Submitted by Belle Morgan
“This has got to be the happiest day of my life! They’re all here to see me on my wedding day.”
The bride’s joy was immense as she peeked through the darkened rear windows of the white limousine as it pulled up in the driveway of the Bethel Anglican Church. She made a mental note of all the vehicles she recognized in the parking lot.
Tara and her fiance, Dan, had been dating for the past 6 months. She thought his marriage proposal was a bit quick, but as they were so in love, she quickly accepted. She was also very much attracted to his mature ways. She was 26 years old and he was 19 years her senior, and he seemed to know so much more about the ways of the world. The two had met through a mutual friend at his company’s event.
Nikki, her maid of honor, was seated next to her. She shared in Tara’s joy – she was her best friend after all – but felt very apprehensive about whirlwind romances. She had always thought Tara was a bit naive when it came to her relationships with men. The joy on Tara’s face though, was enough for Nikki to keep her comments to herself today. This was to be her friend’s special day, she told herself, and no expenses had been spared on this event.
Tara beamed as she examined her engagement ring for the umpteenth time.
“Nothing can ever go wrong today! I can’t wait to be ‘Mrs. Daniel McKenzie’!”
Debra sat in the church pew and watched the white limo pull up into the church parking lot. She assumed this must be the bride’s ride. What the heck was her father thinking getting married to this bubble-head? Had he not done this before and how did that turn out? She had barely gotten to know his last wife when he told her they were getting a divorce.
At 22 years old, Debra was the eldest of Dan’s four children. She regarded the 26 year old Tara with curiosity. Why would a young woman marry a man who had already been married four times? And he was so old! She had assumed Tara was just a passing fancy. Imagine her surprise when he informed her that they were getting married! Her mother must be turning in her grave.
As she watched the limo stop at the back entrance of the church, she glanced up at the top end of the aisle at her father. He beamed at her and gave her the “thumbs’ up” sign. She thought: “I’m never getting married”, smiled, and returned the gesture.
Daniel was as nervous as a virgin on his wedding day. “You’d think that after doing this four times before I’d get the hang of it by now,” he whispered to his best man and business partner, Eric.
Eric replied, “You think that after doing it four times before, you’d have figured out by now what you’re not doing right.”
Dan smiled and replied, “Well, maybe five times is the charm.”
The most recently divorced Mrs. Daniel McKenzie looked in the rear-view mirror of her Mercedes as she checked her perfectly coiffed hair. She was a stunning beauty at 28 years old and still bitter about the short 12-month marriage and subsequent divorce. She was the only one of Dan’s exes who had not borne him a child. Didn’t want to deal with the stretch marks, she told him, after they had tied the knot. Besides, she said, he already had four. Perhaps that was the deal-breaker, she now thought, checking her lipstick in the mirror.
In the parking lot of the church, she watched the white limo drive into the churchyard and park at the rear. She saw the bride exit the vehicle and walk towards the rear of the church with someone she guessed was her maid of honor.
“So,” she thought, “this was going to be my replacement. Pretty.”
She picked up her purse with the loaded pistol inside and exited her vehicle.