Brad’s Search : Part 47

All of us go to a late Sunday brunch at a very nice restaurant in the Pearl District. Troy, Olivia, Barry, and Geraldine join us, and we have a great time making small talk and getting to know one another. It turns out Troy and Olivia both work at the same real estate office. I can see why Patrick went into real estate as his career. Barry runs his own software business, and Geraldine helps him out with the customers and accounting. He and I certainly had a lot to talk about.

We all head back to the hotel, with both sets of parents in tow. We sit and keep talking while Patrick and Damon go into their bedroom and change into their suits. They emerge and are looking very sharp.

Patrick bursts out in song. “All right, everyone! We’re going to the courthouse and we’re gonna get ma-ah-ahrried!”

Both sets of parents hug and kiss their sons and sons-in-law-to-be, and all of us congratulate them. As they head out the door, Damon looks at us excitedly. “Next time you see us, we’ll be married!” Such a weird thing to say, but that’s the world we live in. With that, they are out the door.

The rest of us head to the church to make sure everything is in order for the reception. Two bartenders from Freddie’s bar arrive minutes later with enough liquor to put a few elephants to sleep. Hadim and Charles start inventorying all of the food to make sure we have a full buffet. James and I help out wherever we can. Some members of Patrick and Damon’s extended family arrive too.

After some time passes by, we get a call from Patrick and Damon. They are now officially married! While they’re on their way back from Vancouver for the ceremony and reception, we take care of a few last-minute things, and make sure the minister and organist are ready for when they arrive.

Troy, Olivia, Barry, and Geraldine wait for Patrick and Damon outside the front doors of the church. The rest of us sit right up front, and the minister and organist get into position.

James rests his hand on my knee. “This is quite the wedding.”

“You can say that again.”

“Do you envision your wedding being this elaborate?”

“To be honest, I didn’t think I would have ever had the chance to walk down the aisle.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Just because I’ve been in one failed relationship after another. I didn’t think I’d ever meet a guy worth marrying.”

He tilts his head. “Do you still think that?”

I turn my head in his direction and give him a kiss. “Of course not. You’ve helped me to believe that’s possible again.”

He smiles and squeezes my thigh.

I continue, “What about you? What do you envision your wedding to be like?”

“I’ve always wanted a smaller kind of ceremony. I wanted both of my parents to be there, but of course that’s not possible anymore. And having my brother there is probably still out of the question.”

I gaze into his eyes. His expression turns to one of slight confusion. “What?”

“Do you think we could work as a married couple?”

He smiles. “Absolutely. I’m very willing to give it a try. If I didn’t think it could work, I wouldn’t be sitting right here next to you.”

Right as he kisses me, Patrick and Damon arrive at the church, and the organist begins playing. The sudden music startles both of us. Just as rehearsed yesterday, Troy and Olivia make their way up the aisle, followed by Barry and Geraldine, and, finally, the now ironically just-married couple. Boy, the hoops we have to jump through as gay people.

Once everyone is in position at the front of the church, the ceremony goes according to plan. The minister opens, and Patrick and Damon exchange their vows and their rings. We all erupt in applause the moment Patrick and Damon kiss. Their smiles are beaming as they hold each other’s hand and practically skip down the aisle to the back of the church. Both sets of parents are just as ecstatic as they make their way down the aisle, following Patrick and Damon.

The rest of us head out of the church and make our way to the reception. Hadim and Charles spring into action, making sure all the food is ready, while Freddie and his team of bartenders start making drinks.

Patrick and Damon appear, and we all erupt in applause again. They walk up to a microphone that’s set up through the PA so everyone can hear.

Damon begins, “Thank you all for being here. This is a very special day for Patrick and me, and we appreciate each and every one of you for coming.

“As many of you know, Patrick and I met in high school, and even though it took a while for us to realize it, we were meant for each other. We spent the next sixteen years loving each other more and more with each passing day. Now, we’re thrilled to be able to call one another ‘husband’, and we cannot thank you enough for your support every single step of the way.”

Patrick speaks up next. “To our parents, we couldn’t have done it and we wouldn’t be here without all of your love and support. We also want to thank our most amazing friends; without your help, none of this would have been possible.” He then turns to Damon. “But what I’m most thankful for is you. You’ve never given up on me and you continue to amaze me with your capacity for love. I can’t wait to see what the next several decades have in store for us, and I wouldn’t want to go through them without you by my side. I love you, babe.”

“I love you, too.”

With that, Patrick and Damon kiss, and the reception hall echoes in applause again. They step away from the mic and we all grab food and drinks and visit amongst each other. James and I get to meet more of Patrick and Damon’s extended family. Everyone seems so accepting and supportive of their relationship. That’s something I’ve almost taken for granted, but I know James hasn’t had it that easy at all.

Hours and hours of food, drinks, dancing, toasting, and conversing later, the reception comes to a close. Patrick and Damon head back to the hotel, presumably for some post-wedding bliss. The rest of us help clean up and pack away all the leftover alcohol. When we’re done, we head back to the hotel, pack up, check out, and begin our journey back to Seattle.