It was my wedding day.
Well, no, it actually wasn't. That was just a game my big sister used to make me play when I was little. She'd put me in one her old frilly dresses and her nicest pair of shoes. She'd give me a bouquet made of flowers and weeds from our mom's old garden. She'd put a veil from one of her dolls in my hair, which had been combed out of my face. She'd decorate my face with sticky make up, putting huge amounts of bright colors on my eyes, cheeks and lips no matter how bad it clashed with my current outfit. Then she'd leave me to sit on her bed and wait while she went into the room across the hall to dress him up.
She'd put him in one of our brother's old suits, even though it would always be too big for him and he'd trip over the pant legs. She'd comb his hair so it wasn't as wild and it laid down neatly. She'd give him some plastic rings with huge fake diamonds. Then she'd lead us into the kitchen, where a decorated box sat on the linoleum with a cook book opened to a random page sitting on the top. Our big brother would be sitting in one of the kitchen chairs, acting as camera man and witness. She'd stand us in front of the "alter", then kneel behind it and pretend to read from the book, quoting what she'd seen on movies since we'd never been to a real wedding ourselves.
"I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride," she'd say, and we'd kiss in that fish-faced little kid way. My siblings would clap. He would smile and take my hand, leading me to our honey moon spot, which was a huge pillow on the carpet as we sat and watched cartoons and ate junk food.
Back then, that meant nothing to me. Wedding day was just another game we played to pass the time, just like cops and robbers or pirates.
Later I would deny ever playing it, despite the numerous pictures taken when we had been especially cute in our wedding wardrobes as proof. He would laugh each time the subject came up, which was quite often since we had a picture of us on our fireplace mantle, much to my displeasure. I'd slap him, saying I had been forced to wear the damned dress and make up. When that didn't work I said I was just a kid. I didn't know what was happening. He'd just smirk and shake his head.
I never thought the games we played as kids would influence our future choices.
It's a Saturday. Warm and sunny, with just enough clouds to block out the sun now and then, casting dramatic shadows over the church yard. There's enough wind to knock loose the scents of the flowers that decorate the isle and chairs, carrying it to me. I breathe in. This is it. My real wedding day. After so long, after so many times we pretended, after all our fights and break ups, after all the memories we'd made together, good and bad. This time, it's for real.
There's a brilliant white gazebo in which a real alter sits, the priest calmly reading through his notes, waiting for it to start. There are two dozen chairs to each side of a long white carpet that is sprinkled with flower petals. A dozen for my family and friends, a dozen for his. The first row, reserved for family, looks depressingly empty on both sides. My mother died while giving birth to me, and my father followed when I was twelve. His parents have been dead since he was three, and only our siblings were here to witness the event. I don't think of that, though. I think of how after all this, we'll all be a family. Our friends, though also short in numbers, are scattered through the chairs, looking through the programs, looking bored or talking animatedly to each other with big goofy grins.
Before I have time to admire the scene, the music starts to play, slow and soft. My brides maids walk to the gazebo on the arms of his attendants, parting when they get to the front and going to each side. Our tri-color haired flower girl follows, waving to her parents as she passes and throwing flower petals in the air. The ring bearer comes next, hurrying to catch up with his sister without spilling the rings. After that, he walks up the isle, smiling softly to the people who congratulated him.
He looks almost exactly the same as when we pretended all those years ago. His sliver hair is combed neatly, the spikes laying down in a less threatening shape. His chocolate eyes are smiling despite the serious scowl on his face. His suit is more elegant than the one my sister always made his wear, fitting to his form like it should.
He takes his spot in front of the alter. Finally, it's my turn.
This time, I too am in a tuxedo, a smaller, white version of the one my groom-to-be is in. I can't say I really look the same, because I had also ditched the heels and veil. The bouquet of daisies, sunflowers and forget-me-nots remain, clutched tightly in my shaking hands. I smile down at them, remembering how I used to throw the bouquet when all was said and done, only to have to pick them up when the flowers fell all over the floor.
Rishid takes my arm, pulling me from the daze I'm in. He smiles at me, the tattoo on the left side of his face crinkling. "Ready?"
I smile back. "Always have been."
As he leads me down the isle, all eyes are on me. Yugi's and Anzu's, Honda's and Jounouchi's. Even the Kaibas are here, Mokuba's eyes shining and Seto just smirking like always. I smile at them, since I had not been expecting all of them to show. I then turn my eyes to my future husband. No one's eyes are as happy and lively or as gorgeous as his, and his are the ones I meet and gaze at until I'm by his side. Rishid and Isis hug me before leaving to sit back down.
We nod to the priest, and he begins.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the joining of these two men in holy matrimony."
I try not to smile at the changes that had to be made for us. Tears begin to sting my eyes as he continues. We read our vows, and I can't hold back my tears as he promises to love me for the rest of his life. I make similar promises and we smile, both of our eyes filled with tears.
Finally, the priest says it.
"I now pronounce you man and man. You may kiss the groom."
I turn to him, smiling disbelievingly as he takes my hands in his, pulling me close. "I love you Malik," he whispers.
"I love you too, Bakura," I whisper back.
And then we kiss.