Submitted by Sara Lambert.
The flowers were arranged. The guests were assembled. The grass was greener than green, the sky bluer than blue. The band struck up a perfect slow, jazzy tune as people shuffled down the vibrant red-carpeted aisle to their seats. Women giggled as they clung to their partners to prevent their heels from sinking into the soft dirt and toppling them head over heels into the perfectly arranged, white wooden seats. The Minister stood beneath the perfect arch adorned with small white roses re-reading the script in front of him; his figure ensconced in a perfect halo of light from the afternoon sunshine through the archway. Guests chattered between themselves, the soft laughter of women floating on the light breeze and mingling with the bright chirp of birds in the distance.
Oohs and ahhs filled the air as the groom and groomsmen made their way to the front of the group. Their black suits and freshly combed hair made them look suave and handsome, and small titters from the women in the audience debated which man was single and looking for some action tonight.
I quietly sat and studied the groom. He looked dashing in his suit. He always did. His hair was freshly cut to the perfect length, and he was biting his lip in a way I intimately knew meant he was nervous. I knew I should feel happy for him; today was his big day. But I couldn’t as I remembered, once again, that even though his intentions were honourable he could never marry me because he would always be married to her. He shot me a look of apology and sympathy, before turning his attention back to the aisle as the first of the bridesmaids approached. Unable to stomach what was about to come, I thanked god I had chosen one of the seats on the edge of the row as I slipped out and covertly and quietly slipped away from the group.
Making my way towards the house, I couldn’t stop the tears that started streaming down my face. This was meant to be my day. My goddamn perfect day. And she was stealing it all from me. I would never get married now, I would always have him but I would never really have him. And she didn’t love him. This was all just to appease their parents. A farce that was ruining my life.
Making my way inside, I blindly stumbled through the hallways until I reached his room where I had stored my bag and belongings. Sobbing quietly, I began to gather my stuff together to leave. I just couldn’t do this. Hearing footsteps in the hall I froze. I didn’t want anyone to find me like this. I didn’t want their pity – or worse – their scorn for coming between two people who didn’t want to be together.
A soft knock echoed through the room as the door opened slowly. A large figure filled the doorway, and I found myself looking into the kindly face of his father.
“Are you ok?” He asked, coming over and pulling me into a gentle hug.
Sniffling into his jacket, I replied. “I don’t think so. I’m sorry, but I have to leave. I can’t be here for this – I can’t do it anymore.”
Pulling me back, he pressed a large wad of money into my hand. “I know,” he said, smiling softly at me, “and I know how wrong this is. That’s why I want you to take this money and run – both of you run – and be together. Be happy.”
Startled, I started at the money in my hand. “But-but- he’s still out there.” I replied sadly. “He doesn’t want me. This.”
“That’s where you’re wrong” came a voice from behind me. “We have to leave now, before they realise what’s happened.” He came over quickly and grabbed my hand as we walked onto the balcony. “After you.” He said, helping me climb over the side of the ledge and grab a hold of the vine scaffold to climb down.
In shock, I started making my way down, wincing as my heeled feet slipped and I almost lost my grip. Reaching the ground, I gasped in shock as he grabbed me and pulled me into a passionate kiss.
“I love you” he said, looking deep into my eyes. “I will never leave you.”
Smiling and crying in happiness, I kissed him back. Maybe I would get my perfect wedding after all one day.