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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?
    Are you sure?
    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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