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Part 2: Setting Fire To The Olive Branch
Fast forward about two months later. It was time for the first grandchild in our family to get married! It was my cousin and her fiance's wedding, which was going to be interesting anyway because my grandmother openly disapproved of him since they began dating.
Brandon had been invited and though I explained to him that he didn't need to feel like he should come after what happened, he assured me it would be fine. We got dressed up, drove out to my parent's house (because we were still away at college), drove with my parents and my sisters about forty minutes to a beautiful, restored barn, and got ready for a potentially awkward scene.
Much like the texting conversation, I only remember pieces of the ceremony and cocktail hour. Mostly, I remember images. Tea bag party favors. A bar set up in the silo. Old family wedding photos. A white distressed door adorning the altar.
For the most part, everything went as we had expected. My family whispered throughout the ceremony, complaining that it was too nontraditional. We drank cocktails to curb the awkward atmosphere. We did not speak with my grandmother because we weren't sure what to say. My grandfather, however, came right over to us and shook Brandon's hand.
I should not have assumed that this was the olive branch to restore peace again. Maybe it was one two many cocktails. Maybe it was the emotional effects of the wedding. Maybe it was something else altogether.
Where my memory really begins to pick up is the dinner. We were all seated at farm tables that were labeled with the type of tea our party favors were. The tables were lined up all along the walls, a dance floor in the middle.
We watched my cousin and her bridal party enter the room. We watched the typical wedding dances occur. It was during the father-daughter dance that my grandfather came over to our table. He told us that my grandmother was upset that neither I nor my sisters had said anything to her yet.
Feeling a certain obligation, I went over with my sisters to say hello. I was the first to hug her, leaning over and telling her how beautiful she looked. She was crying as my sisters hugged her next. We stood there awkwardly, when my grandfather suggested that I bring Brandon over to say hello.
Not really thinking anything of it, I went back to our table and said my grandparents wanted to see him. My mother, already predicting it wasn't a good idea, protested. He assured my mother it would be fine and followed me to where they stood, still surrounding the dance floor as my cousin danced with her father.
When we approached, Brandon leaned down to give her a hug. Just as he was reaching out his arms she threw hers up over her head and yelled, "Get away from me! You've ruined her!" It was in this moment, that set fire to the second attempt at an olive branch.
The people surrounding us, just trying to watch the dancing, stared. My sisters, still standing there looked on in horror. Karlee, my middle sister, began to cry.
Brandon took a shocked step back as she continued, "You have ruined her reputation! How dare you?!" His eyes fell to the floor and his only response was, "but you know that I love her." I think this was the moment I knew I would marry him...