“…And I will love you and be faithful to you, for as long as we both shall live.”

Andy articulated the vows with precision and emotion, and with his eyes firmly fixated on her. She looked more beautiful today with her hair held up and the gems in her earrings and necklace seemed to sparkle with each word he said. They motivated him, these gems. They urged him on as he described the beauty and near perfectionism of this work of art by the Creator. She was every man’s dream and he could tell by the jealousy on the male faces in the audience. They wanted to be sure that there was absolutely no chance for them. At the very least they hoped that hearing her profess love for someone else and seeing their union blessed would help them move on. If anything, fate owed them that much since they did not intend to set apart what God had joined together.

Hearing her say the same vows aloud was every definition of a dream come true for Andy. She said them so boldly that the words still echoed in his brain long after she’d expressed them. Her face was glowing and you could tell that she was happy from the twinkle in her eyes, for indeed, the eyes are a window to the heart. And as Andy gazed the more, she seemed to get more graceful with every passing minute. He got distracted for a minute, thinking about fine wine and considering how much better she too would look when she got older. And when her heard her say,” This is my solemn vow”, he knew that she was sincere and the words were true and from the heart. He wanted the moment to last forever even though he knew that it was cliché so he hoped that the echoes in his head would not stop…

The audience’s applause at the couple’s first kiss brought Andy out of his reverie. He had had so much joy helping the couple say their vows that he forgot that the presiding minister was addressing the groom when he said, “You may now kiss the bride”. He realised that the vows he had been saying aloud were unreal and his heart sank. Yes, they were by all means heartfelt but he was only an object in the whole process. He had been charged with the responsibility of reading out the vows to the couple so they would say them after him.  One thing was for sure though- that he would have given his all to be the groom; to marry his first love. He had always loved Angel for as long as he could remember but to her he was just a great childhood friend.

And Andy felt like his fate in the infamous Friend-zone had been sealed for life. His defensive trait however underlined the clause, “for as long as we both shall live” and hoped that fate would do something about the groom before he took matters in his hands.