-I have a story to tell!”
My uncle’s voice boomed like thunder, louder than the rest. Every one turned towards him. The girl in the white dress seemed surprised, and she whispered something I couldn’t hear.
He rose from his sit with his glass of champagne and a huge grin on his face. He looked like a penguin in his beautiful clan suit, but like an elegant penguin.
-There once was a boy.” My uncle started with his happy tone of voice. “He was a writer. He wrote sad stories, songs, poems… But mostly fairy tales, like the one you are about to hear. And there was a girl. She was beautiful, funny, intelligent…” There was a pause. My uncle looked at his wife, at the beautiful white dress, at the wedding guests… The woman smiled at him and slightly nodded, giving her approval. The young man smiled back and continued. “One day, there was a party at a friend’s house. That friend’s cousin knew a guy’s sister who had a friend who… Well, to make it simple, they were both invited. The girl lived in Paris, but she spent a lot of time in Lyon, where her parents lived. So, she decided to get back a day early from her vacation…” He looked straight into my eyes in a flash. “She spilled coffee over her shirt, she had messy hair, her train was late…” All the adults laughed and I tried to laugh too, to be more like them, even if it wasn’t funny. “The boy arrived late too, he worked on his book all afternoon, like I said, he was a writer. He baked a cake for the party and forgot it in the oven.” The adults laughed again. “But he still brought the burnt cake to the party. He arrived on his motorbike and saw the girl.” He turned once again towards the bride who was almost crying. Happy tears. “She was…” His voice broke so he lowered his head and whispered into her ear: “beautiful.” I read on his lips. There was a pause. The groom stopped his story to drink from his glass of champagne. Then he continued. Faster. “They talked during the party. It was a lot of fun. They ate the cake, and nobody commented on it, even though it tasted terrible. Then, they decided a party wasn’t the place to be. They left on the boy’s motorbike and talked in front of the Eiffel Tower. They talked all night. In the morning, he bought her a coffee and a croissant. He hated, and still hates to this day, coffee, so he took an orange juice. Then the girl had to leave. They sent each other a hundred and twenty-six texts during the week. And they started dating. After six months, the boy was ready. He called his brother and asked for help. Francois?”
My other uncle, Francois, his best man, rose from one the seats at his table. He was younger, almost my age, and we got along very well. As he drank from his champagne glass, he winked at me. I winked back. We weren’t as close now that everyone considered him an adult, but he still was a good uncle. Almost a cousin.
-So, after calling his brother and best friend,” Francois continued the story, “they went together to a jewelry store in Paris. And they spent almost two hours in the store trying to find the perfect ring. It was long and hard. He didn’t know what he wanted, he was hesitant, he tried to find something not too expensive…” The adults laughed. “And after those research’s, they went back home empty handed. It was sad, alas. They hadn’t found the perfect ring. That is when their older sister called them.” Their older was my mom. She was older than me when my uncle, the groom, was born, and she didn’t really get along with her brothers anymore, so she wasn’t at the wedding. But I had a feeling that they had asked her to come, to continue the speech, to give a part of the story. “Their grandma had just died, a few days before their trip to find a ring, and the sister was looking through the stuff in the old house. Cleaning and whatnot. She often found an object or a note that was addressed to someone in the family, so she would call them to tell about the heritage. On that day of days, she called to say that the grandmother had left a note on her desk. A very important note in fact: her testament. And that testament said in black on white that she left her wedding ring to whichever of the two brothers married first. It feels like destiny, because that phone call came right on time for the oldest of the two brother to come pick up the ring. Then, he ordered seats at the best restaurant in Paris at the time…” My uncle, Francois, was working on becoming a chef. He worked at the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, the Jules Verne. But at the time of the proposal, he was working in one of the most famous Parisian restaurants; The Golden Touch. It was a delicious restaurant, I had been there twice. “He invited the girl to the restaurant. And, she came.” He turned toward his brother, who was smiling and silently laughing at times.
-Yes, she came. She came and she wore a white dress. Not the one she is wearing today, but another white dress. She was as beautiful as the first time he had seen her, if not more. And the boy realized that he would love her every day of his life a little more. Today more than yesterday and tomorrow way less than today. During dessert, he got up from his seat and got the ring out. And he proposed…” The bride was still happy crying. “She said yes and he gave her the ring.” The bride put her hand up for everyone to see. The ring was beautiful, I had seen it up close, but I still looked just to check. “And they started planning their wedding. They spent more than a year to perfectly plan it. And today, they finally said yes in a big church and in a city hall… They both signed the paperwork’s for the fairy tale to close in a happily ever after. And they promised… To love each other… For every. Single. Day. Of their lives. No matter how long that is.”
-I love you.” Said the bride. “I love you so, so, so, much.”
-I know.” He said. “And I love you more.”
The bride rose from her seat and kissed him. And they lived happily ever after.