"When we grow up, I'll marry you!" she proclaimed.

He gaped, then, frowned. "That'd be gross."

"You're my friend, how could it be gross?"

"We're best friends," said he, "I don't think I could marry you. My mummy and daddy love each other, you're gross, I can't love you."

"You're not exactly clean either."

"Well, I don't think anyone would want to marry you after they know some of your secrets and I know all of them."

"Guys," the little girl sighed. "No wonder my sister calls your type unromantic."

"What do you know about romance?"

"Plenty, I've seen my sister kiss her boyfriend, haven't I?"

"Cassie kisses? Eww…who did she kiss?"

"Your brother…"

"Oh, gross!"

She huffed. "I think kissing's cute."

"You're gross!"


Jack smiled, the remembrance of the event relieving him. He studied himself in the mirror and allowed a small smile of satisfaction to spread across his face.

He looked pretty good, he had to admit. The tuxedo looked good on him and the tie he wore matched. His wild black hair was tamed with a comb just a few minutes ago, though it was threatening to rebel again. His nose didn't look as crooked as it did five years ago and his features were chiselled.

If he wasn't as modest as Jack Hamilton usually was, he would have been flaunting his rugged, good looks at the bachelor's party the night before.

Not that he was saying that he was hot.


"What do you think?"

She twirled for him to judge. He thought that the black strapless gown looked pretty on her, not that he would admit.

"Gorgon-I mean, gorgeous." He grinned. "You looked gorgeous."

She narrowed her eyes. "I caught the first word, Jack."

"Rosie, you're hearing things!" He gasped. "Maybe, the dress is so tight it's making you deaf!"

In a huff, Rosie said, "I wonder what would happen if your tie would get too tight."

"KIDS! Are you playing dress-up again?"

Mrs. Turner's eyes widened in shock. A breathless, exasperated scream escaped her throat, "ROSALINE ANNE TURNER! My new dress!"


Jack chuckled softly. Mrs. Turner had given them a scolding they would never forget. He could never look at Mrs. Turner the same way again. She used to be so patient. He remembered Rosie standing there, her eyes downcast. Jack remembered defending her and getting his ear pulled with sharp chiding hurting his ears.

Rosaline truly looked beautiful that day in his eyes.


She clasped her hands together.

"Do I look okay, Jack?"

She bit her lip, a habit she had practiced since she was young whenever she was nervous.

"Perfect." He strained a smile on his face.

"Don't be a liar, crap," she chided. "Damon will be here any minute and I don't think my face is just right."

"Trust me Rosie, you're perfect."


Jack remembered thinking that Damon wouldn't last two seconds.

It lasted two years, two painful years. Not for the loving couple but for Jack.

They had broken up in the end and Jack was more than happy, for purely selfish reasons.

"It's show time."

He stood at the altar, waiting for the bride to make her grand entrance.

She entered, and he felt his breath caught in his throat as the angel of his memories seemed to float down the aisle.

"Good luck," he whispered to the groom, from his place as the best man.

The groom smiled at him, then turned his eyes towards his bride. Then, Rosaline smiled at Jack from behind her veil before she turned her eyes towards her groom.

Holding back the tears that threatened to spill from his already hot eyes, he smiled back.

After all, the last person he thought would be dear Rosie's groom would be the one irony would choose.


"I found the perfect girl!" Kyle Morrison had proclaimed to his best friend.

"Who would that be?" asked his best friend, bored. Kyle proclaimed this fact nearly every month.

"She's smart, she breathtakingly gorgeous and she likes all the same things we do."

"Uh-huh."

"Rosaline has to be the most perfect girl to walk the earth!"

His best friend's ears perked up, a sudden feeling of horror piercing his consciousness. "Rosaline? Rosaline Turner?"

"Yeah," Kyle said, puzzled. "You know her, Jack?"

Jack coughed. "Yeah, she's my friend."


Jack smiled a half-hearted smile, as he watched them both kiss.

"It's true," he thought. "To love and to have lost is better than to have never loved at all."

His mind was no longer there afterwards despite his catching of the bouquet. Rosie had noticed, but he had given the bouquet to an obliviously happy female. Jack couldn't remember whether she was attractive, he only had his eyes on Rosie. Dear, sweet Rosie.

He watched the 'Just Married' car rumble down the street. The happy couple waving at the joyful crowd

"It just hurts a hell lot more."

Fin


"To love and to have lost is better than to have never loved at all."

I've always wondered about that. You?