You check the time. Perfect. As intended, you’ve arrived fashionably late. You look around, trying to catch the eyes of anyone that looks familiar to you, and hopefully they haven’t changed much over the past ten years. It had been a hassle to arrive here, trying to convince yourself that you’ve arrived at the right place, and that you’re just another guest to an old friend’s wedding that you haven’t seen for a decade. Not to mention it took nearly two hours to drive here, and now you’re wonderfully late, just like you’ve always been.
You’re outside, standing at the entrance of the white building, dumbly holding your suitcase and dressed in a suit that you had just purchased hours before arriving here. It was partially your fault for deciding everything at the last minute, and the fact that you hadn’t realized that the day of the wedding was the twelfth, and not the twenty one.
The place of the wedding was certainly a beautiful area. The wedding took place in a small, quiet area that was close to the sea, and was covered in wide fields and trees. It was a sunny day, with a slight breeze in the area. Not so far away, you could see guests dining and dancing in celebrance to the married couple. Honestly, it was a day fit for a wedding, and it was obvious that everyone was having a good time.
Your thoughts were interrupted by an excited shriek coming from the crowd of guests.
“Jay! Wait, Jay is that you?!”
You barely turn around to see who is calling your name until someone runs into you, arms around your shoulders, wrapping you into a bear hug and not letting go. You stagger backwards, and you struggle to come up with the right name for this person, running through the list of names through your head.
You see a woman in a wedding dress running up to you, obviously the bride, and she observes you from head to toe. She is holding a bouquet of flowers, and she smiles as she takes in the sight of you, being bear hugged by an old friend of yours. She laughs, and you remember from the photos that her name is Emily. She hasn’t changed much in the past ten years, but she is more beautiful now than in the photos, more taller.
“Jay, you’ve certainly changed a lot since we last saw you. And Richard, stop hugging your best friend and show him the hotel room.”
Richard, you now remember, is the groom of the wedding. He lets go of you, and stepping back, he smiles. His appearance hasn’t changed since highschool, and his personality has clearly remained the same. You remember all the photos of the two of you in high school, with Emily and her friends at the football games, pep rallies, and prom. You break your face into a smile.
“Sorry I’m late,” you apologise. “I didn’t realize that the trip here would take so long.”
“Don’t be silly.” chides Emily. “You didn’t miss much. We were wondering where you’ve been.”
“Can’t you believe it’s been ten years since we last saw each other?” Richard looks at you, and then turns to Emily, his smile growing as they catch each other’s eyes. Emily rolls her eyes and kisses his cheek. “Yes, and now we’re married. Go help Jay find his hotel room, and then return to the party.”
Emily waves goodbye to the two of you, and walks back to rejoin the party. On the other hand, Richard helps you with your luggage and leads you to the room that you would be staying for the next few nights. Afterward, you walk around the courtyard, taking note of the number of guests, and the names of the people you greet throughout the day. You vaguely remember a woman named Jennifer, a friend of Emily’s, who became a lawyer after graduating high school. There was another man named Thomas, who you were great friends with in high school, and a young teenager named Nick who was Richards’s younger brother. You were able to meet Emily and Richard’s parents, who were incredibly excited to see you, commenting on how much you changed, and the old memories of when you and your friends were still in high school, enjoying life.
It wasn’t until many hours later you were able to sit down and relax. At the moment, you were seated at a table with all your high school friends, and of course, with the newlywed couple. The sky was dark, and people sat at tables that were lit with candles and dim lights. The tables were decorated with lavender colored flowers, and people toasted to the celebration of the newlyweds, sharing memories and wishing the two of them happiness.
You slowly drift back towards the current conversation between Emily, Richard, Thomas, and Jennifer. They were chatting to each other about one of the parties they attended while in high school, something about somebody stealing all the orange juice and having to call the fire department because of an exploding microwave and burned popcorn. You vaguely remember the event. There weren't many photos about what happened, but you recall the photos that were probably taken days after the event, Richard wearing a cast for a few days, and Jennifer sharing posts on the internet about what happened.
“And remember when we found out that it was Thomas who stole all the orange juice?” someone exclaims, and the table explodes in laughter. You chuckle, clearly remembering Jennifer’s post about the culprit behind the theft. Richard nudges you, grinning. “It feels like it all happened yesterday.”
You and Richard return to the new topic, of which Emily was recalling the time that Jennifer dyed her hair blue and tried to hide her head during the football game, not wanting anyone to see her blue forehead.
“Do you remember that when we tried to pull her hoodie off, Jennifer fell off the bleachers!” exclaimed Emily. The table explodes in laughter once again, and you recall Jennifer pulling her yellow hood over her head, and Thomas trying to pull it off. You smile, remembering the video that was posted on social media, Jennifer’s shriek at the fall, only to be caught by one of the members of the marching band.
You feel a vibration from your pocket. Your ringtone sings its song, and as you slip your phone out of your pocket, you look at the familiar number displayed on the screen. You stare at it for a few seconds before declining the call.
“Who was that? Your girlfriend?” Richard chuckles jokingly. You shake your head. “No, it was just my brother. I’ll call him later.” You remind yourself a few hours from now, you’ll call him back again. Leaving him unanswered normally agitates him.
Richard looks at you with a confused expression on his face. “You don’t have a brother.” he says slowly. His eyes search your face, and you mentally curse yourself for forgetting that Jay doesn’t have any siblings, nevertheless a brother. Richard’s face hardens as he comes to a realization, and perhaps the truth.
“You’re not Jay.” Richard abruptly stands up from his chair, his eyes searching your face for some familiarity, realizing that his best friend, Jay, has never been to the wedding at all. The table has fallen silent, and now everyone is looking at you for some form of explanation.
“What are you talking about Richard, of course that’s Jay.” Emily argues. She places a hand on Richard’s shoulder, silently asking Richard to sit down, to be calm. To not make a scene.
“No it’s not.” Richard growls. “I know my best friend more than anyone else, and that’s not him.”
“Richard, listen to yourself, can’t you hear what you’re-”
You sigh. “I was hoping to have a little more fun, but I guess not.” You stand up, and face your audience. “Richard’s right. I’m not Jay.” You pause, not knowing how much you should tell them, how much they should know, and if something like this would get you into further trouble than you currently are now. However, you’ve always found your way out of things like this. It was only a matter of time before they knew.
“What did you do to Jay?!” Richard roars at you, and you decide to tell them one thing.
“I didn’t do anything to him. Jay’s dead.”
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Wow dramatic ending! Makes me wonder who the fake Jay was...
Wow! What an amazing cliffhanger you have here. It makes me want to know more. Great story!
thank you for reading it! :)))
You're welcome. Keep writing :D