This is from a short story I wrote as a Christmas present for a friend.
Only a handful of guests had shown up to witness this, which was what we’d expected. We hadn’t known many people to invite, and some of the ones we had invited hadn’t been able to make it. The important ones were there, though. My sister. The friends who’d guided us through this process. My stepchildren.
Lyle and me. And Zya.
Lyle and I took our positions at the front of the room. I still didn’t completely understand why I had to take part in this ceremony. There wasn’t anything between Lyle and me beyond friendship and a desire to make Zya happy. But I understood Zya’s logic. She was formalizing her relationship with Lyle. I was accepting it.
Raven Jewel, the justice of the peace Joachim had recommended, leaned toward us. “Are we ready?”
“Yes,” Lyle and I said in unison.
Raven chuckled a bit. “Good. Don’t worry. I have the promises you’ve written, and this is going to be just fine.”
Lyle and I nodded, again in unison, and Raven signaled the guitar player. He changed from a mellow instrumental version of a popular rock song to a rocker version of the “Bridal March.”
Zya entered the room, wearing the blue and silver dress she’d chosen for the occasion. Lyle’s and my favorite colors mingled together in a dress that made Zya look more beautiful than she had since our wedding day. Her brown hair fell in soft waves around her face, and she had a shy smile that made me want to pull her into my arms and just hold her.
But this wasn’t my day. Not entirely.
She walked slowly to the front of the room and stood between Lyle and me. I couldn’t hold back my proud smile. This was the woman I loved, who I’d chosen only a few years earlier to spend the rest of my life with. We’d raised her two children from her first marriage together, and when I glanced at them seated in the front row, they looked just as pleased as they had the day they’d stood beside their mother as her attendants on our wedding day.
The guitarist played one last chord and silence fell. At a signal from Raven, Zya took Lyle’s hand and mine. She was trembling almost imperceptibly, and I squeezed her hand to reassure her. Even though I was at least as nervous as she was.
“Love is not finite,” Raven said. “Although our society teaches that commitments are between two people, love sometimes expands. Such is the case for these three people standing before me.”
She paused and looked at the three of us with a soft smile. “Zya, Holden, and Lyle have shared the story of their journey with me. Zya’s difficult realization and admission to her husband Holden, with whom she had an open marriage, that she’s polyamorous and had fallen in love with another man, a love which, far from changing her love for Holden, only strengthened it. Holden’s wonderfully loving acceptance of that aspect of his wife, and of the man she’d chosen. Lyle’s willingness to relocate and modify his life so he could share it with Zya and Holden.”
She looked at the guests. “Those of you who are here are the ones who’ve chosen to accept Zya, Holden, and Lyle’s relationship and love, and for that, I and they thank you. Love is infinite, and I know they love all of you.”
Zya sniffled, and I squeezed her hand again. My eyes were watering a bit too. When I’d met Zya online years earlier and had chosen her to be my wife, I’d believed it would be forever. And that forever would involve just the two of us.
I hadn’t believed I would ever suggest an open marriage. And when I’d made the suggestion, I definitely hadn’t expected it to lead to this.