My hair is done, my make-up is ready, the long satin white dress is on, I’m ready to catch my train. I know it’s weird I insisted on getting to the wedding by myself and by train, but I felt like two hours on my own, with no friends or relatives were exactly what I needed before making this huge step. I’m sure the groom will manage the last preparations just fine without me. The wedding is right next to the station, so at twelve thirty my dad will be picking me up.
I must admit I enjoy how people look at me today. Their confused faces turning into bashful smiles when I smile at them are heartening. As my train approaches, I cover my ears. The high-pitched sound of the brakes is hurting them. The door opens and I struggle to get on. The ticket collector jokes:
“Does our running bride need help?”
“I’m fine thanks, and thank you for the train, otherwise I would not manage to run very far in this dress!”
I don’t have the time to explain I’m headed towards the wedding, not running from it, so why not go with it.
Now comes the shock, it’s Saturday before noon so the train is full of families going on one-day trips. Why have I pictured the train empty in my mind every single time? So stupid of me. I walk and pass onto the next carriage and then another one. All eyes are on me. Children are pointing their fingers to show their parents there’s a bride on the train. When I’m almost at the end of the train I see an unoccupied seat next to the window in the direction of travel. The perfect spot. I sit down and adjust my dress, so it doesn’t block the aisle. I smile as I slide my hands in my pockets, how many brides have pockets in their wedding dresses? I check I have the ticket in my left pocket, and I take out my phone from the right one. It’s time to let the groom know the train will be departing shortly. Then I switch the phone off, I don’t want to hear anything about the wedding preparations or guests apologizing for not making it.
As I glance out on the platform my heart skips a beat. I lean closer to the window to see more of you, but you disappear onto the train. Few second later I see a stunning woman reaching back for your hand as you walk together through the aisle looking for a place to sit. I force myself to look away before I can see your face, but then I hear your voice and my heart stops beating once again. The train starts moving.
I lock the door like every night when I get back home from a walk with my dog, certain that no one is leaving the flat until another morning walkie. Nevertheless, this time there is no dog in my flat and somebody shall be leaving very soon, but I don’t know that yet.
“Want some rum?” I ask you as I enter the kitchen.
“I’ll have some on my own then.”
I offer you other kinds of alcohol, but you refuse them all. Although I’m two years older, you are the more reasonable tonight. You only ask for a glass of water, but at the end you get it on your own as you join me in the kitchen. You know where the glasses are, you have been here a few times in the last three years.
We move to the living room. I turn on the TV, but I’m soon oblivious to the early morning Judge Judy recap. I take a sip, put my rum down, and sit astride on you. You don’t object, though somewhere deep inside you feel you should. You know I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t be with you alone at five o’clock in the morning, on the couch, so close to you. After all I’m dating your best friend.
Yet we start kissing again. I feel your big warm hands on my hips. I don’t want them to ever let go. My fingers start exploring your curly dark hair. It’s the perfect length. I can’t focus on anything else than your hair and lips, so I’m shocked when you manage to open my bra so skilfully with just one hand. It seemed like you do it every day, but I know you don’t. You’re only eighteen years old, and you haven’t dated anyone yet. I pull away.
“How did you do it?”
You just smile and shrug your shoulders. Solid shoulders. Wide and masculine.
I want to return to your lips, so I move my sight from your shoulders to your neck and intend to look up, but then I realize you’re wearing a shirt, and I love shirts and buttons. I think you know.
With the fourth unbuttoned button we start kissing again. Passionately. I sneak my hand on your abs. Why is your body so flawless? I kiss you on your cheek, on your ear, and soon I’m playing with your earlobe in my mouth. Then I move to your neck. You seem to be really enjoying it, but you no doubt want me to enjoy it, too, because you immediately reciprocate. You kiss my neck as far as the neckline of my light blue dress permits. I change my position and sit next to you on the couch. I get rid of the loose bra through one of the sleeves, while the dress stays on. I lay down resting my legs on your lap. I have a wide smile on my face.
We’re getting on a bus. It’s the first night bus, so it’s full of people, and we’re forced to stand by the door. When the bus moves off, I reach for the rod and my little finger accidentally touches your thumb, I apologize and move my hand higher, but then you fully cover it with yours. I love the warmness of your touch. My best friend notices and moves a bit to the right, so my boyfriend standing further ahead doesn’t see we’re touching.
The whole gang gets off. My boyfriend catches another bus and goes home, and so do the rest of our friends. We don’t live far from each other so we’re heading home, too, until I dare to mention I would like to have another bottle of wine by the river. You’re up for it.
We get the biggest cheapest bottle of wine in a Vietnamese shop and head towards the city river. I have my camera and I try to take several pictures of the castle, but they are all blurry. It’s dark and I don’t have a tripod. Also, I might have had too much to drink. You’re curious and want to see how it turned out. You lean closer and I smell your perfume. You try to help me stabilize the camera with your hands. Our heads get close, and suddenly my body is filled with endorphins as we start kissing. You are an incredible kisser. Why haven’t we ever kissed before? Have I been missing this the whole three years?
I put away the camera, and we start walking slowly towards my home. Hand in hand. We talk the whole stroll. There are so many questions on my mind, and you answer them all, no matter how stupid or privacy invading they may be. I ask about your previous girlfriends, but there were none. You don’t ask, because you know, and it’s not long you said I do not deserve this guy. I should have listened to you sooner, he’s been your best friend for six years. We get to my flat shortly before five o’clock. Nobody’s home and I invite you in.
I wake up on the couch around ten o’clock in the morning with my light blue dress still on. You’re gone. My bra is laying on the floor. There’s two glasses on the coffee table. One is empty, the other has some rum in it. I get up. The door is closed but unlocked. I lock the door, I take the glasses into the kitchen sink, I pick up the bra and walk into my room. I change into pyjamas and get into bed.
After an hour you and your stunning partner get off the train. When you pass by my window you look inside. Our eyes meet. I smile faintly. You look confused. Your girlfriend reaches out for your hand again. She has beautiful long red hair, like I do. I hope she treats you well. I hope you're happy.
A little girl finally approaches me after bending her mother’s ear: “Are you a princess?”
“No,” I smile widely. “I’m not dear, I’m just a bride.”
“And you are running away?”
“No. I’m going to the wedding.”
"And who will you marry?"
"A wonderful man who loves me, makes me smile and treats me like a princess. I hope one day you'll find one, too!"