Stasi watched out the window of the SUV as she fingered the lace on her Grandma Ernestine’s dress. She had always loved this dress, the dress Gram had chosen for her wedding in 1946. She loved that it was teal instead of the now traditional white. She’d never seen another dress approach it in pure style. Her mother had agreed to let her wear it for her own wedding, saying “It’s blue enough to count, it’s new to you, it’s borrowed, and it’s definitely old.” And now, here she was, driving around with Pastor Tom, her mother Freya, Martin and his dad Alberto, and Greg and Ruth, hoping to find somewhere perfect for their wedding that night. Pastor Tom had offered the church, but Stasi wanted to see the stars as they said their vows, and Martin sweetly agreed. Anyway, she didn’t want an aisle, something that her father wouldn’t be able to walk her down. He’d passed away 8 months prior, just after they’d gotten engaged, and Stasi didn’t think she could hold it together if she had to make that walk alone, so there simply would be no walk.
“Stasi?” Martin called out from the front seat. “What do you think of this place?” She shook herself out of her reverie and looked around.
“No, it’s too bright. We won’t be able to see anything beyond the lights.” Tom eased the car back into gear and moved on. Greg and Ruth pointed out a few other spots they could try, but each was eliminated upon closer inspection.
“Perhaps we should head back to the church, dear. It is beautiful there too.” Freya took her daughter’s hand. “The important thing is that you’ll be married, it doesn’t really matter where it happens.” Stasi was about to concede when she saw it. There was a large corporate building of some kind, all its lights and signage shut off at this time of night, with an outdoor courtyard, no doubt for the employee’s to eat lunch in when the weather complied.
“There. It’s perfect.” Tom pulled into the parking lot, and they looked around.
“Are you sure, honey?” Martin started to look back. Immediately Ruth stretched her scarf out and held it up.
“You’re not supposed to see her yet!” Ruth protested. Martin laughed and turned back around.
Stasi nodded. “I’m sure sweetie. It’s perfect. No one else will have gotten married here. It’ll be ours.”
“Yours, and ‘Pacifico Pharmaceuticals’, during the day at least.” Greg teased. Ruth elbowed him.
“Here it is.” Martin announced, and Tom put the SUV in park. Everyone except Freya and Stasi got out. Freya took Stasi’s hands in her own.
“Honey, I’m so proud of you. Your father would be too. He loved Martin, and I do too. You are suited for each other perfectly. May the Lord bless you both, and guide you every day.” She kissed Stasi’s cheek, and tucked a handkerchief into Stasi’s gloved palm. “Just in case you need it.” Stasi smiled.
When they stepped out, they found the others waiting for them in a small courtyard, cleared of any tables or other furnishings. The area was faintly lit by small landscape lights sunk slightly into the ground. They gave just enough light for all to find their way, but not so much that they couldn’t clearly see the stars overhead. Stasi stepped up to take Martin’s hands, and the rest circled around them. Pastor Tom opened his Bible.
Martin leaned forward to whisper in Stasi’s ear. “You look stunning tonight, my dear.” Stasi reached up to straighten Martin’s tie, and then cupped his cheek.
“My darling, it’s all for you.” They smiled at each other.
Pastor Tom smiled and cleared his throat. “We are gathered here this evening to witness the union of two very special people, Anastasia Grace Quentin and Martin Reynaldo Diaz…”