Disclaimer: I own nothing from Fiddler on the Roof or "Marry Me" by Train. However, I do own my own creativity.


Vows

Love has surely shifted my way.

They stand outside, the canopy tall and firm above them. Friends and family surround them, proud, reflective looks glowing on their faces. The wind is cool and refreshing in the dry, summer heat, ruffling the lace veil covering her face.

They are trying to maintain their serious expressions. This is a solemn, life changing event, and their poise must reflect this. But he keeps chancing glances in her direction, and seeing the white garb of a bride, knowing that she is to be his makes the joy filing him to the brim come dangerously close to overflowing. She, on the other hand, is protected by her veil and the night sky and can hide the spontaneous smiles that flash across her face. They dare not meet each others' eyes for fear they will lose all control and begin to laugh aloud or cry. Either one has a very high possibility of happening at any given moment.

Now, there are words and steps, bringing the reality of the situation to light. Soon, just a few more minutes of formalities and then no one can break them apart.

Slowly, so slowly, a glass is laid on the ground, and she watches, anticipation making every second last an eternity, as he raises a foot. He drops it (for a brief second their thoughts are the same: please God, bless my/his aim!) and his foot smashes the glass into millions of shards.

It is over. They are each others. His face is alight, his body shaking as the entire town busts into cheers and shouts. Tears are building behind her eyes as her own hands shake in wonder. Just before they are separated, thrown into the celebrations awaiting them, they look into each others' faces, see the collective joy in their eyes. Their smiles are bright and full of relief. All of their past, the culmination of their lives has been leading to this moment. God has blessed them and granted them this gift, the greatest gift He could give.

And with this knowledge, they are lifted high above the rest. For this is their day, their time, and every one knows it.

You wear white and I'll wear out the words: I love you.

They stand inside, for the weather is far too frigid, to dangerous for a wedding. The canopy is cheap and being supported by four men, which is almost half of their witnesses. There are not a great deal of Jews in this settlement.

The Rabbi is young, thirty years old at most. Many of the other inhabitants stand outside their circle, watching this curious Jewish tradition with wary eyes. But they are not too afraid, for the young woman is dressed as a bride.

The dress is old, for it belongs to the old woman at her left. His suit is a little too small for him as it is borrowed from the man holding the canopy pole behind him. She can see him tugging on the cuffs, trying to cover his shaking hands. She bites her lip, praying everything will go smoothly. The guards had promised not to interfere, but she isn't sure she trusts them.

A whistle of wind swoops by and she flinches, stepping closer to him. He supports her silently, pressing back against her in a near invisible motion. She eyes him from beneath the too-thin, too-plain veil and catches his warm, soft eyes. She draw strength from them and straightens, no longer afraid.

The Rabbi is finishing, she remembers this part from her sister's wedding. Nerves suddenly explode along her spine and she shivers. This is actually happening.

The glass is dirty. He notices this immediately and curses himself for not preparing for this development. But it's too late to fix things now and as the glass is set on the ground and everyone's expectant eyes fall on him, he realizes this is it. This is his moment. By stepping on this glass, probably stolen from one of the guards, he will have sealed this marriage, this socioeconomic relationship.

For a brief moment he panics and looks at her, at this woman who has traveled so far in order to be with him, to help him in his work. He wonders if this is the life she wants, if she has actually chosen him, but then he sees the smile on her face, the love in her eyes and, unable to look away, steps down.

The glass makes a terrific sound as it smashes and silence reigns for a moment, as if no one can believe their ears. But then the laugh escapes his throat – and it is relief, pure relief – and she begins to laugh, high and lovely, and everyone, everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, are laughing with them.

She feels him take her hand in his and that is when the tears fall.

Promise me you'll always be happy by my side.

They stand in a building she has never been in before, safe from the beautiful winter day outside and any curious eyes. There is only the four of them, herself, her love, the Reverend Father, and a priest she does not know.

She is not sure what she is expected to say or do, but they are guiding her with patience and she is so unbearably grateful to them. She does not want to look foolish, although she knows she must make quite a sight, standing in this church with everyday clothes on. There is not one speck of white on her, no new fabric that is as pure as her. It is simply her, dressed as she is every day. But none of these men seem to care. Her love, after all, is dressed just as simply.

He is holding her hands, facing her, speaking to her and her alone. She decides she likes this aspect of the Christian ceremony. She can watch him, search his face for any sign of doubt or fear and draw courage from the love that shines from his blue eyes. She prays that she is as see-through as he is right now, so that he will never doubt how much she wants this, wants him.

Her expression is beautiful, and she is so brave. He has always thought this, from the moment he saw her at the bookstore, but now it is more obvious than ever. He cannot fathom what it must be like to leave you family, your past, all that you know for one person, yet here she stands, full of fierce love and determination. She stands here, giving all of herself to him and he prays that he will be enough for her.

Suddenly, far too soon and after forever, the Reverend is pronouncing them husband and wife, and she blinks, wondering what will come next. How do Christians make it official? Certainly, they do not break a glass... She is about to ask when the Reverend continues, granting her husband (husband!) permission to kiss her.

She has never been kissed before.

He leans down, letting go of her hands so he can hold her by the waist and she angles her head, closing her eyes, nervous for some insane reason. Then, his lips are on hers, and it is wonderful and warm and heated and so completely him and she has to grab his shirt in order to hold on.

When they break apart, there are only the soft congratulations offered by the two priests. But she finds she does not care, not about that, not about her family, not about what she has done to them by doing this. For this moment, none of that matters. All that matters is that God has made her for this man, and this man for her and that no one can tear them apart.

Today and every day.