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Chasing Olivia

By´╝ÜMicalea Smeltzer

Life is but a breath—live it well.

-Unknown



I wiggled in my itchy dress as the sun beat down on my back. Whose idea was it to have a wedding at the end of May? The humidity was about to suffocate me.

“We are gathered here today, to celebrate the wedding of Nickolas and Nora,” the minister stated.

Yep, my mom was marrying my best friend’s brother, a guy that was only two years older than me.

It was weird, but I’d had two years to get used to it.

What I wasn’t used to was the fact that in five months, I’d be a big sister.

I’d been an only child for all of my twenty-two years of life, so it seemed weird to be getting a sibling now. One day, I’d have kids, and it would be awkward explaining why my brother or sister was so much younger than me.

I shuddered at the thought, but quickly sobered.

Today was my mom’s wedding day and I needed to act happy. Well, not act, because I was happy for her, I just couldn’t seem to get over the weirdness of the situation.

It wasn’t right of me to judge my mom or Nick for loving each other. Love shouldn’t be determined by your skin color, gender, or age. When you love someone, others shouldn’t question your decision, they should respect it.

I gripped the bouquet tighter in my hands, wishing the minister would speed up the ceremony. This dress was some kind of itchy and if I didn’t get to scratch myself soon, I’d go crazy.

They exchanged their vows, gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, as they stood under the flowered arch. Bright green grass surrounded us since the wedding was being held in the park.

I turned my head slightly when they kissed, eyeing the ground.

It might be awkward having a step-dad that was only two years older than me, and the same age as my boyfriend, but I knew Nick loved my mom, and that’s what mattered most.

Applause echoed around us and I smiled.

Nick took my mom’s hand and they walked back down the aisle as the minister declared them, “Mr. and Mrs. Nickolas Callahan.”

I took a huge sigh of relief as the wedding party began to disperse, heading to the tent set up for the reception.

When I was sure no one was looking my way, I scratched the itchy spot on my back, sighing in relief.

“Hey beautiful,” Trace, my boyfriend, grinned, grabbing me by the waist and spinning me around. My strapless lavender dress fanned around me. “You looked good up there,” he kissed my cheek.

I rolled my eyes, hoping he hadn’t seen me moaning in pleasure from finally scratching my back. Damn itchy dress. “You’re such a liar. I know I looked terrified, I was scared to death I’d do something wrong.”

“How could you possibly do something wrong?” He questioned, rubbing his stubbled jaw. “You stand there and look pretty.”

“Knowing me, there’s a number of things I could do wrong,” I grumbled as we walked towards the large white tent. My heels kept getting stuck in the soft ground and Trace had to lift me up.

“You are clumsy,” he chuckled, just as he had to grab me around the waist to keep me from toppling face first into the ground.

“Thanks,” I mumbled.

He chuckled. “It’s not a problem.”

We made it to the tent, where a dance floor, a stage, and tables were set up.

Paper flowers hung from the roof of the tent and soft music played. Everything was very simple and understated, just the way my mom and Nick wanted it.

This was the first wedding I had ever been to and I was at a loss as to what I was supposed to do.

Trace gave my waist a slight squeeze. “Stop chewing on your lip, Olivia. You’re going to make it bleed.”

“Sorry,” I let my lip go with a pop. I was a nervous ball of energy.

More people began to trickle into the tent and I felt more at ease. Some started dancing, while others took a seat at one of the tables scattered under the tent.

I saw my mom and Nick come into the tent, and he pulled her onto the dance floor, one hand was at her waist, while his other hovered protectively over her small round stomach.

“Are you okay?” Trace whispered, his lips skimming my ear, and sending a shiver down my spine.

Even after two years, I was still affected by him. I think I always would be. After the man I’d grown up believing was my father nearly killed me, our bond grew even closer.

Trace had been there for me through the good, the bad, and the in-between. He was my rock. We had some hard times over the last two years but we stuck it out. Trace saw me at my worst after my near death experience…I said some not very nice things to him—to everyone, for that matter. But it never fazed him.

Eventually, I grew strong enough to let go of my past with his help.

Those first few months we were together, he taught me how to be wild and spontaneous, how to make mistakes, and most importantly, he taught me how to live. And that’s what I’d been doing ever since.

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