Puke

Leah rubbed Aaron’s back gently as he puked over the deck railing. A wave of cheers drifted out of the warmly lit banquet hall.

“What are they doing now?” Aaron groaned.

“Looks like they’re cutting the cake.” Another choking groan followed by a distant splat. “You’re feeling pretty shitty aren’t you?”

Aaron spit out a stray chunk of regurgitated food and mumbled, “You think?”

“What’s going on?”

“I drank too much,” he said, dragging himself upright.

“You know that’s not what I’m talking about.”

He shrugged and pulled out a flask. “What about you?”

Leah blinked out into the darkness. “I’m fine.”

Aaron unscrewed the flask, then held it out. “There’s no way you’re fine with how awful I’ve been tonight. Pretty sure you need this more than I do.”

She glanced at the flask and frowned, then looked back at Aaron. He was a mess, but his eyes were warm, kind, generous. She snatched the bottle and took a long swig.

“That bad, huh?” Aaron grinned when she finally offered it back. “I guess you know I’m in love with the bride. Who are you in love with.”

Feeling like she was going to throw up, Leah answered. “You.”

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox

Vision

He had never understood why people cried at weddings, not until he saw her.

All his life he would remember that moment when his vision blurred. He would try to understand what pieces of himself fell into or out of alignment allowing the emotion to come forth so freely. He would wonder what he really saw in that moment when he suddenly had to blink away tears.

Did he see years of tender smiles and loving glances? Did he see angry comments, painful silences, apologies, reconciliations. Did he see crying babies and sleepless nights, hugs from children, children grown and leaving. Did he see hands interlocked, heads on shoulders, the endless kisses, tears wiped away, a lifetime of companionship.

Could he have seen? Could he have known?

It lasted just an instant, a hazy, warm, love-lit vision.

He knew.

He saw her, dressed in white, walking toward him while the melody of La Vie en Rose surged around them. Then she was there with him at the altar. He knew exactly why he was there, and exactly what he was promising. Their hands met, gripped each other tightly. Her eyes shone, wet with tears as well.

“I do.”

“I do.”

Story by Gregory M. Fox
Photo by Mandy Whitaker