Prompt #38: Things you said while holding my hand.
The breeze is warm today. The sun is high, the sky is blue, the clouds are sparse but puffy and white. It’s a beautiful day for many reasons, but God decided to smile down on them for extra measure. Gabriel stands before Rick, his bible in hand, a soft smile on his face as the Father winks at the slightly older man. Rick smiles a big, toothless smile and drops his head, shaking it just a tad. He’s surprised he’s not nervous. He was so nervous the first time. He picks his head up and makes eye contact with his boy, who smiles back and waves his chubby sisters’ hand back at Rick. Carl sweeps his hair out of his face and continues bouncing the little girl on his knee before Enid taps his shoulder and points behind them.
Everyone turns as she starts making her way up the isle; in between the mismatched chairs that Daryl, Jesus, and Tara so lovingly set up. Her long, white, lace maxi dress drags along the green grass behind her as she moves. Her feet are bare. She wanted to feel the grass between her toes, like she and Andre used to. Before. Her shoulders and arms are on full display from the thin spaghetti straps of her dress. A crown of flowers sits atop her head, woven together with love by Maggie. He’s never seen her so beautiful. No one, has ever seen her so beautiful. Her smile shines upon him as she moves forward, holding out her hand to him as she approaches.
He grabs her hand, and then the second one and clasps them in his. She bites her lip but can’t succeed in hiding her pretty white teeth. Rick lifts her hands to his lips, peppering them in kisses, keeping his blue eyes on hers as she giggles. Gabriel opens his bible and begins to serenade the crowd with the heavenly word but Rick doesn’t hear a thing. It’s like he’s underwater. Everything around him is muffled and blurry. Except for her. She’s never out of focus. She’s never unheard. She’s always loud and clear, always reaching him. Always bringing him back.
They stare at one another, blinking slowly, not wanting to miss a moment of each other. She tilts her head, smiling, smiling, smiling at him with all of the joy and purpose and hope and love one person can have. It takes his breath away, honestly. His eyes cloud with warm tears. His heart flutters. He’s never been a man of God but he is today. He will be, every day from today. He’s a sheep in the flock. He’s a believer. Because God loves Rick Grimes. He knows that now. Because this woman was placed at his feet, just when he needed her. God knew he needed her.
“As read in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-12, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Gabriel smiles down on the two souls before him, placing his hand on Ricks’ shoulder, “Now, we’ll hear from the groom.”
Rick takes a shaky breath, his bottom lip quivering as a single tear falls down his cheek. He had a whole speech planned, he really did. But not a word can be found in his mind. She frees one of her hands from his and cups his cheek softly, her own big brown eyes glazing over with tears. She smiles again and he’s free. He lowers his forehead to hers, closing his eyes as their noses rub against one another. A calm rushes over him. That’s God. That is God, reassuring him that she is his answer. He grabs her hands again and rubs his thumbs into her palms, holding onto them for dear life. He swallows, and lets out a slow breath; and then another, and another.
“You are everything,” He shakes his head as more tears fall. That’s it. That’s all he can say. There’s nothing else that can convey how he’s felt all these years, "I’m yours. Always.” He whispers, sniffling as he tries to blink away the liquid stinging his eyes.
“You’ll always be mine,” She whispers in return, trying to soothe the deep wound that was left by the woman before her, “I promise you, Rick. No matter what happens, no matter what you do, you will always be mine.”
A wide, bright smile spreads on her face as her eyes close. She nuzzles into him a little more, rubbing her nose against his. She brings his right hand to her lips and just lets them linger on his skin before kissing the back of his hand firmly. Her ring glints in the sunlight as their fingers intertwine and in that moment, as her fingers gently caress his, he’s not only convinced that God loves him; but she does too.