Read it and weep.
“Monica?” Gerard had turned and was facing her. His voice held shock and fear.
“I’m sorry, Gerard.” Monica’s voice was strong and surprisingly determined. “But this is wrong. We can’t do this.” She took a step toward Reverend Lewis and leaned in close to whisper something to him. The guests all watched, wondering what was happening. Gerard strained to hear her words but his pounding heartbeat filled his ears making it difficult. She had changed her mind. This marriage would never take place and he felt himself dying inside.
Reverend Lewis listened to Monica’s words and nodded. “I understand.” He said when she’d finished speaking.
Monica nodded to him then turned to the stunned guests. “I’m sorry but I can’t marry, Gee.” She turned to look into Gerard’s eyes. “Not like this.”
Gerard couldn’t speak. Words failed him.
Slowly Monica reached out and took both his hands in hers. “You and I both know deep down that this isn’t right.”
“I don’t understand.” His voice trembled when he finally found he could speak.
Her hands gripped his tightly. “I love you with my whole heart.” Monica tried to continue but he spoke.
“Then why?” The hurt in his tone was like a knife to Monica’s heart.
“Gee, you don’t understand.” She said quickly. “I want to marry you. Today. Now. But not like this. I want our wedding, the one we dreamed of together. Reverend Lewis has agreed that even though the weather isn’t cooperating he’ll brave the rain and marry us outside.” She smiled and added, “In our gazebo.”
“Our gazebo.” Gerard repeated the words. Relief washed over him. He’d thought she decided not to marry him but she’d just wanted their dream to come true. “Oh, Monica.” He whispered.
Monica turned to their friends and spoke with determination. “Before I came downstairs I noticed that the rain had almost stopped.” She laughed, “Well, okay, it’s still sprinkling. Gee, the Reverend and I will go to the gazebo. Any of you who want to brave the great outdoors can stand on the deck under the awning and watch.”
The guests turned to each other and the sound of laughter and relief was evident.
“Holy crap.” Kara uttered. “Way to be dramatic, Mom.”
Monica turned to her oldest daughter. “Sorry but as I was walking down the aisle I realized what I had to do.”
Gerard was still clutching her hands. “I love you.” He said from the bottom of his heart.
Monica’s beautiful smile, the look in her eyes told him everything he needed to hear.
“Mikey and I will go with you.” Alicia said taking a step towards the bride and groom-to-be.”
“Yeah.” Mikey agreed.
Gerard turned to his brother. “Thanks, bro.”
It took several minutes for everyone to adjust to the new plans. As they walked through the house towards the back deck Gerard held Monica’s hand tightly. He would never let this woman slip out of his life.
Monica and Gerard were the first people out on the deck. The rain was still falling softly but it had slowed even more.
“Thank you all, for this.” Monica said as people began crowding outside. It would be a tight squeeze but their friends would be able to see the wedding.
Frank now had Maddy in his arms. He and Jamia, still holding Joe, stood up front against the railing, as did the other members of the wedding party. Frank whispered to Jamia. “I thought for a minute…”
Jamia understood what he meant. “Me too.” She whispered back. “But this is so wonderful.”
Monica nodded to the Reverend and took Gerard’s hand preparing to walk down the step and out to the gazebo.
“Mes doin’” Elle said letting go of Don’s hand and tugging on Monica’s dress.
Monica looked down at her. “Of course, Baby.” She saw Kelly standing with Luke. “Kelly?”
Kelly nodded. “Of course, Mama.”
Reverend Lewis laughed. “I’ll head out there first.”
“Den mes.” It was obvious Elle still wanted to do her job correctly.
Gerard and Monica laughed. “Okay, Baby. But you can’t walk slowly. It’s raining so you have to walk very quickly to the gazebo.”
“Hold on just a second.” Luke said. He left Kelly’s side and made his way back inside the house. Mikey and Alicia prepared to go out to the gazebo with the others while they waited for Luke to return. Kelly wondered what he was doing. A minute later she knew.
“Here, Bug.” Luke had scooped up some of the rose petals and placed them back in her basket. As he handed it to her she broke into a huge grin.
“Tanks.” Elle took her basket and nodded to Gerard and Monica that she was ready.
Kelly hugged Luke tightly. It touched her heart that he had understood Elle’s feelings. It was just another example of why she loved him so much.
“Okay, are we ready then?” Reverend Lewis asked.
“More than ready.” Gerard put his arm around Monica and hugged her to him.
They all watched as Reverend Lewis sprinted towards the gazebo. Once he reached his destination Gerard leaned down to speak to Elle. “Okay, Bug. It’s your turn. Go quickly, okay?”
Elle nodded and walked down the steps. The guests watched and laughed as she made her way across the rain soaked lawn walking quickly but still stopping every few steps to drop rose petals. No one had that heart to tell her to hurry. She was doing what she believed to be the correct thing.
“A little rain never hurt anyone.” Monica giggled.
Kelly gave Luke a quick kiss. “My turn.” She said moving down the steps and starting out across the lawn. She caught up with Elle and together they reached the gazebo at the same time.
Now Mikey and Alicia stood at the top of the steps. “See ya there.” Mikey said to his brother with a huge smile. He took Alicia’s hand and they ran out to the gazebo.
Gerard smiled at Monica. “Ready, Honey?”
“Hold on.” Kara said rolling her eyes.
Bob took her hand and laughed, “I was waiting for this.”
Kara kissed him then turned to Monica and Gerard. “I really wanna be out there with you, Mom.”
Monica moved towards her and put her arms around her. “Thank you.” She whispered in her daughter’s ear.
She moved back into Gerard’s arms and they watched the couple run out to the gazebo. Once they had taken their places it was time. Monica turned to Gerard and looked deeply into his eyes.
“Get going already.” Bert’s words caused a ripple of laughter.
Neither Monica nor Gerard said a word. They just held hands and walked slowly out towards the gazebo. They didn’t feel the rain. They only felt the love. As they reached the gazebo they squeezed in and faced the Reverend.
“We ready?” he asked with a smile.
Monica noticed the people she loved, although they were under the roof of the gazebo, were still getting wet. Small droplets of water fell through the unfinished roof. It touched her heart that these people understood how important this was to her and Gee. “I’m ready.” She said in a strong voice.
“I’ve more than ready.” Gerard answered.
The Reverend nodded and began. “We are gathered here, in this gazebo, to join Monica and Gerard in Holy Matrimony and I must say I have never seen a more beautiful couple. The love you two share is inspiring. I know both of you have written your own vows and it is time to speak the words from your hearts. Monica, please be first.”
All eyes turned towards Monica. She turned to face Gerard and took his hands in hers.
“Gee, I love you with my whole heart. I had written my vows and thought they were what I wanted to say but right before the wedding something happened and I realized they weren’t right.” She paused with a small laugh, “So I’m just gonna speak from my heart.” She tightened her hold on his hands. “I realize now that fate brought us together. Everything that has happened in my life up until now has made me the person I am. If these things hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be here now standing in this gazebo with my three daughters, marrying the man I love. It was fate that made me stop at that grocery store and fate that allowed me to meet your mother. I had no idea then that moment in time would lead me here. I had no idea that that moment in time would lead me to you, the man who holds my heart. Once I realized this I knew that everything that had happened to you in your life led you to this moment, too. It led you and Elle to me. I know our lives were meant to become one. We both traveled a rocky path to get to this place in time but it was destiny. Our lives have come together because it’s right. It was meant to be. When I first realized I loved you it scared me. The feeling was so intense and unexpected but you understood and you gave me your heart. Now I realize I need to accept my past and yours and, in a way, be glad for them. They made us the people we are today. We are who we are because of our pasts. Now it is time to let them go. Today we start our lives together. From this day forward when we think of the past it will be the memories we make together. From this day forward we move together. I give you my heart and my love. I promise to stand by your side through whatever life has in store for our children and us and I know together we can handle anything. I love you Gerard Arthur Way. Now and forever.”
Gerard listened to her words and understood their deep meaning. With tears in his eyes he began.
“Monica, I give my heart to you without question. You deserve it. I can’t resist you as your agile fingers sweep over my heart filling it with joy. Your touch reaches my soul.” He lifted her hand and held it to his cheek. She brushed a stray tear away and pushed a damp strand of hair from his eyes. “ Now your fingers weave through my hair. Your breath is a reminder that I breathe, in and out - almost silent. I am with you.” He paused. “I am here. I am here. I am here with you always. Your evening promise brings me rest. When I awake with you beside me I know I can share with you all my thoughts, all my dreams and you’ll understand. I know you’ll believe. That is why I believe. You are past and present, our future intertwined. I have given you my soul. It is yours. I have given you my heart. I look into your eyes and they tell me everything I need to know. I feel love in your eyes. I know now my life is complete. I love you Monica. I love you more than I could ever put into words.” He touched her cheek softly. “Now and forever. You and the girls are my life.”
The couple stared intently into each other’s eyes until Reverend Lewis spoke.
“Do you Monica take this man, Gerard Arthur Way to be your lawfully wedded husband? Do you promise to care for him in sickness and in health until death do you part?”
“I do.” Monica’s voice was strong and clear.
“And do you, Gerard take this woman, Monica Veronica to be your lawfully wedded wife? Do you promise to cherish her and care for her in sickness and in health until death do you part?”
“I do.” Gerard answered from his heart.
Reverend Lewis looked over at Mikey. He produced the rings the couple had purchased just days before. They were simple matching gold band. Gerard took the ring from his brother and slipped it on Monica’s finger. “You are mine.”
Monica took the other ring from Mikey and slipped it on Gerard’s finger. “You are mine.” She whispered.
“Then by the power invested in me by the State of New Jersey I now pronounce you husband and wife.” He smiled at Gerard. “You many kiss your bride.”
Gerard pulled Monica into his arms. Suddenly they heard the cheering.
“God, I can’t believe this day finally came.” Gerard whispered against Monica’s lips.
They broke slightly apart and turned to their guests. Many were now standing near the gazebo. The rain had completely stopped and the sun broke through the clouds. Elle moved closer to them and Gerard scooped her up into his arms holding her in between himself and Monica. He whispered something into the little girl’s ear. She smiled happily. Gerard nodded to all his friends. “Bug has something to say.”
The happy guests grew silent and waited.
Elle looked at Gerard and smiled. He nodded to her, “Go ahead.”
Monica encouraged her too. “Go ahead, Baby.”
Elle took a deep breath. “Ands theys libed appily eber after.”
Gerard and Monica knew in their hearts it was true. They had finally reached their happily ever after.
AUTHORS NOTE: And so the journey ends. When I began writing this story and posted my first chapter on Nov 16, 2006 I never in my wildest dreams thought it would turn into something I would spend so much of my time writing. I loved every minute. To be honest I wrote that very first chapter with absolutely no idea where the story was going. For the first approx 8 months I would just sit down and start to write. Whatever came to me at that time was the direction the story took. I can still remember how "Elle" came to be. I had written that Bert and Gerard were out on the balcony talking and I thought to myself "Well, I set this up to make it seem he’s telling Gerard something important - What can it be?" When I brought Liv into the story at first she was just to cause trouble. But as I wrote her and about the relationship with Gerard I knew she had to die. Let me tell you that was hard. I liked Liv. I hated that she had to die. It's funny but these characters are like my family. I will truly miss them. But time goes on. Monica and Gerard finally got their Happily Ever After. In a few weeks I will post an "update." so you know what is going on with everyone. It will take place 2 years in the future. But I really need time to write it. I'm still not sure what everyone is doing. LOL. In the meantime I do have another story that I need to work on. It is very different than this one and let me warn you it is NC-17. That is why I didn't publish it under this name. It's called, "We Like Movies." Also I will admit I have another story that has been in my head for a while now. I just may write it but not now. I need to concentrate on the update for this story and I need to spend more time with "We Like Movies." From the bottom of my heart I want to thank all of you for reading this story. It has meant more to me than I can ever say. The road was long and bumpy at times but totally worth it. Oh and when I do publish the update I have a surprise for you all. Well, once more thank you and take care. Hope to hear from you now or after the update. Love you all - SanDee XOXO