Part 3

Empath went to visit Smurfette in her house as she was busy writing all the invites to her friends in other parts of the Smurf forest. Empath told Smurfette that they could have Printer make some copies of a single letter to save some time, but Smurfette insisted on making sure every letter had her personal touch on it.

"It's not every day you get to invite all your friends to participate in a major event in your life, Smurfette," Empath said.

"Yeah, and to think of all the preparations to make this a very smurfy wedding," Smurfette said. "I remember the village preparing for the wedding of Laconia and Woody, and everything turned out smurfy until Gargamel showed up with his ghoulish calliope. Fortunately it didn't ruin the moment for the two woodelves."

"If you ever need someone to coordinate all the preparations, Smurfette, Brainy has volunteered himself for that role," Empath said. "Of course, this smurf also said that Vanity will offer some assistance, since he knows a great deal about how to make a beautiful wedding."

"I'm not sure about Brainy as the coordinator, Empath, but I do think Vanity is the perfect choice," Smurfette said.

"Okay, well, this smurf has made up a list of assignments for what needs to be done," Empath said, showing Smurfette the list. "There's food preparations, the wedding dress, the suits for every Smurf, the decorations, the seating arrangements, the music...pretty much everything this smurf can think of, with a few suggestions from Brainy and Vanity. And you may want to take a look at all the preparations yourself to make sure that this is truly what you want and how you want it."

"That's certainly a lot to smurf about, Empath," Smurfette said, taking a look at the list. "You think we can get this all smurfed in time for the wedding?"

"This smurf has great confidence that this will all be accomplished by that time, Smurfette," Empath said. "But even if things don't turn out the way we want them to, we can still have a great wedding and everybody can still be happy. It will be worth all the effort put into it."

"I always dreamed of what it would be like to smurf down the aisle to the altar to marry the Smurf of my dreams," Smurfette said. "But when I see myself with any of the other Smurfs in my dreams, something odd always happens, and it just doesn't feel right in the end. Honestly, I do love the other Smurfs and I do want them to be happy, but I never feel like I can be smurfectly happy being married to them."

"If this smurf was never part of your life, Smurfette, this smurf could imagine how lonesome you might feel if you had to choose among your other fellow Smurfs the one to be your future husband," Empath said. "Not that they are all bad Smurfs, but I can empathize with your seeing how any of them might not to be the one you would feel comfortable marrying, given their various faults and behaviors."

"I guess I don't have to worry about that anymore, Empath," Smurfette said, looking at him. "From the moment I smurfed you ten years ago, it was like something perfect had just smurfed into my life...not that I was comfortable with how you were around me when we first met. But you knew what it was like to be different from your fellow Smurfs, and I knew what it was like to not be a Smurf. It's like we're both strangers to the ways of the Smurf that were just smurfed for each other."

"This smurf knows how you feel about that day, Smurfette," Empath said. "And this smurf knows that we both feel like strangers. Yet you showed me things about being a Smurf that this Smurf has never known about before, things that Papa Smurf could never teach me. And for that I am always grateful."

Smurfette smiled when she heard Empath say that. "I am happy that I can smurf them to you, Empath. You don't deserve to smurf your entire life as a Psyche anymore...not that I don't appreciate what your friend Polaris has smurfed for us over the years."

"This smurf knows you mean no offense with the comment, Smurfette," Empath said. "It's just that now this smurf and Polaris won't be as close to each other as we used to be with our thoughts."

Smurfette laughed nervously. "Yeah, there's just some things Polaris really doesn't need to know about. I can only wonder how much he really knows about me from what you smurf him."

"Only the things that he needs to know about you, Smurfette," Empath said. "What we have between us in our private moments...not much of anything."

Just then, Nanny came in the door. "My little grandsmurfette," she said as she went over to hug Smurfette. "Why am I the last one in the village to know that you and Empath are going to smurf a wedding together?"

"I'm sorry, Nanny," Smurfette said. "I thought that I have smurfed everyone in the village that we're going to get married."

"I'm still happy for you, my child," Nanny said. "I'm sure Empath will make a fine husband for you. I understand that you're going to need a bridal shower of gifts while Empath and his friends attend their bachelor party."

"Bachelor party?" Smurfette asked, not knowing what that is.

"It's a little party that the friends of the bridegroom throw for the groom as a sort of farewell party for his innocence and independence," Empath explained. "It's usually attended by mostly men while the women attend the bridal shower."

"That's not fair," Smurfette said. "Why do you smurf the fun stuff before the wedding and I get smurfed with wedding presents?"

"Come now, Smurfette, you know Smurfs will always be Smurfs at heart," Nanny said. "Besides, you'll be too busy smurfing with your wedding guests to pay attention to what Empath and the other Smurfs are smurfing."

"This smurf promises that whatever happens at the bachelor party, this smurf will maintain his virtue at all times," Empath said.

"Maybe I should attend the bachelor party to make sure of that, Empath," Smurfette said, giving him a look and a smile that means she meant business.

"That's very good advice for a young Smurf who intends to marry this Smurfette, Empath," Nanny said. "You can smurf your fun with your friends, as long as you know and remember you who are smurfing your heart and soul to."

Empath laughed. "You two are never going to let this smurf go on the issue of the bachelor party."

The following day, Papa Smurf has called Hefty and a few other Smurfs into his laboratory.

"Now that Smurfette has smurfed up the invites, I have a mission for you Smurfs to undertake," Papa Smurf said. "We'll need to deliver the wedding invitation to the Pussywillow Pixies in Pussywillow Hollow. I'm certain that you're aware of the dangers of smurfing into that region of the forest, so that's why I have chosen you Smurfs to deliver the invitation. And if they accept, they will need escorts so that they will smurf to the wedding safely. Hefty, I'm smurfing you in charge of Tuffy, Willpower, Century, and Duncan for this particular mission."

"Uh, Papa Smurf, could you smurf another Smurf in charge of this mission?" Hefty asked.

"Why, what's wrong?" Papa Smurf asked.

"Don't smurf me that the great and fearless Hefty Smurf is smurfing cold feet about smurfing to Pussywillow Hollow just to deliver a wedding invite," Duncan McSmurf said.

"I am not!" Hefty shouted back. "I just don't feel comfortable about smurfing charge of this mission!"

Papa Smurf sighed. "Okay, then...Duncan McSmurf will be smurfed in charge. But you might as well smurf them a hand if the Pussywillow Pixies are going to smurf to this wedding alive."

"If you smurf so, Papa Smurf," Hefty said.

"This is the first time I have to smurf in charge of you for a change, laddie!" Duncan McSmurf said to Hefty.

"Yeah, well, don't get used to it, Gutsy," Hefty said. "I can still smurf those whiskers off your face if I have to."

Duncan snorted. "That will be the day. And that's Duncan McSmurf to you!"

"I'm going to need a moment alone to talk to Hefty first," Papa Smurf said to Duncan, handing him the invite.

"You can count on us to deliver the message, Papa," Duncan McSmurf said. Then he and the three other Smurfs left the laboratory to give Papa Smurf his moment to talk with Hefty.

"You seem rather reluctant to be in charge of this mission into Pussywillow Hollow, Hefty," Papa Smurf said. "Is there something the matter that's bothering you?"

Hefty sighed. "Why does it seem like I'm the only Smurf who's in objection to this marriage, Papa Smurf?"

"I'm sure you're not the only Smurf around here who feels smurfly about the idea of Empath and Smurfette being married," Papa Smurf said. "But your fellow Smurfs seem like they're all willing to make Smurfette happy regardless of how they feel of the idea."

"Don't get me wrong, Papa Smurf," Hefty said. "I love Smurfette. I would do anything for her to make sure she is happy. And I don't ever want to see her get hurt. But I just don't feel that Empath and Smurfette are the perfect match. I feel that Smurfette deserves a better Smurf than him."

"And I would guess that this 'better Smurf' would be you," Papa Smurf said. "Why don't you tell Empath and Smurfette about how you feel?"

"I want to tell them so very much, Papa Smurf," Hefty said. "It's just that I feel like I can't smurf them anything without this smurfing into a fight. And trying to get into a fight with Empath over anything...well, I might as well smurfing a death wish."

"I'm sure that it doesn't have to come to that, Hefty," Papa Smurf said. "Fortunately there's a part in the wedding ceremony where anyone who wishes to smurf an objection to the marrige will be allowed to smurf so, which will be your final opportunity to smurf your peace to the both of them. If Smurfette understands and decides that you're more worthy of marrying than Empath, then I don't see how Empath can object to that even if he wanted to. But if Smurfette decides that you're not more worthy...well, at the very least you won't have to live with the regret of not smurfing your peace when you had the chance."

"That's still a week away, Papa Smurf," Hefty said. "I just hope I can smurf up the courage to tell them how I feel before then."

"You're still a brave Smurf, Hefty," Papa Smurf said, putting his hand on Hefty's shoulder. "I know you'll be able to express yourself about this situation without having to smurf into fights with anyone. Just give it time and you'll find a way to smurf your peace."

"Thank you, Papa Smurf," Hefty said. "I may not like Empath, but I'm not going to let him down or Smurfette."

Meanwhile, Empath had a personal talk with Polaris Psyche about what's going to happen.

"You will be leaving this residence to live in Smurfette's house, and you will be giving this one your residence to live in?" Polaris said.

"It's a very big change, Polaris," Empath said. "This smurf and Smurfette need to have a single residence for ourselves, and since Smurfette is willing to have her house become our future home together, this smurf has decided that it's time for you to have a place of your own."

"This one understands, Empath," Polaris said. "When will you be moving into Smurfette's house?"

"Within a week, right after our honeymoon," Empath said. "Handy will be in charge of doing some renovations, and some Smurfs have volunteered to move this smurf's personal belongings into the house when the renovations are complete."

"Then this one will help make sure that your personal belongings are delivered safely to your new residence when the time comes," Polaris said.

"Polaris, this smurf senses from you that you do not like the changes that are going to happen with this marriage," Empath said.

"You are correct, Empath," Polaris said. "It feels like the intimate relationship we have had over the years as brothers and friends is going to end with this marriage. There will be things going on in your life that you will not be able to openly share with this one as you were previously able to. And this one would feel like an intruder in the intimate relationship you will be having with Smurfette."

"That's very true, Polaris," Empath said. "This smurf hasn't considered the possibility that you may end up being the third party of this relationship that's only meant to be shared by two people. But you are never the kind of person who would divulge such information to anyone, and you would only tell Papa Smurf if such information poses a danger to the village. That's why this smurf trusts you with my life."

"All the same, Empath, if it were possible, this one would wish that you would sever the relationship that we have together," Polaris said.

"Polaris, how could I sever any relationship with you?" Empath said. "You've always been there for me. You're always willing to offer logic and reason where this smurf would rather go in feet first into any situation. You're willing to make sure that this smurf and Smurfette will be together no matter the cost. You've helped this smurf control my emerging behaviors in Psychelia. Over the years you've been in the Smurf Village, you've grown into the kind of person the Psyche Master may be offended by, but that this smurf would admire the most. You've overcome all the problems you had about living with a "savage race" like us. You even had moments where you enjoyed laughter at the expense of Jokey's dignity, and this smurf can tell that you don't regret it."

Polaris chuckled slightly at the thought before he cleared his throat to maintain his stoicness. "It was a very unusual situation and experience for this one, Empath."

"The thing is, Polaris, that we have been through so much together that, while we'll have to get used to not sharing the same intimacy we had anymore, this smurf still wants you as part of this smurf's life and wants to make sure you still have a life outside of Psychelia," Empath said. "And as a sign of that friendship, this smurf is giving you the honor of becoming the best man at the wedding."

"The best man?" Polaris said, recalling from his knowledge of wedding ceremonies what that meant. "This one does not know what to say."

"You do not need to say anything, Polaris," Empath said. "This smurf senses that you are willing to accept the position."

"Then this one will become your best man, Empath," Polaris said, nodding. "You are truly this one's Smurf brother and this one's friend to have bestowed such an honor."

"And you will always be this smurf's Psychelian brother and this smurf's and forever," Empath said as they shook hands with each other.