I trudged through a fairly open forest in Obrary. The sound of talking and laughter led me to where I knew I wanted to go. My movements felt clumsy, they always did. I couldn't remember the time before, when I was agile and could do anything. Now my thoughts were as a slow as my movements. But something deep down told me I had to make it to this place. For this event.
It didn't take me long to reach the edge of the forest where it was happening. I stayed back, though. I knew I wasn't wanted. I had found out about this event because the Princess of Obrary was attending and for some reason that was a Big Thing. I didn't understand. I wondered if I would've understood before.
I ran a gloved hand over the thick scar on my neck. I couldn't deny what I was, but a little bit of me hoped that the scar would be gone when I checked. My memories were hazy. But when I looked out at the crowd of people who'd gathered I felt something when I saw certain faces. It wasn't something I'd felt for a long time. Not for years. Not since I last saw these people.
A felin couple sat together talking to a brak couple, they were laughing about something the tabby felin had said. I couldn't hear the exact words, I wasn't close enough. But the seemingly familiar voice made me feel…warm. That was a new feeling. Or maybe it was old, I had no idea anymore.
I shuffled carefully to be closer to the large arch that was decorated with flowers. It was a ceremony of sorts. I thought I remembered someone saying it was a wedding. I didn't know what that meant or the weight of it, but people had seemed excited.
After a few minutes I decided to sit down. I pulled off my gloves and shoved them in my coat pockets, it was a warm spring day and the gloves weren't needed when no one could see my hands. I looked down at them, they were decaying, one finger was completely bare of flesh and you could see the bone. I recalled Master telling me that would happen, that my flesh would decay. He showed me a woman who'd decayed most of her flesh on one half of her body.
The sight of my hands used to make me sick, but now it just made me sad. One my arms was the same, a big chunk of it had just fallen out one day. It was grim. I pulled off my coat and looked at the bandage I'd wrapped around my arm and sighed. My arm wasn't going to heal. I often wondered if one day I'd just be a walking skeleton.
I leaned back against a tree and silently waited for the ceremony to start. There was a piano that a man sat down at and began to play. The guests, who'd all sat down at this point, stood and turned to see two braks. They'd just left one of the two tents that had been set up.
One of the braks was dressed in a white suit. I knew I knew her, I remembered her. She had a name. I frowned hard, trying to recall the name of this brak.
"Skereth…" I whispered, "and...Meria…" my words were like grunts, but they were words. I sometimes wondered why I was so clumsy when the woman Master introduced me to seemed capable. Maybe it was an accident, maybe it was intentional.
At first I'd been pretty quick on my feet, but now I wasn't.
The two braks stopped by the arch where a grey felin was stood. I wasn't sure what was happening, but I felt emotions I hadn't felt for a long time.
Meria kissed the cheek of Skereth and stepped aside. Then all heads turned to see a red haired woman wearing a long white dress walking with her arm linked with one of the felins from earlier, the tabby one.
The woman had a huge smile on her face as she walked down the aisle. I couldn't help but smile, too.
"Erin…she looks so beautiful…" I whispered in my rough way.
The felin, Chad I remembered, and Erin parted and Erin walked to Skereth.
The grey felin talked a bit then Skereth started to say what I believed to be ‘her vows’.
"Erin, for the past five years you have been my world. With you I don't feel scared for the future. I look forward to sharing the rest of my life with the most wonderful woman I've ever met. You are kind and caring and I don't think I'll ever fully understand how I could be so lucky. You are beautiful inside and out and I love you so much." Skereth said.
I felt a wetness on my face and for a moment I thought I was bleeding, but when I checked with my hand the liquid was clear, "Tears." I muttered.
"Skereth," I looked up to listen to Erin's vows, "you drive me insane. You're messy, loud, annoying, and complain constantly. But I love you nevertheless, someone has too," the guests laughed, "I care about you so much and would never want you to be anyone but yourself. You make me laugh on my worst days and you scare away the nightmares. You're brave and loving and the most beautiful woman I have ever met. Thank you for everything you've done and will do."
Then they kissed and everyone cheered. I found myself cheering, too. I didn't remember why I cared about these people, but for some reason I did. I knew I couldn't go up and talk to them, but I was happy to be there with them.
A photographer appeared with a camera and started to take photos. I tilted my head to the side when I saw Skereth and Erin with a baby, I didn't remember them having a child. Lots of photos were taken and everyone was mingling.
People brought out tables and rearranged the chairs so all the guests could have "The Wedding Breakfast" I had heard someone call it.
After everyone had eaten Chad stood up and hit his glass with a fork, I squinted, confused. Everyone went quiet and Chad spoke, "Hi everyone, I'm Chad, some of you might know me, some of you might not. You might know me from my bestselling book that I wrote a few years ago," a few people whooped, "I only have a short speech to make, but I wanted to make one seeing as Erin was kind enough to ask me to walk her down the aisle. I've known Skereth and Erin for many years and have watched their relationship grow. They are two of my best friends and I am so grateful to have them in my life. They are such a beautiful couple and I wish them the very best."
I sat in the trees watching the merriment for hours, late into the night. I watched Skereth and Erin's first dance and remembered a time years ago when they'd danced before and I'd been there. A ball.
The moon was high in the sky, the stars twinkled brightly and most of the guests had gone home. Only the Luran family and their closest friends remained dancing to music played on by musician-less instruments. It was only this small group of people who saw a figure made of stars walk out of the tree line.
The group watched in awe as the stars shot into the air. Some of them faded, some of them remained. And those that remained settled in the sky to create a new constellation that shined brightly in the inky blue sky.
From that day on this constellation was known as "Vechs Davion" by everyone who saw it. Centuries later people would tell stories of the brave Vechs Davion, a man who lost his life too young.
Thank you so much to everyone who has read Pages over the past few months. I have loved reading everyone's comments and theories, it's honestly one of the best things about this story. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I look forward to the next story!