The Ghost in the Mirror

The moment I set foot on the aisle, Alphonse nudges his brother, and, even through the filmy cloud of gauze and netting that obscures my vision, I can see Al's grin. At his younger brother's touch, Edward jumps before spinning on his heel, his long blond hair whipping around so quickly it nearly hits the priest in the face. I swallow a laugh and take the slow measured steps toward the two, keeping time to the pianist's music. Only the pews closest to the brothers are filled: the Roberts, Dr. Marcoh and a few of the families from the clinic who have become good friends. Neither Ed nor I have much family left in the world, but this is enough.

Stopping in front of the priest, I allow the greying man to lift my veil, settling it into its proper place over the simple wreath of ribbons and flowers pinned to my hair. My vision cleared, I turn toward Edward and notice for the first time that there's an inexplicable tension around his eyes, a set to his jaw. The priest begins to speak, intoning a prayer I've known since childhood, and I bow my head, murmuring along mechanically. Maybe it is only nervousness. I'm certain my expression is nowhere near as serene as it should be, either. Edward doesn't say a word, though he lowers his eyes; in the last few years, I've become accustomed to his low opinion of religion, but he understands how much it means to me to be here and I'm grateful for that.

As the familiar words fade and the priest launches into the service, I look to Alphonse. His expression is vague, as if his mind is chasing thoughts far from this little church. The moment he feels my eyes on him, he snaps to attention and flashes me a wide grin. I cannot help but smile back in the face of his confident happiness, but as I do, his own smile falters. He notices immediately and fixes the grin back in place, but it's too late; I've seen that crack in his composure, and I know that there is connection between the brothers, something they both feel, something that they will never tell me.

The priest speaks again, instructing Edward and I to turn and face each other. As we obey and I look into Edward's eyes, I marvel again at their colour, that unearthly shade of golden amber that at once expresses and hides so much. I wonder if he realizes that I've learned to see the signs in his face when he's hiding something, like he is now. I suspect he doesn't, because if he did, he would be trying to hide even that from me.

It saddens me how little I really know about the man I'm about to marry. I know the superficial details: he and Alphonse used to live in a little farm town in Germany, their mother died when they were young and Edward had turned to science to find a cure for his brother after their accident. But do I know how Edward Elric became the man he is? No. The scars of pain and suffering are etched into his very soul and those scars are too deep for him to share. Sometimes I wish I did know, that I understood what happened to him in those long years before I met him that turned him into the man I've grown to love, what refining fires had burned away the innocence, the optimism that his younger brother still possessed.

Maybe someday he will tell me. Maybe someday I'll learn about those limbs, so lovingly crafted and impossibly real, that he wears with such reverence. Maybe someday he'll tell me about the girl who made them. Until then, I am content to wait; I know he cares about me, that he cannot imagine our lives as anything but entwined, and, for now, that is enough. The trust I wish for will come, at least, I hope so.

The priest has been speaking, but I have been lost in my own thoughts, and it takes the sudden movement of Edward's hands to bring me back to reality. He places the wedding band on my finger, the metal cool against my skin, as the priest continues giving him instructions. Though I can hear the sincerity and emotion in Edward's voice as he speaks the vows that would bind us together, I cannot help but notice that his eyes are faraway, as if staring through me.

It is now my turn to act and I fumble for a moment, catching the circlet of gold just in time to slip it onto Ed's finger without accident. I swallow past the lump in my throat and repeat the vows that he had just made to me, the promises of a life together, of a future that weathers life's storms. As the words fall from my lips, Edward's eyes begin to blink rapidly and I notice the hint of tears that form, the feel of his hands, warm tender flesh and mysterious metal, tightening carefully around mine. His body's eloquence is far louder than the words he has never spoken.

The priest speaks again, pronouncing us husband and wife, and I feel myself smile, a tremulous thing mirrored in Edward's own expression. More words from the priest, but I cannot make them out over the sound of blood pounding in my ears as Edward, my mysterious friend and now enigmatic husband, turns, a thousand emotions flickering through his eyes like mercury. He, obviously, had made out the priest's last instructions. As he leans towards me, I wonder which of his many secrets causes him to still have such pain in his eyes on a day like today. But then his lips touch mine, and my eyes flutter shut, savoring the warmth, that smoldering fire that is uniquely and wholly Edward, that drew me to him as surely as a moth to candlelight.

Historical References

The chapel - Church of the Holy Cross was a Roman Catholic church located on West 42nd Street. Founded in 1852, the current Romanesque inspired building was completed in 1870 after a lightning strike damaged the majority of the original building. In 1933 (when Sara and Ed were married), an organ was being installed, hence the use of a pianist.

lift my veil...over the simple wreath of ribbons and flowers - During the 1930s, women's fashion once again became conservative (due to the social and economic turmoil of the Great Depression), and bridal fashions were no exception. Simple veils worn with either a cloche-style cap or wreath of flowers were in favor, as were simple white dresses that ended slightly above the ankle.