AUTHOR: Aeriel Holman
ACTIVITY: Midterm Short Story
Approx. Words: 860
DATE: April 2, 2012 (approx. created)
NOTES: This was in class in my Eng. 11 for our midterm assignment. It was worth fifty points (and I got 46, woot!). The prompt I choice was "one character trying to share in another character's happiness." Interestingly enough, I had been watching a lot of Say Yes to the Dress the Sunday previous to the test. So this literally came to mind in an instant when I read the prompt. Since this was the second half of the test, I was working in a time limit, and just rolled with it. However, I wanted to do things a bit different, and purposely left things ambiguous-like and played with societal gender expectations a little (not too much though, I still wanted to finish this quickly). This is a cleaned up version. It is rather sad… but if it is liked enough, I might write a follow-up with a happier ending.
Oscar was waiting at the alter. Oh, it wasn't his wedding, by the way. He was simply standing, staring out amongst the sluggish flow of people he thought of as family. I certainly thought he could be family. We should have adopted him when we had the chance…
Well, they faltered, and there's nothing to be done about it now.
Oscar's eyes—ones my own mother had said were the loveliest blue the French brought over—were still red from the bachelor party from the previous night. The poor guy was teetering back and forth on his heels like a rocking horse, looking worse and worse with every passing second. His shirt wasn't tucked and his mind was obviously elsewhere by the slack-jawed expression he had on. He was probably searching for the groom.
I often wondered why it was that Oscar continued to follow my brother around. Yeah, they had been friends since the prepubescent days of junior high school, but to be honest, Matt was a jackass.
Speaking of the devil… I glanced down at my cell as it buzzed in my satin-gloved hands. It was my older brother, asking me to ask Oscar if he still had the rings. The words that caused me to raise my freshly tweezed brow were "rings" and "still." Turning to the poor fellow beside me, I began "Hey, do you have—"
I was promptly cut off by Oscar jumping at my voice. For a second I feared I had been too abrupt or too loud in the grace of the Catholic Church, but the murmur of my heavy, overly saccharine family rising to the rafters could not have stood out too much.
"Sorry," he mumbled, clutching his forehead (oh, yeah, hangover). He ruffled the dark locks that curled naturally. As a kid, it was my favorite thing about him. "I didn't…" he sighed, then peered sheepishly between stray strands of inky blackness, "I mean, I wasn't paying attention."
"Matt wants to know if you got the ring," I continued on as if uninterrupted, and held up my phone. Oscar reached for the phone, but paused suddenly as the bride's side of the family pushed past the squeaking double doors with a forced elegance and refined, single-file line.
These people had to be a cult. They just had to be… Always and every time I saw them, they're stuck up, stuck together, they dressed alike, and if you asked an opinion from one, you got the opinion of the lot of them.
"Uhh…" Oscar started, bringing both of us back from the distraction, "No. The best man has them."
"Like all weddings," I retorted, rolling my eyes. "I'll let him know he's an idiot. Why would he think you had them?" My voice had venom, not for Oscar mind you, just at my jerk of a brother. Why couldn't he have sent the message to his oldest, and I thought dearest, friend?
As I replied to Matt, said dearest friend lent over my shoulder, attempting to be discrete, rushed through these words:
"I kinda kept them safe while he got a lap dance…"
"Oh…" Immediately I snapped my phone shut. "What a bitch!"
"Chelsea!" he exclaimed, popping away from me. "You can't swear in a church!"
"I can, and I did" I declared, nodding.
For a brief moment both of us laughed, melting the tension at the oppressive altar. It seemed to ease Oscar. His hands were in his pockets, and though he was still as messy as the mere minutes before this, some part of him was collecting itself. There was something about the image of him sobering up that made me feel like a Peeping Tom. I had to look away.
I saw the bride's family gazing around, eying the modest chapel with wrinkled noses, vaguely gesturing to the red rose centerpieces, and heard the word, "Cliché," whispered contritely. The conspirators beside them chuckled in what can only be labeled disdain. For what or who, though, I could careless.
"Why in the world is he marrying her?" I thought aloud, scratching the edge of my dress's ruche hemline. Oscar was stuffing his coattails into his pants by now.
"He loves her…" his voice was hoarse. I thought for a split second the words had torn his throat to a bloody pulp on the journey up from his chest to out of his mouth.
I had to shake the image out of my head as I questioned, "Well, then what about that ring thing?"
"Like I said," he coughed light, gaining his normal smoky speech back, "He loves her."
"Tsk! Not enough."
"Can we not talk? I'm trying to remember my role."
"You just stand there," I bit out carelessly. Oscar didn't talk to me after that. He didn't say a work the rest of the ceremony, or reception actually. The only thing he did was exactly what I said… he just stood there, smiling. As I think about it now, that's what Oscar was always doing—standing there, smiling. The family never noticed, Matt never noticed…
I never noticed.
Yes, Oscar stood there, smiling, but those lovely eyes were blue.