Broken Frames, Torn Pictures Chapter 25

“Yeah, I never thought I’d get married this young.” Thalassa looked over at me. “Not that I’m upset about it,” she added quickly.

I smiled. “I wasn’t assuming you were.”

“I feel like we’re going to have a boy.”

“That’s a bit random. Why do you think that?”

“I feel it in my bones.”

So you have sex guessing bones?”

Thalassa laughed. “My father was able to guess that I was going to be a girl. I think it runs in the family.”

I cocked an eyebrow. “And what if you’re wrong?”

“I guess I’ll just be wrong then. If we have more children, I’m bound to get it right at some point.”

That last statement made me feel a little uneasy, and Thalassa seemed to notice. “Oh, sorry. I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself, huh?” She pushed a strand of hair behind her ear. “I think I’m just getting excited.”

“Just a bit.”

“Well if it isn’t the lucky couple!” A voice from behind us called out. We both turned around to see Zak and Valant coming through the open doors, Magnifi trailing behind them.

I had only been acquainted with Zak and Valant a couple times since their recent employment. Magnifi seemed to realize that Thalassa wasn’t interesting in pursuing magic any more, and had employed the two new men to take her place. They seemed to be okay people, despite Valant’s constant use of alliteration, and Zak’s booming voice.

“Oh, hi!” Thalassa called out, waving to the group. “Did you find it here okay?”

“Yep.” Zak slapped Valant’s back. “No thanks to Valant, here.”

Valant, seemingly annoyed responded, “I had prepared the directions, but this dastardly devil had to go and lose them.”

I exchanged glances with Thalassa, who turned her attention to her father. “Thank you for paying for everything.”

Magnifi held up his hand. “You don’t need to keep thanking me, Thalassa. I’m happy to do it.”

“I know, but I feel like I need to thank you more.”

Magnifi waved off her remark. “Nonsense. Just enjoy yourself.”

Thalassa planted a kiss on his cheek and tapped Jove’s arm. “C’mon, I gotta check a few things.”

“He is being really nice. Why is he being so nice?” I asked once we were out of earshot.

“I made him promise to leave you alone.” Thalassa pat her stomach. “Told him it wouldn’t be good for the baby.”

“Damn, you’re… kinda evil.”

Thalassa shrugged. “Whatever it takes to keep today drama free.”

“It was a good call.”

Thalassa was checking to make sure the food was prepared, and the DJ had everything he needed. Both were going well, which left Thalassa restless. She paced back and forth with a sharp click of her heels.

I cocked my head to the side. “Why do you wear heels? You’re a giant.”

“I’m only 5’8″.”

“Like I said, you’re a giant.”

“Then why don’t you try them on?” Thalassa slipped off her heels and returned to her original height.

“Y’know I think I will!” We traded shoes and I began to see the world from a completely new perspective. “Woah… I’m farther from the ground.”

“Try walking around.”

I almost fell flat on face after the first step. “Holy shit. How do you survive?”

“Practice. Lots and lots of practice.”

A thought crossed my mind. “My dad would’ve already called me a fruit right about now. He would’ve looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘son, you need to take those off right now. I didn’t raise a fruit’.”

Thalassa frowned. “Do you think about your father often?”

“I don’t. I haven’t thought about my parents in 2 years.”

“That’s really sad.”

I shrugged. “I guess. I just wish they would’ve given me more reasons to think fondly of them.”

“You weren’t thinking fondly of your father then, were you?”

“Nope, I wasn’t.” I looked around for a clock. “What time is it? The ceremony should be starting soon, right?” I turned to walk into the ceremony hall. “I just go out here, right?”

“Mm hm.”

I nodded, and walked into the beautiful room. Bouquets were meticulously arranged to match the walls and carpet, the arch Thalassa and I were supposed to stand under had ribbon woven into it. I noticed the preacher was standing at his stand, so I walked over.

“Hello. Excellent day for a wedding, huh?”

“Absolutely.” He said without looking up from his book.

“Do you perform many weddings?”

“A decent amount.”

“Do you get to stay for the reception?”

“Not usually.”

“Oh…” The conversation had hit a dead end way too quickly. “Would you like to stay for ours? We picked out a pretty good cake.”

“No thank you, I have church service tomorrow morning.”

“Yeah, I guess the reception goes on for a while. Well I hope you enjoy your church service.”

Thalassa’s various family members trickled into the room, sparing me from my awkward conversation. There was an aunt with several children following behind her, and her husband who was making sure each kid stayed still, another uncle who arrived alone and sat in the back, and a Thalassa’s grandparents who seemed to have the same permanent frown on their faces that Magnifi had. Thalassa had never mentioned who any of them were until she started writing out invitations. I got the feeling that she didn’t visit her extended family very often.

Once everyone sat down, the music started, and Magnifi walked Thalassa down the aisle. She stood across from me and crinkled her nose, causing me to smile. A camera flashed, and the preacher started talking.

“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today in the presence of these witnesses, to join Jove and Thalassa in matrimony commended to be honorable among all,” he started. “Do you, Thalassa take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

“I do,” she said, grinning from ear to ear.

“Do you, Jove, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”

“I do,”

“Then I now pronounce you, husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.” We kissed to a rousing applause. When we pulled apart, I even saw Magnifi clapping. It probably wasn’t for me, but the fact that he wasn’t being a stick in the mud was reassuring.

Now that the reception was underway, the wedding photographer started posing us for shots. “Alright, now I need the husband, and the father in law to shake hands.”

I froze. “Uh… why?”

“I’ve found that it promotes goodwill between the different sides of the family. Shaking hands shows unity and respect. I would ask your wife to participate as well, but I don’t see your parents around.”

I ignored the last remark and said, “I mean… it’s gonna be really awkward.”

“Are you saying that you don’t want to do it?” The photographer looked slightly appalled.

“No no no no no!” I shook my hands, hoping to keep the other man from attacking me. “I’ll do it if Magnifi wants to.”

Wonderful! Go find the father in law.”

“I’ll go look for him.” And with that Thalassa had disappeared.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but who exactly hired you?”

“Mr. Gramarye did. I believe I was going to photograph his wedding seventeen years ago, but it was called off all of a sudden.”

I knit my eyebrows together. “And I’m guessing you don’t know why?”

“Nope. I’m not given that information.”

“Darn.”

Thalassa returned with Magnifi in tow. He was about as confused as I was. “What are we doing?”

“You’re gonna get a picture with Jove. It promotes unity in the family.”

“I don’t see how that-“

“You hired him so you’re going to do what he says.” Thalassa said.

Unable to argue, Magnifi approached me. I had never realized how much he towered over me until just this instant. It made it hard to not shake as we waited for the photographer to give us our directions. I couldn’t tell if Magnifi was uncomfortable. He just… frowned at me, just staring and frowning.

“Alright, now just shake hands, and we’ll be done.”

Magnifi closed his big hand around mine, and looked me straight in the eyes. In a moment of pure discomfort, I forced the biggest smile I could muster, teeth and all.

“Wonderful!” And then it was over. As quickly as it had began, the picture had been taken, and Magnifi walked away.

Thalassa was laughing as she stood beside the photographer.

“What’s so funny?”

“You and my father. You two are just so silly sometimes.”

I rolled my eyes. “Trust me, if you had to shake hands with one of my relatives you didn’t get along with, you’d be uncomfortable too.”

Thalassa raised an eyebrow. “I don’t doubt that, but I also don’t doubt that you’d be laughing at my expense as well.”

“Well, ya got me there.” I wrapped an arm around her waist.

Zak walked up to us. “Hey, Thalassa, you’re looking lovely.” Zak said.

Thalassa smiled politely. “Thanks.”

“You should come over some time. Have dinner and all that.”

Thalassa rubbed her shoulder. “Maybe. I’ve been meaning to have dinner with father.”

“I meant come over to my place.”

Okay that was enough. “Can you please stop flirting with my wife?” I said. “You’re making her uncomfortable.”

Zak frowned. “And what are you gonna do about it?”

I pursed my lips. “I’ll hit you…”

Zak raised an eyebrow.

“…In the head… with my guitar case.”

My words hung in the empty space. Then Zak laughed. “I like this guy! You picked a good one, Thalassa.”

Thalassa let out a forced laugh. “Thanks…”

And then he was gone.

“That can’t be good for the baby,” I remarked.

“No, not at all,” Thalassa replied, still watching Zak saunter away.

“Glad he’s gone.”

“Indeed.”

. . .

Jove, Apollo, and the rest of the band were celebrating the release of their album back at their studio. Apollo spun around in the mascot stool, while the rest of the band sipped their non-alcoholic beverages and nibbled on Walmart brand crackers. They hadn’t had much money to throw the launch party, but regardless, it was shaping up to be a great evening.

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