Tall’s mum came towards me holding a long velvet box. She asked if we could have little chat, and I nervously agreed, wondering if she was about to tell me that I couldn’t marry her son. Then she handed me the box, watched while I opened it, and told me the story behind the gold watch chain inside. Tall had been left a gold pocket watch by his great-great-grandfather, as they shared the same birth date, and the chain was to pass from his mum to his wife. I’d heard the story before, but to have my future mother-in-law passing the chain on to me that night was very special indeed. To know that Tall knew in those early days of us dating that I would be the recipient of that chain…well…that always gave me the chills.
When Tall and I said goodbye, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. I clung to him, wishing time would stop for just a moment, just for us, right here, right now.
He gently pulled himself away and stared down at me with a bemused look on his face. “Why are you crying?” He asked. “We’re getting married tomorrow!”
“I know!” I sobbed. “It’s just…I don’t want you to go…and I’m tired and I’m sure there’s something I’ve forgotten to do…”
Tall pulled me back towards him, smoothed my hair with his hand and firmly whispered, “Everything is done. I’ve got to go, but I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”
I sniffed in response, and escaped down the stairs to dry my tears while my fiancé – nearly husband – left for dinner with his family.
In the spare room of my parents’ house, my brother’s old room, the room we’d been staying in since arriving back in Dunedin two weeks ago, I sat in silence, hiccuping away the tears and sniffing into a tissue. I thought of everything we’d managed to get done in the short time we’d been home, and the sudden realisation hit that it had all come down to this one day – no longer months or weeks away, but tomorrow.
I looked at the pile of socks, boxer shorts and tees strewn on the floor on his side of the bed. I smiled.
(Read part four here)
Tomorrow, that mess of laundry would be my future, my forever.