This is a short (flash) story for your entertainment. Hope you enjoy it.
Her name was Janice and I thought I was in love with her almost from the time I'd met her two years before. From our first date onward I felt she was the one I wanted to get old with. Looking back now I guess it was just lust that held our relationship together combined with her devil-may- care, sort of wild attitude she had that I found captivating. I'd been brought up in a fairly conservative home and she was like a bright light while I was the moth.
We'd met in college and had moved in together in our senior year. I loved everything about her including her sense of humor. Her intellect and most importantly, her love of uninhibited sex. She was a very sexual person and she just exuded that feeling anytime a male looked at her. I think she reveled in the attention she got from guys and tended to promote it by wearing clothes that were a little short or snug fitting to amplify the many charms of her body. No matter, I thought, she is mine and no other guy's honey.
After living together for a year I felt I knew her well enough to be sure of my feelings and I thought she loved me so I popped the question. She enthusiastically responded with a yes and a quick romp on our bed. I knew that I asked in a public place she might respond a little more aggressively than my conservative up-bringing could support. I was glad I asked her in our room. She was so happy I thought she'd fuck me to death.
We decided to schedule the wedding for June, right after we graduated, so we could coordinate our job searches as a married couple and it wouldn't interfere with finals and other graduation activities. At her suggestion we decided to write our own wedding vows. I wasn't crazy about the idea because I thought the traditional vows that had joined my parents together were good enough for me but I acquiesced to keep her happy. We would be married in my parents church, which made my mother and father happy, because she didn't belong to any organized religion.
I should note that while we were dating I'd met her parents and they were a different set of couple than the parents that had raised me. They were both a couple of aging hippies to me and seemed dedicated to a life style that was avant garde to the extreme including an open marriage I was to discover later. I wondered why Janice wasn't as far out as they were but after meeting her grandparents I could understand where some of her normal behavior came from. I guess they'd raised her while her parents did their thing.
Anyway, we were a week away from the wedding and Janice and her mother were rushing around doing those things a bride and her mother are supposed to be doing and I was sitting down having a beer with her dad at his home. Actually, it was the first beer and conversation I'd ever had with her dad and he really wasn't drinking beer; his was white wine; Chardonnay to be exact.
I'd gone over to Janice's parents house to pick her up. She lived with me in my apartment but her mother had picked her up to go shopping and then she said they would be coming back here. The ladies weren't back yet and her dad invited me in to wait for them. I thought it might be a good chance to get to know her dad so I went in. We were definitely from opposite poles and I struggled to find some subject of conversation that would elicit a meaningful interchange between us.
He saved me by asking, So, the big day is a week away. Are you getting nervous?"
"Yes sir, I think I am. It's a big thing in a man's life."
"If it gives you any consolation, so was I, but you should know that all grooms are the same way. Standing up in front of your friends, relatives and future in-laws and her family and vowing to love one another forever can be intimidating. Her mother and wrote our own vows just like you two are doing. It was very romantic and we've never regretted it."
That sounds encouraging. How many years has it been?"
"Janice's mother and I have been married twenty-four years. Its hard to believe but next year will be our silver anniversary."
"That sounds wonderful. You must really get on well together."
"We do and I owe it all to the understanding we had the day we were married."
"What was that?"
"To love one another, don't keep secrets from one another be tolerant of one another, always be there for one another, recognize her needs and being faithful to her."
"That sounds simple."
"We expressed it in our wedding vows and have stuck to it all these years."
I thought for a moment about what he'd said. It was hard to reconcile their life style to such a conventional approach to marriage.
"So that's your secret? I'll have to remember that."
"It's sound advice from someone who's been there. But say, Janice will be celebrating her birthday right after you get back from your honeymoon. How about my wife and I planning a party for her? I don't think you'll have the time."
"Hey, that sounds good. I appreciate your consideration."
No problem, maybe her father can make it too."
Her father? What the hell is going on? I thought he was her father. I must have looked confused because he smiled and asked:
"Didn't Janice tell you? I'm not her biological father. His name is Stan Burris and he's a salesman for Norris Business Forms. He passes through periodically and stops to say hello. You'll like him and I'm sure he'd like to make your acquaintance since you're marrying his daughter."
"Yeah, that'd be great." I responded nervously. "I'm looking forward to it."
Just then Janice and her mother came in laden with bags of merchandise with the with the logo of the local department store emblazoned on each bag.
"There," Janice exclaimed as she dumped her load on the sofa. "That will take care of gifts for the bridesmaids and a few other things." she said as she came over to sit on my lap; We kissed tenderly and then she asked:
"What have you and daddy been doing while you were waiting?"
"I was telling him what every groom should know." her father volunteered.
"What did you learn?" she asked with a giggle. "Not something naughty I hope?"
"I learned why your mother and father have had such a loving marriage." I answered.
I wanted to ask her about her biological father but decided to wait until we were alone.
"Well, I guess we need to adopt the same for our marriage. I've been talking to mom and since they wrote their own wedding vows we should use theirs for our wedding. Have you written anything yet?"
"Well, I started, but I'm still working on them."
I didn't mention that I was using an internet site to plagiarize them.
"What do you think about using their vows for us? They worked for them."
I was a little apprehensive but decided to go along with her for now until I could read what her father's vows were. The rules of marriage he expressed to me sounded good to me so the vows he made at his wedding should be okay but I wasn't ready to make a commitment yet...
"Sure, get me a copy and I'll look at them."
She hopped off my lap and ran into the bedroom where her mother had disappeared. In a few minutes she was back with a piece of paper she thrust at me.
"Here you are; go ahead and read them."
I glanced at the page and asked:
"I have them and you'll hear them at our wedding sweetheart."
I grunted in annoyance but folded the paper and pocketed it to read later.
"Are you ready to go?" I asked.
"Yes, help me load this stuff in the car and we can go."
Later that evening at my apartment I took the paper out of my pocket and read it.
I take you to be my wife, friend and lover, to love and respect you in sickness and health and in times of joy and sorrow, to be faithful to you and cherish you and grow old with you in times of failure and triumph. I promise to nurture our love and show tolerance and patience and to recognize your needs and desires through our life together. I also promise to nurture and support the children of this marriage until they leave us in their maturity.
I thought, well that isn't too bad, I can live with that but I wondered about her 'needs and desires. It seems to be close to the traditional vows so I decided to use it and told her so. She was ecstatic with my acquiescence and told me as she took me by the hand and led me into the bedroom:
"You won't be sorry sweetheart."
She darned near fucked me to death again that night and I certainly wasn't sorry. At the time I couldn't understand why she was so happy.
The day of our wedding I was excited and apprehensive as the time approached for the ceremony. My best man and best friend, Jeff, helped me get ready and drove me to the church. I was close to being a basket-case and was glad he was there for support. He and I had been friends since grade school and we'd always been there for one another. I thought I could trust him with my life.