Chapter 20 - The Wedding
The rain starts to pour, quickly filling the streets with water. The car gently and slowly follows the car in front, carefully pausing at intersections and avoiding any dips or holes in the pavement. The water level starting to climb the tire, centimeter by centimeter. Sitting in the passenger seat, I look beside me at my soon to be wife and laugh at the insanity of it all.
We had met, what seemed like a lifetime ago, not because it was difficult or a struggle in fact it was fantastic and easy, it just felt like she had always been in my life, that with out effort or conversation she knew the part of me that I so often hid. She knew my flaws and my wrinkles and still wanted to be with me.
The reality is that we had been together for 6months and there we were in a car driving in the tackiest city in the world, Las Vegas while a flash flood was threatening stranding us in the middle of the city. The decision was made abruptly though we had talked about the possibility, it wasn't until we got to Vegas that we thought, yes let's do this. It seemed like the right thing for us, you can never be sure and that's true about any marriage but for us it seemed to fit just perfectly.
So there we were, getting ready to get a marriage license in the middle of a flash flood.
My view again pierces through the window, staring at the neighboring cars and how close the water levels were to their tailpipes. Dangerously close. As I grip the handle tighter, my hands turning a unnatural white color, the road turns slightly and our hotel stands in nearby. The bridle suit, already booked and waiting for us. We go into the room and drop the baggage and take a moment to talk about whether we should delay the wedding plans or wait a little to see if the water level drops. We stare and the rains stops and like a flip of the switch the sun comes out brightly.
We begin to feel confident and soon find ourselves standing beside our car, looking at each other confirming that this was the right decision, feeling it was we start towards the office were we would get our marriage certificate. Passing all the same roads as we had previously driven, though now it seemed like it hadn't rained at all, we arrived at the office and walk in.
The air in the office was stale but we were so excited and nervous that we didn't notice, we grabbed the paperwork, which consisted of a single sheet of paper, filled in the information required and got a number. After a five minute wait we were up at the counter. The official was nice enough, looked at our ID's and asked if we knew of any reason we weren't allowed to get married, she then asked if were related and asked for payment.
Fifteen minutes from start to finish and we had in our hands a paper that said we could get married.
We walked out of the office and stared at each other and off in the distance. We were both sure, but both needed to take a pause. We thought we should get a coffee before we find a wedding chapel and begin to drive off. As we go, we drive by "The Little White Wedding Chapel" and recognize it from the tv show Friends, which we happened to be fans of.
We look at each other as we pass and know that this is the place. We find a nearby parking place and a coffee shop, that happens to be inside a casino and sit quietly and unconsciously drink our coffees. The coffees now empty, we take a deep breath and walk through the smoky, air conditioned casino. We walk towards the the wedding chapel, I look down our hands intertwined and pull us to a stop. I grab her other hand and stare at hear eyes, "You don't have to do this, we can wait, postpone, I'm okay."
She looks at me, smiles and we continue walking to the wedding chapel. We get inside and ask when they could marry us. The ask if we would like to be in the chapel or in the drive through, we pick the drive through and ask if we have something prepared or a wedding ring. Soon it becomes obvious to me that I am dramatically under prepared.
We tell the receptionist that we don't have any of those things, she smiles and says that's not a problem and it will take about 15 minutes and then we will be called on next.
Those 15 minutes became what seemed forever, me desperately trying to make jokes and easing the tension that I was feeling, while my soon to be wife, grabbed on to my hand tightly, pretending to hear me but still managing to laugh at the right times.
We get called and make our way to the drive in, we of course were not in a car, but that didn't seem to phase any one at the chapel. We stood beneath fake angels and listened as the guy went through vows.
To this day, we both only really remember the one line, "I promise that I love you, more then yesterday but not as much as tomorrow."
And this line, given to us by a stranger in the middle of Las Vegas, continues to be the underlying message of our marriage as we extend into the 7th year.