I woke up and I still felt Sandra's light breathing on my chest. I smiled a little and then I let her go.
I decided to make breakfast, a compensation for my gatecrashing in her place.
The day of the wedding finally arrived. Val picked us up to get dressed.
"Icarus, stay in the master's bedroom. That's where the guys are changing. And Sandy, the girls are in the vacant room upstairs."
I swung the door open and what I saw were my classmates, all busy getting dressed.
"Here's Da Vinci!" Leo cried, grinning. He promised himself not to be a teacher. He teaches Anatomy at Crystal University.
I nodded at him positively and then I took the suit that was hanging on the open closet. It had my name on it.
"Who would've thought that they'll really make it, huh?" Kyle, a registered nurse, said. "Thanks to Sandra who set 'em up years ago."
"Yeah." I agreed.
Who would've thought that Sandra made it this far, too?
River Flows in You resonated inside the church. Unlike the other churches, this was bright, and the breeze was cool and fresh. The view outside was the vast, blue sky, white sands and the blue sea.
We watched Kate walk on the aisle, together with the flower girls and her bridesmaids. She was wearing a white, flowing gown with tiny, pink rosebuds on it. She had her hair tied in a loose bun. Her make-up was light and playful. She was wearing a triumphant, in love smile.
We punched Val's back gently as she went nearer. I overlooked Kate, then, and I saw Sandra, smiling brightly. She looked so proud that she was the maid of honor. She waved at her old friends and winked at her friends' children. She grinned at me. I nodded.
That was the saddest Sandra that I have ever seen in my whole life.
We watched the priest unite Val and Kate as one. I felt Sandra crumbling beside me.
When the exchanging of vows came, Sandra kept her head bowed low. Her shoulders were trembling.
I looked at her for a long time, and then I couldn't take it anymore.
I stood up, in the middle of the event, and I gently pulled her out with me.
She must've realized that she was being dragged out because she broke free.
"Where are you taking me?" she asked.
"The airport." I answered. "The sooner that you leave, the quicker that you'll recover."
"Stop it, Icarus!" she cried. She let her tears flow now.
I shook my head.
"We aren't teenagers anymore, Sandy. We're mature enough to know what hurts us. We're old enough to stop what's hurting us. Nobody will be your knight, Sandy. We already passed that phase."
She removed her sandals and then she sat down on the sand. Her gown became soiled.
"I'm sick of your ways, Sandy." I scolded. "I'm pissed on how you're acting like nothing's wrong. I'm so tired of you asking for my help when it's obvious that it's Val that you want."
She glared at me, and then she threw me her sandals, to which I evaded. It hit my car instead. The alarm went off and then I deactivated it.
"That's more like it." I said calmly. "You have to be angry, Sandy. Or else you'll grow insane."
I helped her up, and then I drove her home.
"Thanks again, Icarus." she said. We were at the entrance of the airport, then, waiting for her port to be open.
"Just look forward, okay?" I advised. "Sulking won't get you anywhere."
We looked at the giant monitor again. It was time to go, to say our goodbyes.
"Before I leave, are there any sins that you would like to admit?"
"I wasn't really drunk when I bit your lip."
"Will you return?" I asked.
"What's there to return to?" Sandra asked back in reply.
"Here's a good reason. The pitiful girl that I was talking about was you, Sandra."
She looked stunned.
"I am in love with you." I said. "Is that enough reason for you to return here?"
She didn't answer. She just muttered a quiet thanks and then she entered the airport.
I pulled out the strength to tell her how I really felt in our final moment together.
I waited for her to look back.
A year has passed. Kate's belly was already huge. Kyle said that the baby was a girl, and so Val and Kate decided to name her Sandra. Kate's baby was due a few days from now.
For the past twelve months, I never heard a thing from Sandra. She never got in touch with any of us. And I think that I was the one who was sulking here. I was the one who was left out in the dark. I was the one who didn't continue to pedal forward. I was the one who never moved on, who never adapted to the changes.
I let go of my paintbrush then I looked at the view outside of my window. It was still bright and unwavering. The lights flooded everything. The winding roads were filled with vehicles. The workers inside the buildings below me were still busy and stressed out.
I took out a piece of cigarette and my lighter. I lighted it up, and then I inhaled deeply. What I exhaled was a thick string of smoke.
I licked my lower lip and then I looked at the paint stains on my shirt. I took another puff, and then I shifted my gaze at the canvas.
My phone rang. I answered it immediately.
"Icarus?" A female voice asked. "It's Sandra."
My heart skipped a beat. I wanted to see her. I wanted to go to her ASAP. But pride took over.
"I know you're angry, Icarus. I wasn't in touch and I'm sorry."
"Don't tell me you were planning another wedding."
"I was. That's why I didn't have the time to contact you."
I rubbed my forehead with my thumb.
"How many weddings did you plan to take it this long, huh?"
"Just one." I repeated. "Whose wedding is that, Sandra?"
"You called me Sandra. You must be really pissed."
"Whose wedding is that?" I repeated firmly.
"Mine." she said after a long pause.
"What do you want me to do, then? Be the best man?"
"You said that you won't get married." I accused.
"Plans change, Icarus." she said in a weak voice.
"I won't help you out." I said with finality. "I'm tired of getting hurt and hurting you."
"It's too late for that." she replied. "And Icarus, stop smoking. I could smell it from here. The smell of paint mixed with smoke is making me puke."
I dropped the call and then I hurriedly opened the door.
She was right there, in front of me, wearing a blouse and a skirt that was a few inches below her knees.
She was still the most beautiful woman that I have ever seen.
"You gave me enough reason to return." Sandra quietly said. "And you never smoked before."
I broke off into a laugh, followed by tears.
"You did this to me, okay? You made me a total wreck."
She shook her head and then she held my hand.
"Come with me."
"Help me out with my wedding."
"No way!" I cried, breaking free.
"Please." she mumbled. There were already tears in her eyes.
With just that, the wall that I made for a year instantly crashed down.
"Sly girl." I said. "Let me change first."
We drove down to the outskirts of Zeal City, where the scenery that you could only see was the sea.
"Turn here." Sandra said, as she pointed to our left. I followed.
What I saw was just a bonfire. Since we were a good distance away from the busy city, the stars shone here.
"There's nobody here." I said, as we went out of my car.
We both approached the bonfire, and then Sandra knelt down in front of me. Out of nowhere, Pachelbel's Canon played.
"Icarus," she said, as she pulled out a box from her purse. "Will you marry me now?"
She opened the box and what I saw was a silver ring, with the word forever carved on it. It was also studded with specks of diamonds.
I shook my head disbelievingly.
"Well?" she asked, a little tense. "Will you?"
"Marry you now?" I repeated. "Like, now?"
I smiled as I pulled her up and locked her in a tight embrace.
"Yes!" I cried. "Oh, God, yes!"
Suddenly, the sky was splashed with the brightest colors that I have ever seen. With each sparks that flew up, it crackled with festivity.
I heard applauds and cheers. The area became bright, a Jamaican music played.
All the people that witnessed her proposal to me were our classmates. Even Seth, her brother, was there. He was the one singing.
We were married on that very night.
And Kate's baby girl was also delivered a few hours later.
Many things happened that day, but I'm sure that I escaped that linear relationship that I was trapped in for the longest time possible.