>> the bridal marched played and all eyes were casted towards the back door where the bride would be making her grand entrance, everyone sat patiently and waited, except for a five year old noelle. she was eagerly perched on the church pew, eyeing down the lady in the back corner who was carefully tucked away from the guest. she was dressed like a guest, but had a phone in her hand and a notepad pressed against her chest. she looked focused on something. little noelle tugged on her mother's emerald silk dress, "mom who is that?"
she pointed towards the girl. her mother hushed her, focusing in on the actual ceremony taking place. noelle furrowed her little blonde eyebrows and tugged harder, her voice going stern, "mom who is that?"
she asked again.
her mother, flustered by her daughter's demanding question and wanting to avoid a potential embarrassing meltdown, looked away from the bride and towards wherever her child was pointing too. "that's the wedding planner," she whispered, "she planned the wedding."
the entire remaining of the evening noelle spent stalking this stranger who had single handedly planned a wedding that her five year old self was ignoring. from that moment on, she knew what she wanted to be.
>> "I do." eight years old and already promising the remainder of her life away to a boy she had only met a few months ago thanks to a family friend of her parents. tucking a strand of blonde hair that managed to wiggle loose from the bun her mom had styled her hair in that morning before school, noelle smiled brightly, twisting the plastic ring he had found yesterday after school on their walk home. the proposal was abrupt and the engagement was short lived, leaving noelle very little time to prepare. still she managed to find a delicious wedding cake (a twinkie from brenda stewart's lunch that got if she promised brenda could be her bridesmaid - a self sacrifice, for sure) and a suitable wedding dress (a princess costume from last halloween) all before first recess.
under the monkey bars the small group of kids that wandered over by the promise of being able to throw rice at the married couple cheered and eagerly doused the two in uncooked rice from her mom's kitchen pantry. kissing was still considered the leading cause of cooties, so the two kids opted for holding hands instead.
back then noelle never fully understood how big of a part anderson smith would play in her life, but as the years carried on, their marriage seemed to become less of a silly childhood memory and more of a distant reality in the future.
>> "don't ever let the world see you cry," he had told her the night before his suicide. she squinted her eyes at him and scoffed, not taking his advice seriously. instead she took the slice of pizza off her plate and took a bite, her eyes casually focusing on the tv screen as andy played some typical violent teenage video game with some other kids from school. that was the last thing that he had ever said to her before taking his own life the next day and she didn't even fucking respond to him. that is her biggest regret in life.
jake had been a constant thing in her life that she never took for granted, he was just always around and she always figured that would never change. despite his young age, he was a valued family friend, and basically like an older brother to noelle who had no siblings of her own. he took off the training wheels on her bike - scratching the paint in the process. he allowed her to drink her first underage sip of beer on super bowl when she was fifteen. and most importantly of all, he introduced her to andy, his little cousin that he was saddled with taking care of.
even during the news of his death she wasn't paying attention, too wrapped up in her own world and focused on the nirvana song playing loudly on her walkman. she hardly noticed upon coming into the house her mother hunched over the sofa sobbing and her father in the kitchen talking to some cops, shaking his head. it wasn't really until she saw andy sitting on the staircase that she realized something horrible had happened.
>> the move to seattle was due to college, she had gotten accepted to a few other schools but chose seattle because that was also the school andy got accepted too. the two moved away from los angeles and never turned back, even after graduation. and now going on almost ten years there she lives happily in a modest one bedroom apartment working as an event planner for some big corporation. it is a great job that pays her relatively well, but the entire thing is soul sucking and something she hates doing. instead of her big dream of planning these huge charity events to raise money for the rainforest or a 200k wedding like she had hoped she would be doing by her age she was hosting workplace events for pervy ceo types.