He sat on the edge of a pew as people ran around the church, putting the finishing touches on decorations. He probably wasn’t suppose to be out here since they were about to open the doors to the guests, but for some reason it was comforting to sit in the empty church. He gazed at the flowers marking each pew, perfectly red and orange like she had picked out. Up the aisle on the stage was a white arch covered in twisting branches and fall colored leaves. The reds, oranges and yellows complimented the whites of the walls and the browns of the oak pews. It was the closest thing to a beautiful outdoor wedding in the fall, except indoors. She had begged and pleaded to have it outside, no matter how cold it was. But in the end this was safer. The man sighed and pulled at the sleeve of his gray suit. This was the day he had waited his whole life for, and yet he could hardly breathe. There was no arguing that this is what he wanted, that she was what he wanted. Why was he so scared?
“It’s time to open the doors, bud.”
He looked up to see his Best Man standing over him, beckoning for him to follow him. He followed him back into his room, where he spent the next twenty minutes pacing. His friends had given up trying to calm his nerves and instead decided to give him some space until it was time.
The man stood in front of the oak doors, listening to the music anxiously. There was a tap on his shoulder and he turned around to see his mother smiling up at him. There was no need to say anything. She enveloped him into a hug before taking his arm and nodding. The doors swung open as hundreds of heads turned to watch the slow walk to the front. He helped his mother to her seat where she whispered in his ear and squeezed his hand before he departed with a kiss on her cheek. Taking his place near the alter under the white arch covered in fall décor, he waited in agony. Two by two the bridesmaids in their maroon dresses and groomsmen in their gray suits made their way down the aisle. He smiled at them, for these were his and her very best friends.
He didn’t have to see her enter the room to know that she was there. The mood shifted, the song grew slightly louder, and people got to their feet to welcome the bride to her soon to be husband. He looked at her with tears in his eyes and a swelling in his heart. She was seated in her wheelchair, holding her father’s hand next to her as her Maid of Honor pushed her down the aisle—and she was as beautiful as the day he met her. Of course she looked different. Her head was bald, for she had decided against wearing a wig on her big day. She thought the veil did the work itself. And she was paler, gaunter due to the medications but covered in just the right amount of makeup so that she looked like herself. Her white dress was sparkling and flowing, not at all impaired by the chair. But of course none of that mattered to the man. He looked at her and just saw the woman he loved. Not the dress or veil, not the sickness. Just her.
As she was positioned in front of him and he grabbed her hand, all the nerves and anxiety washed away. Nothing mattered to him except this one person in front of him. It didn’t matter how many months or days they had left together, because in that moment, they were infinite.