Thursday, March 16, 2006

...Ain't Gold (Part Twenty-Eight)

"Okay, people, can I have your attention please? I need the bridesmaids on this side of the room, the maid-of-honor and the mother of the bride. Over there I need the groom, the groomsmen and the best man. Size order please. Very good. Richard, you will stand here, in the front, Jayshawn, there right behind him."
The men lined up as ordered. Mookie was pissed as hell that this woman was shouting out his government like this, but she refused to continue until he told her his real name. She said flat out, "I will not be calling you that so please give me the name you were blessed with at birth." He was going to slug her until Rich gave him the eye and put him back in line. He sucked his teeth and told her his name.
Cynthia Weintraub was the finest wedding planner this side of the Mason-Dixon. She was hella expensive, but worth every cent. Rich hadn't seen the final bill yet, but if he knew Nikki as well as he thought he did, he knew it would be sky-high bank breaker. Rich winked at Chuchi and Lani, who turned to each other, whispered and giggled. They looked back at him and he flashed his dimples, sending them giggling again. He looked down and made sure his fly was closed.
Nicole was to walk forward after the flower girl and ring bearer had been clapped in. According to Cynthia, it was bad luck for the bride to come down the aisle before her wedding but Nicole wasn't one for the superstitions. Nothing was going to go wrong on her special day.
"Alright Jamie, when Ms. Cynthia claps her hands, you go drop the flowers on the floor okay? Then you follow her, Prince. Okay?"
"Yeah Nikki."
Just then they heard three claps. "Okay, now!" Jamie smiled back at Nicole and walked forward, dropping pretend flowers from an invisible basket. She was perfect, and made it down the aisle in record time. Jamie was right behind her, holding his imaginary pillow. Nicole smiled as she walked out, alone. Mookie would give her away at the wedding but they did it this way for Cynthia's sake. She was going to have a conniption if the did it any other way.
An hour later, they had it down pat and everything was ready for the ceremony.
"Now, don't forget what we did here today because tomorrow is all planning! There will be no more rehearsals so make sure you have it right! I will see you all Saturday morning, bright and early! Ten o'clock, if you are late, I swear before my godmother I will have a problem." She tipped over to Nicole and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Smooches, darling. Now get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water and don't be afraid to shed a tear or two. This is your big day. If you get up tomorrow and your eyes are puffy, use cold cucumber slices. And don't forget the water! And your massage is scheduled for eight thirty so be there on time! Be good!"
Nicole laughed as Cynthia tried her damndest to shout out the window as her car drove off. "Oh, and no smoking! No cigarettes, you hear me? Water! Don't forget darling, think lovely, be lovely! Toodles!"
Rich laughed with her. "Little neurotic, you think?"
Nicole stood on her tip toes and kissed him. "Yeah, but she's worth it. Wait 'til you see my gown."
He kissed her back on the tip of her nose. "Mm, I wanna see you out of it."
"You are so nasty!"
"You know it." Against Cynthia's stern warning, Rich reached down in his pants pocket and got a cigarette. He lit it and blew the smoke outwards, looking at the sky and frowning.
"What's wrong?"
He looked for a few more seconds, then passed her the cigarette. "Hmm. Nothing. Ready to eat?"
Rich turned and saw Mookie jogging down the church steps towards them. "Yo, son, I gotta check my baby moms, she trippin bout somethin, so let me catch you later."
They locked palms. "Aight, kid. Good looks for today man."
"You know you my fam, so I can't be catchin a case on a bitch, feel me? Nikki, be good." He leaned over and kissed her cheek.
"Alright baby. Don't forget, be at the house tomorrow so you can get your tux. You guys are driving to the church together."
Mookie shouted over his shoulder as he walked to his car. "I got you ma. Don't worry, I be there." He got in his car and slammed the door, turning up the Jim Jones as loud as it would go. He glanced at the happy couple on the church steps. I be there with bells on, cuz.

"You do want kids, don't you? Nikki's my eldset, she gotta bless me with some grandbabies."
"I do want kids. Just not now. Someday."
"When is someday? And how old are you anyway?"
"Twenty-five, going on twenty-six. With all due respect Mrs. Baisden, I want to be selfish. I want Nikki to myself for a little while."
Cora and Rich sat in her kitchen drinking tea, looking at old photo albums. Nicole took Lani out to eat, hoping the two of them could warm up to each other. They had spoken after their first tiff and they seemed to be getting along better. Nicole was glad: it wouldn't sit well with her if her man and mother, two of her most important loved ones, couldn't get along with each other.
Cora chuckled. "That's fine with me baby. Take your time. Get to know ech other better. Then have all the babies you can make."
Rich smiled. Now that they had a chance to sit together and talk, he could see another side of her. The woman loved her child and wanted to protect her as long as she could. He reached out and touched her hand.
"I love Nicole. With everything in me. I promise you, I swear to you I won't ever let anything happen to her. She's ours and I am going to make sure she sticks around for a long, long time."
Cora leaned over and hugged her future son-in-law.

2006 (c) Jacki Simmons


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Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take and may this song play all the way, through. And if it skip a beat, hit repeat, this the realest shit I ever wrote, this is me. If it skip a beat, hit repeat, This the realest shit I ever wrote, this is me. -Juelz Sanatana, This Is Me, What The Game's Been Missing