Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Body Language (11/25/10)
TITLE: The Sixth Vow
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The floor vibrated. Sara held her head erect; her eyes focused on the altar. She stepped from the old floorboards onto the threadbare carpet and proceeded down the aisle. On her left, Jacob, a pimpled faced cousin, raised his eyebrows. His blue eyes widened. Standing beside Jacob was Steven, a next door neighbor. His jawed dropped and his steady eye contact caused Sara’s face to redden.
Mr. Davies, one of her favorite teachers at the community college, gave a smile that revealed a gold eye-tooth she had never noticed before. A few students nodded slowly and smiled.
<i>I’m so pleased they came.</i>
Her smile looked calm.
<i>My heart is pounding.</i>
Sara’s father walk straight and tall beside his daughter; his arm locked comfortably around hers. He patted her hand and she looked up to see his cheerful face.
<i>I love you, Daddy.</i>
Donald’s dad stood in the front row on her right. He touched his ear and scratched his chin. When Sara was almost level with her future father-in-law, he placed his hand in his jacket with a thumb protruding, but as usual his boyish grin made her relax.
Her eyes searched the pew on her left. Her stepmother, Mavis, looked primmer than ever in her elegant baby-blue pantsuit and striking hat with a bizarre floral arrangement atop. Mavis held her head poised with each head movement. Mavis glanced at her watch and then toward the back of the church.
<i>Who is she waiting for?</i>
An instant later, it was Donald who filled her visual space. He adjusted his neck tie and stretched his neck.
<i>You look wonderful. Don’t be nervous.</i>
Dad lifted her hand and extended it to Donald who immediately took it in his own. With the other hand he lightly stroked her fingers. Sara cupped his chin in her hand for just a moment. She handed her bouquet to her bridesmaid and glanced one more time at her father who was wiping his eyes.
Amy Sparrow stepped forward and up a few steps to stand to the left of the minister. The eyes of Sara’s dearest college friend sparkled and her long hair shimmered from the lights overhead.
Sara signed: <i>“You look great!”</i>
Amy’s face turned a graceful shade of pink before she turned her head toward the minister.
During the wedding vows Donald’s eyes blinked excessively and he stood back at arm’s length.
<i>It’s a good thing I know you, my love. Those contact lenses must be driving you crazy. You didn’t have to put aside your thick lensed glasses for our wedding day. I love you just the way you are.</i>
Donald’s lips opened and closed in the silence.
<i>I love you too.</i>
For what seemed like only minutes later, Sara noticed that Amy was unduly grinning while she signed.
<i>Come back to reality, Sara. This is the sixth vow.</i>
Sara’s four senses drifted back to Donald. They gazed into each other’s eyes.
Every vow was etched in their hearts. The sixth and final vow was based on Stevie Wonders’ song, their love for God and for each other, and the struggles they knew they would face.
We can’t lose with God on our side
we’ll find strength in each tear we cry
From now on it will be you and I
and our ribbon in the sky.*
A moment later the minister touched their shoulders. Donald and Sara looked up at their family and friends. Mavis was clasping her wrist with her other hand and stepping from one foot to the other.
The floor vibrated beneath them. Donald pulled her close and kissed her soundly. The music that had started up again caused her feet to pulse with the rhythmic tremors.
The couple turned to face the gathering and began their walk back down the aisle as man and wife.
Outside, Donald grinned and winked at Sara with his best eye. Her father and stepmother now stood at Sara’s side and pointed upward. Donald squinted and Sara beamed. There in the clear blue sky was a rainbow ribbon with the words of their sixth vow trailing behind a small airplane.
* Lyrics by Stevie Wonder
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