Thanks To You!
The next morning had come around super-fast. Last night consisted of Melody and I hanging out on the couch watching movies before an early night, making me wake up at the brink of dawn. Staring blankly at the ceiling, every event in my past life starts running through my mind. All the things Jack and I went through in school and our adult lives, it makes sense we’ll be getting married today.
After finally finding the motivation to get up, I began to make my way down stairs where I found Melody standing in the kitchen. On my approach, she turned and smiled to me.
‘You weren’t meant to be up this early! I haven’t finished making you breakfast.’
‘Well I can go away and come back if that’s what you really want?’
‘Oh, shut up dad. Just sit down. It’ll be like five minutes away.’
‘So, what are we having?’ I asked.
‘Pancakes. I can’t really cook much else. We didn’t have much else.’
‘Well, may I make myself a cup of coffee?’
‘Already done. Here.’ Melody said, passing me the mug.
‘Can I be honest dad? For the longest time, I never thought you were going to be happy. Then Jack proved to me that he was going to do that, and I can’t believe he will soon, officially become my step-dad and I’m so blessed that you decide he was the right man for you too. I am so proud of you, overcoming everything you have had to face in your life. It makes me aware of how much I can overcome and face every day because if I am anything like you, I know I’ll beat it because I’ll be okay.’
‘Oh, my sweet child. I am so proud of you. No one would ever believe you are 8 because you are so smart. How did I get so lucky to have such a beautiful, intelligent daughter?’
‘I love you dad. Though you know, and I know that I am not cut out for this mushy stuff so why don’t we just eat our breakfast and get ready for today?’
‘We sure can do that, my dear.’
Sleeping was such an impossible task leading into today. All the nerves were kicking in and for a split second, I was getting cold feet but as quick as it entered my brain, it left again.
Our wedding is only going to be small, surrounded by our families and friends. This is the hardest part for me because my parents weren’t even aware I was in a relationship with Alex. Obviously, they knew that I was in a relationship with him during high school but after what happened with Vic and that whole situation, well let’s say they decided to stay out of my relationships for a little while.
As my thoughts were coming to an end and I was just getting out of bed, there was a knock on the door. I dressed myself appropriately before opening the door to see my parents. They came in all excited, hugging and exchanging pleasantries. This is where I never really understood my family, only on special occasions was really the only time in which I spent time with them and everything seemed normal-ish.
‘So, son. Why didn’t you tell us you were back with Alex?’ My father questioned.
‘Well dad, after the whole issue with Vic and Alex and the events that came after that, my relationship life got a bit complicated and I was afraid you guys were going to judge me for dating someone who went to jail, for a crime he didn’t commit. I didn’t want you guys to be disappointed in me, for something you could have seen as a mistake.’ I admitted.
‘Jack, honey. How could you think that? No matter who you have decided to spend your entire life with, your father and I will love you no matter what. We are so proud of you. With everything you have accomplished, nothing could ever disappoint us. Not your work life, not your love life. Nothing could, Jack. We love you with so much of our beings.’ My mother mentioned.
‘I’m so glad you guys are here. Thank you both for coming today. It means so much to me and I know Alex will be grateful to see you both also.’ I said.
‘Well, now that we are here, why don’t we order some room service and rest up before your big moment?’ Dad asked.
‘Sounds wonderful!’ I exclaimed.
We are now only a half hour from the wedding starting and I am yet to see Jack. Dad is walking around aimlessly, trying to calm himself. I was waiting near the end of the isle, watching as guests walk in and take their seats. A lot of people just walked past me, unaware who I am. The only people who didn’t ignore my presence was Zack, Jasmine, Rian and Cass. Though it seemed more fitting to call them aunties and uncles at this point.
Rian and Zack went off to talk with Dad while I looked to Cass and Jasmine who complimented me on my dress, the way my hair was styled and the shoes I wore. They kept me calm and collected as I worried about Dad who worried about Jack.
Speak of the devil, Jack walked up to the aisle, biggest smile on his face as he looked at me.
‘Melody. You look so beautiful! That pale blue dress on you looks outstanding. I can’t believe how good you look.’ He said.
‘Mr. Jack. I am living for your suit. Oh actually, your tie is a little wonky.’ I said. I walked up to him, reaching up and fixing it a little.
‘Now you better get up to the end of the isle. It’s about time for you and Dad to finally do this!’ I said. Jasmine and Cass walked away, wishing Jack the best of luck before they took their seats.
Jack leaned down and hugged me quickly before kissing my cheek. He took a deep breath in, smiled and breathed it out. I gave him two thumbs up before he started to walk down the isle to take his place. When he got down there, him and Rian exchanged a hug and started talking, waiting for the ceremony to begin.
When I looked for Dad, I saw him sitting on a bench at the other end of the park. I figured that it was my duty to grab his attention and bring him back to reality. I walked over, tapped him on the shoulder and saw that in fact he was crying.
If my assumptions were right, I would say that my dad has had an extreme anxiety attack and he’s slowly bringing himself down from the high. I sat next to him, grabbed hi hand and waited until he was ready to move. Dad looked up at me, smiled, took a deep breath in and breath out, stood up and walked me back.
The silent communication was something we’ve really developed over these couple of years, which I think will be a secret annoyance Jack will have.
As flower girl, I collected my bouquet and bucket of petals and situated myself at the opposite end of the isle where Jack was anxiously pulling on his jacket. He looked at me, smiled before letting the officiator, Dad’s friend Josh, know that the wedding is ready to go ahead.
As music started playing on speakers, I knew it was my time to walk down the aisle. Accompanying me is Zack, who is Dad’s best man. We walked along the aisle, linked in arms, as I dropped flower petals along the carpet. We walked to the end, and took our places, waiting for Dad to make his way down.
I turned and faced Dad who had stood himself at the end of the carpet. Grandma linked arms with Dad who smiled down at her. They exchanged some words before walking the aisle. Everyone stood as Alex walked past, smiling to each other, complimenting the groom before Grandma reached Dad’s hand out to Jack, who gladly accepted it, thanking her with a kiss on the cheek.
As Josh started to officiate the wedding, everyone sat down, and the ceremony began. As Josh blabbed on about this and that, I really couldn’t help but zone out until it was time for the vows to be shared. Dad was the first person to give his vows.
‘When I met Jack, a very long time ago, I never thought he was going to the most important person in my life to this day. I know that sounds so stupid but when I first arrived at Florey College, I didn’t think that I would come across the love of my life. The events in which we faced while in high school really tested our relationship and I didn’t take it well, leaving me to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. As I reached my decision, I went back to England and spent a solid 7 years sorting out my life. The only good thing to come out of that was my darling Daughter, Melody. Things in the past 12 years have really proven to me that no matter what happens in our lives, we will always be together. So today, I am giving you my word that no matter what we go through, the sickness, heartbreak, financial heartache, I will be by your side, through the thick and thin with everything in between. I’m so glad to be marrying you Jack. I love you. So, with this ring I take you to be my husband.’
Dad placed the ring onto Jacks finger before Jack started to speak his vows.
‘That’s a hard vow to bet. But I’m up for the challenge. I have been very nervous about what I have wanted to say for about 3 years now. When I met Alex in high school, and when our relationship took off super-fast, a part of me knew I was going to marry you. I didn’t think all those events that occurred in between then and now would happen, but I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, maybe one way… but let’s not go there. As my life has progressed on with you by my side, I feel as though every aspect of my life has changed. I was a shy, self-confident issued teenager who really didn’t want to be around anyone then one day, you cared, you talked to me, accepted my skittish ways and waited till I was ready to speak, move out of that comfort zone I had build around me. You changed my life and I am entirely grateful for everything you have done for me. I cannot thank you enough. Also, I feel like you aren’t told enough how much of a role model you are for your daughter, she is so lucky to have you as her father and I am so lucky to have you as my husband. I can’t wait for the three of us to be a proper family where we finally can not worry about stupid labels anymore. I can be your husband, you can be mine and hopefully Melody will have two dads. No pressure Melody! I love you, nothing can prove that other than this day and the many more we have together in the future. With this ring, I take you to be my husband.’
Jack took the ring from his pocket and placed it onto Dad’s hand. They held hands, smiling like complete idiots before looking to Josh to finish the ceremony.
‘By the power invested in me, I now pronounce you Husband and Husband. You may kiss your partner.’ Josh announced.
Jack and Dad leaned in, smiling before their lips met in the middle. Normally I would look away and be disgusted but right now, I was so happy with the outcome and I was so overcome with joy that I have a functioning family.
Dad and Jack walked down the aisle where they were congratulated by everyone who attended, including myself. We all clapped and cheered as they walked away. I walked down the aisle, with Zack and Rian by my side. I met Dad and Jack at the other end, where I hugged them both and thanked them for including me in their celebrations.
After a photo shoot between the groom and groom and myself included, we went back to the house where things started to get a bit wild.
When we got back to our house, Zack, Rian, Jasmine and Cass were super persistent about being hosts for the night, leaving Alex and I to just enjoy the night together. I wasn’t going to say no to that. When we arrived, everyone was already out the back, engaging in conversation and just creating a such a chilled environment. When Alex and I walked through that door though, everyone stopped, their eyes were on us and cheers erupted.
As I looked towards the tables, I saw that we were situated near the back, but facing everyone. On our table was a spot form Alex and I, Melody, Zack and Rian. On the tables, the centre piece was a bunch of red and white roses. The cutlery was decorated with rainbows. This nice surprise was given to us by Jasmine and Cass. On the front of our table, there was a sign that said Mr and Mr because Alex took my last name on the end of his. So, he is now Alex Gaskarth-Barakat.
We walked to our table, sat down and just took the moment in. This was something I never expected that I’d be comfortable with, but with my best friend by my side, everything was perfect.
Time started ticking away and soon enough the food was ready. We thought that a buffet would be so much easier, cheaper and enjoyable than a sit-down meal. We had tacos, different assortments of meat, vegetables and all you can think of.
After a quick exchange of a kiss, Alex and I both stood up and walked together to get our food. I grabbed some meat, vegetables, crackling and a bread roll before I headed back to the table. Alex joined soon after and we ate. With many laughs and jokes been thrown around, we were interrupted by Rian who was standing up with a microphone and a smirk across his face.
‘Hi everyone. For those who don’t know me, my name is Rian and I am Jack’s best man. I am also friends with them both. There have been so many things in the lives of these great people that has happened. To keep it safe, and nice to keep it rated PG for the kids in the crowd, I won’t go into much. The one thing in which I remember the most about hanging out with this lot as we went through school was an experience to say the least. When I first met Alex, he had just started at the school and I actually met him through Zack. After a while of getting to know him, I realised he was going to be an important part of my life and will be around for a while. The next time we went to hang out after meeting in that dreaded English lesson, Alex had done a miracle. Alex had brought Jack to dinner. Now, fun fact, Zack and I had tried out darned hardest to make friends with Jack but never succeeded in achieving that goal. Alex was there for one goddam day and managed to interact with him! What the hell!’
Zack stood up and pulled the microphone away from Rian.
‘Before he goes on forever, I just want to quickly say that it was a privilege to see Jack and Alex fall in love, twice. Once in high school and once in our adult lives. No matter what occurred between them or the events that may have caused them to be apart, there was always a chance for them to be back together. Today just makes sets their love in stone meaning that no matter what life throws at them, that they will be there together, to fight back and win together. We love you both so much! Thank you for being the best you can be and here to many more years of friendship and love! Please, raise your glass and celebrate this lovely couple.’
Everyone raised their glasses, cheered. I looked to Alex, raised my glass. He picked his up, raised my glass and moved it towards me. Our glasses clinked, our eyes connected, and I felt my stomach do flips as if it was the first time I’d seen him.
Conversations began flowing again and Alex and I had split up, interacting with people we haven’t seen forever and a day. I’d talked to my parents, my grandma, my sister and her husband. By this time, the music had cranked up and people had begun dancing. The sun had gone down and the fairy lights we had were lighting the dance floor up.
The MC spoke every so quickly over the microphone that I missed what he said but than a small voice came over the speakers. I looked over to the stage area and Melody was standing there with the microphone in her hands.
‘Hello everyone. My name is Melody and I am Alex’s daughter. I just wanted to say that I love you both and I love Jack so much too because I am so lucky to have you as my step dad. Now before I go back to Nanna’s house to go to sleep, I wanted to see my daddy and dad dance to their song.’
I looked to her, smitten over the thought of her calling me dad and slowly made my way to her. When I reached her, she jumped into my arms, hugging me tightly before Alex walked up to us. He wrapped his arm around me, leaning in towards Melody, kissing her cheek.
Alex grabbed the microphone off her and looked to the crowd.
‘Jack actually doesn’t know what song we are dancing to tonight which makes me super grateful to be playing it now. The song has so much meaning to us and I am so glad it happened.’
I put melody down who ran to her Nanna. Alex and I smiled to each other, gripping each other in an appropriate way to dance. His hands drooped my neck as my rested around his waist. Alex nodded to the MC and music started playing.
A guitar strummed in a melodic tune. It repeated twice before Alex’s voice rained out. He sung, words I was too familiar with. The song he wrote those many years ago to tell me how much he meant to me. The whole song was played out with the works of guitar, drums, bass and singing. If I wasn’t mistaken, I would even dare say that Zack and Rian helped him.
I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two as Alex and I swung to the beat of it.
‘I can’t believe this was really recorded. This must have cost a fortune!’ I exclaimed.
‘Well, Rian has a recording studio set up in Tennessee, and when we went to my bachelor weekend, that where we were for most of it. I really wanted to give something to you because you have been so supportive and amazing over so many years of my life. We officially have our song.’ Alex stated.
‘Oh, I love you so much Alex.’
‘I love you!’
We danced and chatted into the early hours of the morning before Alex and I realised that we had to get ready for our early flight to Australia at 8 o’clock in the morning.
Our trip consists an all round trip across the east coast of Australia, where we will travel backpack style for a week from Brisbane to Melbourne, stopping at iconic landmarks along the way.
Alex booked an Uber bounded to the airport. I grabbed our pre-packed bags and headed down to the door, where everyone who was still celebrating with us was stood in a line from the edge of the staircase, spread out across the floor, through the door and onto the lawn.
Alex reached out his hand, I gladly accepted. He carried his bad and I carried mine in our free hands and walked along the guide of honour tunnel where when we reached the end, our Uber was already waiting, pre ordered by Rian and Zack.
We waved, said our goodbyes and hopped into the Uber, headed to Australia for an amazing time with my best friend, my husband.
So, after many, many years, my friend turned best friend, turned boyfriend, turned nobody, turned boyfriend, turned stranger, turned long time friend, turned boyfriend, turned fiancé had finally become my husband.
This story has finally come to an end. I am saddened by it but also full of joy. The two most conflicting emotions but oh well.
Thank you to everyone who read this, it means a lot to me. It took a long time to write this but it's done. Thank you for your patience and your kind words through the years.
I do not know if I will be back. I am unsure at this moment in time.
Again thank you all.