Probably a year or so later…
I picked a red dress. I figured there was no way in hell I had any right to be in a white dress.
I just didn’t expect I wouldn’t be the only one rocking an unexpected dress. For some strange reason, my now brother-in-law was wearing a grass skirt. What the fuck.
Brayden: “I’m sorry, Austen.”
Austen: “It’s fine, Dad.”
Andrew: “Dad! This is the traditional attire of the Sulani people.”
Brayden: “… Okay.”
Yeah, that’s Emi. She’s gotten huge. Her hair is doing that weird shit that happens to some of us. The chromatic dismorph- oh fuck if I can remember the phrase. But her hair changes colors a lot.
Amy: “What’s up with Austen’s brother?”
Aurora: “No clue… but I’m so pissed that I’m struggling to keep this smile on straight.”
Amy: “You’re failing, Girl… you look like you’re about to go postal.”
Mila: “Our kids are getting married… guess this means we’re family too.”
Dorian: “I guess.”
Mila: “Continue ignoring each other for the most part except at family gatherings?”
My Dad just shrugged.
I think I was nervous, but it’s not like this was anything more than a ceremony. It’s not like I hadn’t been living with the guy for the last couple years. Was there anything different in being married or just boyfriend/girlfriend? I don’t know, but I guess it’s sort of nice to make this really official.
So you might be wondering… how the fuck did we get here?
A whole lot of months before… To be specific, the day Austen and I went home to my family’s house…
To say that my Mom was pissed off at me was an understatement. She didn’t say a word as Austen and I brought Emily’s stuff in the house. My Dad seemed a little bit more cool with everything, but that wasn’t surprising. He takes everything in stride.
Things were creepy and quiet as I placed Emily down to rest. She was fussy, which wasn’t a shock since she had been traveling and bounced around for the last day.
My Dad started the conversation. He pointed at the bassinet.
I wanted to laugh. It was the most sort of unassuming way to start such a heavy conversation.
Aurora: “Austen was the one who found me and looked out for me in Brindleton… we started dating and well… Emi came along. I missed everyone so much. I really did. I wanted to come home, but I got snowed in. I was going to come home before Valentine’s, but… I was sort of, yeah.”
I won’t repeat the exact words that my Mom said in response to that, but you get the point.
Even I was thrown and I’ve been yelled at a lot in my life.
Austen later told me, “So that’s where you get your temper.”
Dad’s response to Mom’s verbal assault was just an eyebrow raise.
Dorian: “Now that you got it out of your system…”
Izzy: “I know.”
She turned her gray dagger gaze back at me.
Izzy: “Move. I want to see my grandbaby.”
I’m pretty sure that’s when my Mom fell in love for the second time in her life.
Izzy: “She’s so precious. What’s her name again?”
Izzy: “Awh, who’s Nana’s little angel?”
I rolled my head. Good lord. She’s so predictable…
So that’s how we dealt with that huddle…
The next came a month later…
Austen’s parents knew where he was. It’s not like he was hiding from them.
In fact he actually called them after a couple weeks in Willow Creek.
His Mom and Dad made the drive down here the next weekend after that to visit.
Cristal was the one unlucky enough to answer the door.
Cristal: “Hi there, Mr. and Mrs. Archer! We’ve been expecting you. I’ll get Austen.”
I can still remember the audible groan Austen emitted as he rose from the couch.
Austen: “Hey Mom. Hey Dad. Glad you could make it.”
Cristal whispered, “I’m just going to escape this awkward family reunion now. Bye.”
Austen hooked his arm through his father’s and grinned like an idiot.
Austen: “There’s no awkwardness here. Let’s get your coats off and you can meet Aurora’s parents, then spend some time with Emi.”
Yeah, I’m not going to lie. It’s better if I don’t spend too much time on how fucking horribly that weekend went.
Eventually shit got back to normal and my folks even helped me and Austen a little place of our own. I don’t know, I guess being cooped up in my tiny little cabin in the woods gave me an appreciation for small houses, cause when it came time to choosing a new home- we went with another tiny home. It was also eco friendly and shit like that. Save the Earth or whatever. It was old shipping containers converted into a cool little house. Tiny, but big enough for the three of us.
During the last few months, Austen and I both turned legal. Big fucking deal. We did all the fun young adult stuff way before a cake told us we were grownup.
I reconnected with my best friend Amy. She adored Austen, of course, and said I must have a green fetish. She’s such a freak.
Then it was time to finally tie the knot.
So that’s how we got to this day… Sorta, kinda… close enough at least. Fuck it, we’re going with it: That’s how Austen and I finally ended up at our fucking wedding ceremony. Cue the ceremony…