Allison Temple Blog

Awkward and Thoroughly Kissable
Posts tagged love
The Love Letter
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My Most Romantic Memory

(this post is based on the Marketing for Romance Writers 52 Week Challenge)

It's late. I'm exhausted. That bone deep exhaustion from too many days at work in an environment that doesn't do anything for your physical and mental health. That gnawing grind that comes from feeling like you have to do everything by yourself. That corrosive weight that eats at your insides when someone has let you down again, even when you knew that would, but hoped they wouldn't.

I'm on the phone with Mr. Temple, except he wasn't Mr. Temple then. He was just my boyfriend. But he called me...or I called him. It's 10 pm. I'm home alone. He's just getting off work.

I'm crying. That hiccupping snot mess that kids have a knack for but that adults teach themselves not to do. I don't care anymore. I can't do this anymore, this adulting thing. There are too many demands.

"I'm exhausted and hungry, and I have to go to bed, because I have to be up in seven hours and I haven't even had time to go to the groceries this week, so there isn't any food for me to eat, even if I had time to eat it."

He listens. Later, I found out he was sitting on a bench, outside his office, in the dark, watching the busses that would have taken him home roll by.

Eventually he tells me to go to sleep, that there's nothing we can do to make it better tonight. He tells me he'll come by after work tomorrow and we can watch a movie and just chill. It's cold comfort, but I know it's the best he can offer.

I sleep. Go to work. It's all a bit numb, but it's all okay because at the end of it, I will go home and Mr. Temple will be there and we can forget about the outside world.

I get home. The apartment is empty, but the smell is different. Warm. On my dining room table is a note.

Allison,

something came up and I can't stay. I'm so sorry. I hope you had a good day. I went to the store and bought you some food. It's put away in the cupboards. Also, there is a pizza staying warm in the oven. Buffalo chicken, your favourite. I hope you like it. 

See you this weekend,

Mr. T.

I cry a little more. The pizza is warm and tasty. The cupboards are full of Triscuits and other things that will stay good for a long time. They look delicious. The nicest crackers anyone has ever bought for me.

The note is still in my nightstand. It's the best love letter I've ever received.

Bearing Witness

rawpixel-570890-unsplash I went to a wedding this weekend.

Bride's side or groom's?

None of the above. The only person I knew was the minister, but I was the guest of honour.

It happened like this:

Friday night, said minister, who I've known for a few years, put out a call on Facebook.

I have a very small wedding tomorrow. So small that we need one more person as a witness. Let me know if you’re free at 3pm tomorrow.

And I thought, why not? The church is home to my theatre company and we had a rehearsal on Saturday at 4, so I'd be in the building anyway. And I'd just had my nails done on Friday afternoon (to celebrate sending the Cold Pressed draft to beta readers!), so I wouldn't even embarrass my mother's sensibilities by showing up to a stranger's wedding with the chipped Tiffany blue that had been there the other day.

And really, if I were getting married and for whatever reason my wedding party was so small as to be non-existent, I would want some kind soul to volunteer promptly to be my witness so that I had one less thing to worry about on my last night of unmarried bliss.

Also, because a wedding that doesn't come with all the stress of gifts and travel, and finding the perfect dress and then trying to lose five more pounds so it fits perfectly, has to be the best kind of wedding ever.

So there I was, at 3 pm, in a polka dot dress I bought last year and my grandmother's necklace with the amber beads because, even if I didn't know these people, they deserved the respect of me not showing up in my stage management uniform of jeans and jersey. And there they were, bride and groom. He wore a slim fitting navy suit with a red tie. She wore an ivory dress with a high-low lace hem. Her ivory high heels were a half size too big, but that happens sometimes. She had a big bouquet of cream coloured roses. No matter how small this wedding was, they wanted it to be special.

I shook their hands and congratulated them. They shook my hand and thanked me so much for coming, like an honoured guest.

I guess I was. If I hadn't been there, they'd have been short a witness and the marriage wouldn't have happened.

We all giggled—bride, groom, minister, photographer, me—when our assembled throng was asked if there were any objections. The good thing about having a tiny wedding is there is less baggage in the crowd.

I got a bit misty eyed, as I watched strangers promise their lives to each other. Turns out this romance novelist is a romantic. Who knew?

They signed their names. I signed mine. I am part of their story now, even just a tiny piece. A crucial one though. The guest of honour.

If a couple stands together, and says their vows, if they promise to love, cherish and obey, but no one is there to see it, are they really married?