And now here he was, sitting in the living room of his parents' house, with a box of their stuff torturing him. He never thought that this day would ever come-the day that he really lost Ciera forever. Hope-that's all he wanted. Just the hope of them ever talking again would be enough for now. He picked up his phone and called her but she let it go to voicemail. She had ignored every attempt he made of talking to her for the past two weeks and he figured this attempt would be no different. "There has to be something I can do to get her back" he thought. He came up with an idea, it was a long shot but it was worth trying. It started with an apology/love note. Writing notes was like their little thing. They always wrote notes back and forth to each other and it would surly help to explain his feelings better then telling her in-person. He was good at writing letters but he knew he would choke up and forget everything he was going to say if he tried telling her to her face, so he began to write. He threw away draft after draft because none seemed to be good enough until finally, on his forty-second attempt he managed to compose a finely drafted, meaningful letter that said everything he wanted it to.
I'm not sure there is even a way to tell you how truly and deeply sorry I am. I never meant for any of this to happen. I know my original intentions were horrible and dishonest but believe me when I say that I never wanted things to go anywhere near as far as they did. I was frustrated and angry because I felt that our date wasn't important enough for you. I know that's not true now and I know that it's no excuse for me to act like I did. I wish I could take back the past and prevent it all from happening but I can't. I'm completely, 100% in love with you baby. All I want is the hope that you will wake up one morning and realize that you sill love me just a fraction of the way you used to. Please just try and remember all the good times we've had and all the memories we've made. Please remember all the fights we've had and everything we were able to work out and please try to make this another thing that we can work out. Our love was once stronger then anything, and I know if you can manage to forgive me, you'll realize that it's still strong. I'm not asking for complete forgiveness now, I'm asking for a chance to prove myself to you. Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking about you and about how much of a great thing I ruined. I'd do anything to have you back in my arms for another second. I love you forever and a day.
The next day, while Ciera was at work, Mark went back into their apartment. He had managed to get dozens of flowers and arranged them in their room and placed the note he wrote on her pillow. Before leaving, he cleaned the whole apartment and washed the growing pile of dishes making their home in the sink. When he finally left, the apartment was spotless. He hoped that all of this would be enough to get Ciera to answer the phone the next time he called so he could hear her voice again.
Ciera arrived home a few hours later and was awestruck when she saw the house so clean and all the flowers on her bed. She picked up the note and opened it without hesitation. She covered her mouth with her hand and began to gently cry as she read it. She loved him. She knew that she would never be able to get over him but she wasn't willing to forgive him just yet. She missed him, and even though he betrayed her in the biggest way possible she was willing to give him a second chance. The note was right, they had already overcame a lot in their relationship and this could just become another thing they could work out. She picked up her phone and sent him a text message reading: "Well it's a start." Mark read that text and knew exactly what it meant-he had a chance to prove himself. He was going to do everything in his power to prove himself to her.
Weeks passed by and Mark was trying his hardest to make it up to Ciera. He started working two jobs so she didn't have to work overtime, he bought her flowers and jewelry and he told her he loved her every chance he got. It took Ciera a month and a half to finally say "I love you" back to him. He was overjoyed when he finally heard those words again so he gave her a passionate kiss and ran into their room. He rummaged through his dresser until he uncovered her engagement ring. He gave the ring a small kiss and clenched it in his fists, hoping for the best. He ran back out to Ciera and got on one knee. He re-proposed to her and asked if she would still marry him. It took Ciera a few seconds to reply but when she finally did, she accepted his proposal. She said she hadn't canceled any of the wedding details so they could still get married on their original wedding date.
June 20th came around and it was finally Mark and Ciera's wedding date. They got married in a small church with stained glass windows. The pews were full of family and friends happy to see them together. Mark stood nervously at the alter as he watched his five groomsmen walk five beautiful bridesmaids up the aisle. With his groomsmen all by his side, the organist began playing "here comes the bride". Mark turned his head in excitement as he awaited his bride. The doors open and there she was, more stunning then ever. Her dress seemed to just allow her to float up the aisle towards him. They say their vows and put their wedding bands on each other. The words "you may now kiss the bride" came and the couple shared their first kiss as husband and wife. Everyone started clapping and the couple has never been happier. The photographer started going picture crazy and Mark grabbed Ciera's hand as they walk down the aisle and out of the church to start their lives together.
The couple arrived at the reception,which was decorated beautify. There were dozens of yellow roses scattered everywhere. The white, satin table cloths were accented with a gold-yellow ribbon trim. The DJ they hired was top of the line and they served the most delectable steak for dinner. Everyone was enjoying themselves and the couple was walking around trying to briefly mingle with as many people as they could. And that's when he saw her. The girl in the green dress was here, at the reception. The girl that almost ruined his life was standing at his very wedding reception. He wasn't completely sure who she was with, he was pretty sure they were some of Ciera's cousins or second cousins though. He just stood there frozen, debating if he should walk up to her or not. He saw Katie starting to turn her head in his direction and he immediately jerked his head the other way and walked away so she wouldn't think he was looking at her. He walked up to some of Ciera's siblings and started a conversation with them. After a few minutes he glanced over in Katie's direction. She was still there with the same people. Mark nonchalantly asked Ciera's brother who those people were. Her brother responded by saying that they were all different family members. He said that Katie was a second cousin.
Mark started to feel light headed. Ciera's brother noticed that the color started to drain from Mark's face. "Hey, are you okay?" It took a second for Mark to process that Ciera's brother was talking to him. "What? Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just gonna go over and get a drink." Mark walked up to the open bar and ordered a rum and coke. "What am I going to do?" Mark thought "She'll recognize me. If I can recognize her, I know she'll recognize me. What if she's over there telling Ciera's whole family about that night?" Mark rubbed his hand over his forehead and took another gulp of his drink. He heard a familiar voice from behind him. "I'll have a dry martini." It was Katie. She took a seat next to him while the bartender made her drink. "So, you're Ciera's Mark? If I would've known that, nothing would've happened." Mark lifted his head and looked at her "None of that was ever supposed to happen. I was mad that night when I went out and I drank too much. I've regretted that night ever since I woke up the next morning and I'll always regret it." Katie took a sip of her drink and looked back at Mark. "Don't blame me for it. You came up to me and you never told me you were engaged. I didn't force those drinks down your throat either. I was drunk too, okay, we both made mistakes that night." Mark held his drink tighter and tilted his head back to finish it. "Are you gonna tell anybody?" Katie looked at him shocked. "You mean, you haven't even told her?" Mark shook his head slowly, "No, I mean, I told her, I just didn't tell her it was with you." Katie's face softened and she relaxed. "Oh, okay good. I won't tell her if you don't." Mark released a small sigh of relief. "Good. It's not that I lie to her a lot, you know? I just want to leave that night in the past. There's no point bringing it up again and just hurt her more. I think it's just best for everyone if we both try to forget that night and never talk about it again." Katie nodded her head in agreement. "I think that's for the best too. So I guess I'll see you around." Katie grabbed her drink and got up to leave. Mark turned around "thank you." Katie turned and smiled at him. "no problem" she said right before she turned again and walked away.
The rest of the night went smoothly. In a sea of 230 guests, Mark barely even saw Katie. Ciera was happy and Mark was determined to be just as happy. They shared their first dance, cut the cake and the night eventually came to an end. The couple left the next day for their honeymoon. They spent a week relaxing together on the white sanded shores of the Virgin Islands and they started their life together as soon as they got back. For the most part they had a happy marriage. Marks infidelity came up every once in a while but Mark never mentioned Katie's name. As far as he knew, Katie never spoke of it again either. If she did, word never got back to him or Ciera. He always felt guilty about his little secret but he knew it was for the best. She knew the main events of that night and telling her it was with her second cousin would only force the two of them to relieve their biggest fight ever. So he kept his mouth shut, after all, ignorance is bliss.