Before he became a stranger, he was my boyfriend. Before he was my boyfriend, he was my bestfriend. Before he was hers, he was mine. But I lost him and now, he's my cousin's fiancé and I can't help but regret.

Weddings make me cry. I cried at my mom's remarriage, at my best friend's wedding, at a family friend's. No matter whose wedding it is, whether I'm close to the couple or not, I cry.

My cousin's wedding is no exception. Kiana, my cousin, and I aren't that close even if we're only a few months apart in age. But living far apart from each other can make even the bestest cousins distant; growing up, we lived miles apart and we only got to see each other every few years.

Usually, I tear up when the couple exchange vows but at this wedding, I'm forcing back the tears when the priest asks whoever is against the wedding to speak now or forever hold their silence. Though I'm loud and outgoing, outspoken and an extrovert, I am a coward. I don't have the courage to raise my voice to the gathered congregation and tell them that I simply cannot see Kiana and Wes have their dream wedding. Because before he was hers, he was mine—but I let him go. I don't have the courage to ask him to leave her for me when I refused to stay when he asked me to. Also, who has ever heard of the bridesmaid speaking against the union of the bride and groom? It has never happened before and it won't happen now.

"I shall support you in all your undertakings. I will laugh with you when you're ecstatic, I'll comfort you when you're sad. I promise to love you, to be with you for the rest of our days. For better or for worse, I'll be by your side. Because you are my love, my Key."

They are exchanging vows and I can't help but feel the irony. Once upon a time, I daydreamed that it'd be him and I exchanging vows across the pulpit. I dab at my eyes with my favorite handkerchief – a pink one with yellow butterflies embroidered on it, Wes' sister gave it to me a long, long time ago - and notice that many others are doing the same. Even the bride, Wes has always been a romantic at heart. One time, he serenaded me from under my balcony and I swooned then and there. Oh, how I loved him, how I love him, how I will always love him.

Kiana looks beautiful in her wedding dress, she's positively radiant. Ever since we were little girls, she has always dreamed of a perfect wedding and she finally got it. Her wedding dress is a creamy white laden with pearls and beads; it has a long train with flowers sewn on. Wes looks handsome as he always does but his green eyes are even more brilliant on his special day. His eyes are shining, sparkling with joy and happiness and I can't help but wish it was I that he was looking at with that sort of emotion in his eyes.

I can't help but remember when we used to plan 'our' wedding under the shade of the old oak tree, exchanging vows and cheap candy rings. We used to eat each others' candy rings and share a sticky sweet kiss that meant more to us that anything else. We were so young then, so naïve, thinking it would last forever. I loved him and because I loved him, I though nothing could tear us apart. But he wanted to be star, a singer, a musician, someone famous that people would look up to. And I couldn't understand with his fascination for that kind of world, I was content with my life. I wanted to be a doctor and life as a musician is hard, you never know whether you'll be up or down. And I couldn't live with that and so I stayed away. I knew it hurt him but I knew he understood. I couldn't wait for him any longer than he could wait for me. They say that if you let someone you love go and they come back to you, then you're meant to be. I was hoping he'd come back to me and didn't realize I could have just chased after him. I know now that I was wrong to think he'd never make it to Hollywood because that's where he is now. A rising star, I can't help but be proud of him for proving me wrong.

They say that high school is love's playground. There are break-ups and make-ups, make-outs and breakouts. There's puppy love, lustful love and unrequited love. But one thing that certainly doesn't exist in high school is true love. When I was in high school, I was stupid enough to believe that true love existed then and there. Look where I am now, watching the love of my life marry another woman who happens to be my first-degree cousin. I'm related to the one I love but not in the way I expected. My heart hurts, it aches. My heart has broken again – just like the time I refused to stay and support his dreams.

"And now, you may kiss the bride," the priest intones. I close my eyes, desperate not to see them kiss. I can't bear it. I wonder is I can escape to the restroom without anyone noticing. Once I hear the guest stand up to applaud and celebrate the new Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Balke, I escape.

In my pink strappy sandals, I run away. Like Cinderella did when the clock struck midnight, but the difference is, no prince is going to chase after me because the prince is married to Cinderella's cousin.

I am a coward and so I run. I hide, hoping no one will see my tears and remember that Wes and I were once together. That once upon a time, everyone was saying that we made a beautiful couple. It hurts to realize, to know that that's all Wes and I ever were.. will ever be.. Once Upon a Time.

AN: Please read and review. Thank you very much for spending a few minutes reading my work.