Happily (N)ever After

Happily-Never-After

And now, we’re peeling the onion on to the good stuff. I kinda feel like this journey is evolving like the Harry Potter series: at first everything seems pleasant on the outside, but when you dig deeper there’s something dark and sad. Not everything is as it seems.

I will certainly be the first bride to wear pink.  The coordinator said it was good to throw a curveball, give them something they don’t expect.  I smoothed down the front of the wrinkled gown.  We really should have taken more time to iron this.  We just simply ran out of time.  I frowned at the mirror.  My hair was pulled tightly back in a bun.  I looked like a school marm, but it was the easiest way to get the veil to stay firmly in place.  This was not at all how I wanted this to go, but there was no way to change it now.

“Are you ready?” The coordinator asked.

I turned around slowly, “I think so.”

“Here, let me help with your train.”

“Thanks, I don’t really know what I’m doing here.”

“That’s fine, we get that all the time.  You look beautiful.”

She was reassuring me; I knew she’d seen me frowning.  “I bet you’re excited!”

“Sure,” I said timidly.  Now we were both lying.

I gently kicked the inside of the dress to avoid tripping on it and we stood at the doorway.

She put her fingers to her headset and said, “Ok we’re on in 3, 2, 1 – GO!”

I stepped forward into the blinding spotlight.  John stood there, smiling as best he could.  I put my hand out and he gently guided me down the walkway.  We walked down slowly, never once looking at the other, keeping our laser-focus ahead.  The camera flashes were blinding.  I could feel his sweaty palms and I never felt more disgusted.

When it was over he whispered, “I think we have to kiss.”

“That wasn’t part of the plan.”

“It’ll look good.  Besides, they’re all clapping and I think we should do something.”

“Alright then.” I said reluctantly.

We turned to one another and locked eyes.  This was the first we really looked at one another since this whole charade.  My eyes watered.

“I’m really sorry,” he said.

“Me, too.”  I sniffled.

We kissed and the crowd roared with applause.  John guided me down the steps to the backstage area.

“You guys were great! Almost like a real engaged couple! So when is the big day anyway?”

John and I smiled uneasily.

Thankfully, he answered for me. “Oh you know, when the time is right.” He leaned into me and whispered, “I’ll be by to pick up my stuff later.”

I nodded silently.

Backstage, the coordinator helped me out of my dress.

“Are you sure you don’t want to buy this? This is his best wedding collection yet.  I’m sure the designer can give you a very good discount.  I hear you’re close to being married anyway, so good timing!”

I pulled the veil from my hair and undid the bun.  My hair fell into disarray.  I looked into the mirror, my stage makeup melting away.  I slowly slipped off the ring mom had lent me and placed it on the vanity.

“It’s alright.  I don’t think I’ll be needing one anytime soon.”

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