Sunday, May 24, 2009

Freeze

My hands reached for the sky, as gravity pulled cold sweat down my face. The gaping mouth of the shotgun threatened to show it's buckshot teeth. "Mister, if you shoot me, make it clean. I am supposed to get married tomorrow and if you don't, my fiance' will kill me."
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1996. The rehearsal dinner was finished, along with the obligatory toast highlighting all the embarrassing things that could be remembered about the groom. Anticipation chased it's partner adrenaline through my veins. In less than 24 hours, I would be waiting at the end of the aisle, her beauty reflecting off tears, dampening my eyes. For now, following tradition, we were separated until that moment.

Friends gathered round with fond wishes in the hotel room, ushering me over the threshold of a new chapter of life. Taking a break from the crowded festivities, my sister's boyfriend and I slipped out to walk through the drizzle toward the florescent white oasis of the gas station. Laughter mixed with contemplation, the intoxicating drink of the evening.

Tinkling bells announced our entrance, awakening the lone clerk from his drowsing. Setting aside the novel, that seconds before was about to slip from his hands, he stepped to the counter, watching our descent through the aisles toward the coolers.

Clatter arose, oppressively loud in such small a space, as we turned to watch a gun slide up the aisle toward the clerk. Hearts stopped as hands darted below the register, grasping offensive protection. Questions like "Where did that come from?" were replaced with visions of explaining my elopement to county custody. 

Empty palms and cooler heads prevailed as my cohort showed his permit for the gun that had slipped from his waste band. Nervous snickers, as money slid across the counter to pay for the drinks, waiting to get outside and knock some sense into him. One moment/one choice can change the whole trajectory of your life, even when it is not yours.
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Tomorrow we celebrate 13 wonderful years. Happy Anniversary!

12 comments:

subtorp77 said...

I remember my Mom's cousin Bobby( late cousin ), showed up at her father's funeral with his .38 tucked in the back of his waist-band, for all to see. WTF?( which wasn't a common phrase, then )applied.

And why should you have to explain your elopement to the county? Why should any-one have to verify their love for some-one? To a county official, yet! Have a wonderful anniversary Brian. And here's to so many more!

Valerie said...

Enjoyable reading and beautifully worded. I wish you and your wife a Happy anniversary.

tony said...

A Happy Anniversary To You & The Mrs.
Any Wedding Photos?

Daniel said...

Nice. Love the way you work at your relationship and strive to keep it renewed. Where were you when I needed you? Have a great one.

Jaime said...

happy anniversary

Mom said...

Happy Anniversary. Love you both.

Brian Miller said...

thanks all for the well wishes...

@tony - don't have access to a scanner. will rectify that one of these days. we looked over teh album with the boys this morning.

Lola said...

Happy Anniversary Brian and Most Amazing Woman!

Ciao from honeymoon heaven... (get the hint?)

Candie Bracci said...

Happy Anniversary to you two!All the best!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

happy anniversary!! 13 is a lucky number!

no scanner, but if you have a digital camera try taking a photo of photos and then crop on the computer.... take it from me it works!! although sometimes you'll have to play around with things especially if your digital has a delay....

Ronda Laveen said...

I agree with mouse on a couple of things. First of all 13 is a very lucky number. Congratulations. I recently got a scanner and love it but, as she suggested, before then, I took pictures of pictures with my digital and it worked quite well.

I loved that you got your album out and looked at it with the boys. Our anniversary was a week or so ago. The old photos were fun to see. Have a wonderful week with the Mrs. Lovely story.

Baino said...

Good grief you've had some adventure in your past. And wishing you much more (of a slightly safer kind) in your future! Happy Anniversary.