Authors: Mercy B
The Story of Reed and RaKeem
by National Best Selling Author
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Sweet melodies crooned through the polished Cathedral as everyone sat patiently, awaiting the bride and groom’s entrance entrance. The wedding planner had gone above and beyond to replicate a royal atmosphere for the wedding party and the attending guest. Sonia, the planner, was worth every penny that had been shelled out. The expenses that had been acquired in preparation for the special day had been absurd, but the groom paid with pride –willing to do anything for his bride.
Large gold chandeliers were ordered and delivered just a week shy of the wedding, and their placement couldn’t have been more impeccable. The aisle that was to serve as the bride’s personal runway was aligned with four of the $20,000 accents. They hung just a few feet above the six feet clearance level, and expanded over 2 feet in width.
Candles spotted each row, held by five feet tall gold dusted holders. The cashmere finished candles were lit, and gave off a sweet vanilla fragrance throughout the vicinity. Massive gold and champagne colored fabric bows were attached to the benches on either side of the aisle. They’d been hand tied and shipped from a bridal factory down in Alabama.
“Emm. Hmmm.” The pastor cleared his throat as the double doors of the enormous venue were pulled apart by the assigned.
A loud wave of movement soared through the church as everyone turned to face the rear. Gasps and whispers could be heard throughout the building, being that it was prone to echoing. The elevated vaulted ceilings weren’t meant to keep secrets that were told.
The groomsmen walked down the aisle, coupled with their significant others. One person in particular stood out to others, being that she was the only one with a mug on her face. A tired and whiny Bella would much rather be in the audience watching as her husband served as the best man. At eight months pregnant with RahMeek Jr, she wanted nothing more than a seat and a cold towel over her forehead. Pregnancy was not her friend this time around.
“Straighten your face, Bells.” RahMeek chastised, but didn’t receive a response –verbally or physically. Bella remained stone faced as they approached the alter and separated.
RahMeek was shooting daggers at his wife as she stared into space. Looking into the audience, she tried scoping out the familiar face, but couldn’t spot it. Feeling defeated, she turned to her right and sighed.
“It’ll be fine.” Kelly patted her shoulder and grinned. “Just relax.” Bella finally took someone’s advice. Turning to her husband, she gave him a forced smile, and then turned to the front to focus ahead –like everyone else.
A different tune began to play as the handsome groom appeared in the center of the aisle, walking slowly. Smiling faces bore holes into his tailored tuxedo. The damn thing had cost him over $60,000, but it was worthy of it’s expenses. Being that his bride-to-be’s dress cost three times the bill of his attire, he didn’t feel the least bit guilty for depleting his budget.
RaKeem “Keem” Jones, the man of the hour, stepped to the alter and turned to face his guests. The thought of completely signing away his freedom crossed his mind, and caused swelling in his throat. Grabbing at the tie that was wrapped around his neck, he attempted to loosen it a bit. It seemed as if, from his brief walk to the alter, the damn thing had shrunk in size.
The doors of the Cathedral closed after RaKeem took his place. Suddenly, his anxiety began to take control. Hovering over him like a landing aircraft, Keem tried desperately to shake it. Thoughts of the past, and its participants, clouded his mind and left him wondering if he was making the right decision. At only 26, he was to be wedded,
but was he ready
Standing there at the alter, awaiting his blushing bride, Keem couldn’t help to be reminded of that one piece of the past that he’d never forget. That one huge chunk of greatness that had been snatched away from him, like he had the plague, due to his selfishness. That one thing that meant the world to him, at one point or another. That one person. That one love. That one girl.
If he could turn back the hands of time, Keem wondered would he still be here –on this day at this very same alter. Would things have turned out any differently than the have? Would his heart be compelled or would it love freely –without restraint of pass failed obligations? A mile a minute, questions swarmed the gentleman and he prayed that it didn’t show on his face. Looking over to his brother, he wore a troublesome look of inquisitive. Searching for a sign, he wanted RahMeek to twitch, shake his head, frown, or do something. All Keem received in reply was a head nod, which implied approval.
Only seconds had passed, but it felt more like hours, when the music switched –once more. RaKeem’s focus was repositioned, and placed on the back of the building. The doors were opened, and the sight before Keem was enough to make a grown man cry. Finally, he felt relieved. His pass transgressions placed on the backburner while gawking over his beautiful bride.
With nearly a mile-long train tailing behind her, she marched into clear view. RaKeem desperately wanted her to remove the veil to see her piercing eyes. More than anything, he needed them to peek through his soul, and admit to their forgiveness of him. Her alluring eyes would surely reassure him of his hasty decision, and declare to him that they’d be quite alright.
The ravishing gown that adorn her willowy frame had been commissioned, made to her specific liking. Not a thread was misplaced or disapproved by the bride. With a v-neck line, tubed top, and dazzling centerpiece, it was an exquisite design. Pearls danced around the corset styled center, with diamonds all through out.
Silent tears and low cries were heard through the church as she marched alone –no accomplice. With an absentee father and mother, the bride barely had anyone to share her glorious moment with. Family was few, but her day was to be grand nonetheless. The small family that she’d acquired over the few years were enough. Besides, she was marrying the man of her dreams, and nothing more mattered at the time.
Looking ahead, she became teary eyed. RaKeem was like a dream come true. With everything that had been thrown in her path, she’d never considered the thought of loving someone so special. Not only was he special to her, but to everyone that he encountered. A boss in his own right, that damn man was a sure-fire, and she couldn’t get enough of him.
His white tux was tailored to perfection, and he looked fine in it. Upon request, he’d allowed his curls to grow out just a bit in preparation for the big day. Sandy blonde tresses were her favorite, and she was thrilled that he considered the alteration –being that he’d preferred a lower cut as of lately.
Before long, she’d made it to her safe-haven, in the arms of RaKeem Jones. There was no place like it. Lifting the veil from her head, Keem stared into his bride’s eyes. There they were. There were those eyes that he could get lost and find his way in. Those eyes that he often looked to for validation and confirmation that his choices weren’t in vain or forged. To see them, he was thankful.
“Eh. Hmmm.” The pastor gathered the congregation’s attention as he began the ceremony. All the while, RaKeem kept his eyes planted ahead, afraid that if he looked anywhere but in her eyes that he’d began to allow doubt to creep back in.
“Let us pray pray together.” Shuffling of heads caused a stir in the Cathedral before silence commenced. “Dear Lord, we come to you on this day asking that you bless this holy union. We ask that you go with and stand by this bride and groom, and dwell in their love forever more. Amen.”
“Amen.” The guests and wedding party repeated.
“Today, you have come here not simply to witness our couple’s union, but to take part in it. Each of you represents not only yourself, but all of the people who have and will touch the lives of our bride and groom. Your support has helped their relationship to flourish, and the joy that you all bring into the couple’s lives keeps them going. Our bride and groom have asked all present to take vows as well, to pledge your support and love for them as they embark upon this new path together. After I have spoken these vows, please answer with “We will.” The pastor roared.
He, then, continued, "The bride and groom would like to ask you, their family and friends, to support them in keeping the vows that they make to each other today. They ask you to uphold them in loving each other, stand beside them, offer them your encouragement and your love, listen to them when they ask for advice, and pray that they will grow closer to God and to each other. In these ways you can honor this marriage into which they have come to be joined today. Do you offer your love and support to strengthen their marriage and bless this family created by their union? All in favor say, we do.”
Just as the church yelled in unison, “We do,” a familiar face appeared from behind the double doors that the entire party had just walked through. Upon recognition, Bella’s heart grew with glee. She knew that it was only a matter of time. Kelly tapped her side and nodded ahead. Both women, hoping for the TRUE happy ending.
Reed Coleman stepped into the sham of a wedding with one thought in mind. Her accomplice, KinZu Noble, was at her right as they both filed into the aisle in search of a seat. Luckily, the doors had closed silently, keeping everyone’s eyes trained up front. Had Reed captured the attention of the congregation, she would’ve cut to the chase and discontinued the wasting of anymore of anyone else’s time.
Styled in a flawless black Roberto Cavalli ensemble, Reed had come to capture her grief in style. Bruised and broken hearted, she was. However, it was nothing that time and attention couldn’t fix. Reed had thought that the relationship that RaKeem shared with another woman was his way of coping with her swift departure, but she’d never thought it to be serious.
Now, here, at their wedding ceremony she understood that he was near to sealing their fate. It was not to happen –not today, tomorrow, next week, or next month. If Keem wanted to wed, she was his only option. There wasn’t any other way around it.
Time, effort, heartache, and growth had been selflessly invested into the relationship that they’d embarked on, and Reed would be damn if she let it go. At 26, RaKeem still had a lot of learning to do. Their separation had been in order for him to commence the process. In the midst, he’d found himself love, and was doing everything that he’d promised he wouldn’t. It was quite alright, though. Hell would have to freeze over before Reed willingly gave up the man that she’d constructed so that he could use every lesson she’d taught him to properly love another woman. It was absurd, especially being that Keem was still in love with her.
Nearly a year had elapsed since she’d last seen her ex, but she was back. Reed’s absence was needed, but her presence was going to be felt. The well established 24-year-old had returned to claim her throne, and there wasn’t a damn thing that anyone could do to stop her. RaKeem had made a boss out of the sheltered little girl that Reed had once been, and it was now time that he witnessed the monster that he’d created.
“Thank you…” the pastor paused. “If any of you has reasons why these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace."
Reed stood from her seat as if it was covered in hot lava, and shouted, “I do!”