“Long live the newlyweds!”
Petals of a light-yellow, almost white colour were thrown into the air along more light-pink petals of flowers, dancing into the wind and the unnoticeable gusts, spinning around and playing as they fell gracefully down, impregnating in the air the sweet yet quiet aroma of nature and flowers, most of them landing softly on the ground and the stairs, some others ending up getting attached to a newly wedded couple, the groom, and now husband, laughing as his black jacket got attacked by the innocent petals, the bride, and now wife, giggling cutely and a bit shyly as her veil got decorated of petals as well as her dress.
Outside the church, the twenty six year old groom continued laughing as he stayed holding his now-wife’s hand, the crowd around them already out of petals to throw at them, but not staying in an awkward silence and, instead, cheering for the newlywed couple to kiss, causing them both to, shyly, blush a tiny bit while grinning happily, before the groom turned slightly to the right to face his wife, placing his hands gently on her waist. When he, smiling, leaned down and pressed his lips tenderly on hers, making everyone clap loudly and cheer for them. As they broke apart, they stared at each other for some moments, before people started getting closer to them to give them their congratulations. The groom kept an arm around the bride’s waist as they posed with their friends and family, one by one, to be taken photographs.
“Yo, dude, congratulations!” a black haired man said happily as he brought the groom into a tight and friendly hug. They stayed in their hug for a small while as the groom laughed quietly, before the groomsman let go of him and faced the wide. “You, Sleepy Beauty!” he called with joy in the nickname of the inside joke they shared, making her laugh before getting closer to hug the short (but taller than her) man, thanking him before they broke apart of their friendly hug. After that, the groomsman wrapped an arm around the other man’s shoulders, stroking his hair and making the other laugh before the slightly taller one looked at his left side, smiling at another woman who waited in the crowd, smiling at him. “Come here, honey, come”
He kept an arm around the groom’s shoulders as the other lady approached them, having her hands on the shoulders of a three year old, who, as soon as got to the married couple and the groomsman, was picked up by the slightly taller one who kept him in arms, while the little boy grinned happily and held onto the man’s neck. The groomsman leaned in closer to peck sweetly the lady’s lips, before wrapping an arm around her waist, the other holding his child, before the newlyweds and the groomsman along his own family and kid all smiled at a camera the groom’s mother was holding, before taking a photograph of the moment. Once she did, the groomsman looked at the other man at his side while the kid in arms only stayed in silence.
“Dude, how do you feel?” he asked the slightly shorter one who, slightly blushed and smiling shyly, simply shrugged, making the other man laugh.
“Weird…but happy” the groom replied while his now wife talked with some of her friends about it as well, being congratulated. “I was so darn nervous I would do something wrong, Billie, I was…” the groom, then, noticed he was talking in front of a kid so he had to change his words without changing what he wanted to say. “…peeing in my pants, man”
“Ah, I understand” the black-haired and tattooed man replied after he was done laughing, before leaning in closer to his friend. “And don’t even ask me when being in the hospital while your wife is giving birth” he whisper, before closing his eyes while hissing, making the other laugh. “It’s even worse than when getting married; but it’s all so worth it, trust me” he said, making the kid in his arms bounce lightly while staring at him with warmth as the child giggled happily. “So are you two still planning on having a child soon, or did you change your mind, Frankie?”
“We decided to have a time for ourselves, you know…a year, or two, and when we feel ready, you know…” the groom, smiling widely but with shyness, shrugged his shoulders a bit. “…have our own family”
“That’s good, Frankie” the groomsman smiled widely at the other, placing a hand on Frank’s hair before stroking it happily but a bit roughly, making the other laugh while pushing the other slightly away. “You look way happier than back in college, y’know?”
“Mhm” Frank smiled, shrugging again. “I guess…” he started, before he felt his now wife hugging his arm tenderly, smiling and resting her head on his shoulder while he turned slightly to give a small kiss to her head, smiling and wrapping an arm around her. “…I just needed to find the right one”
Billie, at that, smiled at his friend and simply stared at him, just enjoying seeing him that happy, looking alive and not just breathing, liking who that new Frank was. Billie admitted that, even though he quit college after the second year to start a music career, he did not need to be there the rest of the time his friends stayed there to know that the girl Frank met at the football field’s bleachers was exactly who would end with Frank, but Billie was not completely sure if she would be the one his friend would get married to. The rest of the first year after that February in which Frank usually went out and never told his friends where he went to and half of the second year, Billie saw his best friend quite...sad. Of course, he had good reasons to be; he had fallen in love, but it was an impossible thing to get which he, on his own will, let go to never come back again.
It was hard for Billie to believe it at first when his friend told him the story of a ghost. He knew that it would be hard for Frank to explain, but he never expected something like that. Billie really doubted at first it was real, but there were things he could not explain; first off, Frank never lied to him. Then, Frank was too fragile that night, he was crying too much to have thought of lying or playing a prank on his best friend when he opened up to tell him the whole time. Also, Billie was a bit confused because, when he decided to think about it as if it were possible for ghosts to exist, the story actually made sense; the creepy sounds, the steps, the white arm and legs, everything, including the fact that, the day he hit his head in the house and passed out, he remembered having woken up before something hit him on the head again, but when he woke up again, Frank told him that it had never happened; it made sense to know that it had been but the ghost Frank talked about the one who hit him again.
Some or other way, and after thinking about it a lot, Billie believed in him. It was hard at first to cheer Frank up; he had just lost someone who was already lost, and the worst part was that it was Frank himself who opened the gates to the unknown for that ghost to go away and disappear for decades until Frank would meet him up with death, but…nothing really made it for sure that there was something after dying. Billie believed there was something, even if he did not know what, but a tiny part of him also believed that there was nothing further death…but he never told so to Frank. He always kept his best friend’s hopes up; he could not promise he would find the ghost again, but at the same time, he could not have it for sure that he would not. Life was a big mystery, but that is the beautiful part of it.
Four months before the second year of college would be over, and by the time Billie decided he would not be there for a third year, Billie saw the first time his best friend met his now-wife. Their group of friends was sat at the football field’s bleachers, not watching the game since there wasn’t any, but they found that place comfortable and quiet to be themselves for a while. Frank looked a bit distracted, since by then it had been a bit more than a year since he last could see Mikey, something that Billie could notice. Before the slightly taller one could really say anything, two girls appeared from nowhere, giggling, going up the bleachers while they heard another shy female voice screaming for them to stop, even though the third girl never appeared. The other pair soon approached Frank and his friends, all of them staying in silence and just staring at the girls as they, still giggling and looking like kids praying a prank, spoke directly to Frank, taking him out of his own mind with some simple words; ‘Our friend thinks you’re cute’.
Frank just stared at them a bit confused and surprised, before they told him the whole thing; that they had a friend who had seen him sometimes around college, and that she found him as someone cute but that she was too shy to go and say Hi, reason of why their friends did it on her place. It was a bit awkward when they pulled Frank up, barely giving him any time before they took him down the stairs, but it was a bit more awkward and his friends simply laughed when he stumbled a bit on his feet and fell down the last stair, falling directly onto the girl who wanted to know him, and ending up rolling once on the ground, with her ending up on him. Of course Billie knew that that girl would be Frank’s soon-to-be-girlfriend when he saw them freezing, before she got up while blushing, but mainly, when he saw Frank getting up with his stupid and frozen face blushing that awkward pink of his that only appeared in him when he found a pretty girl or a cute boy.
Another things that convinced Billie that the whole ghost story Frank told him that night was true, was to see the grave that had the exact name Frank told him, and he was also sure that it had truly happened when Frank introduced him to who was supposedly the ghost’s brother; Billie knew that they had become friends. Sometimes, on weekends, Frank went to visit the old man, and drink some coffee together. He found out that the old man was, inside, not that old, and that he was even weird but amazing to be with; he adored comic books, and he had a whole collection of special editions that included Hellboy, Batman, Spiderman and a whole lot more of heroes. The old man also enjoyed good, old music that Frank listened to too, and he also laughed at the silliest jokes, like Frank.
Frank also invited the old man to his wedding. Gerard was already eighty one by then, but he still looked and felt healthy, which was what mattered. Frank had thought of making the old man his groomsman, since he really became close to him, but he had to admit that his bond with Billie was stronger; after all, not anyone would believe the story of haven fallen in love with a ghost. The fact that Billie believed him with honesty and helped him through that without considering him a weirdo was the exact same fact that made Frank understand something; friends are weird to find, but he could easily spot one in the hardest of the moments. And Billie was one.
Time had gone too fast for everyone; Billie had gotten an own band which had grown famous really quickly, and he had a wife and a three year old kid (and at a couple of months to have another child, by the way), Adam started working into music as well with a friend of his who he met when Billie left, and Adam was given a new roommate. Bob had gotten himself a girlfriend, and he had finished college along Frank, who was now married and planning on forming a family soon.
Time, sometimes, could really pass by faster for one to enjoy the small things of life.
“I still can’t believe it…” Frank said lowly in a small whimper as he smiled, with tears at the edge of streaming down his face, grinning and just staring with warmth in his eyes at the tiny creature in front of him. He chuckled, not knowing at all how to react as he, moving a hand up and resting it with some fear and being as soft as he had never been before on the head of a baby newborn who had just fallen asleep after feeding from his mommy, lying comfortably warm onto the lady’s chest, listening to hear heartbeats like he did when in her belly, and enjoying of that natural lullaby. Leaning carefully closer and being slow not to hurt anyone in any way, Frank soon pressed a tiny kiss to the baby’s head, not waking him up, and just enjoying to see him there, breathing, sleeping, at just about an hour of meeting the world.
“He’s so cute…” the black haired woman lying on the hospital bed whispered with a happy and wide grin on her face, staring sweetly at the angel lying and sleeping on her. She turned to look at her husband, seeing him staring and smiling at the sleeping creature. “I told you it’d be a boy”
“Hey” Frank called lowly once he had laughed, staring at that pretty woman, before getting closer to kiss her forehead tenderly. “How was I supposed to know which gender our baby would be?”
“You swore for five months it was a girl” she reminded him, making him stay in silence some moments before just frowning while smiling, clearly defeated once again by his wife, who let out a small giggle, before letting out a sigh and staring down at the baby boy. “Look at how adorable he is…”
“Like his mommy” Frank replied with a wide smile, making his wife smile wider than before while letting out a tiny ‘Aw’, before both of them leaned in closer to peck their lips sweetly. Frank simply enjoyed of the moment…he had a child…and it was a child he had with the woman who completely stole his heart. A perfect wife he loved, and now, a perfect son he loved…it simply was too perfect for him to believe. He felt, for the first time, like his life was complete. He did not only feel alright, he felt truly happy. There was nothing that he wanted now, after he had gotten it all; his own family…his own happy and complete family. He remembered he had once had a hole in his soul, a broken and missing part of his heart that had been half-healed when he fell in love with the sweetest girl he could have ever dreamed of…but that missing half had been completely repaired when Frank, after walking around in circles like a desperate animal, was called into his wife’s room, and he saw that perfect little angel who, back then, had been crying for being recently brought to life.
He giggled a bit by remembering how he had been before seeing his baby; pulling from his own hair, walking in circles, biting off his fingernails, all at the nerves and euphoria, but mainly nerves, when his wife started giving birth. He giggled because, yes, Billie told him it was way worse than when getting married, but that it was just as special and worth it. Smiling, Frank admired the sleeping baby a bit more; he looked…well, tired. But healthy. And cute. Really cute.
“What are we going to name him, anyway?” he looked at his wife, brought out of his own head by hear voice, staring at her some moments. None of them had thought about it; they decided to keep a secret to themselves which gender the baby was, so they thought of names for whichever gender it turned out to be, but they just had not decided anything in those nine months.
Frank pouted a bit his lips, sat at the edge of the bed, staring down to think for a while. It had to be a special name. It had to be a name that, even if it was too common, would simply say the baby was special; his first son, his little, pretty angel who was a huge part of his heart…it could not be a random name, he had to choose carefully. Both of them started thinking, but they stayed some moments in silence. Frank let out a sigh, still staring at his lap, before the corner of his eyes caught movement. He widened a bit his eyes when he saw, by their corner, something he had only seen ten years ago, something that made his heart skip a beat and something that made him have a thousand memories back.
An almost transparent, white arm stuck in the wall, moving.
Almost as soon as he caught sight of it, he turned quickly to confirm his thoughts. He proved himself wrong, but being wrong only proved him right; it had been…only a white scarf hanging on the wall, moving by the air. Frank stared at it with wide eyes and his heart beating madly like a scared rabbit, the rest of him frozen while, before his eyes, a thousand images flashed by in a matter of some seconds; the arm, the house, the sparkling empty-looking eyes, the weird noises, the silhouette of a young man, the hammers, the nails, the wood, the laughs, the giggles, the tears, the fake touches, the depression, the cemetery, the old man, having fallen in love; letting go.
He had not forgotten about the ghost; almost every day, even if only for a second, either his name or his memories appeared again for Frank. He had gotten over it, of course…but that did not mean he had let go of his promise. He stared at the scarf for some moments, shocked…shocked because he knew, he knew inside that that scarf, having confused it had been…a sign. He was not too spiritual nor believed in afterlife’s signs, but he did believe in Mikey. And, seeing that scarf, that ‘sign’, made him understand something; somehow, anyhow, there were four people in that room…he knew that, somehow, anyhow, there was someone at their side, someone who was happy by seeing them all happy, like the family they were…he knew that, somehow, anyhow…Mikey was there. Seeing him. Being with him. Smiling.
Without moving more than his eyes, Frank looked around a bit, in the hopeless faith to see the ghost’s empty-looking eyes somewhere…he knew that Mikey was not a ghost anymore, but he, deep inside, wished to see him at least one more time. At least one more time. After he had found nothing, forgetting where he was, he moved his lips a bit until he could find his voice, and he called for the one he wanted and needed but could not see, trying to make him appear from wherever he was in that room.
“Mikey?” he turned with a tiny gasp to stare at his wife, a bit surprised and feeling somehow weird that the person he loved the most had called the name of the other person he also loved. He stared at her a bit dumbed for what had happened, not saying anything, and just being able to see as she smiled. “That sounds cute”
After a pair of seconds, trying to get the ghost out of his head along the feeling that he could be in that same room in that same moment, Frank smiled at his wife and stared at the little boy who, still asleep on his mother’s chest, moved a tiny bit his incredibly small fingers. He stared at the adorable little angel, and the way he breathed oh so softly, his head decorated by a tiny, adorable and even funny little lock of black hair.
“Mikey…” he repeated lowly, a warm smile growing bigger on his face as he, almost feeling the ghost, who was not a ghost anymore, right behind him but not needing to turn around since there was no need to see him to make sure, before nodding. “Michael…I like…that name…” he moved a hand up, and he carefully caressed the blue blanket wrapped around the little baby’s body. “…it fits him…”
“Frank…you’re crying” his wife pointed out while smiling a bit, moving a hand up to caress her husband’s cheek softly, seeing him staring down while chuckling, cleaning away his tears and letting his wife clean away the next pair of crystal-like drops.
“I’m sorry…” Frank whispered, his voice breaking a bit as he kept a wide grin on his face, staring down and enjoying the warm touch of his wife. “I’m just…r-really happy…”
“Aw, Frankie…” she almost purred, holding the pretty little boy on her chest, and caressing her husband’s cheek softly, tenderly, enjoying to see him so happy to be dropping tears.
How would Frank not be happy? Besides getting to find the person he loved, and besides getting to form a family with her, he also managed to fulfill a promise he made to the first person he truly fell in love with; he would carry on, and be happy with a family of his own.
He had kept his promise up. It was turn for Mikey to keep his; to wait for him until death would, ironically, get them back together.