“Ladies and gentlemen!” Gordon, my best friend and best man, stood. “Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please?” He raised a glass of champagne, and the room stilled. “It’s my duty, but more than that, my hono
to propose a toast.”
Everyone in the room, except Sharon and me, lifted a glass in response.
“I’ve known Vince for, holy shit, how long has it been?” He looked down at me, an impish grin on his face. “Fourteen years? Fifteen? Has it been that long? Christ, it feels like we should be getting ready for our prom, dude. Come to think of it, isn’t that the same stupid tuxedo you wore?”
The room burst into laughter.
“Yeah, and the late fees are killing me, so don’t take all night.”
Another eruption of laughter
, but Gordon’s full-throated peal rose
above them all. “Dude, I’m not gonna lie
to you,” he composed himself. “When you
first told me about this girl you met, I didn’t believe a word of it.” He turned to Sharon. She smiled up at him. “She was too good to be true,” he turned back
to me, “and she sure as hell was too good for you. The idea that she’d have anything to do with
you was, to be frank, science fiction.”
Sharon turned her gaze on me. Her sky blue eyes held steadily to mine. The banquet hall convulsed with fresh laughter.
“If there are two people more in love than these guys,” Gordon continued, “I’d be completely shocked. But, and I’m dead serious here, if they ever committed even the slightest public display of affection, I think I’d keel over.”
Sharon glanced at the gold band on her finger. Her smile faltered, no doubt imperceptibly to everyone but me.
“Dude, you got way more willpower than me,” Gordon went on. “Now that I think about it, you’ve got more willpower than you. Remember that cheerleader –?”
“Gordon.” Sharon’s voice, soft but clear, interrupted.
“Sorry.” He cleared his throat in mock embarrassment.“I know all about her, thank you.” She winked at him.
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