The Big Day: An End to My Dead Body Finding Madness

A Hannah Swensen Non-Murder Mystery

I stood there in my gown shaking. I knew that what I was doing was right. I loved Norman, and every night before today I would try on my dress making sure that what was happening was real. I sometimes wondered if choosing Norman Rhodes the town's dentist over the extremely sexy deputy Mike Kingston was right but I always came to the same conclusion.

Norman was like cookies and milk. I could always count on him to love me and I knew I loved and trusted him. Even when he brought in his new dental partner Dr. Beverly Thorndike I was extremely intimidated. Here she was tall, dark haired, and beautiful, and there I was. Chunky, not all that pretty, (at least that is how I saw myself.) and with uncontrollable fiery, red hair. I eat too much cookie dough. But I have a perfectly valid excuse. I am a cookie baker. I even own my own shop called The Cookie Jar, and why in the world was she making up excuses in her own mind? My point being I love Norman and he is reliable I can trust him. We fit we are interconnected, meant to be, whatever you want to call it, I love him and whatever doubts I might have will go away because of those three simple words.

But then there was Mike. Fun, drop dead gorgeous, but more like jalapeno brownies. An acquired taste and you cannot be sure what he is up to. Even once he proposed to me, (yes, you heard right, both men proposed to me and I turned both down saying that would propose to them when I made my decision. I think it is pretty obvious who I chose.) he was still caught fooling around with other girls, and then coming up with lame excuses as to why he spent the night. He is a playboy, and was trying to make infidelities by saying, "sorry," and "this won't happen once we get married." I can't trust him. So this is why I finally came to a sound decision of Norman, and why I am standing just outside the church doors to make my descent down the aisle. The smile plastered to my face wasn't really plastered, but there naturally. I could not wait to start my life with Norman.

The wedding march began. Herb Beeseman, her partner Lisa's husband kindly walked her down the aisle. It made her sad her father wasn't there to walk her. Yet, when she looked in Norman's eyes everything went away. It was just him. There was no one else in the room, but the two of them. Not her sisters, Michelle and Andrea, not Bill Andrea's husband, not her two nieces or her mother Delores. Just him. It felt good. It felt right.

The ceremony was haze. I barely remembered saying my vows. But I remember everything coming back into focus again when the priest said, "You may now kiss the bride." That first kiss was, unbelievable. It was if we had just kissed for the first time. It was perfect, yet totally indescribable. Then we made our walk down the aisle as husband and wife, and headed out to the limo which would take us to the Lake Eden Lodge where our reception was.

We showed up at the lodge which was decorated just as beautifully as the church. We danced our first dance and had pleasant conversations with our guests. There were lots of congratulations, but something was missing. Mike. Just because I didn't choose him didn't mean I didn't want him to be there. He was still my friend. But Norman advised that I shouldn't. He was friends with him too, and wanted him to be here, but he said it wouldn't be kind to put him through that pain. I found myself crying.

"Honey, what's wrong?" Norman said. He was concerned.

"I just wanted so much to share our happiness with Mike. It's like there is something missing with him not here. Do you know what I mean?" I cried, trying to hold it together. The silk on my dress was shaking with my quiet sobs. He took me aside and calmed me down and said he understood and felt the same way. But told me to trust him, we were doing Mike a huge favor. I finally calmed down, and we took our places back at the reception.

The night was flawless, the speeches and food were amazing, and you know what? I didn't find a single dead body. How strange.

Our story has now moved fourteen years later…

We found ourselves at our spot. In the kitchen at the Cookie Jar pigging out on leftover cookies, and new creations. Alys our now fourteen year old daughter was watching her little brother and sister Masen and Anthony. We had gone out to dinner at the Lodge in Lake Eden, and instead of ordering dessert (okay, I'll admit I'm lying. We each ordered a slice of German Chocolate cake, which was AMAZING, ate it all, then came here, not quite ready to return home to our three beautiful kids.) came to the Cookie Jar deciding, it just would not be right for us to let the left over cookies go to waste.

"What are you thinking about Hannah?" Norman asked. I occasionally went off into these trances of thought, and sometimes if not interrupted, went for quite a while not really paying attention to my surroundings. One time I walked into a wall. Jeez, that was really embarrassing.

"I was thinking about how we don't exercise at all and here we are after eating a giant dinner, and a giant piece of German Chocolate cake pigging out on leftover cookies. Can't complain though." I teased right back.

After we finished pigging out we went home to our dream house, literally, it was the one me and Norman designed together a long time ago for a design your dream house competition, which we won, and Norman had it built for us, we paid Alys, put Masen and Anthony to bed, then climbed into our warm bed with the bathroom and monogram towels, and slept soundly. I didn't dream that night, in fact, it is sometimes hard for me to sleep. I know why. It's Dr. Seuss says, "You know you're in love when reality is finally better than your dreams." And it's true. Reality is finally better than my dreams.