That time has come. It is the finale of this piece, and your last chance to review! I attach a warning with this chapter—it is probably nothing you will have ever expected. If you liked the way I ended the last chapter, you may not enjoy what you are about to read. Just the same, I had to do it. If you don't think it's a good epilogue, however, you should DEFINTELY review to tell me this. And if you liked it, do the same. Did I mention I love reviews?
Okay, this is what my twisted mind brought you. Sorry if its cliché, tragic, insane, disappointing, predictable, etc. Happy readings!
Chapter 10– Till Death Do We Part (Epilogue)Stan's POV
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today," I hear the priest begin.
I can feel my palms sweating. I close my eyes and take a deep gulp. Six years and nothing has changed for me. I'm still in love with him just as much as the first day I realized it. In fact, I love him so much I have physically made myself sick thinking about this wedding.
Everything is to run as smoothly as possible. That's what Kyle wants. He said he didn't mind if a rabbi didn't marry him—his own refused to marry such a couple. He doesn't care about any of it, so long as he could pick the honeymoon spot. Jerusalem it is. He never did say too much to me. Just that he had always wanted to visit the homeland of his native people. I was quite shocked at how in touch he had gotten with his Jewish roots over the past years.
"It is a blessing to see such young love endure. As we take a look at the couple that stands before me, we know that we are in the presence of true love." The priest continues, hollowing out my insides. Everything has to go perfectly. I cannot mess this up. I stand now beside Kyle, anticipating his every move. He looks as calm as I've ever seen him.
He had asked me if it would be acceptable if he wrote his own vows. I told him "sure," intrigued by what he would come up with. I could never write my own vows. I'm not poetic like he is. I'm nobody compared to who he is.
Kyle had graduated with a degree in organic chemistry. Even to this day, I really don't know what that entails. Graduating with honors, he's some genius scientist now that conducts experiments and creates theories all the time. He's still as gorgeous as he was back in school, and he's steadily becoming rich too. I finally decided on a major shortly after we got together back during our sophomore year. I went an extra year to complete my athletic training degree. Seven months ago, I was hired aboard a local community college's athletic staff, raking in the big bucks. Ha.
"And now, the exchange of the vows. The couple has chosen to recite their own. Kyle, you may begin."
I tense up. I can't believe what is about to happen.
"Thank you, father," Kyle says with a nod. "Since the moment I met you, I knew that you and I were meant to ride together on this magical journey we call life. We have had to endure so many hardships to get to where we are today, but our love has no doubt strengthened because of it. When I was writing these out, I asked myself, what is it that made me know you where the one for me?"
I pause at this thought. I wish I knew the answer to that question. Nervously cracking my knuckles, I look at him to continue.
"It was who you were when we were dating that intrigued me. I fell in love with everything about you. The way you bite your bottom lip when you are unsure of what to think. The way you curl your knees up to your face when you sit on the couch. The way you dance circles around me. The way you looked at me when I first told you I loved you. This feeling only grew stronger as we continued to learn more about each other, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with someone whose bad habits are even beautiful to me. You are beautiful to me. You are my best friend, my lover, and my soul mate. I will love you. Always and forever."
A single tear streams down my face, forcing me to contain my emotions. The priest looks at me.
"Do you have the ring?" he quietly whispers, and I'm brought back to reality.
I reach down, grasping onto the small silver band that I hold in my hand. I flinch twice as I extend my hand over to Kyle, who in turn graciously accepts my offering, without ever looking at my face. I watch hopelessly as he places it onto the slender finger of his bride. They met his senior year. Four months after he and I had broken up.
We were together for a little under two years. It was magical for me. I confessed my love to him almost daily, showering him with the goodness he deserved. Those were the happiest days of my life.
For our sixth month anniversary, I surprised him at work with a picnic. I knew this approach was highly overdone, but for me, it was new. I have never been much of a cook, and for me to even make gourmet sandwiches and homemade potato salad was a daunting task. I had pulled through though, and it was one romantic date, let me tell you. He first told me he loved me that night, and we made love for the first time. Being with Kyle was the most mind-blowing experience I have ever known. It was the feeling you get when you wake up an hour before your alarm goes off. The feeling when you ace your midterm. When you successfully overcome your biggest obstacle. When you score the game's winning goal. Being with Kyle was like being able to savor what Heaven tasted like. Having my own personal slice of paradise.
It had been about nine months into our relationship when I noticed a change in him. After a while, it seemed to me that he was with me only because he knew how strongly I felt about him. I would be lying if I said I didn't go on pretending it was all the same. But it just got to be too much…
I broke up with him on an unusually cool night in August. It had been raining earlier on. Typical weather for a bad day. He was speechless; tears rolling freely down his face. It was the first time I had ever seen Kyle cry, not caring about what others thought. His response crushed me, and I immediately began second-guessing my decision. In the end, I knew it was for the best. A part of me died that night.
"I promise to honor and cherish you for always," Kyle gushed, clasping her hand within both of his. I couldn't see his eyes, but I could feel my heart breaking. I should have never agreed to be his best man. I was a fool to think I could get through this ceremony in one piece!
"I love you," I hear her whisper. Her name is Melanie, and she is a dance choreographer. She is two years younger than us. They had to wait until she was out of school before her parents would let her get married. She doesn't know about me.
She is, in truth, the perfect girl for Kyle. I see them together—they are so happy. He was never that way with me, and it hardens my heart to realize this. I would have never been able to give Kyle what he truly wanted. I may be the best man, but I feel second best.
Kyle looks behind his shoulder at me, sending chills down my back. He needs to quit doing that. Doesn't he know that I'm dying up here?
I think about his speech that he just gave. He loves Melanie so much, and it tears me apart. When he met her, I noticed that spring in his step come back, and I knew that I was out of the picture for good. I pretty much knew that Kyle was never gay, despite what he tried to tell me. I suppose I should feel special for being the only boy he's ever been with.
I scratch the back of my head to conceal my uptightness as just being fidgety. I don't want anyone to know why I'm shifting my positions more than someone who has to pee really really badly. Kenny nudges me in the backside, with enough force that I almost fall into Kyle.
"Its going to be okay," he says calmly and quietly. Kenny knows the whole story. He knows what I've been through. What Kyle's been through. And he can still tell me its going be okay? He doesn't know shit.
I turn to face Kyle again, and I feel two ice cold eyes burning a hole through my back.
Behind Kenny, a college-bound Ike stands, glaring at me with devil eyes. He hates me eternally for trying to 'sack' Kyle. He doesn't believe that his big brother volunteered to 'sack' me. Yeah, he's a dick, and I've only said like two words to him since he's been here. Fuck him.
Kyle always seemed a little apprehensive to bring me around his house. Probably because he never told his family about us. I was cool with it. I didn't want to know what would happen if Sheila ever found out. But Ike found out. Oh, and Ike was pissed. He walked in on Kyle and me, um….doing something that he found repulsive. I'm surprised Sheila didn't find out about us after that… Ike probably told her. I don't know, Kyle never mentioned it. Then again, he doesn't really talk to his family that much anymore. They are sitting alone at the wedding, his mom weeping with happiness, his dad trying to console her. I don't know why Gerald stuck around that bitch for so long. She got on my last nerve several years ago. I guess love will do funny things to a person.
Melanie is pretty. Matter of fact, she is just about as pretty as I once thought Wendy was. Wendy is still pretty in my eyes. I look over at her, sitting in the congregation, alone with her pregnant little belly. While her husband stands behind Ike, breathing heavily. Wendy and I had reconciled our differences a few years ago, when she agreed to marry Cartman. Believe it or not, that was one of the happiest weddings I've ever been to. Wendy and I bonded again. I helped her pick out the flowers, the cake, her dress, everything. Most people that helped us with the planning assumed it was us getting married. We laughed it off. Though I admit it did feel a little weird. Ten years ago, I would have expected nothing less.
"And now, Melanie, you may say your vows," the priest says, signifying it is her turn by opening his hand to her and nodding his head once. She nods to him in agreement and turns to Kyle. Her blue eyes look up at him with hope and love. The way mine once did.
It dawns on me. Melanie is a female version of me! She has satin black hair, olive skin, and big, blue eyes! I wonder if Kyle noticed this. I wonder if he did it intentionally. I silently chuckle to myself. Right, Stan. Like Kyle picked the one girl out of the world to remind him of the boy he once made love to. Man, I'm a loser sometimes.
"Kyle, you are the missing puzzle piece in my life," she starts. How original. "When I first met you, my life was falling apart, and I was consumed by my own fear and hopelessness that I didn't truly give you a chance until we were forced to work on our project together. It's funny, I never liked you to begin with. Now look where I'm at." Is this the best romantic wedding vows she could think of? I listen on.
"I'm standing, in front of my closest family and dearest friends, and I am giving myself to this man, the love of my life. I know that I didn't give you a fair chance in the beginning, but I'm willing to spend the rest of our time together making it up to you. I love you for all that you are, and for who you have made me."
I could have done better.
Kyle doesn't seem to think so. He is beaming like a lovesick puppy. I can see it through the back of his head. God dammit this hurts.
"Ladies and gentleman of the congregation, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Broflovski." Whoa, that sounds weird. "Kyle, you may kiss your bride." I can't bear to watch them. Kenny pushes my back again.
"Stan! Walk down the aisle!" he tells me. Apparently its time for me to follow them out to the curb and stand in that line and have everyone say candy-coated comments about how wonderful of a friend I am to Kyle and how happy they are for him. And I'm supposed to say good things about the happy couple and pretend that everything is okay when really I feel like a dump truck has just poured its shit all over me then ran me over several times.
We almost jog outside to get there in time. They told us we had to be there in so many minutes during the rehearsal, so we are sticking to that plan. It feels a little rushed though. I wonder why weddings are so rigid. Shouldn't they be a celebration of love instead of a structured schedule? Maybe that's just me.
"Hey, dude, I saw you up there," Kenny whispers to me, leaning over toward my ear close enough so that no one else can hear. "This is really hurting you, isn't it?" Good 'ole Kenny. Always pointing out the obvious.
I lean back into him and almost bump foreheads. "No shit," is my harsh reply. What? This is a given!
"Well, you're doing great," he reassures me. "I doubt anyone suspects a thing."
I frown. Kenny used to be a lot better at consoling people. I'm sure he's looking out for my best interest (it wouldn't go over so well to know the best man is pining for the groom), but damn, that hurts. Part of me wants people to suspect. Melanie's parents. Melanie herself. Maybe then they'll be all disgusted, refuse to have Kyle in their family, and leave him to me. That's wishful thinking right there.
Kenny's retarded anyway. He doesn't know shit about love. The only time he came close to it was back when he became obsessed with that girl who's sister lived in his apartment complex. We found out later that the only reason she intrigued him was because she was the only girl to ever turn Kenny down. And to continually turn him down. They built up quite a bit of sexual tension, and Kenny tried harder and harder everyday to get her to go out with him. Eventually, they both exploded, leading to a night of 'hardcore raw animal sex', as he so delicately puts it, and he couldn't stop talking about it for days. But, like his talking, their passion died down after a few months of being together, and Kenny ended up doing what he always does. Leaving. I'll give him credit though. You could actually have considered her his girlfriend. Probably the one and only of his life.
I think Kenny's born a bachelor. That's his style. That's how he rolls. That's how it will be until the day he dies.
It doesn't seem to bother him though. Hell, he's even tried to get me into the sack a few times. When he is drunk. I'd be lying if I said I haven't considered it. You know, you can only hear so much about his infamous reputation for being the best fuck around before you start to wonder yourself…
Yeah, I know, I'm bad. But fuck, I'm lonely. I've always been one to stay not-so-secretly devoted to my old flames long after they've dropped me. It's a curse I carry. The curse of really bad fucking luck in love. I haven't been with another guy since Kyle. And its been too damn long.
I divert my attention to Kyle. My love. How I long for those nights of passion with him. I thought we were so amazing together. Who'd have ever thought two childhood buddies could knock boots so well? Ha. Shit, I feel myself getting aroused. Stop thinking about sex, Stan.
I say my hi's, my hello's, and my how are you's in this droning line, one by one. Each new greeting is sickeningly sweeter, followed by a routine hug in the end. Sheila Broflovski keeps eyeballing me, like I'm throwing the wedding party out of whack. What the hell is her problem? I turn away, trying my best to avoid Ike's malicious glare as well. Yep, I'm pretty sure he told her. Dirty little asshole.
Wendy is next in line. She lightly kisses Cartman on the cheek, mumbling something about "stop squirming". Then she holds out her hand out to Kenny, and they exchange a few friendly words.
She takes a step forward, extending her hand out to me. I accept it, catching a glimpse of compassion in her eyes. She immediately pulls me into a hug.
"Be happy for him, Stan," she speaks softly near my ear.
I hug onto her tightly. Wendy knows. She spent many, many nights with me on the phone sharing in my lament. She can see the pain I'm going through. This, for some unexplained reason, comforts me.
"It's time to let go," she tells me. I feel that knot in my stomach tightening, and I have trouble breathing. If only it were that easy.
I open my mouth to protest, but manage only a few inaudible mumbles.
"Sssssh…" she says soothingly, rubbing my back. "Be happy for him," she repeats, and I feel like crying into her shoulder. I know that's the only choice I have left. I have to be happy for Kyle. After all, he is finally happy.
Stan is getting prepared for the best man's toast. I watch him intently as he goes over his lines, and stands up to speak. I listen to him, acting as though he is truthful about the kind words he says about Melanie. I watch him fidget with his wine glass and the tablecloth, acting as though whatever he is trying to say isn't a big deal. I see his eyes dart at me then her then me again for long periods of time, acting as though he is truly happy for us. I smell his fear within every word, knowing that this is the last of him and me, acting as though it's just another common day. And I wonder, what is he really thinking?
Part of me wishes that Stan Marsh will stop running in real time for just a minute so that he has enough courage to leap onto my lap and proclaim his undying love for me and his disapproval of this marriage. A part of me wishes he were the one sitting as my husband on my right side, instead of being my best man on the left. A part of me wished he never would have thought that he wasn't the world to me…
I love him, and to this very day, I'm in still in love with the bastard. I gave him many chances, but he never took one. Not a single one.
When I met Mel, I could tell he was sad. I asked him if everything was okay, and he dismissed my question. I told him that if he does feel like telling me anything, then I am going to be sitting downstairs playing video games, and he can come talk to me. I'm listening.
He never came. I came to him to talk about my sex life with Melanie. I realize this is probably a worse move than a better on my part, but I wanted him to give me the thumbs up for all systems go. You know, somehow I thought he'd stand up and fight for me. Not go down without a battle. So much for that thought. It diminished soon after my senior year of college. He agreed to be my best man.
Melanie and I had been engaged for a really long time. Three years, ten months, and nineteen days, to be exact. Would you guess that I was the one that kept it going so long? Would you guess that I was the one who wanted to delay it in case the guy I thought loved me would shove his pride down his throat and take the plunge for me? Nobody ever loved me like Stan did. No one ever will again. I've lost him, my love, my life, my forever…and all he can do is say a fucking toast. A toast to me and my bride. The one I love second best.
I remember our sixth month anniversary, Stan and me. He had baked this God-awful attempt of a homemade potato salad and two weird tasting ham and Swiss croissants, and it was beautiful. Plain beauty to me. For the first time, I felt for him what he had been feeling for me all along. Just looking at his ridiculously cute picnic lunch that he made for us, I knew I was in love with my best friend. It created this need inside me. This need for Stan, the one who tried so hard for me to love him back. He'd been amazing to me for six months, and I hadn't ever truly known how I felt. On our anniversary, I told him what he wanted to hear.
Oh, and I showed it too. My warm hips pressed against his warm hips, thrusting. Our short, hot breaths panting for air. I can still remember the look on his face when I told him what I wanted. We weren't even out of my work place when I pulled his pants off and returned what he so delightfully awarded me that fateful night. He screamed out in pleasure as I dug my fingers into the flesh of his chest and sucked fervently on his member like an untamed animal. He collapsed on the floor after shooting his release into my mouth, and I took it like a real man. Or a real gay man.
I gave Stan what he desired that night. As the hours flew by, my passion inside increasingly rose sky high, shattering all condemning walls around me. We pressed our lips together, and I told him to make love to me. We laid on the soft blanket he had brought to cover the cold, linoleum floors of the chem. Lab. He pushed inside of me, and I, for once in my life, felt relaxed. Funny thing considering what was actually happening. It was a strange feeling. But I welcomed it with Stan. He loved me so much. I wanted to show him how much that meant to me. And that I finally felt the same way too.
Or at least I think I did. I do. I mean, I know when he could suddenly tell a change in me. It was almost nine months into our relationship, and I don't know. Something inside me snapped. A billion bad situations just fell on me at once. I had finally mustered enough courage to tell my mother and faced her wrath, Ike informally disowned me as a brother, and some kid beat me up in the chem. lab when he saw Stan and I making out one night. He told his buddies, and they liked to 'tease' scare me with threats and constant follow-homes. I'd never been so scared in my life.
I never told Stan. I didn't want him to worry about me, thinking that I doubted the relationship or wanted a change. I didn't. I had grown to love him dearly. I had never been so in love. It didn't bother me that Cartman was constantly complaining about his roommates being too loud in the bedroom, or that Wendy was so fascinated by our relationship that she wanted to execute a video taping of us two doing it together. Nobody in the world bothered me about Stan and my relationship.
That's what I thought, and that's where I got that courage to tell my mother. Unfortunately, her anger and overdramatic blow-up erased any chance to make up with my family before I moved out of the house for good. I remember that talk clearly.
"Mom, I've got something to tell you. Face to face." I remember breathing heavily, and she was just going about her daily routine, getting ready for dinner. I didn't want to mention it during dinner because dad would be there. Perhaps I should have used him as cushioning.
"Kyle, would you mind helping your dear old mother with the roast pork? I need it to be basted at 2-"
"Mom, listen to me. There is something I've been wanting to tell-"
"You can sit it in the oven afterwards and bake for twen-"
"Mom there is something I need to tell y-"
"and we can check on it from tim-"
"MOM I'M GAY!"
Silence. I don't think a single soul stirred in the entire world for that minute long enough for my mother's rage to back build.
"Wha-wha-WHAAT!" she screamed. Her hands were on her hips and I took a deep breath, ready for the plunge.
"Stan and I have been together for eight months. And I love him. I think you should know this about your son."
And that's when my mother's meat-basted hand contacted my cold, pale cheek before I stumbled back in pain and shock. That was the first and last time my mother has ever hit me. I moved out that next day, never to speak to her. She is only at my wedding now because Dad insisted I invite my own flesh and blood to wish me happily ever after and all that shit. Every time I glare at her, she has a cold expression with beady eyes directed to my best man. If it weren't for her, I'd be in daydream land WITH him as we speak.
I guess I blame my mom a lot for everyone else's mistakes too. After our conflict, everything fell to pieces. Ike was curious why I had moved out, and against my mother's wishes, snuck over to Kenny's to come see me. He and I had bonded over the years so that we were good friends, but he came to surprise me and…needless to say I was surprised. I had also just gotten out of the shower when Stan cornered me and…yeah. Ike walked in on us. First he threw up, then he started screaming he doesn't have a brother anymore, and then he stormed out.
Then those jerks from the chem. lab came. I got my fair share of them, and the ball just kept rolling until one day, I snapped. I couldn't take it anymore. I shut myself off to any form of communication, including Stan. We pulled apart, and it got to the point he didn't try as hard. After a year and half of our relationship, I knew he was going to break up with me. I knew it was going to happen, and by that time, I felt powerless to stop it. It just hurt so motherfucking bad when that time actually came. It tore away a piece of my soul—I guess part of me never expected him to do it. A part of me prayed he never would.
Now, I stand before him, listening to him cradle these false words of happiness and congratulations to my new marriage, and I wonder why we are here. I love him, I would have married him. Those vows I said were for him. I was thinking of him when I wrote them. Aside from a few minor details. Sad, huh? We could have been happy, us against the world. I am looking at him with angry eyes, wondering why it is he never fought to get me back.
And wondering why I couldn't have just told him what had happened. God, I treated Stan like shit. He needed someone who would be with him through it all.
Why did I EVER ask him to be my best man? I'm a terrible friend.
"And to Kyle, dude, you know I love you," he says so casually. I can see him fighting back the very same tears that are forming in my eyes. "You deserve nothing but the very best. I wish you and Melanie a lifetime of happiness." He turns his eyes to the audience. Probably to avoid my stare. "To the happy couple!"
The audience drinks from his signal, everyone turning to converse about the sweetness of his speech.
I stand, frozen in time, looking at the only man I will ever love. He holds the glass of wine in front of his face, yet to take the damning toast. He has the softest look of compassion, love, and complete emptiness written all over his face. He looks deep into my eyes, piercing a window through my soul, and I see a tear drip down his cheek.
I silently cry out as he brings the glass to his lips, slamming back the remaining wine left.
His blue eyes suddenly fade, losing their lively twinkle.
All is lost. I, too, drink the contents of the glass, and kneel down to be near to my newlywed. She is my concentration now. She has to be. I have no other choice.
The band starts to play some obscure song, and the lights dim low. I am told this is the first dance between Mr. and Mrs. Broflovski. I extend my hand, which she graciously accepts. We twirl around on the dance floor, or rather she twirls around me, and I follow her lead.
Out of the corner of my eye, I watch as Stan politely excuses himself from the wedding party table, and fades away into the dark confines of the room. I see him reappear in the glowing florescent light of the entrance hallway. I stare without blinking as his shaking hands push against the large metal bar on the door, revealing the snowflakes and twilight. I feel my heart drop out of my chest as he disappears into the cold November night.
I have no idea where to go from here. Time has seemed to stop still. I don't think my heart is beating. Melanie is dancing close to me, her warm body pressed up against mine. I have no choice but to dance back, soon hopeful to relieve this feeling of utter despair within.
You are beautiful to me. You are my best friend, my lover, and my soul mate. I will love you. Always and forever.