10 Years:Time for Love Book 5(9)By: Bethany Lopez
They smiled at each other, which eased the tension in my gut. There’d been a lot of arguing over the last few weeks since Cal announced he and Shelly were getting married. It wasn’t that my parents didn’t love Shelly, they did, it’s just that they weren’t thrilled at the thought of Cal and Shelly getting married at eighteen. They wanted them to wait, go to school, get jobs, or whatever, for a few years, before they settled down.
But Cal didn’t want to go to college. He was happy working on cars, and he knew without a doubt that Shelly was the girl he wanted to be his wife. They’d already been dating for two years, and they were still as happy and in love as they’d been the first time I’d met her in the park. Cal and Shelly belonged together, even I could see that, and Cal didn’t want to wait to start their life together.
It had taken some time, but he’d finally worn my parents, and Shelly’s dad, down, and we were all getting ready for their wedding.
I was happy for Cal, and I already thought of Shelly as my sister, but I didn’t see why I had to wear the dang suit.
“Hey, Craig,” Cal called to me from the living room.
“Come here, buddy.”
I looked up at my mom to make sure she was done with me, and barely held in a Whoop! when she nodded and I was free. I practically ran to see what my brother wanted in the other room.
“You look great,” Cal said when I entered. He was sitting in one of the formal chairs, his body forward, as if he was perched on the end. His elbows were on his knees, hands clasped, and his leg was bouncing nervously.
“So do you,” I replied honestly. He had a fresh haircut, clean-shaven face, and although I could tell he was nervous, he also looked excited and happy.
“Hey, bro, I just wanted to make sure that you’re okay with Scott being my Best Man,” Cal said, bringing his dark eyes to mine.
“Yeah,” I replied, and I was okay with it. He and Scott had been best friends forever. “I always figured he would be.”
Cal nodded, his face full of relief, and I felt warmth spread through me. It felt good that Cal was worried about my feelings, but I knew I was a lot younger than him, and that he’d want Scott and TJ standing up there with him. I was just proud that he wanted me up there too. As much as I complained about wearing an itchy suit, I was excited to get to be a groomsman in his wedding.
“I’m just happy you didn’t make me the ring bearer,” I said playfully, hoping to get a laugh out of him and maybe calm his nerves a bit.
It worked, and Cal’s laugh filled the room. When our parents joined us, they were beaming with happiness.
“It’s time to go, boys,” my father said, looking at Cal with pride in his eyes.
Cal stood, and I had the urge to do something I hadn’t done in a couple years… I walked to him and wrapped my arms around him, my head coming to rest at the center of his chest.
“I love you,” I said gruffly into his chest, hoping he couldn’t hear the emotion choking me.
“I love you too, Craig,” he replied, and I swear I felt his lips brush the top of my head.
I was suddenly overcome with the fact that my relationship with my brother would no longer be the same. He wouldn’t be coming back to his room tonight, and would never live with us again. I wouldn’t be able to knock on his door when I needed help with my math homework, and he wouldn’t be around to tease me about the way my voice had deepened. Or razz me about how hairy my legs were getting.
And, although I was happy for him and Shelly, I was sorry for what I would be losing that day.
Chapter Six ~ Gwen
(12 years old)
It was like watching a Disney movie, that’s how beautiful Shelly looked for her wedding. Like a princess. It wasn’t a big, splashy wedding, just a group of us in the church, then a party at Craig and Cal’s house.
Shelly’s long, ivory gown had been her mother’s, that’s what Gaby told me, and it fit her perfectly. Sasha and Gaby had stayed the night with Shelly at her dad’s house last night, then helped her get ready this morning. They did her hair, which was mostly up in a twist, with some pretty curls hanging down around her face, and her makeup, which made her large green eyes look even more magical than usual. The most beautiful thing about her was smile. It lit up the whole church.