There’s a scared little girl standing outside the double doors. She’s standing in a dress that cost but twenty-seven dollars to sew together. She’s not so little at 23, but in that moment she feels small.
At the end of the aisle is the man who waits for her. The doors open and she hesitates. It feels surreal. Not like it is supposed to be and yet, there is no turning back. Almost a decade later, she’s glad she did not have a reason to. She never has.
Romance novels and movies want to talk about the happily ever after. The scripted endings, with their perfectly tied bows, that hem all the broken parts together. And the ones that don’t have those make us angry.
It’s not supposed to be that way.
Same for marriage. The petty arguments, the long days of not speaking to one another; the nights spent falling asleep on the couch when you should have fallen asleep together.
Sometimes, it’s doesn’t feel like living so happily ever after.
And yet, through the tears, you fight your way back to one another. Sometimes it’s because you remember why you came together in the first place. And sometimes, simply because you know it’s the right thing to do.
No, it’s not always happy. But it’s always worth it.
The after can be beautiful.
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