Snapshot 33

Hi, Hey, Hello!

Part 2 of my closest thing to a wedding after a slight musical reprieve yesterday. One day more.

‘Hi everyone! I know we’ve already had a couple of speeches tonight, but knowing our kids this seems like as good a time as any to make them.’ Melissa spoke as the room quietened around her and faces turned to look at her.

‘Firstly I want to thank Mia and Will for helping to organise the whole thing. A party planner I am not and I imagine there would be a lot less grandeur to it all if not for Mia’s attention to detail.’

‘But there would definitely be no food without you Mel, only cake.’ Amelia chimed in with a smile.

‘That may be true, but as a unit we worked better. Which conveniently segways into another unit that works better together.’ There was a loud groan from Ryan and Lizzy muffled a laugh into her hand.

‘Ryan and Lizzy. 10 years is hard to believe. Ryan is my youngest but somehow was the one to fly the nest first. With that came worry. A lot of worry. Then one day he calls me telling me he has a date with a girl who saved him in a club bathroom. Dubious would describe how I felt, but I trusted his judgement. Then he told me about a second date and a third and somehow I was getting a call asking if I wanted to meet her. Naturally I said yes and soon myself and Simon were walking into a restaurant and greeted by a girl with magenta hair and a plum colour lipstick wearing more rings than I even knew possible to wear on 10 digits and the kindest smiled painted on her face I’ve ever seen. And above all that I noticed the way Ryan seemed to gravitate towards her. I saw a version of my son that was a lot less guarded and a lot more happy. Something I hadn’t seen for a bit. And 9 and a half years later he still does that. When he walks into a room she’s already in it takes seconds for him to join her. When he’s on stage and she’s in the crowd it’s obvious when he sees her. His eyes light up and his voice takes on a fond tone every time he talks about her. I’ve seen the way they are with Lexi and it’s damn adorable. Like Mia said, I have seen them navigate through the tough times and strive to be stronger on the other side. I saw the way Lizzy accepted and loved every part of Ryan and we quickly loved her too because it was easy. There was a time a few years ago where Ryan seemed a bit lost and everyone seemed to suggest, wrongly, that it was because of Lizzy. One day he reached some kind of breaking point with it all on the phone and told me that in the mess that his life currently was loving Lizzy was as easy as breathing to him. And I believed him. I still do. Because these two have been unapologetically themselves and fiercely individual over the past decade, but they have helped each other through it all and gave each other a tether and safety net to fall on to and seeing them together is beautiful. So many people have asked me why you two,’ she turned to look at them briefly, ‘aren’t even engaged after so long and my answer recently has become “because they don’t need to be”. Just keep doing you, we love you both.’

There was a round of applause and Ryan stood to kiss Melissa on the cheek as Lola nervously stood up and moved to stand behind Lizzy and Ryan’s chairs.

‘Right, yeah, hi. So I guess it’s my turn to say something because I would like to think that I would be maid…’

‘Matron.’ Lizzy whispered causing Lola’s head to snap down to her.

‘Shut up Liz! Maid of Honour if you ever did make the trek to the altar and well a speech of some sort would be required from me at such an event. So here it is. Um, I’m not like Dylan, I can’t stand here and embarrass her or talk about her pre-Ryan and post-him because I’ve kind of only known her with him in her life. Which I know sounds ridiculous, but um yeah, 9 years, that’s how long we’ve been anything even close to siblings and friends, which makes us a mere infant to Liz and Ryan, but I digress. Umm, I think I feel off my chair when I spotted her milling around on the red carpet at the Brits for the first time and Mum just looked at me and said “well yeah she’s dating Ryan hon” like it was the most obvious thing in the world to say to the girl who had pictures of said man, and band, on her wall. Those posters came down within a week and the universe was good to me and Lizzy came back into my life at around the same time. The thing that has always struck me about Liz and Ryan is that they work fine apart, better than fine to be honest, but together. Good god, them together is unstoppable. Scarily unstoppable. Don’t do team games against them, you will lose. And it won’t be pretty.’ A laugh rippled through the room.

‘But anyway meeting Ryan made everything obvious. I’d heard Mum and Dad talking about great he was and how he fit right in and I didn’t get it, I mean he’s this famous dude, until I met him. This guy who was seemingly unfazed by my slight fangirlish behaviour and made me feel instantly at ease. No diva behaviour. Just a smile and a hug. And I got it, still do get it, he fits. He finished some sort of puzzle or whatever. I’ve been right there while things go to hell and watched them fight through and come out stronger because like I said, unstoppable. Sometimes it feels invasive being around them, but I guess in some ways that’s a good thing. Except for when it’s not.’ Another laugh burst around the room, ‘I’m almost done I promise, Lizzy I love you and Ryan you are maybe a better brother than my actual brother.’

‘Well I’ve always preferred Lizzy anyway.’ Dylan joked.

‘I’m done now. Um congrats you two.’ She picked up a glass off the table and vaguely raised it in front of her. Lizzy reached behind her and squeezed Lola’s hand as Ryan slowly stood up and kissed Lola on the cheek.

‘Ugh, so I guess I’m not getting out of giving a speech today.’ He opened with, causing another laugh as Lola slid into his vacant seat.

‘Oh boo hoo!’ Lizzy interjected sarcastically.

‘Uh huh, yeah babe I know. So where do I start? Obviously thanks to both our parents for this lovely day. Then thanks to all you lot for coming, this is the closest you are getting to a wedding from us, so cheers to that.’ He raised a glass.

‘Special shout out to Zach and Max because one night a little over 10 years ago they all but dragged me out with them and I ended up seeking refuge in a bathroom with a girl doing the exact same thing. Little did I know that that would lead to this.’ He gestured around the room and his hand settled on Lizzy’s shoulder, stroking the visible edges of her tattoo.

‘My life was, still is really, hectic and the last thing I wanted was to bring someone into that mess. But Lizzy happened and very quickly I learned I didn’t not want her in my life. She injected extra colour into my day to day and figured out how to work my coffee machine after 30 seconds with it. She talks in riddles a lot of the time and uses 25 words when 5 will do when she’s in the middle of writing a book. She collects mugs, boots and books and we are always trying to find new space for them all and I pretend it needs to stop but then I’ll find the perfect mug she doesn’t have yet and we find a place to squeeze it in. Although I’m not much better, guitars are harder to make room for, but I digress. I have found her curled up in an armchair asleep with a pen or a book hanging from her hands more times than I can count. I have come to realise that there is no limit to how proud I can feel of her because she finds new ways to amaze me almost every day. She’ll deny it or roll her eyes at you if you even start to suggest it, but she is my rock in all of this. She has been for years and hopefully will continue to be for many more. I never really understood the idea of home being a feeling and not a place and then Lizzy surprised me by flying out to LA for my 24th birthday. I woke up in this haze of red feeling distinctly content where before there was an undercurrent of restlessness to everything I was doing. When I came around properly I figured out it was because I was waking up with a mouthful of hair and a hand loosely linked with mine. And yeah,’ he paused and looked down at Lizzy, ‘I got it. It felt like home. It feels like home whenever I’m scooping up mugs from the kitchen counter and putting them in the sink. Or when the bathtub is temporarily tinted some shade of bright. Or when everything that I do in our house is sometimes soundtracked by a rapid tapping as her hands skim over her keyboard. Hearing her laugh, especially when it catches her off guard, is in my top 3 favourite sounds. And the way she cares about those she loves, well I could talk about that for ages and I’ve already gone on a bit. A special shout out is definitely in order for her patience because she has got her exasperation down to a smile and one quirked eyebrow when I come home with a new outfit to dress Lexi up in. Yeah I’m done telling you all how amazing Elizabeth is because I honestly don’t think she could try to disappear more right now. So all that’s left to say is I love you.’ Lizzy moved her hand from her face and looked up at him brightly.

‘I preferred it when you hadn’t said anything.’ She whispered as Ryan leaned down and pressed a kiss to her forehead before he laughed against her skin.

sign off 2


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