Quiet Ceremony

Brenda’s mom would’ve been disappointed. It was just me and Brenda, the old guy who served as a preacher or justice of the peace, we were never quite sure, and a handful of spacers on the dock as our witnesses.

“You guys said your ship is ‘bout to leave, so let’s get it over,” the old guy said. “Both of you agree to love, cherish, protect and look out for each other, so long as you both are living?”

“We do,” I said as Brenda said the simple word, “Yes.”

She squeezed my hand. I squeezed back.

“Gotta ring?”

“Yes,” I said, fumbling for the folded paper packet. “Two.”

“Show everyone the rings, accept them from each other as a token of your commitment. Then sign this screen.” He waited patiently with databoard and stylus while we slipped the rings on the other. Then we signed.

“Captain—this is a valid marriage and duly processed. Will you accept these two as married?”

The freighter captain lurking by the hatch nodded. “Launch in three minutes,” he said and left.

I just had time to kiss my bride.

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