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First Speech

First Speech

The champagne bubbled over the crystal brim and down its surface to the marble countertop.

There was laughter and chatter in the spacious room.  She poured the first glass and handed it to a man who treated her like a best friend, yet they never shared a memory. They had talked about nightlife adventures, college experiences and career horror stories. She poured the next pair of glasses for a couple who treated her like a daughter, yet they never celebrated a birthday or holiday together.  They had talked about an upcoming trip to a far away place, embarrassing childhood stories about their son and how lovely the new linen looked in the bedroom upstairs. She then poured a set of glasses for a group who treated her like a colleague, yet they never worked together. Their conversations were a montage of mirth, with awkward moments, stories ending with punch lines and a man who was a little too fresh for her taste.

She poured the last two, kept one and handed the other to him.

He was unusually quiet now, and looked across the room: at boxes still left unpacked, furniture yet to be arranged and bare walls that needed painting. He then took a fork and tapped the crystal; its ring silenced the clamor. He raised his glass and the room obeyed.

“My entire life can fit into half this room. I was terrified when I packed my first box to move into this empty house. But now, seeing you all here, I am not afraid. You are the closest to me: best friends, my parents, and my colleagues. Yet it has taken how small I can feel from such a big change to realize how important you are to me. Thank you for teaching me this, and thank you for making this house so warm.”

The home remained silent as they took a sip, and a little longer after that. It wasn’t broken until she gave him a kiss.

Published inVignette