I woke up, feeling the happiest I've ever felt in my life. Today was the day. Today was the day I had not foreseen and felt as if it would never come. Today was my wedding day.
I was somewhat surprised to see Duke was not lying next to me and after a few shouts, I found out he was not at home either. I looked around and saw a note perched up on his bedside table with my name scribbled on the front of it.
'Gone to do some groom stuff. I will see you at our wedding, Quinn Erving'.
I grinned at the last two words of the notes; even though it wasn't necessary to change your surname - especially in a gay wedding - I was excited to have his surname so people knew that I belonged specifically to Duke.
Stretching my arms with a yawn, I swung my legs off the bed and went to the kitchen to make myself breakfast. I had only just put in the pieces of bread into the toaster when there was a loud knock on the door. I didn't even have to open it when Sophia, my two sisters and Duke's sister Phoebe burst in with the biggest smiles on their faces.
'It's time!' they all hollered together.
They all forced my down onto a chair and propped my legs up on the opposite sofa and all hustled around me to find something to do to my body. My toast popped up and I was longing to eat it but from all the hands on me, I couldn't even move.
After they were done pulcking, filing, moisturising and applying other such pointless beauty therapies, I excused myself and groaned when I found my toast was fridge-cold by the time I reached it. I tossed it in the bin and placed another two in the toaster before Sophia pulled me back down onto the chair so she could do my hair.
'You do realise that I am a man and that I don't need all this beauty attention, right?' I said with a sigh.
'Yes, but we're just making you look extra beautiful for Duke,' she replied enthusiastically.
I grabbed my phone and sent Duke a text saying "Save Me' as the girls all tended to my appearance once again. My toast popped up out of the toaster and I still wasn't able to move so I watched in horror as my toast got colder and colder as the time went on.
'Okay, time to get your tux!' declared Phoebe.
They brought out my heavenly white tux along with my black Italian shoes and the sight of it got my flustered as I realised I was about to be married. I had a white tux and white shirt, a black tie and black shoes while Duke had a black tux and black shirt, a white tie and black shoes.
'Hey, where's your tie?' said Sophia.
She rummaged around in mine and Duke's bedroom but announced later that she could not find it.
'I think I left it at our place,' I said to her, 'don't worry, I'll go get it.'
'No, don't be silly. I'll go get it,' declared Sophia.
'No. I need to get out of here.'
I beat her to it and zipped out of the apartment, glad to have alone time. I had taken Sophia's car keys and zoomed down to my old house. I let myself in and went straight to my room and found the tie lying innocently on the pillow of my bed. I picked it up and went to leave before I saw Roman sitting in the lounge room by himself.
I hesitated and thought about our previous encounter. I couldn't bear to look at him, knowing that I had hurt him and what I was about to do today would hurt him even more.
'Hi Quinn,' he greeted me.
He saw me holding my tie and a half-smile crossed his face.
'Congratulations,' he said half-heartedly.
'I leave tomorrow,' he announced.
I stood awkwardly next to the door, not knowing if I should leave or stay and talk to him. Roman got up out of the chair and slowly approached me, his half-smile still plastered on his face.
'I'm sorry things couldn't work out between us,' he mumbled.
He held his arms open for me and I walked into his grasp, wrapping my arms around him in a tight yet friendly hug.
'It was good to meet you, Quinn.'
'It was lovely to meet you too, Roman.'
'Have a great day.'
He let go of me and with a friendly pat on the back, he bid me farewell as I walked out of the house, not looking back at the heartbroken man I had left behind.
It was time. All the guests had taken their seats and Duke was waiting at the head of the aisle with his bestfriend and groomsman standing beside him. The priest was standing in the middle of the garland archway with a smile on his face and seeing all this made me panic.
'Daddy, I'm scared,' I said, wrapping my arm around my father's arm.
'Quinn, it's okay. Everything's going to be fine,' he said reassuringly.
After hearing another lot of soothing words from him, I let go of him as the curtain opened and he walked me down the aisle to meet Duke. Duke saw me and his expression took my breath away; his eyes nearly popped out of his head and his grin was wide enough to cover the country. It surprised me that I stunned him so much because I thought I looked the same as I did every other day.
I hugged my dad and went to take Duke's hands, still completely speechless about what was about to happen.
'You look absolutely amazing,' he said to me quietly, 'even to this day, you still take my breath away.'
'So do you,' was all I managed to say back.
After everyone had seated and had shushed, the Priest opened his mouth to begin the ceremony.
'Friends, we would like to welcome everyone on this joyous day in this beautiful setting. We would like to thank everyone who has traveled from far and near to come here and share this joyous moment in the lives of Duke Patrick Erving and Quinn Halliwell.'