Synopsis: Landon and Jamie have had their first date now they must face their friends, their family and their own fears. Written from Landon’s POV by Brian (in bold print) and Jamie’s POV by Jamie (in italics).
For all of you fanfic readers that supported us and gave us positive feedback…This chapter is for you.
“Yes?” I turned around and faced Landon’s mother.
“Do you need anything?”
“No thank you. I think I’ll be fine, but thank you for asking.”
“Anytime dear,” she walked over to me and hugged me. “Goodnight Jamie.”
“Goodnight.” I walked around his room gently gliding my hands across some of his childhood memorabilia wishing he were here with me. Wanting desperately to hear his voice. His room looked somewhat empty compared to the last time he had shown it to me, but I knew why. He had packed his things in order to move into mine and my father’s house. I sat on his bed’s edge and looked around the rest of Landon’s room. I sighed to myself, missing him but at the same time happy to know that in less than a day he and I would be married.
“Jamie, are you still up?” Landon’s mother asked, walking into the room with phone in hand. She handed the phone to me, whispering, “It’s for you.”
It took us most of the afternoon to move Jamie’s belongings into the new house. We took some of her furniture along with us, since a lot of it fit pretty well into the master bedroom. My dad and I also had to wait for some movers to bring in the rest of the furniture that had been purchased for the house: sofas, a dining room table and chairs, extra beds and dressers, as well as a mix of other items. We went out to dinner with Reverend Sullivan, and then my dad and I went to the hotel while Jamie’s father went home for the night. It was almost 11PM when I had finished getting ready for bed.
I flopped myself down on the bed. The room was reserved for two people, Jamie and me… and her half of the bed felt almost unbearably empty. ‘It’s all right Landon--just wait until the morning. You’ll see her then.’ My self-lecture didn’t work though, so I started busying myself trying to find something to keep my mind off of Jamie.
‘Suit? Check. Shoes polished? Done. Vows? Written and memorized. Limousine? Confirmed.’ I groaned, returning to the bed and turning on the television. ‘Nope. Nothing good on TV. Am I pathetic or what?’ My eyes fell on the phone sitting on the nightstand. ‘Are you seriously going to call her? She’ll think you’re nuts… it’s just one more day. You don’t want to freak her out, make her think you’re calling because you have cold feet or anything. But you do miss her… and maybe… just maybe she misses you the same way?’
“Uh hi, mom?”
“Is everything alright Landon? Did you forget something?”
“Yeah mom, everything is fine… I was just wondering, um, can I talk to Jamie?”
I thought I heard her try to hide laughter as she responded, “Sure Landon, I’ll go get her.”
"Landon? Why are you calling me? We're not supposed to be seeing each other the day of the wedding you know and it's," I picked up the clock, "almost midnight."
"Well.... a phone call doesn't count as seeing you know. And besides... I really missed you."
"Technically...I suppose you're right,” I ran my hand across the top of his dresser and felt the smooth surface beneath my fingers. “Besides...I missed you too,” I said softly.
"And I figured this would be a nice way to finish off our last day as quote-unquote single people. A lot better than a bachelor's party--in my case anyways. You know... this will be our last phone call before we become husband and wife."
"Mmmmm.husband and wife. Oh Landon. Can you believe it? We're going to be married in less than 24 hours." My heart was racing at the thought.
"Well if you had told me a couple of months ago, I would have laughed and said you were crazy. But now? Yeah, I can believe it. It feels so right Jamie. I love you so much."
"I love you too Landon. So much.” I walked to his bed and sat on its edge. “You know what I wish?"
"I wish it was already tomorrow. Then we would already be married."
"I have to admit, this whole 'can't see your bride-to-be' thing is pretty tough. There just isn't enough stuff in this hotel room to keep my mind off of you. Hopefully my mom did a better job than my dad.” I chuckled at that one. We had done so much in the day that involved Jamie, there seriously was no way I could not think of her.
I couldn’t help but giggle at Landon’s comment. He always knew how to make me laugh. "Your mom did a great job. She's very sweet." There was a pause, and even though I knew someone needed to say something, all I could do was think of him.
"What are you doing over there?"
"Nothing much. I was just looking at some of your things...getting ready for bed,” her voice was getting softer and softer as she spoke, “thinking of you...of our wedding night."
I didn’t know how to respond. Our wedding night? I knew I couldn’t do anything with Jamie… I didn’t want anything to happen to her. So I just laughed, kind of nervously. "Well let me tell ya... this bed here in the hotel is comfortable, but it would be a lot more comfortable if you were here with me."
"Landon,” I sighed. “I can't wait to be with you. To wake up in your arms..." To make love to you, I thought. I just want to be with you Landon. Just once I want us to be able to show each other how much we love we have inside.
"I can’t wait either, Jamie. I'm so glad that God helped me to realize what was right in front of me all this time."
"It's funny isn't it? We spent our whole lives together yet we had no idea we were what God had intended...no idea that God created me for you."
"I wish I had known sooner. I wish that I hadn't wasted so much..."
"Don't Landon,” I interrupted him. “Don't be sorry. Let's just be thankful that we have this time together. I'm so thankful I have you."
“I….” The thought made me choke up. “I know Jamie. I promise you, from here on out there will be no more time wasted. I want to treasure every moment with you. I'm ... so very grateful ... for what we have.”
"So am I. I love you so much Landon."
"I love you too Jamie.... I love you so much. Never in my life have I loved anyone or anything as much as I love you."
"Landon? I have a confession to make."
"Well, do you remember when I told you not to fall in love with me?”
"Deep down,” I gulped. “I was hoping you would.”
"Really? But Jamie.... I was such a jerk back then. Why me?"
“I fell in love with you so long ago," I finally confessed. “I used to tell myself over and over again that it wasn’t love. You couldn’t have loved me. Why would you?”
"I have to admit Jamie... I fell in love with you quite a while ago too. I just kept refusing to believe it. I kept telling myself I wasn't supposed to fall in love with you. Like that night I spent with you in the cemetery, when we first started play rehearsals. I was supposed to be hanging out with Dean and Eric. I knew if I told them where I had been... they would have thought I was crazy. And I thought I was pretty crazy too. But I just ... couldn't tear myself away."
"I knew you were supposed to be with them. It was all over school that day...where you three were going, but...Oh Landon. When you stayed with me that night..." I remembered the jolt of excitement that shot through my veins when I heard him call out to me that night. "When you showed up there and told me to show you the stars...I couldn't help but fall."
"I fell so fast and so hard Jamie, I didn't even realize it had happened until you slammed the door in my face. Everything I did after that... it was all about getting you back. I kept telling myself that it was what I would have done for anyone as nice as you... but now that I look back I realize that I did it because I wanted to win you over. I wanted to be someone who.... deserved you."
"Deserved me? How can you say that after the way I treated you?"
"Because I knew I deserved it. I shouldn't have blown you off like that, but I did. I knew you were a good person, and we're all human. What you did to me was nothing compared to the mistakes I had made. I just wanted you to love me Jamie."
"I did love you...I do."
I ran my hands under his bedspread and climbed into his bed, the bed in which he slept every night for the past eighteen years. Turning my face into his pillow I said, "I don't know...I just...it's hard to explain. It was like I knew there was something special about you, something different, but you never let anyone see it. I was right. There is something special about you. You're one of the most amazing people I've ever known.” A remnant of his scent was left on his pillows. I inhaled deeply and sighed, “You know what?”
"If I close my eyes I can picture you here with me. I can smell you on your sheets and I feel like you're right here with me."
"You're right here with me too,” I closed my eyes and imagined her beautiful face, her soft skin. “I can feel you lying next to me. I can hear you breathe. It's like... I could roll over and there you'd be.”
"Soon Landon...soon,” she said in a strangled whisper. " I miss you."
"I miss you too Jamie. Just a few more hours, right?"
"Oh, don't start that again,” I giggled. "You're always trying to make me feel better by telling me ‘it's only a few more hours.' Yet...they always feel like an eternity when you're not near."
"I know. That kind of thinking hasn't worked too well has it? I always feel like... a part of me is missing when I'm not with you. You're my other half Jamie."
"I know the feeling. I'm just not complete without you. I'm not...whole."
"Jamie.... you're my soul mate."
"Oh Landon, you're my soul mate too. You're...everything to me." I pulled his comforter up to my chin and snuggled deeper into his bed just to feel closer to him. "I love you so much Landon. I can't wait to be your wife. To spend my life with you,” I suppressed a yawn.
"Jamie, I can't wait either. I love you with all my heart, and I just know that being your husband is going to be so fulfilling. I just want to spend eternity with you Jamie."
"I want to spend eternity with you too Landon. I'll be waiting for you,” she said softly.
"I...” I trailed off. I just couldn’t keep my thoughts straight. She always seemed to speak so casually about her leaving this earth, like she just accepted it. I knew I’d have to accept it too one day, but I just couldn’t. Not today. “Jamie,” I said in a hoarse whisper, “I'm going to miss you so much. I know you'll be waiting for me... and every step that I take in my life I will be walking toward you - my eternity."
"You know I used to be afraid of being lonely, of spending eternity without the person that God had intended for me to be with, but now.... now I know…it’s you. All this time, it was you,” I smiled. “And Landon, you don't have to miss me. I'm right here. I'm right by your side and I'll never leave you. I promise. I’ll always be with you Landon.”
"I know you'll be Jamie. I'll always be able to find you if I just close my eyes... you'll be there. And I'm glad that you're the one God chose for me.”
"So am I. I love you so much Landon.”
“I love you too Jamie... I love you too.”
There was a long silence, and I thought for a minute that the phones had cut out. “Jamie? You still there?”
“Yes. It’s just that…I …I don't what to say...I’m just sitting here aching. I want to be with you so badly Landon.
“I know. I want to be with you too.”
“Tomorrow,” I said trying to convince myself that I could make it until then.
“Yes – tomorrow and you know what comes after tomorrow?”
“Forever,” I could hear her smiling into the phone. “Good night Jamie. I love you.”
“Good night Landon. I love you too.”
I woke up next morning to the annoying buzz of the clock radio that was standard in the hotel. On any other day I would have just swatted at it until it turned off and then gone back to sleep… but not this time. I sat straight up in bed, looking around me and then at the time.
‘This is it!
Landon, this is your wedding day.’
I could feel my heart pounding as I got up. I took a shower, and then I grabbed my suit and piled everything into the car. I had to meet my dad at the church to get ready. My mom’s car was already there, and so was my dad’s. I ran into my mom as I walked through the sanctuary toward the back of the building.
“Landon, your father is waiting for you in the back. And be careful where you look, your bride-to-be is already here.”
“Thanks mom.” I gave her a kiss on the cheek and headed into the back hallway.
The last time I had been there was when Jamie showed me around. The day I knew that I would marry her someday. I could still remember the way she looked, standing in the sunlight as it streamed through the windows.
“Hey Landon,” I was greeted by my dad as I walked down the hallway. “I’ve got to get something out of my car, but then I’ll be right back. I’ve got my stuff in that room over there.” He pointed to the room that Jamie had showed me a few months earlier.
“Alright dad, I’ll see you in a few.”
I put my suit up on a hook on the wall and looked around. The room was pretty big, definitely enough space for my dad and I to get ready. I glanced quickly out the windows, but they had planned the church well and the groom’s room was on the side facing away from the bride’s chambers outside. I looked at my watch.
‘Just one more hour, Landon. One hour.’
I stood looking out the window of the bride’s room and thought back on how much my life had changed in the past few months. Memories of Landon’s beginning and mine played through my mind.
We had started off as acquaintances, both of us assuming we knew the other and both of being proved wrong by the image we had built up in our minds. To me he was always that rebellious boy with a good heart. I’ve known since we were children that Landon had a heart of gold, he just needed to find out for himself and when we began running lines together…I was sure he had finally found it.
Our fight…oh that horrid fight that tore us apart and eventually brought us together. As I look back on our path that the Lord had laid out for us, when I look at the Lord’s plan, I realize that I wouldn’t change a thing.
“Yes daddy,” I smiled.
I placed my arm through my father’s and walked down the pathway lined with flowers that led to the church in which my parents got married, to the man I adored, to my future…my eternity.
I could hear the people starting to enter the church from back in the room. There was lots of talking going on, guests being social, laughter, and some tears. I was fixing my tie up, trying to make the thin end shorter than the wide end, when my dad stuck his head in to see if I was ready yet.
“Landon,” he said, walking to the mirror where I was standing. “If you’re going to be out on your own you must learn how to tie your own ties.” He nudged me in the ribs as he walked over and made my tie behave.
I took a deep breath and blew it out again. My dad looked at me.
“Hey, you ready to go?”
“Yeah – let’s go dad.”
We walked out to the sanctuary, and when I looked around I was surprised, almost shocked, to see how many people were there. We still had about twenty minutes to the start of the ceremony but people were filling the pews already. The church seemed fuller than it did on most Sunday mornings for regular services – a hard act to follow because Beaufort was a pretty religious town. I gazed out on the crowd, and I could see lots of people from the school. I picked out Sally, Eddie, Megan, Clay, and plenty of others. All of my old friends were there too: Dean, Belinda, and of course Eric, who gave me two thumbs up from his seat. Most of them were right up in front with my mom.
When the music Jamie and I had chosen – an instrumental of “Only Hope” – began to play, the room fell quiet. I looked over at my mom, and then I looked up to see the double doors of the church opening. Jamie and Reverend Sullivan stood there, arm in arm, both of them bathed by the sunlight. Jamie looked absolutely angelic. The white fabric of her wedding dress both caught and reflected some of the light, casting an aura around her. They took their first steps forward… and Jamie seemed to just float down the aisle. Her face was literally glowing from behind her veil, her beauty shining throughout the entire room. I shuffled my feet nervously as I looked at her, my eyes meeting hers and then trailing down to her feet and back up again.
‘Lord, I know I haven’t been a perfect Christian all my life… and I don’t know what I did to deserve someone this perfect but thank You. Thank You for Jamie… for her love, her companionship… for everything.’
I watched, my gaze transfixed on Jamie as she and her father slowly walked down the aisle. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I knew, as I watched her walking toward me, that I would never forget that day. I would never forget the emotions I felt, the excitement of my heart racing, and most of all… I would always remember Jamie walking toward me, her love shining from her eyes.
As my father pushed the doors of the church open I could hear the sound of music filtering through. With every step I took I looked around at our friends and family. People that fought us every step of the way in our relationship were now sitting with tears of joy in their eyes supporting us during the union of our souls.
Looking up towards Landon, I could feel his love radiating towards me and prayed that he could feel mine. My heart was full of sheer bliss and I thought to myself, ‘Being your wife Landon, is what I was made for.’
For a brief moment I could sense his nervousness, but when I arrived at the front of the aisle and handed my bouquet to Miss. Garber, I turned to him and watched as a gentle, reassuring smile lifted the corners of his mouth.
My father began his reading as Landon and I reached out and clasped each other’s hands. “Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous.”
My heart swelled with adoration as he mouthed, ‘I love you,’ during my father’s reading.
“Love is not boastful…”
‘I love you,’ I mouthed back.
“…or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense, and it is not resentful.”
I looked at the love in his eyes and knew deep within my being that our marriage is what God had intended all along.
“Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes,” my father put his bible down and began the service. We had discussed having a traditional service and decided that there was nothing about mine and Landon’s relationship that qualified as traditional.
“Marriage is a sacrament. It’s a vow taken between two people, two hearts, two souls and by taking these vows they no longer live their lives as two separate entities, but as one person, one heart and one soul.” He turned and looked at both of us and said, “Jamie and Landon asked me if they could prepare their own vows.” He looked at Landon and nodded, inviting him to begin.
“Jamie, before I met you I thought I was complete, but my world was empty and dark. Something felt absent. I thought it was just a part of living here on earth. I was wrong. You were the light that illuminated the shadows. Your love brought new meaning to my world and to my life. The path we took to reach this day wasn't always easy, but I knew I could always count on you to be there for me. Jamie, you are my inspiration, my reason for being. When I fell, you were there to break my fall.” I smiled to myself, remembering how Jamie was the only person who saw me for more than just a rowdy teenager those first days after the incident with Clay. “You have guided me and supported me in these past months, and I would not be the person I am today if not for your love and comfort. Our journey together, Jamie, has only just begun, and I will be by your side always.” I thought back to when Jamie told me that her journey had only just begun, despite her leukemia. I knew that by making my vows her journey would become mine… and I welcomed that. “When you need a friend to lean on, I will be there. When you need a shoulder to cry on, I will be there. I'll be the one to hold you, to comfort you, and to love you. I promise you this and all that I am. I love you, and so I, Landon Rollins Carter, do solemnly swear to take Jamie Elizabeth Sullivan to be my lawfully wedded wife; to honor her and to cherish her all the days of my life.”
Reverend Sullivan then turned towards my love, and said softly, “Jamie.”
“Landon,” I smiled nervously. “When we decided to write our own vows I just assumed that it would be easy to tell you how much I love you, yet for some reason I just couldn’t seem to put it down into words. All week I kept wondering how do I tell you how much you mean to me, how much I love you. How do I let you know that without you in my life, all I did was survive but now that you’re in it…I finally know what living is supposed to be like. With you…I feel life. I feel wonder and beauty…Landon,” I put my hand on his face and trailed it down his cheek, “I feel like I’m the center of everything.” He smiled a sad smile at me when he heard me recite the words I had said on our first date. “Landon, you're the reason I wake up every morning, the reason I fight. With you in my life, I know that I can face anything. You give me so much strength, so much courage to face what I was so afraid to face before. You're my best friend, my world, my soul mate. You're my every waking thought, my one and only dream, the air I breathe and my life after death so I, Jamie Elizabeth Sullivan do solemnly swear to take Landon Rollins Carter to be my lawfully wedded husband; to honor him and to cherish him all the days of my life”
We looked at each other with such sorrow at that moment for with those words, “all the days of my life,” we both knew that they were few, but they were worth it.
“Let us bow our heads in prayer,” Reverend Sullivan said. “Heavenly Father. You bring us here together today to celebrate the joining of two souls. We ask that you grant them peace and everlasting love. Lord we ask your blessing upon the symbols of holy matrimony and pray that these rings will be looked upon as gifts from the heart and a reminder of their eternal love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
After Reverend Sullivan concluded the prayer, he motioned toward me to begin the passing of the rings. I looked to my dad, who was standing behind me with ring in hand. I took it from him and took hold of Jamie’s left hand, gently sliding the ring onto her finger.
“I give you this ring as a symbol of my vows and my eternal love for you.” Breaking a little from the script, I lifted Jamie’s hand to my lips and placed a kiss on her knuckle, just above the ring. I looked up into her eyes and smiled with all my love and adoration.
Jamie then turned to Miss Garber, who handed to her the ring that Jamie had chosen for me. She took my hand in her soft and gentle grasp, and she slipped my ring on to my fourth finger.
“I give you this ring,” she said to me, returning my gaze and my smile, “as a symbol of my vows and my eternal love for you.” Following my lead she lifted my hand to her lips and placed a soft kiss above my ring.
“By the power vested in me by the state of North Carolina,” Reverend Sullivan cleared his throat and backhanded tears from his eyes. “It is my privilege…my honor, to pronounce you husband and wife.” He turned to look at me and said, “Landon, you may kiss your bride.”
I drew in another deep breath and turned toward Jamie. My heart fluttered with anticipation as I lifted her face in my hands and I leaned in toward her. Our noses rubbed softly, and my lips opened to brush against hers. Time seemed to stand still as our lips touched, and it was like I was experiencing our first kiss all over again. Finally, my lips closed over hers. Even though the kiss was short and innocent, I could feel the love and passion flowing from her to me. When we backed apart, my heart was swelling with happiness. Jamie and I were married… just as God had intended it to be.
I felt his hands lift towards my face and watched his eyes as his lips drew closer to mine. He rubbed his nose gently across mine as my hands grasped onto his elbows. I could feel his breath mingling with mine as his open lips fluttered against my own. Until finally…his mouth closed upon mine and we sealed our vows. Husband and wife. We gently eased apart and smiled into each other’s faces.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” my father announced. “May I introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Landon and Jamie Carter.”
The End! Thank you and goodnight….
If you’d like to read more about Jamie and Landon’s summer together please read Jamie Sommers’ A Perfect Summer. Thanks for sticking with us!