Rating: G (maybe PG - one or two "bad" words)
Author's Note: I made up some names, and took liberties with some of the characters. I don't know middle names of anyone. Please don't get mad. This is the first of a series, but it should give you most of the background info you need. The other stories will be set when the characters are younger, and will go over their histories in much more detail.
From Here to Eternity
Well, this is it. It's Time. I finally broke down, and now he's going to make an "honest woman" of me as Jen's grandmother so politely phrased it. This is almost funny. I've been living with the man since we were seventeen, and I'm getting nervous about a simple service that's not going to last over half an hour. Twenty-five years together, and we're just now getting married.
Getting married. Strange - when we were in school, I always thought that I'd get married in my mid-twenties, have a great job, a loving husband, two children, and a dog - the typical American perfect family. Except when he asked me to marry him on my seventeenth birthday, I said "no". And I said "no" every time after that - I got used to saying "no" every day.
Bessie was in shock when we told her that I was pregnant, and we were moving in together. I still remember her words: "Joey, how could you? You know, you don't have to get married!" The look on her face was precious when we told her that we weren't getting married, we were just going to live together. After about an hour of fighting at full volume, and then three days of silent war, she gave in, saying "Well, you can't get in any more trouble than you're already in." We all laughed over that comment.
No one thought that the two of us would be able to handle our senior year of high school AND a baby. Boy, we showed them. We had TWO, that's right, TWO babies AND both of us managed to graduate with honors. In fact, I was valedictorian.
I have to admit, that first year was tough, living in Dawson's house (mostly because we couldn't afford any other place), trying to handle two very troublesome infants, getting all the work done, and applying to college. I kept working at Bessie and Bodie's restaurant until a week before Nicholas and Alexandra were born (a month late, I might add). Jen tried to talk me out of naming her "Alexandra" because of my nephew, Alexander, and the fact that Nicholas and Alexandra were the last tsar and tsarina of Russia ("and we all know what happened to THEM"). But I like that name, and he liked it to, seeing how it's his grandmother's name.
We managed to handle college, too. We went to Boston U. together, and we graduated after three years. The counselors and professors worked with us so that we could graduate early. I majored in art history, and surprise! He majored in film and photography.
We've had a great time over the last twenty-five years. Hard to believe that we have two twenty-four year old children (Nick and Alexandra - unlike me, she likes her full name), a twenty-year old (Stacey), a fifteen year old (Benjamin), and a twelve year old (Brendan). Never, ever, in my wildest imagination did I think I would have five children! But after we saw that we could handle work, school, and children, and I saw what a great father he was, we knew that we had to have more.
It was hard to believe that he's so wonderful with children at first. I mean, I'd seen him with Alex (my nephew), but. . .
When I found out I was pregnant, I just knew that it was over. He would leave me, and never look back. I guess it was the shock from finding out, and then wildly fluctuating hormones, but I had crazy thoughts like that all the way up to the twins' birth. Every day, I woke up and was surprised that he was still with me. Every night, I got down on my knees and thanked God for giving me such a wonderful man who would stay beside me, even when I looked like a beached whale and when the hormone problem was way out of control.
"Joey, Dawson's almost ready. Are you?" Alexandra asks me. Jen, the guys, and I decided the kids should call us by our first names.
I break out of my reverie and smile. "Almost, almost. You're almost as impatient as your father. Do you know, he's asked me to marry him twice a day every day for the last twenty-five years?"
"I know, believe me I know. Do you know how hard it is to explain to your boyfriend that you can't spend the day with him because your parents are finally getting married?" Alexandra joked.
Stacey interrupted. "Joey! You haven't done your make-up yet! Look at your hair! You CANNOT get married looking like this."
Looking like what? A forty-two year old who's so nervous about standing up in front of my friends and family and telling the man I love that I love him again? That should cover it. I can't believe I'm nervous about this. It's so simple. Hell, I mean, a good majority of women can do this with no problem. Me, I screw it up. I'm surprised your father is still willing to marry me after all these years, I think. She works fast, and soon deems me "presentable."
I was always so afraid that he'd leave me one day. I just knew that after one little argument, he'd be gone. Wave bye-bye to Daddy, kids. He's leaving. For good. In high school, he was so scared to make a commitment, and I was afraid he'd say something he didn't mean. 'I love you.' Three little words that people tell each other every day and they don't mean it. 'I need you.' I thought that it was just a line that guys used to get lucky. 'I can't live without you.' Again, another line guys say. Well, he's proved me wrong time after time.
Brendan, our youngest, knocks on the door. "Joey, your favorite pervert, a.k.a. Pacey, is ready to 'escort' you to the altar."
Now that's a laugh. Pacey 'escorting' me down the aisle. I wanted my oldest son Nick do to it, but Pacey insisted. And since he's known me a lot longer (since we were in diapers), he does have the right.
I walk outside, and Alexandra and Stacey help me adjust my skirt. Bessie's daughter, Cassandra (she likes the nickname Cassie, though), the flower girl, leads the wedding procession as the music starts. Stacey and Alexandra join the rest of the bridesmaids. Jen, my matron of honor, squeezes my hand and whispers "Don't you dare back out now. I always knew that you two loved each other. I knew it the first day I saw you, Dawson, and Pacey making that incredibly stupid movie. You two were meant to be together."
"Thanks. You don't know how much that means to me to hear you say that."
I might need to explain something: Jen and I have been friends ever since I found out I was pregnant. She helped me maintain my sanity then, and ever since. I was her maid of honor at her wedding, and I promised that she would be the matron of honor at my wedding IF I ever got married. I feel bad for her. Her husband died three years ago. They didn't have any children. She's all alone now, even though we're all here for her. We've told her that she's welcome to any of our kids that she wants to 'adopt.' They all love "Aunt Jen." She just smiled and joked "Why would I want them?"
Pacey offers me his arm and whispers "Prude."
I laugh, and whisper "Pervert. I've got five adult or teenage kids and I'm just now getting married. Me a prude? You know better than that!"
He whispers back. "Well, you got the "Pacey is a pervert" part down right. . ." I laugh again, only slightly louder.
Jen turns around. "Children, stop it! Pacey, you are not going to ruin this wedding. I've been planning it for twenty years! Joey, if you can't behave, I'm going to Bodie to give you away, and you don't want that! He'll drag you down that aisle faster than Pacey can seduce an English teacher. Now, STOP IT!" The thought of Bodie dragging me down the aisle stops me in my tracks. He's been trying to get me married for about fifteen years. At first, he wanted to make sure it was going to work out, but since the first four kids were born. . . Well, he's been pushing for a wedding. Let's leave at that. And let's not even touch that Pacey and an English teacher seduction story. Gross. By the way, I invited her to the wedding, and Pacey doesn't know. That ought to be fun when he sees her here!
"Jeez, the matron of honor's more uptight than the prude of a bride. OW! That hurt! Jen, make her stop! She's abusing me."
"Jen," I whine, imitating Pacey, "it was just a tiny pinch and he deserved it!"
Never missing a step, she responds "Pace-Man, it serves you right!"
"I wonder how Oompa-Loompa's doing right now. Probably as nervous as. . . , well I don't know as what."
I couldn't help laughing over that one.
We finally reach the end of the aisle. I turn to raise my veil, and look around. My three best friends with me, my children around me, plus Nicholas' very pregnant wife, Isabella, and Cassie gathered around us. Bessie and Body in the front row, besides Dawson's parents, Pacey's brother Doug and his wife Abby Witter, and Jen's grandmother.
The rest of the Witter's aren't here. I refused to invite them, and no one dared to argue with me over that one. I don't think anyone else wanted them here either. I've heard Mr. Witter's comments about "cheap slutty white trash" for too long.
Doug turned out OK after all. Turns out, Pacey wasn't right with all his "closet case" jokes. Doug eloped with Abby Morgan as soon as we graduated. Abby got nicer to me when she married Doug. In fact, she got nicer to everyone. Miracles, will they never cease to amaze me.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered hear together." I tuned out every thing after that. Dawson screwed up some of his lines, but I got mine perfect.
"I, Josephine Potter, take thee, Pacey Witter, as my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold. . ." OH MY GOD! I just said 'I do!"
Dawson continues. "May I now present Mr. and Mrs. Witter. Pacey, you may kiss your bride!"
The wedding was perfect. Everyone congratulated us, and Dawson. It was his first time performing a wedding. After leaving Boston U. to go to the seminary, he vowed that the first marriage he'd ever perform would be mine and Pacey's. Even though he had to wait a long time, he kept his promise. There's nobody else on Earth we would have rather had to do the honor.
The reception went well, too. The Leerys were both crying.
"Mom, Dad, stop it! You're embarrassing us!" Pacey grumbles. Ever since we moved in with Dawson and his parents way back when, he's called them Mom and Dad. It's some attempt to distance himself from those heartless vultures that are actually his parents. Those heartless vultures that are now my relatives. That's scary.
I hit him in the arm and tell them "You're not embarrassing me. But, you can continue to embarrass my husband all you want to." My husband! It sounds so right to be saying that.
As we take the floor for our first dance as husband and wife, we can see all of our loved ones standing in a large circle around us. Pacey whispers comments about everyone as we dance by them. I couldn't help but laugh as he spun me around near Jen's grandmother.
"She's going to live to be at least two hundred years old. Well, at least she can hush about us getting married. Want to give her something else to be scandalized about?" he says in a very suggestive way. I love the way he wriggles his eyebrows when he says "suggestive things." You can't image how many times I've seen that look on his face over the last quarter of a century.
He also came up with a scheme to romantically reunite Dawson and Jen. As he pointed out, Dawson did not take vows of celibacy, and he can marry under church laws, and Jen's so lonely, so. . . We set it up so that she catches my bouquet of red roses, and he catches my blue garter. Jen gave me a look that said "Girl, you better get Pacey to protect you, 'cause if I catch you alone, I'll kill you."
Pacey whispered "I didn't know that Dawson could get that red in the face. Isn't it funny?"
It was funny. Dawson's face was as red as a tomato as he slid the garter on Jen's dress, and even redder the further up it slid. He looked like he was having fun, though. Pacey and I'll work on them AFTER the honeymoon. Later on that night, we were almost ready to leave. When. . . Kiss, kiss, kiss!" I can hear every one yelling as Pacey and I dance across the floor. Well, they can't say we weren't gracious hosts, so we gave 'em what they wanted. And then some.
"We should have done this a long time ago, Pacey," I whisper in his ear during our flight to Hawaii, our honeymoon location.
"Well, we would have, but I seem to remember some prude not wanting to marry me."
"Why did you stay all these years? I don't understand. I wasn't holding you back. You didn't have to stay."
"Woman, don't you understand? I didn't, and don't, ever want to leave you. How could I leave you, when I've been telling myself I was going to spend every minute from here to Eternity with you ever since we were sixteen?"
I started crying. I can't help myself. I'm a hopeless romantic, but I keep it well hid. But he knows. He's always known, and he'll always know. As we fly into the still of the night, those words keep echoing in my head. "From here to Eternity. . ." Isn't that an old song from the late '90s. As if he can read my mind, Pacey says "Yeah, from about the time we started dating. Want me to sing?"
"No, that's OK! I can live with that happening tonight!" However, the song does run through my head.
I did everything I could, to get you here tonight
Without telling you why
Now girl if you only would, please hold out your hand
Just close your eyes
I've been dying to ask you one burning question
Will you be mine?
From here to eternity
I'm asking you to share your life with me
Now and forever I guarantee, I'll always stay by your side
I promise my love to you
I'm willing and able and ready to..whatever you need
I am here for you, and I'll always be
From here to eternity.
Well, I saved a year for this ring
I can't wait to see
How it looks on your hand
I'll give you everything that one woman needs
From a one-woman man
I'll be strong, I'll be tender..a man of my word
And I will be yours...
We hold hands and whisper to each other "from here to Eternity" as the plane descends to the ground.
Jen showed us the newspaper clippings as soon as we got back. Since Alex wrote the article, I trusted him to be kind. My little nephew is a wonderful writer.
"June 23 - - The community of Capeside celebrated the nuptials of the community's two most famous residents today. Josephine Elisabeth Potter, best-selling author of twenty art history books, and Pacey William Witter, director of such blockbuster movies as "Never Say Ever," "Scream XXIV," and the documentary "Clinton," were married in the Capeside Lutheran Church, with the Reverend Dawson B. Leery officiating. The matron of honor was socialite Jennifer Lindley, widow of industrialist C. Anderson Crawford. Bridesmaids included the couple's daughters Alexandra Jennifer and Stacy Abigail Witter, and their daughter-in-law Isabella Whitley-Witter. The best man was their son Nicholas James Witter. Their other sons, Benjamin Joshua and Brendan Douglas Witter served as groomsmen. The bridal couple will spend a month-long honeymoon at their Hawaiian summer house on the island of Maui. Notable guests included associates of the couple, such as novelist Catharine Revesly, director Stephen Speilberg, actor William L. Hudleyson, and Senator Tamara Jacobs."
Isn't it funny how life turns out?
Back to Duchess's Stories | Back to Fan Fiction | Back to the Main Page|