And then the conspiratorial sideways glances started.

"Are you serious about this? Because I'm serious about this."


"REALLY? Are we really eloping to Vegas!?"


And to her credit, cjane kept things rolling.

She said. "Lets go straight home (did I mention I lived across the street from her?) pack a bag and get back on the road. 10 minutes."

I think she knew the dreaded doubtfulls could return at any moment, and wanted to keep me occupied.

So, we threw some clothes in bags and before (either of us, honestly) could have second thoughts, we were off.

There was giddy excitement, and planning and talk of what scandal we'd create. We joked about getting married by Elvis or where Michael Jordan was married. We were smugly excited about messing with the norm. I lamented (mostly joking) all the free stuff we'd miss by not having a reception.

I think I made it to about Fillmore before I freaked.

Cjane was driving, and I fell asleep. When I woke up everything had changed. The anxiousness roared back to life. What was I thinking? This isn't right. This can't be right. This isn't the way I planned it...the way I saw it happening in my mind's eye. What was I thinking? Who are we kidding? We're desperate. This is desperate!

I think I made some sort of involuntary whimper and cjane asked me if I was ok.

I didn't have the guts to say admit anything, mumbled that I was fine, and escaped back to sleep.

When I woke (minutes? hours?) later, I was teeming with confidence. This is PERFECT. I always knew I'd buck the norm. I love her. I love her and I can't stand to be without her. I can't wait, I CAN'T WAIT. I touched her arm and murmured, "I love you, Mrs. Kendrick, I'm going to marry you."

Pleasant, pleasant thoughts of the breakfast table and her wearing one of my t-shirts as pajamas, I drifted back to sleep.

And panicked awake. Like water closing over my head, I couldn't get a breath. This isn't right. This isn't right. I can't breathe what am I going to do. WHAT am I going to DO?!!

This time, anguished, I said something.

Even potentially breaking her heart, I was asking her to support me. And she did. She said all the right things. Her calm was confidence. In me, in us, in the confirmation we'd felt after that prayer. She talked me down.

Again, and again, bless her heart. All the way to Vegas.

During the good cycles, we'd talk and laugh and plan. I called the Bellagio and made our (WEDDING NIGHT!!) reservation. Her little sister Lucy called.

Lucy: "Where are you? We need your car to pull the boat."

cjane: "That's gonna be little difficult, because were DRIVING TO VEGAS TO GET MARRIED!!"

Lucy in the distance: ".....Mom, Courtney says she is driving to Vegas to get married."

Laughter on our end, disbelief-but-happiness on the other. Then we called my parents. They were just a little disappointed they weren't going to get to attend until I pointed out the fact that they themselves had eloped (to Elko) some 30 years earlier. Zing!

And during the the bad cycles, she'd hold my hand and softly put my irrational ramblings down as quickly as I brought them up.

Rinse and repeat. I flip-flopped almost the entire 6 hour drive.

To this day, I wonder at it. That trip alone probably qualifies her for sainthood.

We pulled into the Bellagio, went up to our room and changed back into our to-be-wedded attire (in different rooms, of course.)

And I flopped again.

And cjane had had enough. Believe it or not, she gave me an ultimatum.

"I'm going downstairs to take a walk. I'm going to call you in 10 minutes and I want your final answer."

And she left.

Engagements thanks to Haley Warner.

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