• It was a beautiful sunny, summer day with a light, refreshing, cool breeze. Amy was in her upstairs room, looking at her reflection in her full length mirror. She was always thankful that she had inherited her father's jet black hair, her mother's smile, and a combination of both her parents’ soulful brown eyes. Her long black hair was fluttering in the errant breeze that had found its way through her open window.
    Though she was only 20 years old, her naturally tan skin was thankfully free of blemishes, also due to her parents who were likewise blessed with good skin. On today of all days, she was worried. The decision she had made four months earlier was finally catching up to her.
    After a whirlwind romance, a decision was made, she worried, far too quickly. In less than six hours, she would be marrying a man that she truly loved. However, she was in her third year in college, on her way to becoming a forensic scientist. She just wasn't sure if marrying Dante Edison was the best thing for them as a family in the long run.
    As she continued her quiet thoughts there came a soft knock on her door. "Come in," she said in a soft voice.
    Her mother entered the room, wearing her new dress she had bought just for the occasion, smiling slightly at her daughter. "Are you ready to get fixed up?"
    "I'm not sure I can go through with this, Momma," Amy confessed.
    "It's just 'before wedding jitters,'" her mother chided gently.
    Motioning for her mother to sit down, Amy expressed her fears and watched the look on her mother's face change from hopeful anticipation to genuine concern.
    Putting her arm around her daughter, she offered Amy the only advice a good mother could offer. Shortly after their conversation, Amy, with a new resignation began dressing for the ceremony.
    The dress Amy had chosen was the most beautiful thing she had ever worn. The long white garment had long sleeves and around her waist was a dainty belt made of spheres of mother of pearl and was embroidered with tiny roses around the neck line. The train and veil alike glinted slightly as she passed any light source.


    As she stood at the end of the long red carpet leading between the long rows of assembled guests, the sun shone brightly from the West and a hand full of lazy clouds wandered across the azure sky. Her greatest regret was that her father wasn't there to give her away, having died when she was just a child. Though, with all things considered, she was just as well to walk down the isle by herself.
    As the band played a half-hearted version of 'Here Comes the Bride' she approached the alter, lifted her veil, and looked into Dante's eyes.
    Tears welled in her eyes as she began to speak as the sun fell closer and closer to the horizon.
    "Dante, I can't do this. It wouldn't be fair to you, it wouldn't be fair to me, and it wouldn't be fair to our children. I'm sorry, Dante. I love you more than I can express, but we just can't," she said as tears streamed freely down her face.
    Dante nodded his head, almost fractionally. "Well, I love you, Amy, and I'm not going to pretend that this doesn't hurt, but if this is your decision, then I support you," he said, covertly wiping moisture out of the corner of his eyes.
    "Just know that I'll always love you with all my soul, and when you're ready I'll be waiting, if you'll still have me," he said leaning forward and kissing her lightly on the forehead before he turned and walked back down through the stunned and silent crowd.
    The last thing Dante heard before he walked through the doors to the house to leave was the quiet sobbing of his would-be bride behind him.