The time has come.
“She’s fine.” Kelly answered quickly. She hadn’t meant to worry him. “I didn’t mean to make it sound like anything is wrong with her.”
Gerard nodded, “Okay. Then what is it you want to tell me?”
Kelly took a deep breath, “It’s about who her real dad is.”
Gerard shook his head, “Honey, I’m her Dad. I do understand what you’re saying but it doesn’t matter. Elle is my daughter. It’s what Liv wanted for her, it’s what your Mom wants and it’s what I want.”
“I shouldn’t have brought this up.” Kelly said starting to stand. Gerard reached out and grabbed her arm.
“Kell, I’m not upset. I’ve just finally realized that in my heart I had already accepted Elle as mine.” He put his arm around her shoulder, “Just like I accept you as mine too. You are my daughter, Kell. I may not be your birth father but that doesn’t mean I love you any less then I would if I was your real father.”
Kelly blinked back tears, “I love you, Dad.”
Gerard smiled, “Just remember that when I tell you that you and Luke are spending too much time together or that you can’t go somewhere I don’t think you should.” He teased.
“I will.” Kelly whispered. She hugged him tightly. “I promise.”
“We have a problem.” Donna said entering the bedroom. Monica looked over at her.
“Don’t move your eyes.” Christa warned. She was applying mascara.
“Sorry.” Monica said. She spoke to Donna, “What’s wrong?”
“I’m on the phone with Jamia. Frank’s mom just called them. Her car broke down on the way to their place. She has someone coming to help her but there is no way she’ll make it to their place in time for them to be able to make it here before the ceremony starts.”
“Tell them to bring the babies.” Monica suggested.
“I thought of that too.” Donna admitted, “But Jamia and Frank weren’t sure you’d want two newborns at the wedding.”
Monica smiled, “Of course I do. Tell them to get over here.”
Donna relayed Monica’s message over the phone to Jamia.
Alicia laughed, “Wanna bet they’ll start crying during the ceremony?”
“It’s okay if they do.” Monica answered. “Frank and Jamia have to be here and besides I want to see Joe and Maddy.”
“Me too.” Christa said as she stood back to look at the makeup she’d applied to Monica. “How’s it look?” She asked Alicia and Kara.
“Perfect” They both responded at the same time.
Monica peered in the mirror, “I like it.” She grinned. She couldn’t help herself she just kept smiling. “I don’t think Gee has ever seen me with makeup like this.”
“Well then he’d gonna see how stunning you can really look.” Alicia told her. “I’m gonna go check on the guys.”
She passed Donna who was still standing in the doorway. “How many people have arrived?”
“About ten so far.” Donna answered. “It’s still raining but at least it’s let up a little. When we first got here I was afraid all the guests would be soaked just walking from their cars to the house.”
“The rain has let up?” Monica asked.
Donna nodded, “It’s just sprinkling now.”
Monica glanced over at the clock. The ceremony was in less than an hour. She just wanted the time to pass quickly. She was ready to walk down the steps. She wanted to see Gerard. Christa understood.
“It won’t be much longer and you’ll see him standing waiting for you.”
“I really didn’t believe this day would ever come.” Monica said; her voice shook with emotion.
“I thought it would.” Christa told her. “I always believed you two were meant for each other.”
Kara moved over to stand behind her mother, “Stop being nervous. Nothing is going to go wrong.”
Monica nodded, “I know. I’m just tired of waiting.”
“Frank and Jamia are on their way with the babies.” Alicia told the room full of men.
“I didn’t know they were bringing the rug rats.” Ray said in a surprised tone.
Alicia explained the situation.
Gerard laughed, “Can’t say I’m sorry Frank’s not here yet. He’d be tormenting me if he was.”
Mikey laughed, “Yeah, pretty sure he would be.”
“How’s Monica doing?” Gerard asked looking over at Alicia.
“Fine. A bit nervous but looking beautiful.”
“She is beautiful all the time.” Gerard said, “I want to see her.” He stood.
“Oh no you don’t.” Alicia said shaking her head, “You know it’s bad luck to see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony.”
“Fine.” Gerard sat down and pulled out his cell phone. The others watched with amused smiles. “Hi.” He whispered into the phone while turning away from them.
“Hi, Gee.” Monica’s heart filled with happiness. “I miss you.”
“I miss you too.” He answered. “They won’t let me see you.”
Monica giggled, “I know. I want to see you too.”
He closed his eyes and let the sound of her voice fill his heart. “Guess we shouldn’t tempt fate though.”
“Guess not.” Monica agreed. “I just want it to be time, you know?”
“Yeah, Honey. I know.” He sighed, “I just called to tell you how much I love you.”
“Awwwww” Ray, Mikey, Bob and Alicia said in unison.
“I love you too.” Monica giggled hearing the others. “See you soon.”
“Not soon enough.” Gerard answered before disconnecting.
“Sorry I’m so late.” Jamia said bustling into the room about 40 minutes later.
“I’m just glad you’re here.” Monica stood and gave Jamia a hug.
Jamia laughed, “Don’t know how happy you’ll be if the terror twins wake up during the ceremony. Right now they are both asleep.”
“Oh, I’m gonna go see them.” Christa said.
“Me too.” Alicia stood following her to the door. “Coming Kara?”
Kara didn’t appear quite as enthusiastic as the others to but stood also. “Just so all this baby stuff isn’t contagious.”
“Oh, come on. Don’t you want a baby?” Alicia kidded her.
“That’s a joke, right? ” Kara sounded incredulous. “I’m still not drinking the water. I feel like I’m surrounded by pod people.”
The three hurried down the stairs. Jamia took a seat by Monica. “So, how are you feeling? Nervous?”
Monica giggled, “Nope. I just want to get this show on the road.”
Jamia laughed, “Show on the road?”
“Yep.” She nodded happily. “Who’s watching Joe and Maddy?”
“Donna and Don have them right now but you doctor friend’s daughter offered to help too.”
“Gilly.” Monica supplied the name. “Paul’s daughter.”
“I was sort of surprised to see him here.” Jamia said honestly.
“Gee wanted me to invite him. When I explained that Paul had been so kind to me, he insisted.”
Jamia gave her a surprised look, “Really?”
“Yeah, really. Gee knows he’s never had any real competition for my heart. It belongs to him.”
A few minutes later Alicia, Kara, and Christa reappeared. “Everyone’s here, Monica. It’s almost time.” Alicia announced.
Monica stood and took a deep breath, “Can I have just one minute alone, please?”
“Of course.” Jamia answered for them. She stood and gave Monica a final hug. “We’ll all be at the foot of the stairs waiting.”
After they’d all filed out Monica walked over to the dresser and looked at her reflection in the mirror. She was shocked to see the woman staring back at her looked like a stranger. Monica closed her eyes and took a deep breath. It had been hard to hide her true feeling in front of the others. Still as she looked at her own reflection she wondered how they couldn’t have seen it in her eyes. “It’s time.” She whispered. Her voice trembled.
Down in the living room Gerard stood nervously waiting. Beside him Ray, Bob, Frank and Mikey were all keeping a close eye on him. No one had ever seen Gerard look so nervous.
The guests were beginning to become slightly restless. Many turned slightly in their chairs to glance back. Baby Joe cradled in Donna’s arms began to stir and softly fret. His sister, in Gilly’s arms, heard and slowly began to stir. Gerard turned to Mikey seeking reassurance. Mikey reached over and gave his arm a tight squeeze. Frank glanced nervously at his children. The clock ticked.