We arrived at the Victorian manor with its beautiful grounds half manicured, half wild. After much discussing, messing around, walking, we settled down to rehearse. My brother T decided to give Tornado E a pep talk, where Tornado E walked away, deciding that exploring the plants where more exciting than discussing ring bearing.
T wondered over to me. “Well, we’ll leave it up in the air for tomorrow. If he doesn’t want to do it, then he won’t have to.”
“I don’t think so. If he doesn’t do it, you owe me 50 bucks, dude. TORNADO E!”
So I set Tornado E up half way up the walk as the bridesmaids and bride where to walk up a lawn and steps to another lawn. I agreed with my mom that roughly hewn steps were not a good idea for a little ring bearer to use and keep the rings on the pillow. I handed my purse to Tornado E, telling him to pretend it was the pillow with the rings. As the flower girl and her mother, the matron of honor, headed up the walk, I instructed Tornado E to walk carefully to stand by Uncle M.
Tornado E walked ever so slow. He chose his steps with great care. After the agonizing walk, he stood by his beloved Uncle M. Where the purse slid from his hands. “OH NO!” Tornado E said in horror. I picked up the purse and handed it back to Tornado E. While the rest of the party went through it only once, I had Tornado E walk through it three times.
As we waited for the release to go to dinner, Tornado E started helping the flower girl pick leaves to fill her bucket.
The rehearsal dinner was a lobster feast, where friends of the family had donated several days to catch lobsters. I feasted on shrimp as one does not find it very much in the desert. While we were all stuffed on the food, they brought a delicious cake cover in chocolate covered strawberries. In the meantime, the flower girl, who was two and a half, Tornado E and Tornado S played with the beach balls I had brought to keep them occupied. It is there, under pine trees and mosquitoes, that Tornado E lost his heart.
At the wedding, Tornado E and I waited near the path, beside the stairs, behind the chairs. We watched the girls pass one by one as I held the pillow with the rings secured with knots. When it was Tornado E’s turn, I placed the pillow in his hands, slipping them through the ribbon to make it less likely for him to drop it. Tornado E looked up at me and said in a quiet voice, “I can’t do this.”
It was Tornado E’s turn. “Yes, you can,” I whispered back. I gave Tornado E a nudge down the aisle. He took deliberate, slow steps, holding the pillow in a way that tested the knots so that all could see the rings dangling from the ribbon. The flower girl and her mother caught up with Tornado E before he was even half way down the aisle.
Tornado E reached the end where Uncle M removed the rings and pocketed them. Tornado E stood there still with his serious face on. It looked like he was pouting and scowling at the same time.
I sat down in the front row next to my parents and The Husband, who held Tornado S We waited for Tornado E to get tired, so we could usher him to our seats. Instead Tornado S realized his brother and beloved uncle where standing just a yard from him. Tornado S slid out of The Husbands lap and joined Tornado E and Uncle M in the line. While Tornado E stood statue still, Tornado S had to move when he’s happy, so he danced. He completely charmed the photographer. I lured him away with fruit snacks.
As weddings and receptions go, it was fine and beautiful. But it was there I realized what will tear asunder my boys. A Girl.
Tornado E chased the flower girl, wanting to hug her and dance with her. The flower girl wanted nothing to do with Tornado E; instead, she preferred to chase Tornado S to hug him and dance with him. “I just want to touch him.” Tornado S, in turn, wanted nothing to do with this girl, pushing her away, hitting her when she didn’t get the point. Tornado E remained heart-broken through the night, bursting in tears at the end, when the girl wouldn’t dance with him yet again. By that time, I felt it was time to wrap things up and get out of there.
As we drove home to the hotel, we asked Tornado E what his favorite part of the wedding was. “Natalie.” Ah, young love.