The wedding was on Saturday. We stood at the altar for a second, at least, it felt like it.
Then Veronica and I were walking back down the aisle holding our new husbands' hands and getting hit with rice.
In Reception Veronica and I swapped husbands and I danced with Samuel.
Trudy waded through the guests, screamed and hugged me. We went to sit on one of the couches while Samuel went to find Veronica.
'I can't believe it!' Trudy said.
'I know, I'm so happy they decided to put us in the same room!' I said.
Photographs were taken and then it was time for one of my favourite parts of a wedding. Throwing bouquets.
I stood on the stage next to Leo, with my back to the audience I threw my bouquet of roses, orchids and lilies into the air. I heard the sound of screaming. I turned around to see Avril holding my bouquet with a very surprised look on her face.
'I've never caught anything!' she said and everyone cheered.
Then it was Veronica's turn. She threw her blue bouquet into the air and turned to see who had caught it. Oliver had.
'Could Avril and Oliver please dance when the music starts?' Samuel said into the microphone.
The party went on until 1:30 AM. Then Leo held me as we walked into our new home.
I showered, dried my hair and fell into bed, asleep in seconds.
2 YEARS LATER
I can't believe my 14 year old husband laughed at me for suggesting we get a dog.
'Wait, you were serious?' he asked.
I sighed at him and picked up the pajama top he had dropped on the bed.
'Look, I know you're 14, but could you at least be considerate of your 13 year old wife?' I said.
Leo laughed and hugged me, 'I'm sorry wife, could you ever forgive me?' I laughed and swatted him away with his shirt.
'Get dressed we're going to my Mom for lunch.' I said going to the bathroom.
5 minutes later we were at Mom's house.
After lunch Veronica and I went into the garden to chat.
'Remember before we died, when we spoke about afterlife?' I asked.
'And we thought we'd never get married.' Veronica said
'I'm glad heaven doesn't exist and this Mock Earth does.' I told her.
'13 more years.' she said.
'13 more years.' I said taking her hand.
5 YEARS LATER
The year I turned 8 and my husband turned 9, my real mom arrived on Elsewhere.
Samuel, Leo, Veronica and I went with Zoe to meet her sister.
Mom (real) was now 52. She had silver strands in her brown hair and laugh lines around her cheeks.
When she saw me and Veronica she rushed over.
'Are you my twins?' she asked us.
'Yes.' I said and she hugged us.
'But, why are you...8? she asked.
'We age backwards here.' I told her.
'So you'll be have been you for 104 years when you go back to earth.' Veronica said.
'Oh my, are you the sister of mine that I haven't seen for 11 years?' Real Mom asked Zoe Mom.
Zoe Mom nodded and they hugged.
'And who are these young gentlemen?' Real Mom said noticing my and Veronica's husband.
'This is my husband, Leo, Mom.' I told her.
'And how old were you when you got "married"?' she didn't believe me.
'15,' I told her.
'They really did get married when they were 15, Jaizey.' Zoe told her sister.
'Oh and, who's your husband Veronica?' Mom said.
'This is Sam Holmes.' Veronica's introduced her husband.
'Sam and Veronica Holmes and Leo and Jodie...?' Mom looked at Leo and me.
'Leonard Hasworth.' Leo put in.
'Samuel and Veronique Holmes and Leonard and Jodastra Hasworth, well I'll be damned, but I am glad my girls got to experience marriage, a happy marriage!' Mom said, saying all our full names.
'Jodastra?' Leo asked.
'PLEASE ignore my name, my mom had a thing for making up names.' I told him.
'Like Grandma.' Mom said.
'Like Grandma.' I added.
'I like it...Astra.' Leo experimented.
'Jodie.' I corrected him.
10 YEARS LATER
It's strange that people here is Elsewhere aren't baffled when a 3 year old girl and her 4 year old husband walk past them. Even though I don't exactly speak well anymore, I still think like I did when I was 16.
Of course some things have changed in our marriage. For example, from 8 downwards we didn't do it anymore. Samuel, Leo, Veronica, Trudy, Harry (Trudy's husband) and I live with Real Mom (who is now 42) and Zoe and Robert (who are 18 and 19) in Petal Drive. Mom tucks us in and reads to us every night.
It's strange to be a three year old again.
3 YEARS LATER (No longer from Jodie's point of view, third person)Jaizey Hartley (39) holds two bassinets, Jodie is in one of them and Veronica in the other. Tears are pouring down her cheeks. Robert (16) is carrying Leo and Sam who are both holding a bright orange poppy. Zoe (15) is holding a bassinet and a 1 year old boy. In the bassinet is Trudy and the boy is her husband, Harry. He is also holding a poppy. Robert and Zoe are also crying. Behind them are other families holding bassinets with Linda, Corine and Haley.
Jaizey Hartley's new friend, Fern, is right behind Zoe. She is holding her daughter Avril, in a bassinet and holding her daughter's husband, Oliver who has a poppy like the other boys.
They arrive at a small wooden building. A yellow sign saying 'River To Earth' is hung above the door.
They all go inside and sign the names of the baby that is leaving that day.
Scribbled on the forms are the names:
They hand over their babies to be wrapped in material. When they get them back they all go outside to the river and gently place the babies on the water.
'I can't believe, I'm saying good bye to my girls again!' Jaizey says to Fern and Zoe, they are all crying. And as the boys place their flowers in the water, the babies floating away look at their families, as they have finished the descend.
(In this case, S-j, this really is needed!)
This story is dedicate to S-j Bagg