For once she has fallen asleep before I have. It is very late, as usual, with us having waited until all of the children were fast asleep. She had responded more than willingly to my unspoken request to make love, touching me in the comfortable blackness of our bedroom, moaning very softly and sighing at my own familiar caresses as if on cue, both of us participating in this well-rehearsed lovers’ dance. I didn’t even remove her nightie, simply twirling her tender nipples through the fabric and bunching up the front hem of the modest garment to allow access to the well-trodden paths through her garden of delicacies. Her climaxes came in rapid succession, first at the bidding of my knowing fingers and lips, later with the eager thrusts of my phallus deep within her sex, and one last time as I erupted into her body with a heavenly shudder last left her breathless.
She looks like a little teenager lying there, the post-orgasmic flush fading from her cheeks, and her facial muscles totally relaxed. All except those at the corners of her lips, which have put her mouth into the tiniest hint of a smile. With all the stress the eight kids and I have given her over the decades, my dear wife somehow appears a good ten years younger than I. I shift my loving gaze from her blissful countenance to the large framed photo hanging next to the bed. I swear she hasn’t changed a bit. The moon suddenly sends a shaft of light through the windowpane onto the picture, and I am drawn stark naked out of bed, compelled to stand and study the image in detail before the moonlight is gone.
This photograph has always represented one of the few things our wedding photographer did right. Somehow he managed to get an over/under double exposure, with a long shot on the top half, a shot of the whole interior of the church sanctuary, decked out in as many flowers as this young couple could afford, pews filled with well-wishers and witnesses to our marriage (and even an old boyfriend or two–ha!), the wedding party way in the distance on the church platform. In the bottom half of the montage is a nice full-length close-up of my bride and me facing each other, holding hands, the pastor standing just beyond us with his mouth shut.
A pause in his erudite and challenging sermon? Am I reciting my self-written vows to her? Are we standing there in a rapturous daze as the melodious strains of my brother’s trumpet (or her brother’s violin for that matter) echo through or minds? Are we suppressing giggles over the dumb mistakes in the printed program, or the baby-diaper spot on the best man’s tux, or the fact that my other brother is about to go unconscious in a total faint? No, none of the above, although all contributed in their own way to make that day more than memorable. What’s happening at that moment in history is that I am singing to her, declaring my undying love in a musical solo in front of several hundred guests. And my heart is pounding right out of my chest.
The song is “I Love You With the Love of the Lord”. I do not remember who wrote it, or how we came across the sheet music, but the words fit my feelings for her just perfectly and the tune is in my tenor range. And while I can carry a tune fairly well, my previous public vocal performances were limited to large choirs. I am definitely not soloist material.
And so I gazed into her sparkling green eyes, tuned out the congregation, pushed out of my brain the fact that soon I would be free to ravish this enchanting virgin maiden with my own virgin manhood, listened for the brief piano intro, and began to sing. Palms sweating, knees shaking. No microphone, as I wasn’t really interested in anyone other than my sweetheart being able to hear.
For once in my life I hit every note exactly on pitch, starting out a little soft and tentative, then gradually increasing in dynamic. With each passing measure I felt my own soul melting into hers, sort of a mental precursor to the oneness of flesh we were soon to enjoy together. Baptists don’t generally like couples to be dancing in the church sanctuary, but I could not help swaying a little with the slow rhythm of the melody, and I noticed she was doing likewise.
I do believe I’ve never in my life sung that well, either before or since that love song to my bride. The rest of the world faded completely away, leaving me aware only of the touch of her hands, the slight movement of our bodies in time with each other, of the audible beating of our young eager hearts, of her radiant fresh face, literally glowing with the iridescence of pure love. I no longer heard my piano accompaniment, no longer heard anything other than my surprisingly clear voice singing ever stronger with each successive note and phrase, as if truly sounding out to the listening ear the power of love I felt in my heart.
Her lovely round eyes sparkled yet brighter, and her smile beamed broader as I sang the last clear refrain. The high vaulted ceiling of the church sanctuary provided just the right amount of reverburance, adding an ethereal angelic quality to my otherwise decidedly unangelic voice. As I stared deeply into her soul the echoes of the final notes danced along the roof timbers for a moment, then descended to the congregation below like a soft flurry of musical snow.
Slowly the rest of the world came back into focus, and we perceived a need to break our gaze and look over the assembled guests. And what did we see?
Two hundred seventy people all in tears. Crying, weeping, sobbing out loud. Not a dry eye in the house. Parents, in-laws, college friends, non-English speaking grandparents from Europe, second cousins, church people, singles, marrieds, bridesmaids, musicians. Sighing, blowing noses, sniffling. Every female (and not a few men) in that sanctuary except for my wife was bawling her eyes out. And, I soon noticed, through the tears smiling a little.
Well, we made it through the memorized vows, the soprano solo, and the candle lighting without a hitch. Duly pronounced man and wife and given permission to seal it with a kiss. Endured the longest receiving line, worst post-nuptial photo session, and most boring wedding reception in the history of marriage, and then enjoyed the most perfect and erotic night of…well, that’s another story. The point is this, that everything else in our wedding was predictable and ordinary, and done mostly out of custom or to please someone’s parents. Necessary and nice, but almost something to be endured as much as celebrated.
But the Song. Oh, the Song. People in that church still remember the Song, the time the non-ethnic boy from out-of-state sang his love song to the little girl who grew up in that congregation. Years later I can visit for Christmas or Easter, and without fail an older parishioner will kiss my cheek remind me of how she was moved to tears by my Song. Friends our own age will get choked up in the middle of a New Year’s party when the topic of conversation turns to our wedding and the Song. By the grace of God He used a little-used gift to bless scores of people years after the fact, my bride included.
I suddenly realize I’ve been humming out loud. A soft touch from a loving hand curls across my groin, and I feel the unmistakable exquisite pressure from two bare nipples against my back. My penis springs immediately to attention as I stand with my back to my lover.
She turns me slowly around to face her, holds my hands and stares deeply into my face, into my soul. I think I can see sparks shooting from her glowing eyes, and my humming grows just a little louder. We stand that way for a long moment, listening, locking our gazes, and feeling the body heat pass between us. We begin to drift together like a pair of magnets. By the time I reach the end of my melody we are skin to skin, still holding hands. We turn automatically to the photograph on the wall as the last tone dies out, and watch as the image of the congregation and the crazy-in-love bridal couple fades away with the setting of the moon.
Wordlessly she pulls me down into bed with her, draws my member into her waiting vulva after little more than a brief kiss on the lips. We are once again made one flesh, united in body and spirit. It true now as it always has been: I love you with the love of the Lord.
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