March 25, 2011


We stood in the kitchen, forks in hand, tentative.

"Let's each take one bite," I said. "It's tradition. I think it brings good luck, or something. One bite won't kill us."

"Famous last words," he replied, grinning.

"Well, if I die tonight, I'll die happy," I retorted.

We’d saved the top tier of our wedding cake in the freezer for one year, just as you are supposed to. I carefully defrosted it in advance of our anniversary, first in the refrigerator, then on the kitchen counter.

It looked as beautiful as it had that day. The sight brought back a flood of wonderful memories. I just could not imagine it would taste very good. I had heard from people who had followed this tradition that their cake was awful.

But I am a sucker for tradition. And I needed some good luck in my life. We'd been trying most of our short marriage for a baby. One pregnancy had ended in miscarriage; we'd had no luck since. And my 40th birthday was looming.

"OK, let's do it," I declared.

I cut a piece from the cake and placed it on a plate. We looked at it, at each other, and prepared to dig in.

"Here," he said. "Like this."

He indicted we should cross our arms like when we drank champagne that night. I laughed and entwined my arm with his. We each took our bite...

It was amazing! I was shocked. It tasted so good, we ended up eating several pieces of cake each. We almost consumed the entire tier, but our stomachs could not quite finish the job.

We sat at the kitchen table, sharing our memories from that day. In many ways it was a blur. But some moments were still crystal clear.

He thought I would be upset when it began to rain, months of planning for a sunset beach wedding ruined. We were following the rule of not seeing each other until the ceremony, so he called on my cell. I said I didn't care if we got married in the parking lot; all that mattered was that I was becoming his wife.

He told me his heart stopped the moment he first saw me walking down the aisle. I remembered how I greeted all our guests with, "Hi, guys!" as I walked toward him, making everyone laugh. And that once I got to where he was, they all faded away.

The kiss that sealed the deal was far better than our first. We still laugh every time we recall that moment. It’s amazing there ever was a second date, given how bad it had been. But I drove all the way home that night with a smile on my face.

Both the welcome party on the eve of the wedding and the reception after were fantastic. We had an intimate destination wedding. A weekend away with our closest friends. It was a wonderful celebration with those who meant the most to us.

I remembered how awkward it felt to dance with him in that small room, knowing everyone was watching us. He’d made a special play list using iTunes. We danced to “Someone like you” by Van Morrison.

"That's the only time in our entire relationship you have danced with me," I told him.

"Hold on a second," he said, as he jumped up and walked out of the room.

I heard our song begin to play from the other room. He returned to the kitchen and held out his hand. I took it, stood up, and we danced.

This week's prompt for The Red Writing Hood was to write a piece, fiction or non-fiction, inspired by this picture: 
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