I turn off the car and take a deep breath, putting my hands back on the steering wheel.
"What am I doing? Am I crazy to be here?" I say out loud to no one. I look in the rearview mirror and fixed a red curl that wasn't in place. I stare back into the green eyes looking out. I can see the fear and love that is screaming from them. I had to do this.
I take one more deep breath and put the keys in my clutch and opened the door. I stepped out on my black pumps and smoothed out my teal dress. The cool breeze swept over my bare shoulders and I wished I didn't wear strapless. I watched all the people going into the doors, most I recognized, your parents, siblings, and friends, all whom I known well for the last few years.
I started slowly in the direction of the building. It's been a year since I've really seen you, but I wish I could have seen you under a different circumstance. The steps looked daunting as I approached them. Slowly, I ascended them; counting each one I put my foot on. Fourteen steps later I am staring at the doors that people were disappearing into.
"I can't do this," I muttered to myself, but then thought there is no closure if I don't do this now. Otherwise I will be wondering the 'what if' for the rest of my life. I take one more deep, yet shaky, breath and open the heavy church door.
There was a slight hum to all the people whispering and talking in the open room. A man in a suit approached me and asked me the question.
"That's okay. I will wait to seat myself," I replied. The man just nodded and walked to the next guest, who happened to be your friend, Josh, with his girlfriend. I turned away, hoping either didn't see me. The last thing I wanted to do was explain why I was there. I looked into the room some more, and I could see that all your friends where there. Some were in tuxes and others were sitting in their suits and dress shirts, next to their wives and girlfriends. I looked to the other side of the isle, and I could see her family. Went to school with her "perfect" sister, who was dressed in a pastel pink gown that resembled something I could get from the downtown bakery. Her brother, in his tux, had a snotty look on his face, like he has somewhere better to be.
"Why am I here?" I asked myself. It's not like I got the perfect and pretty invitation in the mail. So I hide in the back. Last thing I wanted was to have everyone stare at me now. I have to keep biting my lip to keep me from asking where you were. I have no clue who I was sitting by, but they never looked at me. And I was okay with that. I didn't need the attention...especially when I don't know what I am going to do just yet.
I could hear a distant voice that sounded slightly angry coming from behind a door in the back. 'Probably yelling at the attendant for not doing something properly.' I shake my head. How could you possible want to be with her?
I can see you up at the front now. Handsome in your black tux and shirt with the white tie, I can see it in your eyes that you really don't know what you are doing. I want to just jump up now and say everyone that is on my mind. But I have to wait; I want you happy. But maybe this isn't the way for you to be happy.
The organist starts playing the melody that everyone knows. If it was at anyone else's wedding, I would be smiling and happy, but hearing it now, it sounds like something to be played at a funeral. Not saying that the person was playing badly, just that you marrying her is a funeral in itself. 'I can't let you do this,' I thought.
I see a figure of white float past my side and I looked up. Her pageant style dress is a bit over the top, way too much ruffles and a bit too low in the front. I was half tempted to step on her cathedral length train or grab the fingertip veil. But it wasn't my time yet. All I could do was just inwardly make nasty comments about everything about her: her turned up nose, the snide smile, too much eye shadow, way too tan. There was nothing perfect about her. All I could see was a fake prom queen, not a bride. I see it in your face that you wish it wasn't here. I hope you are thinking it was me walking towards you.
The priest does his welcoming thing and starts going on about how marriage was a blessed thing. The Princess Bride pops into my mind. As the abbot, with his lisp, talks about how marriage is what brings us together, and how true love is forever. I suppress a smile, knowing it is going through your mind too. I see your bride-to-be nudge you and give you a look of disapproval. I wouldn't do that...I would have laughed with you.
I don't remember the readings at all. I was content just looking at you, wishing I were up there with you. Feeling guilty that I called it quits a year before. Knowing that could have been us up at the alter, making the life-long pact of being together. Even though this is the worst time to ask you back, I plan on doing just that.
And just like a dog trained for a certain word, I snap back to reality when the priest said, "Speak now or forever hold your peace."
There is an awkward silence.
'It's now or never, girl,' I said in my head. I needed the psyching up.
I slowly stand in the back, my knees are shaky, my hands tremble, and I can tell my face is getting red. I hear the person that sat next to me gasped and I could see him nudge the person next to him. Next thing I knew, I had everyone's horrified and disgusted eyes on me. But when I looked up to the front you were shocked to see me, and she was livid in the face.
The priest was even shocked, and asked, "Miss, you object?"
I took a deep breath and said, "Yes."
Everyone looked at each other and back at me. I believe they waited for me to go on, and so I did. I stepped out in the isle and slowly walked up to the front.
"Leon," I started, as I stopped in the middle of the church. "I never expected to find myself here, wrecking this type of event for anyone."
An evil glare shot my way from her. I ignored it and kept looking at you.
"But I believe you are marrying the wrong girl...You're not that kind of guy. So please, don't say 'Yes'. I made a mistake to let you go, and I know this is the worst time to tell you. Run away now, I'll meet you out back when you get out of the church. Don't wait, or say a vow. Please, just hear me out. I still love you, and I believe this is a mistake."
Her family was shooting daggers with their eyes and she looked like she was ready to kill me. I bit my lip and turned around to walk to the back of church. Everyone's head turned to watch me walk away. I held my head high, looking more confident than I felt. The door felt heavier this time, as I pushed it open. The cool breeze felt even cooler against my flushed flesh. I walked slowly down the fourteen stairs, giving you time to catch up, but when I got the bottom, you weren't out...yet. I sighed and walked to my car. My hands fumbling with my clutch, but when I got it open everything flew out and landed to the ground. I cursed to myself and started to pick up the cards, change, and keys.
As I reached for my keys, a pair of dress shoes appeared next to them. I looked up and my eyes met with your blue ones. You had a smile playing at the corner of your lips.
"Need some help, Ella?" you asked with a smile, as you bent down to help pick up the keys.
I stared at you as we both stood up, wanting to ask you if you were out there for us or to tell me that you were going to stay with her. But before I could ask, you wrapped your arm around my waist and pulled me into a kiss. I could feel it was a sincere kiss, but I pushed away anyway.
"Really?" I asked.
"I didn't say my vows. I left her there at the alter...for you. You were right, I was marrying the wrong girl."
And you pulled me in for another kiss.