Part 1993 – “Are You Ready?”

Sammy pulled into the church’s parking lot and parked the car. He sat and contemplated the small country church before them.

Deliosa unbuckled her seatbelt and kissed the side of his face. “Are you ready?”

***

Raven turned into the church’s parking lot. He noticed Barbara’s car right away and parked as far away from it as he possibly could.

“Darnation!” Robin said. “You tryin’ to stuff us in the bleachers or what?”

“No, sir. I am trying to guarantee that Ambrose won’t accidently see Barbara.”

Ambrose sat up straight. “She’s here? Is she really here, Raven?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Where? Where is she?”

“Sir! I recommend that you do not search for her car. You may catch sight of her and that would be ill luck.”

Robin scoffed. “Didn’t realize you were superstitious.”

“It is not a superstition, sir. It is common knowledge.”

“Oh, well.” Robin flapped his hands. “That settles that. It sure can’t be a superstition, then.”

Raven unbuckled his seatbelt and looked back at Ambrose. “Are you ready, sir?”

***

Barbara thought about Ambrose.

She imagined him in a tuxedo.

She imagined his arms around her.

She thought about the feel of his hair beneath her fingers.

She thought about his kiss.

“Yes. I am ready.”

***

Sammy struggled to keep his emotions in check as he thought about Barbara.

The soft wave of her hair.

Her smile.

Her laugh.

The way she looked at Ambrose.

The way Ambrose looked at her.

Ambrose will be good to her. He will love her. He will take care of her.

Sammy admired the woman sitting next to him.

The roses in his ashtray crystalized. They glinted in the parking lot’s lights.

I am happy for Barbara and Ambrose.

He took Deliosa’s hand.

I am content.

“Yes, I am ready.”

***

She’s here.

My Barbara is here and I am going to marry her. She will become my wife and I will be her husband.

There is nothing I want more than this.

“Yes.” Ambrose said. “I am ready.”

“Very good, sir.” Raven got out of the car and opened the door for Ambrose. He went around the other side and opened the door for Robin.

Ambrose got out of the car. His gaze traveled up to the plain cross on top of the church’s steeple. God, I am so ready for this.

Robin came over to him as Raven closed the car doors. “Well. Here we are. You ain’t gonna faint, are you?”

Ambrose shook his head.

“Good.”

Raven gave both men a thorough inspection. “Good. Nothing is torn, shredded, frayed, wrinkled, or missing.”

“Darnation! What kind of kinky shenanigans did you think we were up to behind your back?”

Raven sighed. “I would rather not say, sir. Come. Let us go inside.”

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