The year was 2013, It was summer, I was a 21 year old young lady, studying abroad in Italy… It was beautiful. I got to see all of the stereotypical tourist attractions, The leaning tower of Pisa, the coliseum… I also traveled to every single city over that amazing summer. To many different vineyards sampling some of the finest and most expensive wines. Some I may never try again.
It was at a Venice masquerade, a fundraiser held by some of Italy’s elites, socialites, and backed by diplomats and celebrities from other countries as well. One of those hoity toity invitation only events. All of the students in my program received invitations, because we were catering the occasion. We spent three days preparing for it; and set up 3 hours before the event. I came back at the start of the event, in a beautiful evening gown that I had begged mom to send me money for. Adorned with a matching mask, I had made it myself. From across ball room, I saw a guy holding what appeared to be a red rose. As I neared the man, I realized he was cosplaying as “Tuxedo Mask”. As I approached, he tossed the rose gently to the floor in front me. Stunning me momentarily.
” Oh my fuck it works!” Bowing and offering me his hand,”May I have this dance?”
We danced and talked for 6 hours. At the close of the party he slipped a card into my Cleavage. Kissed my hand and said “Till Next we meet, Sera.”
“I look forward to it Daemon.”
Flash Forward to Summer 2014…. I was 22, Damon was 25. He was stationed in Ireland, I went to visit him for a month. He asked me to go out with him. I accepted, our love had been bubbling to rolling boil for a year now.
Skip two years to 2016. Sera: 24, Daemon: 27. Finally. Daemon had just left the military. Our annual trip landed us in Norway. God the Fjords are breathtaking. We Stopped in small town called Hell. Here we went to a dinner party hosted by one of his mates from his first tour. He was a good looking fella, his wife and children were beautiful. During the dinner party, he poured me a glass of wine, I tasted it, it was a very sweet Raspberry Lavender.. I instantly remembered it, it was $200 bottle of wine from one of the Italian vineyards. I must have been mistaken, I swirled my cup, and heard a small clink in the glass. “What the….” I drank the rest of my wine, a the bottom of the glass was a diamond ring. Daemon was on his knee.
” Sera, you have been patient with me, through the PTSD, through my being over seas. Only getting to see each other every few months. Not for long at that. You travelled to me to celebrate our anniversaries and birthdays together. you are beautiful and an amazing chef. I know your restaurant will be very successful. I wish to be there when you earn your 5th Michelin star. When I first saw you 4 years ago, I knew I had to marry you. Would you do me the honor of being my wife, my lover, my future baby mama, personal chef, and gypsy companion?”
“(Call) Hello Daddy my wedding is tomorrow…. I am nervous and exited the church looks amazing, and the field for the reception is looking like something from a dream. I got cousin Sam’s band to play for us! Daddy, Please pick up the phone, Please tell me you will at least be there to walk me down the aisle? I love you, I always have, Please come daddy, bring my brothers with you.”
Friday June 23, 2017… The big day is here, I am so excited, and Happy, In just two short hours I will be Mrs. Daemon Santos. Everything so far is going perfect. The flowers, the food, the Venue. Everyone we invited is coming.. Everyone, but one. He still hasn’t answered me. Will he surprise me? I hope so.. Otherwise, who will walk me down the aisle? Am I going to walk down the aisle alone. Panic and sadness are starting to set in now…
My queue to walk the aisle…
“(call) Are you waiting for me at the beginning of the aisle? Daddy, please I am begging you please, pretend for two minutes you still love me. Walk me down the aisle. “
I push end call, take a deep breath and walk to the big doors… Release the breath. My little niece and ring bearer start walking I look forward to my future, He’s smiling, he’s blushing, He looks nervous as fuck… My heart flutters as it always does when I look at him.
My heart shatters as I begin the long walk. Alone….
” Who gives this woman, to this man?” I glance to my left, and my right..
” I give myself to this man.” I take a steadying breath and take Daemon’s hand. I hear sniffles from the pews. Vows are exchanged. The last he said as he put the band on my finger…
“… To never make our future daughter beg me to walk her down the aisle…”
He kisses the bride, and walks me down the aisle. After the wedding and a night of dancing, I ask my husband, if we can swing by his house. for just a second. As we drive that half mile stretch, I practice what I will say.
” Dear wife, you already know exactly what you want to say…”
” Dear husband, you are right. Thank you.” Still in our wedding attire. I knock on his door.
” Hey baby doll!” I stare into the eyes I haven’t seen in years, eyes that mirror mine.
“Dear Daddy, I contacted you every day for the last 15 years, since you forced me away. I never asked you for anything, I never hated you. Daddy, you missed everything… Proms, graduations, the opening of my restaurant. I forgave you for missing all of those, I know they were too far to travel. But Daddy, Don’t I Look pretty in my wedding dress? Did you have something more important than my wedding? Did the invitation and letters get lost in the post? My text? Emails? Calls? Was I never worth even a simple hello. I lost my momma a little over a year ago. She couldn’t walk me down the aisle in person, the one thing I have asked of you in my life, and you couldn’t push your pride to the side to walk me down the aisle. Well, Daddy this is my last letter to you. Please understand, that I too, am choosing my marriage, over you.”
” Dear Mr. Kang, For the last 5 years, I watched as my wife wrote to you, and called you, every day.. And every day I asked her why.. Why is she wasting her time. She said to me “He’s my father, I love him. He will speak to me one day. If he doesn’t come to my wedding then I know he will hate me. I’ll disappear as he wishes me too.” With all due respect sir. I found a way to make all of her special events over the last 5 years, and I was active military for most of it. What is your excuse?…”
We walk away from my father, from my past, from pain, together. I will never walk alone from this day forward. Even after Death.