I am walking the neighborhood I live in and the cold air pierces through my overly large sweater. "I don't want to do this. I can't go through with it," I say these words out loud. My emotions are overwhelming me like the initial formation of a tsunami. All I want is to run away. To be honest, that is all I have wanted, no yearned for, for quite some time. I stay in part because I believe it is what God wants me do, meaning that He has not released me from this torment yet but maybe I am wrong. Maybe God is the one pulling me to leave but I am not listening. "What do you want me to do?!?" I expect an immediate and audible answer from God but there is silence other then the unrelenting pull towards running away. I decide to take my phone from my back pocket, turn it on and open up the Youtube app and key in the song I want to hear. Blue by Angie Hart. The song reminds me of a lifetime ago when I was not afraid all the time, when I had hope. Now I just make it through the day.
He approaches in the car and we drive off to the park. At this point, I want to keep walking. We arrive at the first park, one that is notoriously quiet. The type of quiet that convinces you that you are the ghost haunting the grounds. The sole witness to the leaves fighting against the push of the wind and the sun bleaching the tables. He keeps talking about the day ahead of us; our joint baptism and wedding.
I feel sick.
We arrive at the next park. This one is beautiful in landscape yet obnoxiously busy and loud amidst pre-teen sports and the elderly game of shuffle-board. If I strain enough I am able to zero in on the respective conversations taking place within a decent sized radius of my location.
Here we wait until we enter the church which is literally within a stones throw away from the park.
His mother pulls up in her car with her friend. I try and take a deep breath but at this point why do I bother? She begins speaking but I merely nod and smile where appropriate. When she mentions my pregnancy to her friend my eyes dart at her but my intense feelings toward her are kept in check today.
It is time to head over to the church for our shared baptism. We are to be married this afternoon. The baptismal pool is located behind the main altar in the church. I did not even know it to be there until I was informed of its location. The church is filling for the service which will begin after our baptism. He and I wait in the back room. Those that wait with us are so excited that we are getting baptized together on the day of our marriage ceremony.
I remind myself to smile where appropriate and wonder if God will strike me dead as the pastor performs the sacred ceremony. I attempt to rationalize my actions, "Well I am pregnant and we are getting married. If baptism is so vitally important to him then I suppose I should partake. Is that not what a wife and mother should do? Oh God am I committing a sin? I do believe and I welcome baptism but this church is not for me or anything I want to be. I guess I am doing this for him and attempting to be pleasing to God as well."
With that final thought I am submerged in the cold water and once again smile where appropriate. Oddly curious as to how I answered the questions the pastor asked prior to performing the ceremony.
I shiver and wait.
My father and his girlfriend are in the front pew beaming whilst taking photos. When I sit next to them after I return to normal clothes they merely smile and say how beautiful it was.
After the service I am scurried off so the transformative preparations can be particularly executed.
I walk around Wal-Mart find a salad, protein bar and sports drink plant myself on the curb outside away from the traffic and feast absentmindedly. He and his family along with his best man are at a restaurant. I decline to go as I just want to be alone and clear my head.
I walk over to the restaurant where they are eating as it is so close and wait outside. His mother reminds me that I am not a people person as if that were something to be ashamed of.
Back at the church, my friend also my maid of honor arrives. I am grateful for her presence. We are conducting a brief rehearsal before we are to change into our wedding attire and commence with the ceremony. I smile as usual but I just do not want to be here.
I am standing in the church bathroom changing into a dress that someone else is wearing. I do not know what I am doing. My maid of honor appears and helps fasten the back part of the dress I am unable to reach. I take this moment to escape into humor by mocking my pregnancy weight gain. She doesn't see it.
The veil is not one that drapes over my face with cascading lace but one that fastens into my hair from behind my head. I cannot reach it properly and my maid of honor wishes not to risk making a mistake so my about to be sister-in-law who is a hairdresser comes into the bathroom and properly without any effort attaches the veil to my hair.
We step outside for pictures before the ceremony which is odd but my mind releases its oddity as quickly as it was recognized.
I am increasingly anxious as I realize that a natural disaster or an intervention from God is not going to take place and I must go through with this. Right? Everyone put in so much time and energy I can't just walk away.
The music begins and everyone takes their appointed station. I wait with my father whilst the bridesmaids walk down the aisle. It's time. Slow walk towards my fate commences.
I am at the altar and my father relinquishes his ceremonial role and my hands are placed in my husband to be. I internally recoil but maintain my outward appearance. The pastor speaks and the vows are spoken as the rings are assigned to their respective fingers.
Truly I am amazed God has not struck me dead. Perhaps He is waiting.
We kiss and the pastor releases us from the altar as husband and wife.
Now we eat and celebrate.
I sit and die more and more.
I eat for my unborn baby and I continue to perpetuate the charade throughout the night.
Just over a year later God began His rescue. And I now wait for the divorce to be finalized and he to be gone from our lives.
The reason. Well that is another story.