Inspired by Taylor Swift's song, Speak Now.
Except it's gay.
I'm careful to avoid anybody I know would recognize me, and snitch, or throw me out. Like Conner's father, who hates me, and only set up this marriage to stop us. Or Connie. He couldn't have picked a better person to hurt me if he had tried. Connie had always liked Conner, and always hated me. She'd sent her bigger male friends to beat me up more than once. After those beatings, I'd avoid Conner for a few days, because I knew he'd do something stupid, like try and beat them up back.
I'm dressed as a waiter, with a cap pulled tightly over my head. The only way I'd been able to get inside was because my friend, Junie, was supposed to wait the wedding today, but he'd given me his outfit, knowing that I needed to be here.
I hadn't been invited. I knew it was Conner that had chosen not to invite me. It was probably Connie and Conner's father.
Well, they weren't going to stop me. I wasn't going to let this happen, not without a fight. Me and Conner had been together since eighth grade, and every minute with him had been like a dream. And now, almost a year after we'd graduated high school, I was living in a nightmare.
I remember the day he told me they were getting married. He wouldn't look into my eyes, and I couldn't hold back my tears. I'd asked him why, again and again, why would you do this? But I knew why. It was his father. He's father's approval was something he wanted very much, and he was a huge homophobe. Which is why we'd never told him of our relationship. The only reason he ever found out was because one of his friends saw us kissing on the sidewalk, and had told me.
Days later, there was to be a wedding.
When Conner picked her over me, it shattered my heart. For all the months that followed the announcement, I'd felt like I was dying, falling into a black hole that would suck me in and never let me go.
I had to try and stop him. I had to tell him what a huge mistake he was making, and how much I loved him, and that he didn't need his father's approval. All he needed was me. And all I needed was him.
"Drink!" a voice suddenly shouted. I realized I was the one holding the drinks, so I turned to find the person. When I saw who was waiting for me, I froze. It was Conner's dad. I stood there for a few seconds, frozen, wondering what to do. When he gave me an angry, I slowly started making my way over, looking at the ground, and pulling the hat as far over my face as it could get.
"Here, sir." I whispered, hoping he wouldn't recognize me. I really couldn't tell, since my eyes were glued to the ground, afraid to make eye contact. I felt him take a drink from me, and I turned and sped away as fast as I could without looking suspicious.
I ducked into the back rooms, wondering which one lead to Conner. I had to get to him.
I wasn't going to lose him. Not now. Not if I could help it.
I suddenly heard a voice in the room next to me that I recognized, and my heart stopped in my chest. It was Connie. She was coming this way. I looked for a place to hide, but there was nowhere, and in seconds, she was walking down the hallway, coming in my direction, talking to a bridesmaid. She looked stunning in the dress, a goddess on earth. Her hair was flowing behind her, and her makeup made her face glow.
I looked over my shoulder, and to my horror, I saw that Conner's dad was staring in my direction, frowning. Maybe he had recognized me.
I was trapped. One way, Conner's dad. The other, Connie.
In a split second decision, I chose Connie, turning back to her and walking past her as calmly as I could, staring at the ground again. When she passed me by, I heard what she was saying.
"...me over that faggot..." I briefly saw that her lips were curled into a wicked smile. It didn't take rocket science to figure out what she was talking about.
With her, Conner would only be depressed. Every day, he would feel like he was trapped, and he'd never truly be happy. He could only be happy with other guys. With me.
We'd always been happy together. All our years together, and I'd never considered anyone else. Every time we touched, it was like magic, and when we laughed together, it was musical. He was the first thing I thought about in the morning, and the last thing I thought about when I went to bed. He'd been my first everything. The first hand I held, the first lips I kissed, the first body I allowed to become one with mine.
He was my first, and he would always be my only.
Even in the months leading up to this day, I'd never tried to find somebody else. I'd just sat in my house, waiting for him to call. I'd craved his voice. But he never called, and he never came over. I knew he must feel unbearably guilty for what he was doing to me, and he probably thought I didn't want to see him.
But I needed to see him.
A second later, the organ started to play, and my heart squeezed in my chest, and I gasped, turning back to look towards where I'd just come from. It was starting. I was losing my chance. I ran back to the main room, dropping the drinks I was holding, my heart pounding. I heard the glass shatter behind me, and the tray clatter and clang on the ground.
When I entered the room, everybody was taking their seats, looking towards the entrance where Connie would appear eagerly. I quickly ducked behind some silk curtains that were hung around the entrance.
Seconds passed, and suddenly, Connie was beside me, floating down the aisle like a fairy, shining like a star. And she was heading straight for Conner, who was standing up by the preacher. I stared at him for several long seconds, memorizing his face, which I hadn't seen in person for almost six months. I'd looked at pictures, and imagined him, but memory couldn't hold a candle to the beauty you saw when he was right there in the room.
He was standing there, dressed up in a tux, hair slicked back. His eyes were on Connie, who was being followed by an adorable little flower girl, and he was smiling at her, but his eyes didn't sparkle, his broad shoulders were slumped, and his smile didn't reach his eyes, like it had with me.
I watch him watching her, and I imagine everything he and I would have. All the years, and memories. I remember the time we spent together. The laughter and tears. The snuggly nights, and the loud mornings as we ran around my house, excited for the night.
The fights we used to get into.
The breathless nights we spent together.
The gentle kisses we shared.
And I was watching it vanish in front of my own eyes. I had to say something, didn't I? It didn't matter how scared I was, or how much he wanted his father to look at his with pride. I had to tell him.
I waited for my chance, knowing that it was coming.
I closed my eyes, blocking out everything except the voice of the preacher, waiting for him to say the words I needed. And after a long few minutes, filled with nothing but lies, the preacher saying how good the two of them were for each other, and Connie telling him how much she loved him, and him saying how much he loved her, it came.
"If anyone has a reason that this two should not be wed, please speak now, or forever hold your peace."
My heart was going wild, and my legs were shaking, and I could feel my eyes watering up, but I slide out from my hiding spot. At first, nobody paid me any attention, because I was way in the back, and nobody saw me. And those that did thought I was just a waiter, watching the happy couple.
"I...do..." I whispered, but it was so quiet. The only ones who heard me were the people in the last row, who turned and looked at me with wide eyes. I bit my lip, and looked up at Conner again, looking at the boy I loved, and would always love, and I thought, say it.
"I do!" I shouted, this time loud enough that everybody turned around, gasping, looking at me with horrified stares. I ignored them, marching past them, down the aisle, and up to Conner. I threw the hat off my head, and when Conner saw me, he gasped, and I saw his eyes watering just like mine. He took a few steps toward me.
"Cam!" he gasped.
"You little fucker!" I heard his father shout from behind me, but I ignored that too.
The preacher, who'd probably never had to deal with this before stared at me, mouth open, and asked, "And what is that reason?"
"Because..." I said, getting quiet again when I saw that everyone was looking at me, waiting. I looked at Conner and spoke directly to him.
"Conner...you don't have to do this! Who cares what your father thinks? You'll never be happy with her..." I looked at Connie, who was glaring at me, and if looks could kill, I'd be dead.
"I...I don't want to lose you." I continued, looking back to him. He was biting his lip, trying to stop himself from crying. "I love you, and even if you do this, I'll still love you." I added, and now, it was like he was the only one in the room, and so, my voice was strong.
"You're the only one for me, Conner. You're...you're the first person I think about in the morning, and the last person I think about at night. When I close my eyes, I imagine your face, smiling at me. When we touch, it's magical, and when we laugh together, it's musical." I could feel tears sliding down my cheeks now, and I sniffled.
"Please...don't do this..." I begged, locking eyes with him. "Don't do this. Please, stay with me. I love you."
I stared at him, waiting for him to speak. Everyone else did the same, and as the seconds grew longer, I started shaking, afraid that in the end, none of what I had done had mattered, and that he chose Connie.
"Conner..." I whispered desperately, urging him to say that he loved me too, and that he'd never pick all this over me. His eyes were dripping tears, and he reached out a hand to me.
"Cam..." he said again, and I grabbed his hand, clenching it like it was my lifeline. He pulled me into his chest, hugging me tightly. All around us, there was gasps of shock, and I could hear his father's screams of fury, and next to us, Connie was spitting curses at both of us, but neither of us looked at any of them, just held on to each other tightly.
"I love you Cam." he said, and I grabbed him tighter, crying into his fancy tux.
"I'm so sorry." he whispered into my ear. "I'm sorry for what I did. I love you. I love you so much."
"I love you too!" I said, smiling for the first time in what felt like months.
"I'm sorry." he said again, looking at me, eyes full of guilt, and pain, and loneliness. "Do you forgive me?" he asked, and I smiled at him, and grabbed his hands, starting to pull him softly off the podium, towards the door. We were going to have to make a run for it right about now.