...and do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?” “I do,” he whispered quietly to himself in the back of the church, tears streaming down his face.
She wore flowers in her hair. Simple sprigs that were barely noticeable as part of the impressive up-do. I knew they were there, and why.
So did the man standing waiting for her at the front of the church.
He hadn't seen them yet though, facing forward as tradition dictated. A few paces until she drew level with him, time flowing forward too, as tradition dictated.
I knew that the flowers represented grass. She wanted to have grass in her hair, like the day they met, playing Frisbee in a group of friends.
He'd pulled it out at break in the game, and their eyes met for a fraction too long.
I looked at my watch. Not long left. There was enough time though; I'd made sure of that. I just wanted to see that moment.
I thought of my own wife, and of saying goodbye. The radiation they'd given her, had not been able to roll back the advancing disease. Radiation would be my end as well. Soon, but not yet.
I thought of my work, and the disappearing grant money. A total dedication that came across as drive when you were happy can quickly look like insanity when you are bereaved.
No-one wants to enable that. So I had only one shot to prove it works. The fact that that one shot was likely to kill me was a bonus in some ways.
I would see her again as she was before I went to her.
The does of radiation needed to break down the barriers of tradition was substantial, but it worked. I am here, for another 88 seconds according to my watch.
At the front of the church, the besotted couple is looking into each other's eyes and making promises that they will need to keep for only a terrifyingly short time.
In about 4 years and 10 seconds time, my lab assistant will find me, smiling in peace. Along with the data to change the world.