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Out on the street, under the building where her apartment was, she was able to hear the voices of two men singing the Wedding March so loud that the entire neighborhood resounded because of their off-key voices. Ashley pushed aside the window curtain, looked at them smiling and then she waved at them. From that evening onwards, her life would change forever. A few weeks ago, Brandon asked her to marry him and along with their two friends, Andy, Brandon's best friend since college and Grace, her best friend since childhood, they decided to elope. The plan was to get away from everything and everyone and get married in Riverhead, a small town in Long Island, just an hour and a half away from New York City. During his childhood, Brandon spent a lot of his summer holidays in this small but beautiful place. Ashley had also seen it a couple of times, and she also was deeply impressed by the charm of this city and the warmth of those who lived there. Brandon had told her that he would soon be selling his apartment on the Upper East Side and would buy a house for them in Riverhead, a nice cozy place where they would be able to raise their children together.
The apartment's door opened and Brandon and Andy still singing came in, followed closely by Grace. The two were... all revved up. Andy still sang holding an empty can of beer in his hand. Brandon, who had spoken and sang up to that point, fell in stunned silence and gasped, checking out his fiancé from head to toe.
"Ashley... baby... you're stunning!" he exclaimed stuttering a little. "This dress is... you are..." With a smile full of pride, he turned to Andy and Grace showing them the wonderful woman who was going to become his wife that evening. "Guys, I feel like I've died and gone to heaven since there is this wonderful angel standing here in front of me..."
"Brandon, please! Stop making fun of me!" Ashley said, trying to stay serious but without much success. "Gracie, you shouldn't have allowed them to come up, you had to lock up both of them in their car..."
"Ah, excuse me, have you seen these two guys?! Ash, I've tried to stop them, but both, the groom and his best man, decided by mutual agreement, to not give a damn about what I was telling them to do and come up to your apartment. As you well know, I'm not particularly tall or strong, so I've been crushed like a little bird. Furthermore, these young 'gentlemen' happen to surprise me with even more 'great news': they've told me that there won't be a second car since Andy's car was officially declared 'dead' just ten seconds after he had started the engine. That's what happens when a woman decides to leave in the hands of two... kids very important things to be solved."
"Gracie," Andy said, turning abruptly and trying to keep his balance, "what can I do if 'my baby' just got sick?! The engine was 'coughing' just a little bit last week. Anyway, for your information, Miss Gracie, yesterday my sweet Mini was doing great."
"Yeah, yeah... whatever..."
"Sweetheart," Ashley said turning this time to her fiancé and looking at him with a little frown on her face, "you know very well that the groom isn't supposed to see the bride before the wedding. This might brings us bad luck."
Brandon looked at her serious face and began to laugh hard extremely amused by the words that Ashley said to him just now. Then he approached her, took Ashley in his arms and kissed her lightly on her sullen lips.
"My love, you know very well that I don't believe in such things. If you ask me, it's pure nonsense," Brandon answered tenderly, wrapping his arms around her and holding Ashley even tighter. "We, my darling, are destined to be together until the end of time and a stupid superstition like this one, invented by Mr. or Mrs. Nobody won't be enough to keep me from seeing you any given moment I'm willing to see you."
They smiled at each other and Brandon looked deeply into her eyes. All of a sudden, she felt her heart beating fast and their bodies floating in the air, but neither of them was really moving. The world around them had ceased to exist, the universe was revolving all around them. Brandon's adoring glance filled with so much love and so many wonderful promises made her realize that there was nothing in the world that could've stopped them being together, that in a few hours they would be husband and wife, that in a few hours she would be his woman forever. Brandon was right, it was just a stupid superstition that certainly would not hinder their future plans. As far as she was concerned, there was not one single obstacle on their path to happiness. They had decided to get married knowing that both their families disagreed. Ashley chose Brandon despite the fact that his mother was against their relationship since day one, despite her own brother thought that she couldn't marry a man she had known for a few months only. But none of them could understand what was really between her and Brandon, the strong bond that existed between their very souls. The only people who had encouraged them to go for it were the same people who were now beside them, the rest of the world no longer mattered.