Love love love. sigh.
Mari Anjeli Lubrica
December 3, 2008
It was the 24th of December. Christmas was in the air yet Laura’s younger sister, Ashley chose that day to be her wedding day. She and her fiancé, Joseph had met during that exact day three years ago and so the melancholic bride chose that day to be their special day. “Christmas eve has been marked in our hearts forever.” Ashley had told Laura dreamily.
“But you’re destroying the true meaning of Christmas!” Laura had argued.
“No, I’m not.” Ashley had said. “Christmas is all about love, isn’t it? It’s agape, right? Well, that’s what Joseph and I share. Love. Agape.”
“Everyone, get ready!” The wedding planner’s voice suddenly snapped Laura out of her reverie.
Uh-huh. Sure. I’m ready. Whatever. Laura smoothed out a wrinkle in her deep red satin gown and took a deep breath. Okay Laura. Cut the sarcastic thoughts and remarks. You’re going to enjoy this wedding. You’re going to be happy for your sister. And you’re going to get through this all with a big big smile on your face. After all, what better way to ruin a wedding than to have a cranky maid of honor?
“All right! Everyone marches in at the count of three! One – two — ”
Te-te-te-tennn… te-te-te-tennn… te-te-te-tennn tennn tennnen tennn tenn tennn te-ne-nennn tennn tennn…
Smile, Laura. Laura plastered a grin on her face and, with head held high, marched along the aisle. In front of her, the flower girls were tossing rose petals that matched the color of their dainty dresses. The other bridesmaids treaded gracefully upon the red rose petals. Laura, on the other hand, despite all her efforts to remain cheerful — and graceful — had to muster up all her strength to keep herself from crushing them.
Oh, God, She thought to herself, when will this agony come to an end?
Life is so unfair.
Sighing once again, Laura looked at all the mess that she still needed to clean up. She took off her stilettos and stood on her feet. Well, got to clean this place up.
“Laura, get up! It’s Christmas! Come on… You have to open your presents…!”
Presents??? Oh come on… I’m 28 years old for crying out loud…
“Laura… come on!!!”
Letting out a groan, Laura rubbed her mascara streaked eyes, stretched her arms, got up, and made her way towards their house’s living room. Her mom’s sunny face greeted her when she arrived there.
“Merry Christmas, Laura!”
“Merry Christmas, Mom… Where’s Dad?”
“Outside. With your present.”
“Mom… I’m too old for this.”
“No you’re not.”
“I’m 28 years old.”
“And I’m still single.”
Laura’s statement hung dead in midair. There was silence.
Her mother looked carefully at the girl in pink pajamas sporting messy hair and a startled raccoon look. She surveyed her daughter’s face and peered into her eyes. Ah, yes. She could see heartache hidden deep inside Laura’s melancholy eyes.
“I see. So this is what this is all about. This isn’t about Christmas right? This is about Ashley’s wedding.”
Her mom had hit the mark. With her eyes welling up in tears, Laura sputtered, “Why is life so unfair, Mom? Why? Why does she get to be happy while I — on the other hand — will probably die an old maid???”
“You’re only 28 years old.”
“That’s exactly it! I’m ALREADY 28 years old!”
“Laura… aww, c’mere darling…”
Bitter tears were already streaming down Laura’s cheeks as the older woman took the younger in her arms. “It’s okay Laura… It’s okay…”
“It’s okay dear, really… it’s okay…”
“No, mom. It’s not.” Taking a deep breath, Laura repeated her statement. “It’s not.”
The older woman took a good look at her daughter. She could see sadness written all over her face. The tear strains on her cheeks represented so many questions which have been painfully left unanswered. Am I not beautiful enough? Is there no man willing to fight for me? Will I have to life the rest of my life — alone???
“Laura, dear…” Laura’s mom smiled gently at her daughter. “Dearie… are you aware that I got married when I was 30 years old?”
“Yeah, but Dad was already pursuing you when you were 27! Me? I’m 28 with no pursuers in sight!”
“It may seem that way. But God’s writing your love story, honey.”
“Well I think that He’s facing a writer’s block.”
Laura’s mom let out a gentle chuckle. “I don’t think so, honey. I think His creative juices are still flowing.” She looked at the beautiful woman who sat in front of her wearing an extremely mournful expression. “You know what? Back in my days, people were a lot younger when they got married. At 27, I was already considered an old maid. But that didn’t matter to me. I knew that the pen was in God’s hands, and that He was writing the most beautiful love story that I could ever imagine.”
“Good for you.”
“Come on honey… Anyway… are you aware that I could have married a lot earlier if I wanted to?”
Laura’s lifted her downcast eyes and looked at her mom. “Really?”
“Yeah. Really. A lot of men were already making eyes at me even before your father decided to reveal his affections for me.” Laura’s mom let out a girlish giggle. “Now don’t you throw your sarcastic remarks at me, little lady. Let me finish my story first. Some of those men — they really didn’t make the mark… yet some would have really swept me off my feet…”
“But you wanted Dad.”
“Hold your horses. No. I wanted God’s best for me. I didn’t want just anybody. I wanted His best. And I didn’t want to rush impulsively to any relationship. I wanted His proper timing. And I wanted a man who held the same standards.”
“And so Dad enters the scene galloping in a splendid white horse.”
“Actually… your Dad was already in the scene. He didn’t come galloping in with all that ‘pomp and blare’. I’ve known your Dad since secondary school. But I never really took notice of him before. He was a friend. That was all that I knew about him. That he was a great friend.” Laura’s mom smiled as she made her trip down memory lane. “But… friends can actually make the best lovers….”
“Oh, ewww. Spare me the mushy stuff mom. You’re becoming extremely cheesy.”
“It’s true.” Mother looked daughter in the eye as she said, “And I hope that whoever God has in store for you… Well… I pray that even before you would lovers… he would have been your friend too.”
“So are you saying that I should make friends with guys just so that I could grab a boyfriend?”
Laura’s mom let out another chuckle. “You’re extremely frank. That’s what I like about you. But no. That’s not what I mean. I don’t think that you should go and make friends for the sake of widening your list of ‘potential boyfriends’. And I am extremely against the thought of you making friends with a guy that you already like just so that you can be lovers sooner or later. I believe that if you want to make friends with a guy… it’s simply because of the fact that you just want to become friends with him. Simple as that. Pure and simple friendship. No strings attached.”
“Well, Mom, that’s great and all that. But look at me. I don’t have any guy friends. I’ve never allowed any guy get close to me. So there goes your dream of me marrying a guy who was my friend to begin with.”
The older woman was smiling down at Laura. “Laura, laura, laura. Sigh. I don’t know. We each have our individual stories. You saw it with Ashley. Her story is different from mine. She met a prince charming who rescued her from her tower and swept her off her feet. Me? God opened my eyes to a friend who has always been there for me. But that’s just my prayer for you. That you would find a friend whom you would eventually fall head over heels in love with. But who knows? Maybe His story would be different for you. But know and believe in this — that He HAS a story for you.”
“Fine. When that story is out in the bookstores — well, He just better be sure that it’s going to be a bestseller!!!”
Laura’s mom laughed. “Don’t worry, honey. It WILL be a bestseller. And your Dad and I will be the first ones to give out rave reviews about it.” The older woman looked at her daughter who was now wearing a much more cheerful expression. “Speaking of Dad, I think he and your present have been waiting long enough outside. Should we take a look?”
“Merry Christmas, Laura.”
“Merry Christmas, Mom.”