My best friend got married last Saturday. A lot of people’s best friends get married on Saturdays, it seems. In fact, while we were at the park taking pictures, there were three other wedding parties scrambling to find a picturesque setting that didn’t include our wedding party, or anyone else’s. Someone made the joke that we were “rival gangs.” But our gang was the best-looking, for sure, with her handpicked emeraldy-teal taffeta gowns, black tuxes, and orange lilies. She was the picture-perfect bride – the epitome of beauty on the best day of one’s life – in her embellished ivory gown, delicate beaded veil, and effervescent smile. Three shy flower girls accompanied her in matching dresses, wearing garlands in their hair. It was something straight out of a magazine, and had it not been for the dirt left on her dress when it dragged the ground, and fighting with a bustle that didn’t bustle, everything would have went off without a hitch. But even the dirt was easily remedied with baby wipes and the elbow grease of four bridesmaids, and we made the bustle bustle with patience and safety pins.
However, as the bride came down the aisle on her father’s arm later that afternoon, in a flash I remembered the day this dashing groom appeared in her life so unexpectedly.
Was it just last summer?
She had called me in a panic. She was sobbing into the phone. Her world was crashing down. I dropped what I was doing and drove a half hour north into the city to her house, my collection of appropriately long stretches of silence and kind words at the ready.
We sat on the couch in her living room. The windows were open, letting in the sound of a summer rain pouring from an evening sky. She sat in her sweats, clutching her legs to her chest with a ball of tissues. Looking up at me with heavy, puffy eyes, she told me her troubles.
I pitied her situation, but I admired her bravery. How easily the words came to her. She dispensed emotion like a fountain, holding nothing back. It must be wonderful, I thought, to be so free. To be unburdened by fear of expression. We have known each other our entire lives and I still get nervous when I open up to her, or anyone for that matter. This is no one’s fault but mine. I am a notoriously private person, holding secrets about myself for years before I share them with another soul. That she could even cry in front of me elicited both respect and jealousy.
Nevertheless, with the privilege I felt that she would share such a painful moment with me came the great responsibility of trying to think of The Right Words To Say. I tried to put myself in her shoes, though our situations couldn’t have been more different. She had recently come out of a failing relationship, and I had been married to the love of my life for five years. She wanted to find someone who would love her, and I wanted to be a mom. And I thought, maybe our situations weren’t so different after all. We were both just reaching for The Next Step in life, only the most natural of desires. This I understood, even if our heartbreaks and desires varied in depth.
In sore straits such as hers, it is easy for one to think “I will never find someone. I will just be alone the rest of my life. I am unlovable.” It is easy to believe the worst about ourselves when it appears someone comes along and confirms our worst fears, whether they are true or not. I knew these were lies, and I told her so. I reminded her of past times where I, too, felt the same way. And I was reminded of the days before I met my husband, when I was just a teenager barely able to juggle “all the feels.” How convinced I was my life was over at seventeen! You couldn’t tell me otherwise. Because you didn’t know, did you? How could you?
Yet this was what I told her:
“It is rushing toward you. All the things you want, all of your hopes and dreams. They are coming. They are rushing toward you so fast, you are about to be swept away by them. Any day, any moment. You just wait.”
Now, I am not a prophetess. I just knew in my heart that one day, this person whom I loved and cared for very deeply would find a guy who would take my place. Any belief otherwise was simply nonsense. She is beautiful, funny, charming, caring, and loyal, sticking by me when my own world came crashing down in the fullest and most severe extent. Any guy would be blessed to be the recipient of her laid-back, easygoing nature and share the contagious laughter for which she is well known.
I reminded her of this, too. And when I finally left later that evening, certain she would be all right, I hoped that I was right. It was rushing toward her. It had to be.
Imagine my surprise when she called me on my way home in a different kind of panic. Someone she had met the day before had requested to be her friend on Instagram. Someone she thought was handsome. Someone she may even could, in fact, like.
It was rushing toward her.
I wasn’t 15 minutes away and it had already hit, the welcome tidal wave of burgeoning joy that swept away the sadness and filled her heart with a new love.
They were engaged less than six months later.
It was rushing toward her.
And now, as I watched her sweep down the aisle to the arms of this lucky guy, I was so glad that The Right Words to Say ended up being right after all, and coming true with more force than I ever could have planned.
When the ceremony was over, I reminded her of this story. “It was rushing,” I said proudly, “and it is here. And I just started to cry, standing up there, watching you come down the aisle, thinking of where we were last year.”
“I know!” she cried, grinning ear to ear. Then her face immediately softened. She looked up at me, those once puffy eyes now shining from the inside. “It’s rushing toward you, too.”
No one wants to believe her more than me. No one has bigger hopes resting on such heavy, heartbreaking disappointments. These days, it doesn’t feel like it is rushing. It doesn’t even feel like it is coming at all. We wait by the side of the road with expectation bursting out of our skins. But nothing happens. There is nothing on the horizon, no matter how many times we blink and strain our eyes to see a glimmer, a flash, a sign. So we go back to our ruins and try to make the most of the time we have together, just in case there comes a day when we will miss when it was just the two of us.
Still. In my heart, I hope she is right. I hope it is rushing. I hope it gets here soon, however that may be.