The Wedding

By Joan Wilson

The wedding had to be canceled! That was the only thought pounding in my head as I sat surrounded by my bridesmaids and matron of honour. How had I gotten myself in this situation? I looked around me at the happy faces all waiting for me to walk out there and meet my husband to be.

I couldn’t do it. I had to do it. I allowed them to dress me, pamper me and guided me to the luxury car, which awaited me. I tried hard to keep it together but it was so hard so damned hard.

I arrived at the church half an hour late. My fiancé Steve was already waiting at the altar. The bustle of activities started, the cameraman started clicking away, the videographer had everything in place and I was ready to walk down the aisle to the love of my life.

“Here comes the bride….” the strains of the familiar song started playing and every step I made felt like I was going to my death.

Steve looked so expectant and why shouldn’t he, he was gonna marry me! My dad walked me to my fiancé’s side and he took my hand, I stood beside him ready to merge my life with his. I looked into his eyes and a thousand memories flashed through my mind in seconds.

It seemed Steve and I were meant to be together. The minute I met him something clicked and I knew he would be the one for me. It wasn’t long before I gave in to his relentless pursuing of me. The first time we made love was like nothing I had ever experienced before. It was so tender, so…I can’t even think of words to describe it.

We were the happiest pair, it was only natural that we would be making marriage plans. Then everything changed the man of my dreams turned into a nightmare.

I don’t know when the phone calls started but someone would call then hang up as soon as I answered. I tackled him about cheating on me but he would always deny it. Finally unable to stand it any longer I hired someone to trail him and find out what he was up to. He frequented a house where a beautiful browning lived. Finally I went there. I heard voices. I knocked loudly and of all the persons to come to the door it was Steve in his brief alone. We must have stood there forever looking at each other then I turned and walked away.

He was home soon after, all apologetic saying it didn’t mean anything, he didn’t even know how it happened. I just stood there numb, listening to his sorry excuses. He talked and talked, I wasn’t aware that I said I’d forgive him and continue with plans for the wedding.

I must have because the invitations were sent out and I was now standing beside him. The numbness started wearing off and suddenly the pain was there, intense and needing to be addressed.

My fiancé turned to face me, waiting for me to repeat the vows. To love, honour and obey, until death…it would kill me for sure to go forward. The numbness was gone, I felt as if I had awaken, I shook my head, and stepped away from the man at the altar.

I looked around at the sea of smiling faces – sending me encouragement but for what? To go through with it or to walk away from it.

I searched in the audience for my dad. I looked at him giving him a message with my eyes I hoped he would understand. Dad you really don’t want to give me away to this man. Then taking a deep breath I turned back to face the man who everyone thought I was going to marry.

“I’m sorry Steve, I’m so sorry, I have to be true to me,” I ignored the loud gasps as I ran out of the church. Life had just began for me. I was awake and ready to live.