It still doesn't feel real to me. I put on the dress Ollie has bullied me into buying. White, sixties style, covered in black dots. Surprisingly good at hiding things. I brush my hair, and then let Em come in and fuss over my hair until she seems satisfied. For a while, I'm left alone with my thoughts and Hank, who hasn't left my room. Well, I say my room, this will be the last time I will sleep in it. I look at my pathetic bed, which was made up last night for me ready for today. I can't move off my chair because I'll crinkle the dress, but I spin slightly so I can look around the entire room. I look back into the mirror in front of me just as the door opens. Uncle Gil stands there looking at me in the mirror.
"Hey." I say watching him.
"You look beautiful." He says smiling and I stand up slowly and give him a joking twirl ending in a curtsey.
"You don't look to bad either." I say gesturing at him. He's even brought out a suit he's never worn before. That will be Sara's doing.
"Your mother would be so-
"Yeah I know, she'd be so proud of me and all that. You don't have to say it just because that's what people would expect you to say." I say, but I can feel myself tearing up. This is wrong without Mom. She should be here, but she's not. I turn away from Uncle Gil and try my hardest not to cry. I feel like that kid again that was stood on the doorstep screaming at the bearer of bad news. He hugs me awkwardly as I try to compose myself.
"I know you won't want me to say this, but your Mom would be so proud of you, not just because you're getting married, because that's not a reason to be proud of someone. She would be proud of you, because you are a brilliant person. And the fact that she had something to do with making you who you are would have made her the world's proudest mother." He says. I step away from his hug and smile.
"Thanks Uncle Gil." I say. He looks at his watch.
"Anyway, I came in here to get you. It's time to go."
I hold my breath for the entire car journey. Am I nervous? No that would be stupid. I am ready to do this. I should have done something in my life by now. The only thing I'm worried about now is the little person who I've been carrying around for a couple of weeks now. Greg wants to name it something ridiculous. But that isn't surprising. I'll be damned if they get a stupid name. I am after all their mother. That still feels weird to me.
The car stops and Uncle Gil looks at me.
"You ready?" He asks. I take a deep breath and nod. We get out of the car into the blinding sun and murderous heat. Nate and Ollie stand outside bouncing with excitement. They are my best maids. I'm glad I could repay the favour.
"Honey, you look like a movie star!" Em says the minute she gets a proper look at my outfit. Yeah, like a fat movie star, and you never find one of them. I smile and thank her. She eventually bustles in. Em, Nate and Ollie were the last people to arrive.
"We'll go check that everything's ready." Ollie says pulling Nate into the building. I pull down my veil, hold my bouquet a lot tighter and face my Uncle. We've been through a lot, and I know that there is no way that I would have ever made it to the other side without him. I take one more deep breath as we walk to the doors. Nate and Ollie stand there.
"When the music starts we'll go down, then you in a bit." Nate says. He looks more excited than I feel. Now I am scared. My heart starts going crazy. The familiar music starts. It's comforting to know they haven't changed all that much since I was last here.
Wise men say only fools rush in
Ollie and Nate start walking down the aisle. There are a lot of people at this wedding. More than were at Nate and Ollie's. Nineteen. Even Marty and Nyssa have made it. Pete's still in hospital though, which isn't surprising. I would be dead if something had happened to Greg.
But I can't help falling in love with you.
Uncle Gil ends up pulling me down the aisle. Eventually I get into it. Everyone has turned and is now watching me. I smile at various different people, even Greg's mom, who I am pretty sure hates me. I see Archie, who is Greg's best man nudging Greg. I smirk underneath my veil and hold back my laugh. Greg turns around slightly and I wave slightly with my flowers. He laughs and Archie nudges him again. Uncle Gil finally gets me to the altar. He stops and very slowly takes my hand. He stares Greg dead in the eye. This is obviously his 'I will kill you if this goes wrong' face. Greg looks back at him solemnly. I smirk and roll my eyes. Once he's handed me over Uncle Gil goes and sits down next to Sara on the front row. I mouth 'hey' at Greg and as we turn to the priest, the same obese Elvis that was at Nate and Ollie's wedding, he squeezes my hand. Again, I zone out. You would think that by now, I would listen to a wedding ceremony, especially my own.
"Gregory Hojem Sanders, do you take Naomi Iris Grissom to be your lawfully wedded wife?" Elvis asks. I turn to look at Greg slightly and raise an eyebrow. He looks back, eyes full of love and hope for the future.
"I do." There's an audible sigh of relief from everyone.
"Naomi Iris Grissom. Do you take Gregory Hojem Sanders to be your lawfully wedded husband?" He asks. Do I? Am I ready to do this? If I say yes to this, there will be now way that I will ever be able to run again. I take a deep breath and feel the old Naomi leaving. I feel every memory leaving, every time I was stupid, every time I was alone, every time I missed home. I look straight at Greg and I hope that he can see how much I love him.