It had to be one of the worst situations a woman could go through. I was sat in the aisles of the chapel, about to watch the love of my life marry another. I wondered to myself, how had it come to be this way? But I knew. I knew deep in my heart that this wasn't solely his fault.

I remembered what I'd been like on our own wedding day. I'd been so nervous that I had thought I might throw up. It was strange that I should be so nervous, I'd always known he was the only one I would ever love, and I'd been constantly re-assured by our friends and family that he loved me with all his heart. I'd worried constantly for months, fretting about making our day perfect. That morning I was wearing a beautiful white dress, and I had laughed at the implication of purity. I'd given him that part of me a long time ago. The dress had felt too tight and I'd chastised myself for snacking the night before at my bachelorette party. I had borrowed my mother's old pearl bracelet and wrapped a new blue silk ribbon around my other wrist. Around my neck, resting on the hollow of my throat was the locket that he had given me for the anniversary of our first year as a couple. On my left ring finger had been the silver ring that had brought me so much joy when he had knelt before me and asked me that magical question on our fifth anniversary. These accessories were to bring us fortune in our life together. I wondered how unlucky we might have been if I hadn't worn them, since things had hardly turned out ideally. Our life was no longer together, and that was against all that I had ever wished for.

I remembered turning the corner to walk down the aisle. My father had taken my arm, and smiled as proudly as I'd ever seen him. Both of our families wanted this to happen. When I saw him, that old cliché of forgetting the rest of my worries had hit me. My anxieties regarding my fiancé slipped away. I saw him standing there, gorgeous in a simple dark suit. It was the first time I'd seen him with his shirt tucked in. He'd smiled at me and I forgot that my dress had been uncomfortable, I forgot that I'd felt ill, I forgot that I'd thought that day might go anyway other than perfect.

I remembered introducing him to my dad. My father had scowled the entire way through the meeting, and announced as soon as he left "I don't like him; he's only after one thing". However he tutored me for months in subjects I was less than satisfactory at, he came over to watch old movies with me when I was ill and held me in the cemetery on the anniversary of my mother's death. Eventually my father warmed up to him.

I remembered saying my vows, tears welling in my eyes. The words he had spoken in return to me broke my heart they were so beautiful. But I was about to listen to him speak even more eloquently, even more heartbreakingly.

I remembered meeting him for the first time, this beautiful, messy boy. I was seventeen at the time, he was a year older. He'd crashed into me, smiling and rushing. He was clumsy, unorganised and happy. Over the years, I liked to think that I'd made him even happier.

I remembered him asking to partner with me in classes, saying he thought I would balance him out perfectly. We'd worked together quickly, efficiently completing everything with the occasional light joke from his side and polite laugher from me.

I remembered my shock at him asking to go out with me after class one day. Not for school, he clarified when I mentioned we'd finished our current project. I'd said I didn't think that would be such a good idea, and he'd frowned but accepted it gracefully. Things were quieter for a while but a fortnight or so after I'd rejected his invitation he asked for an explanation. I said that I simply didn't think we were compatible. He repeated his original reason for thinking we should partner in school and said he thought that we balanced each other out. I shrugged and said we could give it a shot. Almost a decade later, there I was, watching him marry someone else and regretting every negative thing I'd ever done to him.

I remembered the times I had yelled at him and berated him for being late for work. I recalled the jealous comments that seeped into our conversations as envy occasionally overtook reason. I regretted the fights and the tears that changed our relationship into a more negative than positive thing. I lamented every wasted second that I could have spent loving him.

I remembered how the happy carefree look fading from his eyes and I remembered the first time I recognised that I was to blame. I remembered when he said that he couldn't go on like this and that he loved me, and would do so for the rest of his life, but he just couldn't keep up this vicious cycle. I remembered the divorce papers that had lain in front of me and I remembered wiping the mascara from my cheeks.

I remembered the amicable agreements we had, sorting out who would keep what, that were much friendlier than many moments in our marriage. I remembered all of the moments when I would down a glass of red wine in the evenings, tempted to call him and beg for him to return to me.

I remembered discovering that he was dating again, and having to call in sick to work. I remembered our own first date and how I had found him so intriguing and perfect. I remembered meeting the new woman in his life – his brand new other half. I remembered being comforted by his sister and talking to his parents as they confessed that they missed me and I would always be like a daughter to them, but she was good for him. I remembered hearing they were engaged, and giving up all hope.

I remembered the invite to their wedding and the numbness that followed. I remembered coaching myself for weeks on how to act, and then forgetting it as soon as I saw them making their promises to each other – the familiar promises that he had broken with me. I remembered staring at my hands as the tears fell down into my lap, and knowing that he wouldn't be glancing at me on occasion as he had been so prone to doing, since I was no longer the centre of his universe and I was no longer his priority. I stopped remembering. I rushed out of the church as soon as was socially acceptable and broke down around the corner. Unfamiliar footsteps followed me. Brand new eyes looked me over and lent me a hand to help myself up. A sad smile said they knew who I was, though I had no idea who they might be. I fell into this stranger's arms and his words gave me hope. I gave up on remembering all together and decided to start living in the present again.