Dawn was just about breaking. Salmon-pink sunlight filtered through the scarlet curtains, bathing Vancouver in a soft warm early-morning glow as he dozed upon his bed, fully clothed and with his shoes on. Suddenly, his whole body started twitching sporadically, rustling his bedsheets beneath. Vancouver began to dream.

Vancouver and Victoria strolled hand-in-hand down the church aisle, donning full groom and bride attire as the congregation tossed hundreds of grains of white rice into the air in celebration. Victoria carried a hand-tied bouquet of white and carnation-pink roses in her hand, to throw back to her bridesmaids after she got married. Vancouver should have felt elated at marrying his long-time faithful girlfriend, because of their deeply entrenched mutual love for each other. Instead, he felt nervous and secretly fearful of committing to a possible permanent marriage, and what he perceived as the extra burden of caring for his future wife as her husband.

Vancouver and Victoria stepped up to the altar, where the priest was awaiting their arrival. He greeted the husband-and-wife-to-be, and opened his Bible to begin on his sermon. Victoria and the congregation listened to his every word, but Vancouver was doing something a lot less than listening. The monotonous drone of the priest’s rambling on made his eyelids flutter, and he began a slippery descent into a daydream-like trance, his sight blurring.

After what seemed like hours to Vancouver, the priest moved on to the most important part of the ceremony – the marriage vows. Vancouver snapped out of his dazed state and turned to face Victoria, the two holding onto each other’s hands again. Victoria repeated each vow after the priest. “Till death do us part.”

Victoria slipped her ring onto Vancouver’s finger, and he grew even more nervous. This was a contract that he couldn’t easily break out of if he wanted to. Quivering very slightly, he slipped his own ring onto Victoria’s finger. The priceless diamond gemstones gleamed with the sunlight permeating the church’s stained-glass windows.

Vancouver and Victoria gazed into each other’s eyes. “Do you, Victoria Johnson, take Vancouver Burnaby as your lawfully wedded husband?” asked the priest. “I do,” replied Victoria, and the priest turned to Vancouver. “And do you, Vancouver Burnaby, take Victoria Johnson as your lawfully wedded wife?”

Vancouver gulped with hesitation. “I do.”

“I pronounce the both of you husband and wife,” proclaimed the priest, blessing both Vancouver and Victoria. He turned to Vancouver once again, smiling subtly. “You may now kiss the bride.”

Vancouver hesitated again, but he mustered up a smidgen of courage. He closed his eyes and slowly began to make a move onto his newlywedded wife. His lips just about touched hers.

“Vancouver! What’s with you?”

Vancouver was jolted awake in a gasp from his dream by a sudden shaking from Victoria. His morning sight cleared to see his girlfriend at the end of the bed, back in her usual garb. “Oh, sorry, Victoria. I had a weird dream,” he apologized to her, scratching the back of his head.

Victoria didn’t seem all that surprised. “Oh really? What about? You’re always dreaming.” Vancouver chuckled nervously. “I dreamed I… I married you.”

Victoria’s smile sweetened up. “Aw, Vancouver, that’ll happen when we’re a little bit older and wiser. For now though, I’ve made you tea.” She handed Vancouver his favourite mug of tea. “Oh, thanks, Victoria. Need some brew to wake me up,” he thanked her, and the two beamed at each other.

Victoria suddenly remembered that she’d made Vancouver his breakfast beforehand. “Here, I made your breakfast. It’s downstairs,” she called him on, and he arose from his bed, carrying his tea. He sniffed out the lovely baked aroma of freshly-popped toast in the air as he and his ever-lovingly loyal girlfriend headed to the kitchen. “Mmm, I love the smell of fresh toast in the morning.”