As I waited there in the back room of the small church, I knew. I had that feeling. My bridesmaids smiled at me like everything was going to be okay, but I knew better. I knew he wasn’t 15 minutes late because of an accident or because something held him up. He wasn’t going to show up. It was as clear as the tear that streamed down my porcelain cheek.
I grabbed the flowers from the seat and turned to my mother. “I won’t wait any longer. I know where he is.”
My mother just stared blankly, she never imagined this would happen. Sure, he wasn’t the “nice guy” but he was the “changed because of love” guy. We all knew that. Well, we all thought that.
She didn’t even blink. “Go,” she uttered.
I grabbed the tail of the dress my mother married in and ran out of the room straight to the car. I was sure there were people staring but I couldn’t, I couldn’t look at them. I knew what they must be thinking, “Poor girl, got stood up.” I couldn’t stand the judgement, not at that moment, it would’ve killed me. Jilted at such a young age, not a very attractive thing.
Honestly I have no idea how I got there because I cannot recall thinking about how to get there, I just did. But there it was, as beautiful as it always had been. The beach where we met, where it all began. Where he had once stood and stared at me with a look that spoke on its own. The “Where have you been all my life?” stare. I remember the way his friends were astonished at the way he changed for me. The way he was so attentive, so caring, and so mature. They had all accepted it at once because they knew there was something special. I thought so, too. My heart began to sink deep into my chest. The pain was vivid and awakening.
I grabbed the flowers and stepped onto the rocks on the shore of the beach. That same spot was where we were when he told me he loved me for the first time and kissed me for the first time. It only took two weeks of nonstop dates and time together to realize we were in love.
I felt a hand grasp my arm and I turned, frightened. It was him. His dark hair was styled in an attractive disarray and his blue eyes shone the strands of yellow they had. He looked beautiful in his suit. My heart sank deeper. “Marry me,” he said in his lowest tone.
“That’s what I was going to do.” I realized another tear escaped my eye.
When he saw the tear fall, he gave me sincere look of confusion. “Going to do? Then why do you think we’re here?”
He grabbed my free hand in his and pulled me close. “I know it’s the norm to marry in a church filled with people anxious to see you say ‘I do’, but I thought it would mean much more if we did it right here. Just us. Like it’ll be for now on.”
My heart resumed beating again and I could literally feel its roots grasping as hard as they could to my chest because it was trying to take flight. “Just us?”
His eyes locked into mine. “Like always.”
Then I looked to my left, to the shore, and there was a priest holding a bible staring at us with a smile. Beside him I saw my mother and father and next to them were his parents and sisters. “They’re all here! But what about the others?” I knew my aunts would get very angry of not having been invited.
He smiled his beautiful half smile. “They’re all watching from the church.” He pointed at a camaraman who was pointing his camara at us.
I was shocked and thrilled.
He grabbed my hand tighter, “So let’s get on with it.”
“With what?” I asked teasingly.
His face became serious and a hint of happiness shone through his eyes. “Forever.”