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It's remarkable in life how quickly one moment leads to the next.

I remember when Poppy and I were six and ten, we vowed to each other that we'd never get married. Or even kiss boys on the lips. Because boys are gross, right?

I suppose your mindset changes in the years after with maturity, self-discovery and well...raging hormones. Kissing on the lips doesn't sound so bad anymore, but boys will always stay just a little gross.

It's vivid in my memory the day over three years ago when my sister came home all flustered and anxious with a new guy standing by her side, a smile adorning his face as he held her hand.

And now three years later, my favorite and only older sister is about to get married to him.

Talk about commitment.

I shift in the white chair I'm sitting in, adjusting the hemline of my dress and watching as the seats fill up more. Poppy was serious when she said she didn't want an overdone wedding, although the amount of guests seems quite ideal.

I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn around and see my grandma, the mother of my mother, sitting there with a yellow dress on. I don't get to see her often as she lives far away, and it's disappointing to me since she's my favorite grandmother.

No offense, of course, other grandma.

"Sweetie, why is the seat next to you empty?" she asks, folding her hands over her matching yellow purse. "Are you saving it for someone?"

I sigh. It's Axel's seat, only he hasn't arrived yet. I texted him twice this morning, making sure he was still coming, but he didn't respond.

"Yeah actually, it's for a special someone," I say with a meek smile. She raises an amused brow.

"I've been waiting all these years, Whitney, to see you with someone," she says, making me laugh slightly. "You are the perfect girlfriend material."

"Thanks, Nana," I say with a smirk, practically shaking my head to myself.

"He better be a good man though, or I will have a word with him," she says, her tone changing. "I may be in my seventies, but sass doesn't deteriorate with age."

Well that gives me hope. "You better get him then, if he doesn't show up," I joke, turning back around.

The crowd has fully filled now, and I look at the time on my phone, seeing the ceremony will commence in just a few minutes. Right as I'm about to give up hope, I feel a presence next to me and smell a familiar scent of cologne.

"Whitney," Axel says, looking at me with those captivating hazel eyes of his and placing his hand on my arm.

"You actually came," I say. His hair is pushed back, and he has dark gray suit on with gleaming shoes, looking more attractive than ever. His eyes scan over my curled hair and dress and back to my face.

"You look gorgeous," he remarks, and I flush at the compliment.

"If we're being honest here, you look hot yourself."

"Isn't it great to be blunt these days," he replies.

"I actually thought you were going to bail on me for a second."

"I wouldn't do that," he answers firmly. "To be honest, I wanted to make a grand entrance for you. Surprise you a little."

"You men are strange people," my grandma remarks from behind, shaking her head, and we both turn to look at her before laughing.

The crowd comes to a slow hush at that moment, and when I check the time I realize the wedding has officially begun. We all turn around to see Poppy walk down the aisle next to my father. Her cheeks are a rosy shade of pink, and she looks breathtakingly elegant in the lacy dress she has on with her blondish hair down in loose waves. My father whispers something to her with a smile, and she seems to relax.

I give her a discreet thumbs up as she walks past and soon enough she's at the front of the aisle where Levi is. They face each other, and Levi's smile is so wide, tears seem to form in the corners of his eyes. Poppy looks away, giggling slightly, before turning back to him.

"We are gathered here on this beautiful day to celebrate the joining together of Levi and Poppy in marriage. Today is not only the marriage of two different people, it's the marriage of two different hearts, ready to spend the rest of their lives together in union."

I can't help but smile as I hear the pastor begin to talk and the ceremony carries on. But as I watch my sister and her soon-to-be husband up there, their eyes fixated on each other in an expression overflowing with love, I almost drown out his words. Looking at them tugs on the small emotional side of me. Axel reaches his hand over and places it in mine.

"These vows are so long," Axel remarks from next to me after a few minutes. "Are they supposed to sound like essays?"

"Axel, they're the most important part of the wedding," I answer. "What's the point of a marriage with no promises?"

He reluctantly nods. "Honestly, If that was me up there, I just would've promised not to be an asshole. Trust me when I say that's the most important vow men need to be making these days." I cover my mouth to not burst out laughing in the middle of the serious ceremony, and Axel sarcastically tells me to be quiet, as if he wasn't the one who got me to laugh.

The ceremony carries on, and it seems like the next time I blink, the pastor is uttering the much awaited six words of every wedding.

"You may now kiss the bride."

When he says this, Levi goes all out and Poppy has hugest grin on her face when they finally let go. All of the guests clap and cheer, and the newly-weds walk back down the aisle, seeming relieved it's finally over.

"So what were your opinions on your first wedding you were actually invited to?" I joke as we get up from our seats and stretch slightly. 

"Lived up to my expectations," he replies, smiling. "It kinda got me feeling all soft though. Weddings are so...happy."

"Must be a foreign emotion for you," I tease and adjust the front of his tie he kept tugging at during the ceremony. "I think I'd like a little proof, however."

He doesn't reply at first and instead moves my hand away from his tie and pushes me towards him. He gives me a quick kiss on the lips and pulls back slightly, brushing a lock of curled hair away from my face. "You want real, no bullshit proof?"

I nod. "Only the best kind, Axel."

There is no hesitation in his next three words. "I love you."


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  one more chapter left, guys!

- gina

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