“Atlanta, aren’t we finished yet,” Troy whined? “You’ve been looking at napkins for over an hour.” “I want everything to be perfect,” she answered, “it’s not like we plan something like this everyday.” “Thank heavens for that,” he mumbled. “Really Troy, you’d think with half of Marineville coming, as well as your family from NY, a few of my relatives from Scotland, some of WASP’s highest ranking officers and friends from everywhere, you’d take more of an interest!” “Sorry Honey, but I really don’t care what color the napkins are. What ever you choose is OK with me. You just tell me when and where to show up and I’ll be there! So are we finished yet?” Atlanta sighed. With the wedding two weeks away, there was still a hundred things to do. Troy really wasn’t much help. She knew he was bored by these details. And if he whined just one more time... “Why don’t you run along, Troy.” “OK, Honey. I’ll be by about seven and thanks.” Troy hurried out before she had a chance to change her mind. Atlanta purchased the napkins and hurried out. She’d just have enough time to grab some lunch before meeting Marina at the dress shop for their final fitting. While she ate in the Tower Diner she reviewed her list of things to do. She absent mindedly twisted the ring on her finger. The closer the day came, the more uneasy she felt. “Why do I have this feeling this wedding isn’t going to happen?” She finished her lunch and left. Marina was already at the dress shop.
“Hi, Marina. Have you been waiting long?” The girl shook her head. “This should be our final fitting.” Marina nodded in agreement. The girls entered the shop and were ushered to a large fitting room. Atlanta tried on her gown and looked at her reflection in the mirror. “It’s perfect,” she exclaimed. She had chosen an ivory colored gown, which had an embroidered mesh overlay bodice and a Georgette skirt. Marina also tried on her gown. They had chosen a periwinkle, two piece with a satin bodice and A-line skirt. The gowns complemented each other, as did the girls. “Why don’t you two look lovely,” the saleswoman stated as she entered the room. The seamstress agreed that no further alterations were needed. “That’s a relief,” Atlanta thought, “one less thing to worry about.” She changed, said her goodbyes and started on her next errand. She stopped at the florist, the bakery, the photographers and the supermarket. “That about does it, for today anyway! Boy am I beat.” She took a hot shower and put on her lounging pajamas. Troy arrived on time. “Atlanta, why aren’t you ready to go?” “Troy would you mind if we just stayed in tonight? Maybe we can order a pizza and watch a movie-just the two of us.” “OK Honey, if that’s what you want. I’ll tell Phones and Marina.”
Several hours later Troy said, “You’re awfully quiet Atlanta. Are you angry about the napkins?” “What...Oh, no I forgot about that.” Troy smiled and jokingly asked, “Well, you’re not having second thoughts about marrying me are you?” Atlanta burst into tears. More serious he asked, “What’s wrong Honey?” “I’m...I’m just...just afraid the wedding isn’t going to happen,” she stammered between sobs. Trying to comfort her he laughed, “Atlanta don’t be silly, of course it’s going to happen. You’re just over tired. Not even Titan himself, could stop me from marrying you.” “Really?” “Yes, really!” He held her close. After awhile she fell asleep. He covered her with a blanket and left. Driving home Troy made a mental note to be more helpful.
The next day, while doing routine maintenance on Stingray, Phones asked Troy if Atlanta was OK. “I think she’s just a little stressed right now, Phones. I know I haven’t been much help. She has this crazy idea the wedding isn’t going to happen.” “You mean she’s afraid you won’t show?” “No, it’s not that,” Troy shook his head, “I guess I don’t know what it is.” “What about Marina, Troy? Do you still have feelings for her?” “Well I admit I was a little enthralled by her in the beginning.” “A little,” Phones interrupted, “why you even wrote that stupid song about her.” Troy frowned. “You have to give Atlanta a lot of credit Troy,” Phones continued, “not many girls would have ignored your indiscretions.” “Hey, who’s side are you on anyway,” Troy laughed? “Well Troy it’s true. Some other girl would have called it a day and found someone else. And it’s not like Atlanta didn’t have other offers.” “What?” “A lot of guys have been interested in her Troy, you just didn’t bother to notice.” “Yeah, like who?” Phones’ remark completely threw Troy off guard. “Well Brad Holden for starters. Preston from the oil rig and don’t forget Captain Jordan.” “Jordan,” Troy snapped, “is a big headed loudmouth.” “Regardless Troy, he was interested in her. Oh and don’t forget Johnny Swoonara.” “OK, OK I get the picture,” Troy admitted grumpily. “Anyway you made the right choice.” “Deep down I know that Phones, but sometimes the thought of being with one person the rest of my life...well it scares me.” “Atlanta is a wonderful girl, Troy.” “Yeah I know it. Hey speaking of wonderful girls,” Troy said trying to change the subject, “I hear Maggie is coming to the wedding”. “I’m way ahead of you on that one Troy,” Phones said and they both laughed.
Despite Troy’s re-assurance Atlanta remained tense. She couldn’t relax, nor could she shake that feeling that had haunted her for weeks. The next 2 weeks were a blur. Phones threw Troy a Bachelor party and Marina gave Atlanta a bridal shower. Troy’s family arrived from New York just in time for the rehearsal dinner. Lt. Fisher fetched Barry Byrne from the orphanage. The boy was excited to be in the wedding. Other guests began to arrive.
On the day of the wedding Commander Sam Shore awoke early. He had waited almost twenty four years for this day. He could hardly contain his happiness. If only Elaine were there to enjoy it with him. He peaked in on Atlanta, who was still sleeping. “I’ll let her sleep a little longer. She needs the rest.” As he passed the mirror in the hall he realized he was smiling, beaming actually. He chuckled at the site. “Yeah, Troy’s a great guy,” he thought. “A man couldn’t ask for a better son-in-law.” About thirty minutes later, Atlanta awoke to the smell of coffee. She put on her robe and went down to join her father. “Well you’re up early,” she teased, “what’s the occasion?” She gave him a hug and grabbed a cup of coffee. “Sure is a beautiful Spring day.” “Yes it is.” “I’ll make breakfast,” the Commander said. “I must be dreaming! I’ve never known you to cook.” “Quit kidding Atlanta. So what’ll it be? Eggs or pancakes?” “Just toast for me Father. I’m to nervous to eat anything else.” “Relax Baby. Everything will go according to plan.” “Don’t forget Father we’re having Brunch with the Tempests tomorrow before Troy and I leave for Aruba.” They ate in silence. Marina arrived a short time later. She helped Atlanta finish packing. They sat around listening to Duke Dexter’s latest disc. “It’s a shame Duke couldn’t make it. Phones’ niece will be real disappointed.” Marina nodded in agreement. They did their nails, hair and make up while they sipped champagne. “Phones’ niece will meet us at the church. She’s excited to be a Jr. Bridesmaid.”
The photographer arrived on schedule. At last it was time to get dressed. Sam Shore called Atlanta to help him with his Military decorations. As she stepped into the room, Sam Shore stopped fumbling and muttering and stared at his daughter. “What is it Father?” Finally he was able to speak. “Atlanta, you look just like your mother did twenty five years ago. You’re beautiful Baby.” “Thank you Father.” He turned to Marina and whistled. “Marina, if I were only a few years younger!” Marina smiled. “Oh Father really,” Atlanta laughed. She fixed his medals and gave him a kiss on the cheek. The limo arrived right on schedule. Atlanta found herself beginning to relax for the first time in weeks. Meanwhile at the church Troy paced back and forth to the strains of organ music. The guests had started to arrive and the ushers escorted them to their seats. “Are you sure you have the rings Phones? How about the license?” “Relax Skipper, I’ve got it covered.” “Is Atlanta here yet?” “No, not yet Troy. It’s still early. Don’t tell me you’re afraid she changed her mind,” he laughed. Troy’s face clouded. “I wouldn’t worry about that Troy. I was just kidding.” “Oh, uh very funny Phones.”
There was a knock at the door and Lt. Fisher walked in, followed by Barry. “Troy, she’s here!” Troy’s face brightened. “The Chaplin wants us to get in place. The Honor Guard is all present too.” Phones patted Troy on the back. “Just think Troy in a few minutes you’ll be married. There’s still time to back out, but I really hate to think of you stationed all alone at the North Pole.” “The North Pole?” Troy asked. “Yes, I’m sure that’s where Commander Shore will transfer you!” Everyone, including Troy, laughed as they headed out the door.
The guys took their places just as the wedding march started. Phones’ niece was the first one down the aisle. Smiling, she winked at Barry who winked back. She was followed by Marina. The guests stood up as Commander Shore and Atlanta entered. The sight of Atlanta made Troy catch his breath. She never looked more beautiful. Any doubts that might have been in the back of his mind faded. He knew this was right. Atlanta bent to kiss her father and turned to stand with Troy.
“Welcome,” the Chaplain said. “We have gathered here today to witness the marriage of Troy and Atlanta. The foundation of marriage is love and respect that will hopefully grow into a bond too strong to break. Together you’ll find you can accomplish anything. You’ll be better together than apart. “Do you Atlanta choose Troy to be your husband, to share your life, to have and to hold, for better and worse, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forward, now and all the days of your life?” “I do.” “Do you Troy choose Atlanta to be your wife, to share your life, to have and to hold, for better and worse, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forward, now and all the days of your life?”
“I...” The sound of drum beats filled the church. “Battle stations,” someone shouted. Atlanta’s heart sank. She knew if Troy didn’t say “I do” now, he never would. Phones looked at his friend. “Say it Troy, just say it,” he willed. A cold sweat broke out on Troy’s brow and he began to fidget. After what seemed like hours, but in reality was only seconds Troy shouted, “I do!” There were sighs of relief throughout the church the Chaplain continued on as if nothing had or was happening. “Atlanta repeat after me. Take this ring and wear it as a pledge of my love and a symbol of all we share.” She repeated it and placed the gold band Phones handed her on Troy’s finger. “Troy repeat after me. Take this ring and wear it as a pledge of my love and a symbol of all we share.” Troy also repeated it. He clumsily placed the ring on Atlanta’s finger. “Today you have pledged a life long commitment of love and devotion, Before all assembled here today, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
Troy and Atlanta kissed. The guests clapped and some of the WASPs even hooted. Troy took Atlanta’s arm and they start back down the aisle which the Honor Guard had lined. The head usher, Lt. Fisher called out, “Officers draw swords.” The couple stepped under the arch of sabers and kissed again. They continued to the end of the arch, turned and saluted. Lt. Fisher bellowed, “Officers return swords.” As customary the last swordsman swatted Atlanta’s backside. It made her jump and everyone laughed. They resumed walking out when Atlanta pulled back and stopped. She looked at Troy and said,” Go.” What?” “I said go.” “But Atlanta, what about the reception?” “Go Troy. You won’t really be there anyway. You’ll be thinking of Stingray.” Troy kissed her again and began loosening the collar of his dress uniform as he ran down the aisle.. “And take your best man with you,” she called. Phones sprinted after Troy. Marina and Lt. Fisher looked at her questioningly. “You two better hurry.” She turned to her father and said, “You’re still here? Well, get going.”
The reception was lovely. All Atlanta’s planning and hard work had come together. The guests all ate and danced, but without most of the wedding party. At the end of the evening, Atlanta thanked the guests for attending. She thanked Luigi for all his help. “Not quite the way I imagined my wedding day,” she sighed. She changed and started to walk home.
Arriving at the apartment she noticed it was still dark. “Guess Troy’s not back yet.” She unlocked the door and entered the hall. She tried switching on the lights, but nothing happened. “The circuit breaker must have tripped when the hydraulic platform sunk,” she thought. Starting to make her way through the dark rooms, she heard the faint sound of music coming from the bedroom. “Now that’s strange. I don’t remember leaving the radio on.” Opening the door, Atlanta found Troy lying on the bed. Chilled champagne, chocolate and fresh strawberries were on the night stand. “Welcome home, Mrs. Tempest,” he said as he pulled her down on the bed beside him and kissed her tenderly. She thought, “Now this is exactly how I imagined my wedding night would be!”
This story previously appeared on the UNITY CITY website, hosted by Robin and Pauline Day, webmasters of the Space City website.