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The sun was shining brightly on the beach as the two brides made their way arm in arm up to where the minister was waiting for them. One bride, all smiles, her long brown hair blowing in the gentle sea breeze as her eyes held tears of happiness back so as not to ruin her mascara. The other bride bared a forced smile as she walk passed her friends and her ex-wife standing and watching the pomp and circumstance from her “side” of the aisle. Half of her blonde hair was clipped on top of her head and crowned with a tiara that her soon-to-be-wife had insisted that she wear. This was her fiancé’s fairytale.
For a split second, the blonde bride’s eyes met dark brown orbs that looked tired and hopeless. Defeated. A smile accompanied those eyes as if to provide encouragement, but it was clear that the smile could not hide the pain behind those dark eyes.
Tina quickly looked away from Bette so that she would not angle her neck backwards as she soldiered forward. Even from this distance, that cool ocean wind carried Bette’s perfume to Tina’s nose and she closed her eyes as she breathed in a big gulp of air.
The two women finally reached the head of the alter and handed their bouquets to their maids of honor, the only two other people in the wedding party. Tina reached out and kissed Angelica as she took the small gathering of flowers into her hands. Angie had seen the eye contact between her parents on the way up and gave her mom a pleading look with pursed lips before Tina turned back to her bride to be.
Tina and Carrie faced each other, holding one another’s hands before the small standing crowd and the minister. They smiled at one another and Carrie squeezed Tina’s hand in excitement.
“You may be seated.” The minister began. “Ladies and gentlemen and everyone in between, we welcome you to this gorgeous southern California beach where Carrie Bates and Christina Kennard have decided to embark on a lifelong journey with one another. A journey they have chosen each one of us here today to share with them as they declare their love and eternal commitment to each other.”