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  • Guests had been asked to take their seats. Our attendants lined up outside; in a minute they would take their places beside the altar. Dad and I lingered inside, hidden from view but not isolated. That's when Bobby arrived.

    Bobby's hugs are the stuff of legend, and one of my favorite things: full of affection, warm and safe. I ran across the room and launched myself into his arms in our typical greeting. He lifted me off the ground and squeezed tight; I felt a pop at my shoulder and tightened my hold around his neck. A few beads trickled down the front of my dress.

    As he set me down, I grabbed for my strap to save the rest of the beads. I looked down: there had been two straps holding my dress up, now there was one. Bridesmaids and groomsmen were making their way down the aisle. Even if we'd had a needle and thread (which we didn't), there was no time for sewing. Before I could reassure him that it would be okay, Bobby rushed to his seat with tears in his eyes.

    The absurdity off the situation dawned on me. I laughed at my broken dress; somehow, it made perfect sense.

    Dad stood outside, waiting for me to take his arm. I walked over with the strap in my hand. A smile, a double-take.

    Can we fix it?
    No.
    Are you sure?
    Yes.
    Turn around.

    He steadied the back of my dress with one hand and yanked hard with the other. The wire came out clean; beads scattered across the concrete patio. As the first notes of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" filled the courtyard, I took my father's arm and started walking.
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