And just as I started I shall end
This isn’t the last kiss. I guess I should make that clear. This is the kiss that leads the way to the rest of our lives. The first kiss was exchanged between friends. Then later the kisses had been exchanged as a couple, as lovers, as fiancé’s, as parents. Now the kiss is going to be exchanged between husband and wife. That is really why I choose to end with a kiss.
Like I’ve said before, this will not to be last kiss Amber and I share. No, this kiss is simply a promise of more kisses to come.
This kiss happens to take place on the most important day of my life. I wake up in the morning, earlier than I have in a very long time. I say goodbye to Amber who has made a full recovery. I take James out for a ride. We go to my grandpa’s house. There we eat breakfast and wait for the right moment.
Around one I put James in a small black tuxedo. He has a clip on tie and a fake flower pinned to his lapel. Mostly he just wants to eat it. I smile at him as I comb out his messy, dark hair. As he looks up at me with those big, green eyes I kiss his nose. Once he’s dressed I set James down and go get my tux on.
My family drives me to the church. Then we wait, for one person, the girl that is my best friend, soul mate, my heart, and my lover…the mother of my son. The girl I’ve fought the hardest for. The girl I’d given my life to, the girl that nearly lost her life just to bring my son into the world.
If someone had come up to me and told me I was going to marry Amber years ago I would not have believed them. Not when Amber was a red haired little girl with scraped up knees. Hell, if that same someone had told me the same thing when I was a teenager I still might have not believed them. I would have asked for all the details and how to make it happen. I loved her, but I never thought for one second that she could love me back…not like this anyway.
Then Amber appears at the end of the aisle with her dad and Gerard I realize I would have believed it. I would have believed every word because during those times I hadn’t seen this Amber yet. This Amber is in some ways entirely different. She has suffered a lot and even though she smiles anyone can see it. It is evident in the scars that line her bare arms, the scar that slices through her eyebrow and the tip of a bigger scar that peeks out over the bodice of her white dress.
Despite the scars Amber is smiling. That smile shows that she thinks the scars are worth it. Amber considers the downs of her life to be learning points. They are what brought her to this moment. To this strong and beautiful woman she has become, a mother and now a wife. The confidence in the smile as she approached me shows me that she is sure of her decision. That she is welcomingly becoming the wife of the little boy who used to pick on her, of the boy who used to crawl into her window to comfort her, of the man who’d give her the world.
Most importantly she is ready to be the mother of the little boy kicking his feet and squealing in excitement at seeing his parents. Her dad takes her hand and gives it to me. I hold it firmly but gently.
“You take care of this girl, you hear me?” Gerard says. I don’t look away from Amber’s green eyes.
“Always,” I promise.
I mean it, every word and every vow. Through the ups and downs of our life I will love her. I know this and she knows this. She isn’t just my wife. She is my partner and something much deeper. We are a family. We always have been but now it will be official. So we speak the vows with confidence. Our voices don’t waver in emotion because to us it feels like we are already bonded. Our voices don’t waver in hesitation because we know it is where we belong.
So I end my story with another kiss and the fulfillment of a promise. Before I lean into kiss my wife I take the object she’d given me all those years ago out of my pocket and place it in her hand. Amber looks down at the exacto knife with a smile. I lean over and press my lips against her soft pink ones. Endorphins rush through my body and in a moment I realize I have been wrong about marriage. Not that it is a bad idea, but mostly that kissing your wife is completely different than kissing your girlfriend or even your fiancée. It is a whole different level of love and I realize in that simple exchange of vows our lives have changed again, for the better.
That simple brushing of lips against lips is more than just a touch. It is a representation. Of the long road we’ve walked. Of the many battles we’d won, of the love and bond that we share. Most importantly of the family we’ve made.
I started my story with a plan to kiss Amber Moretti. Now I end my story with my plan to kiss Amber Iero for as long as we both shall live.