It wasn’t long before I was rushing out the door, wondering mostly about what the next day would be like. Lacey was pretty angry with me when I told her I had someone coming to the reception but there was something behind her eyes that held a tiny bit of surprise. I dropped it on her when I was delivering her dress to the boat club after leaving Luke this morning. Six trips in total I’d made to and from different vendors and now I was on my seventh drive back after getting ready. I was pretty close to the club when I noticed the yellow car in the opposite lane and I was kind of curious, I’d only ever seen one at a car show or in Jack’s parent’s garage before. It was a dodge super bee and as it approached I was shocked to see who was in it. The speed limit being only 35 mph, it was easy to get a good look at them. My brother was riding shotgun and Jack, Jack was grinning from ear to ear as he drove. I didn’t realize I’d taken my foot off the gas until the car behind me started honking because I was so distracted by the look on his face. When I finally slammed my foot back down on the pedal I had to force myself to pay attention.
“I’m so sorry I couldn’t get it finished Luce,” Jack said looking defeated as he showed me the car for the first time.
“Jack, it doesn’t matter to me what car we take to prom, really it isn’t a big deal…” I tried to offer.
In all reality I didn’t care, I was just happy to be going with him. I couldn’t wait to see him in a tux and get to dance with him, you know the dream of any 17-year-old girl. The way we arrived didn’t matter to me.
“I know but I really wanted to take you in style,” he said, his eyes darkening.
“You don’t think that showing up in a Bentley is in style?” I asked, not quite understanding.
“The Bentley is fine Luce, but this car, this car here is special…” he tried again.
I decided not to argue with him or even try to understand what the significance was. Sure as I circled the bright shiny yellow car I had to admit it was nice. Different than cars made now and the fact that he worked on it himself game me a sense of pride. It didn’t hold the same value for me though, that it did for him so I decided to just let him sulk.
I hadn’t thought about that car in a very long time, so long in fact that I didn’t’ think his dad still had it. Where did that car come from I wondered as I tried to pay attention to the road. The smile on his face and the look of Logan as they went past me stuck in my mind. He looked happy, happier than I’d seen him in years. Yes, years, not since before the accident. That was the last time he was truly happy.
“Luce, meet me at Nichols, Bailey is in labor!” his voice nearly exploded in my ear when I answered.
“I’ll be there as soon as I drop these clients off,” the thought of a new niece or nephew filling me with warmth.
When I got there he was pacing back and forth but the look on his face was pure joy. I’d seen him in a state of total happiness prior to that moment but the excitement he was emitting was incredible to watch. He couldn’t wait to be a proud uncle and the minute Thomas was born he was ecstatic.
His expression just now wasn’t quite as wonderful but it was pretty darn close, and I wanted to see it again. I wanted to be a part of that happiness more than I think even I was willing to admit. Somewhat in a daze of distant memories, I parked my car and couldn’t shake the feeling that something was going to happen. Good or bad, though my overloaded brain couldn’t decide. I plucked the last of the items from the back of my car, my shoes for tomorrow, lacey’s shoes, the card box and bag of miniature bubbles and juggled them as I headed into the great room of the club. In just a few short hours it had been transformed along with the rotunda and outdoor patio and lawn. My sister’s vision had been fully realized, I thought as I spun around taking it all in. I moved closer to the rotunda windows to get a good look at the lawn and noticed the bulb lights, strung with their thin wires from building to trellis by the lake. The rows and rows of these lights and the whimsy of what they’d been able to recreate for Lacey was impressive, to say the least. I had to give her credit for one thing she knew how to get her ideas across and make it happen.
As i stood there i let myself drift off to my own wedding. It wasn’t anything nearly as grand as this, and as gorgeous as this was it wasn’t my style. I was more the small gathering type of gal, nothing too fancy or over the top. Lacey though, she had every detail figured out, down to what I was wearing while I stood here holding a ton of stuff. All the girls would be wearing vintage dresses and the guys were in linen pants similar to tomorrow’s suits. There were wing tipped shoes and dainty jewelry for us. She had done a lot of research and finally was able to somehow find all the dresses for tonight and manage to get them altered. I’d helped her for the last few months in ironing out all the details down to the handkerchief each grooms-men would carry.
The line of cars out front was just another one of her grand ideas come to life. We were able to find all but one, which she said she would take care of. I can only imagine what she had to do to find it. The Rolls Royce that her and JJ would ride in belonged to the owner of the boat club so she had lucked out there, he rented it out for weddings and with her persuasiveness she was able to get him to rent it to her for two days instead of one. My sister the conniver. Every last detail was thought of and every scenario had been planned for at this point and now all we had left to do was the actual rehearsal and the wedding tomorrow. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.
“It’s pretty impressive, isn’t it…” his voice, low and smooth, startled me, “Princess Lacey gets what she wants.”
Every cell in my body ignited at the sound of that voice like it surrounded me and wouldn’t let go. Not turning right away, but unable to utter a single syllable I stood there balancing the last of the items I brought. I hadn’t heard him come in and didn’t really expect anyone else to be in here, but here he was. Closing my eyes and trying to center myself before I turned around was useless. My already electric nerves were not to be tamed. In the large open space of the rotunda, I could almost still hear his voice echoing around, it’s smooth tone had bounced around a few times before it was silent again. I couldn’t trust my own voice and I realized that I’d have to turn and face him eventually. What better way to do this I thought, just the two of us here, no prying eyes, no comments from the peanut gallery to make it obvious just how difficult the next two days would ultimately be. For a brief second I thought maybe in the time it took me to turn that he’d gone but when I began to turn I heard his breath catch. A small sound that got strangled in his throat followed but never made it past his lips.
Just like that after two years we were face to face. His dark hair was long, longer than it had been since we were kids and even the wax I’m sure he used couldn’t keep it from being unruly. I watched him, waiting for him to speak again and while we just existed in the large sun-filled room for a few minutes I took stock of my hus- ex-husband. For the first time in two years he looked more like the Jack I knew, the Jack I loved. His gaunt face was now full and the tan he had acquired over the summer gave him a warmth I hadn’t been privy too since before the accident.
In the silence, I watched the corners of his mouth curve up quickly and then resume the downward position as his eyes traveled over me before he cast his gaze down at the floor. With a hint of that smile I caught the creases around his eyes in the sun, those were new, and the way his hand, his calloused hand rubbed at his right thigh, not new. It was too quiet and I could feel my nerves amping up as I shifted from foot to foot. His hand began to slow and I watched as slowly he lifted his eyes to meet mine. In that few seconds, our eyes were locked, and I was whole, I was home in his eyes. It was everything we were meant to be and everything we never got to be all wrapped up in the sadness I saw while it flashed in my mind.