Tommy is getting married today. Jason is his best man. And his bride...I tremble just thinking who she is. I wish I could be where he is. I wish I could be the one saying "I do" when he is asked if he takes her as his wife. I wish she could be thinking about me when she says "I do."
I wish I were getting married to her today.
It's a beautiful day, just flawless for the occasion. The sky is as blue as sapphires, not a cloud to be seen anywhere, and according to the weather report, everything is going to stay that way for who knows how long. More perfect California weather, I suppose. Not that I care. I've seen enough bad weather on Aquitar to last me a lifetime. One of the reasons I left, I suppose. I wanted some calm and some peace in my life, and I couldn't find it there anymore.
Before you ask, and I know you will, yes, I did love Cestria. But she didn't love me. The story of my life, actually. Every girl winds up dumping me sooner or later. Cestria and I dated for a few times, but even after I made the major decision to go to her world and stay there, it just never took off the way I was hoping it would. The way I think she was hoping it would. She felt sorry for me. I could see it in her eyes. But she never said anything to me about it.
After a year, I just gave up and went back to Earth. I couldn't stand her pity any longer, I had to be where I could try for some sort of happiness. Back among my own people. I like individual Aquitians, but to be honest, the race as a whole makes me cold. It's somewhat rude to say they're a race of "cold fish", but if you get right down to the hard truth, that's what they are. They aren't very emotional. It's not that they don't show their emotions...they don't have any. Anything they show that could be mistaken for an emotion is just something they use for show. Deep inside, they feel nothing.
I was hoping when I came back that I could maybe find some friends again, even hook up with my old friends. That happened too. They welcomed me back as if I'd never been gone, and it felt as if I'd never left. Right down to the fact that everyone else was in love except me.
The couples that had sprung up while I was gone were quite fascinating. Some surprised me, some didn't. The one that truly and utterly floored me, however, was who Tommy had fallen in love with. It certainly wasn't something I'd expected. Then again, that's life. It just sneaks up on you and throws you a curve when you're not looking, whacking you upside the head with surprises.
So now they're getting married. They're not the first. The first couple to get married was Rocky and Aisha. Aisha returned from Africa, re-met Rocky at a karate tournament, proceeded to beat the daylights out of him for not telling her that he had been injured, and they were married two months later. Tommy and his love are the second of the groups' couples to get married.
"Are you ready, Billy?" Oh, joy, I get to attend this farce. What a beautiful moment. I feel rather sick to my stomach.
I plaster a smile on my face. "Sure! Let's get this wedding going!" He doesn't know I'm in love with his wife. Wife-to-be. No one knows that but me.
There are guests from all over the cosmos here. Every last one come to see Tommy Oliver married at last. His bride looks absolutely beautiful in her white veil and gown of satin. She hasn't spoken to me; her attention is all on the preparations and on Tommy. I'm not really expecting her to say anything. Her life is complete now that she and Tommy are going to be one. Why should she say anything?
I don't want to be here. I want to be...anywhere but here. I want to be far from here, traveling on Terra Venture, seeing the universe, feeling the life and the joy running through me once more, knowing that I had finally done something to make a real difference, knowing that I had someone in my life who loved me without let or reservation. Someone who didn't love someone else, the way every girl I'd ever loved had loved someone else.
The music has begun. Everything proceeds just as I thought it was going to. Skull is actually playing beautifully. Who would have imagined it? Bulk isn't here to mess things up, presuming he even would anymore. Our old enemies, now reformed and friends, are here too, quietly paying attention, and I even see Rita and Divatox dabbing their eyes with tissues as the bride walks by.
Words are spoken that flash by me. I pay no attention. All I'm listening for is one phrase, one phrase that will seal my fate forever. Seal me away from her.
Here it comes.
"Ladies and gentleman, I now present to you, Thomas and Trini Oliver."