author's note: Woo! This is for fantasyrider-kh. Cause she's cool like that. Hope you all like it, and I'm really sorry if you don't! nn;
Selphie pokes her head into the dressing room, and her eyes widen as she says breathlessly, "You look gorgeous, Kai!" I smile slightly and smooth the wrinkles away from my creamy dress, when the memory floods back to me. I was only six, but I still remember that day so vividly. The boys were too busy with their stupid blitzball game to hang out with us, so Selphie and I had decided to play pretend.
- - -
"And then the priest is supposed to say something about holey macaroni and then the bride and groom kiss!" she explained to me with a shiver of delight.
"Um… okay…" I replied timidly, picking at my bouquet of dandelions. I drifted toward the makeshift altar and tripped over the wedding gown engulfing my body. It wasn't my fault that her mom's dress was too big on me; my legs were just a little bit short. After the fourth consecutive stumble, I stopped and turned back to her. "So wait- why do we kiss, Selphie? Won't I get cooties?"
She impatiently shoved her fist onto her hip and rolled her eyes. "No, no! Of course not, silly! Brides and grooms never get cooties!"
"Oh, okay," I said, still unsure of this whole 'wedding' thing. I was almost to the altar when I turned again. Biting my lip, I asked, "So, why don't they get cooties?"
Selphie approached me and adjusted the crown of weaved clover atop my head with a pout. "Because they don't, duh!"
- - -
I had learned of fragrant flowers and of pretty dresses (because isn't that what it's all about?) that day, but as a six-year old I was still pretty naïve.
- - -
The sand creeps up between my toes as I walk toward them. I see my mom crying tears of joy, squeezing my dad's hand, when the memory floods back. I was only ten, but I still remember that day so vividly. I had gotten sick, and although all my friends were going to go on a field trip, my mom made me stay home.
- - -
The covers un-tucked themselves gently as I rolled to my side, coughing up wads of mucus into my palm. The door squeaked slightly when she walked in, carrying a tray with a bowl of chicken noodle soup on top. "Honey? Feeling any better?" my adoptive mother asked as she propped the tray in front of me.
"No," I retorted angrily, vigorously stirring the broth, "I wanted to go on the field trip today."
"But sweetie, you're sick…" she cooed as her hand swept my crimson bangs from my sweaty forehead.
"I don't care!" I exclaimed, ending the conversation abruptly. I kept stirring, squishing the long noodles against the side of the bowl.
"Well, how about I get something to entertain you?" The smile playing at my lips was more than enough for her to know that yes, I did. She returned, dragging a huge, leather-bound book that weighed her arms down. As she climbed into the bed next to me, I saw corners of aging photographs peeking out from the pages. "This," she sighed and plopped the book between us, "is the photo album of my wedding."
I gasped and sat up straighter, "Me and Selphie always play 'wedding'!"
"I know," she soothed. She turned the pages slowly, carefully, making absolutely sure that I had seen everything. Sometimes she would point at a certain photo and make comments. "Here's your dad dancing with your grandma," or maybe "Grandpa ate so much of that cake." The picture that stood out the most, however, was the one of Mom and Dad smiling for the camera, holding hands. Crying.
"Why are you two crying?" I asked.
"Because we were so happy," she said with a sigh.
- - -
I had learned of the joys of family and of precious memories (because isn't that what it's all about?) that day, but as a ten-year-old, I was still pretty naïve.
- - -
I reach the altar, taking care not to step on the petals strewn about, and turn to face my future husband. He beams at me with his cerulean eyes sparkling with bliss when the memory floods back to me. I was only fourteen, but I still remember that day so vividly. Riku had to go to detention, so Sora and I decided to go visit the Secret Place by ourselves.
- - -
"Wow, I really sucked at drawing as a kid," I said, laughing.
"Kairi, look at mine! I tried to draw a… castle? I think? And it looks like a cat… kinda!" he exclaimed, jabbing his finger at a scribble on the rock wall.
I giggled, like I always did. "I'm not even sure I could call that a cat," I teased playfully.
"Pshhh," he swept my insult aside with a wave of his hand. "And now that I look at it, I can't even tell what yours is!"
"Don't you remember, Sora? You drew a castle, and I drew a chapel!"
"Don't you see the bride and groom? And the people all throwing rice?" I whispered, smiling.
Sora stepped so he was a little closer to me. "Y'know. Probably a billion birds die each year because people throw rice. They eat it and then they explode!"
"Hey!" I whipped around and slapped him gently on the arm. "Exaggeration, much?"
"Hah, probably…" he said with a faint pink color rising in his cheeks. A comfortable silence soon enveloped us as we looked through the gallery of child-like scribbles. I walked to the wall where we had drawn each other's profiles.
"Sora?" I asked as I swept my hand across his drawing of me, breaking the silence.
I felt him walk towards me. "If… If nobody marries me by the time I'm thirty-five, w-will you marry me?"
"Of course!" he cried.
My mouth curved into a smirk, and I turned to face him. "Promise?" He leaned in and gave me a chaste kiss on my cheek. When he pulled away, my face felt like it was on fire, the flames licking my skin playfully.
- - -
I had learned of sweet kisses and of caring promises (because isn't that what it's all about?) that day, but as a fourteen-year-old, I was still pretty naïve.
- - -
"You may kiss the bride," the priest's deep voice rings through my ears. Sora leans into me, claiming my lips as his own. I feel my eyelashes fluttering against his face as we kiss passionately, disregarding reality- if only for a second.
We turn and face the miniscule audience beaming at us. My parents, his mom, Selphie (the maid of honor), and Riku (the best man). That's it. Not the big wedding I always dreamed of. I had sand, not a church. No cake. No flowers. My childhood dreams had crumbled pathetically beneath me.
Sora grabs my hand, curling his fingers between mine, and gives me a reassuring squeeze. Riku approaches us hesitantly, the wind whipping his hair about his face. "You guys ready to go?" he asks.
"Yeah," Sora mutters. Wordlessly, I run to my parents and fling my arms around them.
"Come back soon," my dad says wistfully. I smile through my tears, fully knowing that I might never come back. My mom can't seem to get a word out, so I kiss her cheek, and murmur a simple 'I love you.' I wave sorrowfully to Selphie and climb the steps into the gummi ship.
- - -
Another letter from King Mickey. Another mission. We don't know when we'll come back, if at all. We don't control our own lives anymore.
I finally learn that it's not about flowers or dresses or photos or kisses. It's about living life with the one you love. It's about trusting him to protect you when that heartless is scratching at your ankles menacingly. It's about hoping the two of you will live to see another day together.
- - -
The ocean drops beneath us as the gummi ship hovers above the water, gathering the energy needed to blast off to another world. Sora grabs my hand, his thumb stroking my fingers gently. He raises it to his face and presses it against his lips. "I love you, Kairi."
- - -
It's about love.
- - -
author's notes: Woah. What? What is this?! I have no idea, really. First try at first-person. Weird transitions between past and present. Sad attempt at making a point. Probably a bazillion (it is so a number in my book) verb tense errors. Wow. So, feel free to hate it, but I'm sorry if you do. I think I do. Standard disclaimer applies.
P.S. Reviews are love!!
P.P.S. Happy Easter!