I thought we would be interested in are mixed into the ones I haven’t even looked at yet.”

“Here,” Scott offered, “Let me help.” Then taking half of the pile, he sat down and started sorting through. “Too big, too small, too old—my word—that is a large house, more like an estate,” he exclaimed. “What is our realtor thinking by sending us all this stuff? More than half of it is not even close to what we are looking for,” he commented.

“I told her we are in a hurry to find a place and that I wanted to see information on every house for sale in a twenty mile radius. I figured it would be faster than visiting them in the order she wants. She is out to make the largest commission that she can get.”

Scott nodded his understanding as he tossed pages toward the trash. “How are the wedding plans?”

“I have no clue,” Kristy muttered as she studied a particularly hard decision. “Claudia and I made a deal. I made all the crucial decisions and now she runs the rest. All I have to do is show up and get dressed.”

“We still have to pick out rings, you know,” Scott commented as he straightened his accept pile. “I was thinking about doing that today. What do you think?”

“All right,” Kristy agreed as she arrived at the bottom of her pile. “Only if you help me narrow this mess down to five houses that we can look at tomorrow afternoon, deal?”

Scott shrugged. “Sure.” Taking up his accept pile, he started reading aloud.


Two days later, Kristy was again sitting at the dining room table, this time it was with mortgage paperwork spread around her. Austin had just stepped out to find Scott who had run off to fetch a notebook and had not returned yet. Groaning, she put her head down on the table. “Who would have known that this process would be so stinking annoying?”

“I could have told you that,” Kevin commented as he appeared from the kitchen. “Are you still sure you want to marry Scott? He seems to have this bad habit of leaving you with the hard stuff while he goes off to play in the dirt.”

“What do you mean?” Kristy asked sitting up suddenly. “He was just here and will be back any minute.”

“I will bet you that Austin found him with his hands into some other project. Any project other than this one,” he said as he flicked the edge of the nearest legal-sized document.

“I told you to leave me alone,” Kristy reminded him as she stood to her feet.

“You also said you wouldn’t tell Scott unless I bothered you again,” Kevin replied in a smooth voice. “But you didn’t wait did you? Scott has been really cold to me lately and I am pretty sure you are the cause.” Coming around the edge of the table, he stepped up to her, crowding her personal space.

“Leave me alone,” Kristy commanded as she backed around the table toward the door to the patio.

“Are you sure?” Kevin followed her. “I just wanted to repeat my earlier declaration of love. I still love you and want to marry you. I would never ask you to do all this kind of stuff on your own. I would take care of you and love you more than Scott is capable of doing.” As he spoke, he inched around the last corner to the table and invaded her personal space again. “Come on,” he breathed, “You know you still love me.”

“No,” Kristy said firmly and then lashing out, slapped him across the mouth. “I will say this for the final time: Leave me alone. I do not love you. I never have. I love Scott and I am going to marry him in less than a week. Now leave this room or I…”

At just that moment, Scott and Austin entered from the hall. In an instant, Scott crossed the room and stepped between Kevin and Kristy. “What are you doing in here?” he asked Kevin.

“Saying goodbye,” Kevin answered without missing a beat. “I finished the last of the flowerbeds this morning and was about to leave.” He turned to walk around Scott to leave by the patio door, but Scott caught his arm.

“Don’t bother coming to the wedding, Kevin. You will not be welcome. And if I ever find you bothering Kristy again, I will make sure you never forget it for the rest of your life.”

“I was just saying goodbye,” Kevin spat at him.

“Don’t lie to me,” Scott growled. “If you push me, I will not bother giving you a chance to walk away under your own steam.” The two men glared at each other.

Suddenly Austin was there. Taking hold of Kevin’s other arm, he firmly told Scott, “Let go. I will see he leaves the property.”

With visible reluctance, Scott released his grip on Kevin’s forearm and turned away. Austin practically dragged Kevin out the door, across the patio and around the corner of the house.

Scott turned and pulled Kristy into his arms. “Are you all right?” he asked softly.

Slowly, Kristy nodded against him. “Thank you,” she whispered. ”I love you.”

“I know. I love you, too.” They stood there silently for a few moments before returning to work.


“Where is the ring bearer?” Claudia yelled down from the second floor balcony. Below, milling in the foyer, were a few of the guests and wedding party.

“I will go find him,” Adem offered. He disappeared into the dining room and Claudia turned around and headed back up to the third floor. As she approached the apartment, she could hear Kristy and Jessi arguing even through the closed door.

”I do not want to wear make up!” Kristy declared loudly as Claudia entered.

“For Scott,” Jessi pleaded.

”I am not going to wear make up!” Kristy insisted. Crossing her arms, she plopped unceremoniously on the nearest chair.

Claudia and Jessi cried in unison, “The dress!”

“What is going on in here?” Dawn asked as she appeared from the bedroom where she had been changing. Her dress was on, but her hair stood on end as if she had pulled it over her head in a hurry.

Jessi pulled Kristy to her feet and Claudia immediately started inspecting the damage Kristy had done. “You know how long it took me to get this skirt pressed?” Claudia groaned.

“I am not taking the thing off her again,” Jessi declared. “She is just going to have to stay in it while you get the wrinkles out again.”

Kristy just rolled her eyes. “I am not wearing make up and that is final.”

“Fine,” Jessi agreed. “But you are standing up until after the wedding.”

“Aw, for pity’s sake,” Kristy yelled. “It’s a freaking dress.”

“I think I will lie low,” Dawn commented and headed toward the bathroom. When she reemerged, Kristy was standing on a stool as Claudia, equipped with a steamer, attempted to straighten the skirt of her dress.

Jessi was going over the list of things to do before the ceremony. “Where is Nancy?” She asked Claudia.

“I don’t know. She said she was going to get here early, but I have not seen her yet. I told Austin to make sure she got up here as soon as she arrived.”

“And the ring bearer still has not made it up here either,” Jessi pointed out. “One of us is going to go looking for them both.” She turned to Dawn who was putting the last hair pin in place. “Are you all set?” she asked her.

“Let me see.” Dawn closed her eyes and listed things silently on her fingers. After a moment, she opened them. “I think I got everything done.”

“Good,” Jessi exclaimed. “You can go find Nancy and Ranger, the ring bearer.”

“What do they look like?” Dawn asked.

“I’ll go,” Kristy announced. She was immediately told under penalty of dismemberment she was not to step off the stool.

“I will figure it out,” Dawn reassured them as she slipped out the door.

“Look for the flower girl, while you are at it,” Jessi called after her. “Her name is Diana; she’s Ranger’s twin sister.”

Dawn did not give her a response as she headed toward the stairs. Slipping through the foyer, she entered the kitchen. The room was in chaos. Timone was screaming at one of the waiters. Apparently he had forgotten to fill the special ice cube tray for the punch bowl. Dawn quickly ducked out. She strode swiftly through the crowded dining room. It had been converted into a reception room for the guests wait in before taking their places out on the lawn where the wedding was going to take place. Sneaking into the empty parlor, now a dining hall for the reception, she knocked on the study door. The male voices talking beyond hushed for a moment and cautiously Austin stuck his head around the door.

“Is Ranger in there?” she asked. “He doesn’t have the rings yet and it is kind of important that we find him.”

Austin asked the men behind him without opening the door any farther. After a moment filled with interesting sounds, Adem appeared. “I told him to get upstairs.”

“He never showed,” Dawn informed him. “Where did you see him last?”

“I caught him and Diana playing tag in the basement,” Adem volunteered. “Do you want me to go get them and escort him personally to Jessi?”

“Yes, please,” Dawn said with relief. “And escort Diana while you are at it. They are both supposed to be up there. The service starts in fifteen minutes.”

Adem left in the direction of the basement and Dawn headed back into the crowded foyer to find Scott’s mother, Tara. She would be the one who would know where Nancy was. After five minutes of frantically searching through the crowd, she finally spotted Tara. Just as she was about to interrupt Tara’s conversation, the front door burst open and a young woman looking remarkably similar to Scott walked in carrying a dressing bag. This had to be Nancy. After hurried introductions, Dawn directed her up to the third floor. They arrived just as Adem exited dragging Ranger behind him. Ranger’s face was covered in dirt and from the look in Adem’s eyes, Dawn was afraid to see what Diana looked like.

“We are on our way to the nearest bathroom,” Adem informed her as he shoved Ranger through the nearest guestroom door. “I will see you at the service.”

Dawn hurried the rest of the way to the apartment with Nancy hot on her heels. “If that girl has ruined her dress,” Dawn informed Nancy, “I am going to have to scream.”

Nancy just laughed.

Diana had gotten her dress dirty, but thankfully most of it came off with a good brushing. Nancy made it into her dress and fixed her hair in record time. So when one of the ushers knocked on the door to tell them it was time, they were all breathless, but ready.

Each of the girls hugged Kristy before they left the apartment. Finally, without a glitch they made it down the stairs and into the now empty dining room. Scott’s parents, Nathen and Tara, and Kristy’s parents, Timothy and Elizabeth, were waiting for them. After hushed greetings all around, they lined up like they had rehearsed: Diana, Nancy, Claudia, Jessi, Dawn and then finally, Kristy and her father. The first usher escorted Tara down to her seat with Nathen following. Elizabeth kissed her daughter. “I am so proud of you,” she whispered. “You make a beautiful bride.” She then turned and accepted the second usher’s arm. A few moments later, she was seated and the processional music began.

Claudia was halfway down the aisle and Jessi about to take her first steps, when Dawn turned around and smiled at Kristy. “See you on the other side,” she said. “You will be great. Just keep your eyes on Scott.” Then, it was her turn to begin her walk.

As she watched her best friend reach the end of the candle lit aisle, Kristy felt her knees get weak. That meant she was next. Suddenly she felt lightheaded. “Ready,” her father asked as he tightened his grip on her arm.

Slowly, Kristy nodded. She was as sure as she was ever going to be. Together they stepped to the beginning of the long aisle. The sun was setting slowly in the west, casting a golden light over the lawn. Kristy was sure she was not going to make it all the way down the grassy way between the rows of people standing up to watch her. Then remembering Dawn’s advice, she looked up and discovered Scott looking back at her. He was watching her with a surprised, loving, awestruck look in his gray eyes. Her heart leapt and suddenly it did not seem such a long way to walk. As long as he was at the end of it, she would make it. And make it she did.




Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this story, very smooth, and easy to read. The only thing I thought this was missing was more chirstian, christ or other things concerning christian morales, or beliefs.

Rachel Rossano said...

Thank you for the feedback. My focus changed a bit when I was writing this compared to when I was writing "Six Years Later...." I agree that it was probably not a change for the better. Thank you for pointing it out. On the other hand, the Lord can use even those things that are not blatantly "Christian" to encourage and enrich others.

Thank you again for the feedback. I hope you enjoy the other stories.

Anonymous said...

It was a lovely story, I agree with the previous comment, considering they were all christians, it lacked a christian element. But it was lovely and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for writing it.