54 comments

Romance

 

Nerves flutter in my stomach, butterflies trapped, trying desperately to escape. I pace in my dressing room, sister beside me, trying to touch up my hair. I hold my white strappy heels in one hand, biting the nails on my other, perfectly manicured hand. My sister slaps by hand from my mouth, giving me a look.

"I know, I know," I say, trying to keep my hand at my side.

"Hold still!" She snaps, trying to get the pin back in my hair.

I try to, but before I know it, I'm pacing again, sister on my tail.

It all happened so quickly. The proposal. Planning. And then the day arrived. The butterflies hadn't left my stomach for weeks. Not since he had proposed, and it had only gotten worse as everything went on.

Before I knew it, I was squeezing myself into a lacey white dress and curling my hair perfectly. My sister was currently trying to stab crystal pins through it. They had belonged to my mother, and she had worn them when she got married. She had passed them down to me mere minutes before and then had left to check on some last-minute preparations.

There wasn't much time left.

My best friend watches me from a stool on the other side of the dressing room, holding back her laughter. I've never been this nervous, and apparently, it's a comical sight.

Before my sister can stop me, I drop my shoes, pick up my skirt, and run from the dressing room. I hear my best friend bust out laughing at the sight of me running, barefoot, away, and then I hear her and my sister give chase.

It doesn't matter.

I need to talk to him. To see him. Who cares if I'm in my dress? Who cares about the superstitions?

I just need to talk to him. I need him to calm me down.

I need him.

I sprint through the halls, as fast as I can in the heavy dress until I make it to his dressing room. I throw the door open, revealing a sight that kills the butterflies flitting through my stomach. Turns them into wasps, more like.

There he is, dapper in his black and white suit.

And there she is.

My mother.

Wearing her nice red dress, hair done up in intricate braids.

I freeze in the doorway, lace slipping from my fingers, and just stare.

My sister and best friend reach me, freezing behind me as they take in the sight that I just witnessed.

As they see my fiance and mother freeze, looking to me with terror and guilt in their eyes.

I don't give either of them so much as a second to explain.

I knew this was a bad idea. That we had gone into this too quickly. And yet, blinded by love and lust, I had said yes. I had donned that diamond ring, announced the engagement last thanksgiving. I had hugged everyone, tears in their eyes. Tears of joy in my own.

But it was too quick.

Those butterflies I had thought were excitement... they were nervous butterflies.

I grab my best friend by the hand and pull her towards the large double doors, throwing them open. The music stumbles to a start, heads turning to see me, fury clouding my face, began to walk down the aisle.

My best friend follows behind me as we approach the isle.

I reach the arch of flowers, and freeze, taking a deep breath before turning to face the crowd.

Just as a do so, my fiance freezes in the doorway, flustered and panting hard.

My mother is right behind him.

I look him in the eye. He shakes his head.

I nod.

My best friend stands beside me, staring at my fiance with murder in her eyes. She crosses her arms across her chest, staring him down with a look that has him trembling.

She gives me a look, telling me with her eyes to ruin him.

So I tell the crowd everything.

Every little mistake that the man I was about to marry made.

Including the newest one. I declare that he will pay for the entirety of the ruined wedding, returning to me every cent that I chipped in.

And then, best friends hand in mine, her fury mingling with mine, walk calmly from the arch of flowers that had been meant to stand over me on the happiest day of my life.

As I reach my mother and fiance, I tear the veil from my head. every single pin. the ring.

I hand them to my mother.

"Seems like you want these more than I ever did," I say.

Then, right there in front of both of them, I strip out of the wedding gown, handing that to my mother, too.

In nothing but the lingerie meant for my wedding night, bare feet slapping against the hardwood floors, I waltz right out of the chapel.

Only then do I allow the tears to begin to fall.

My best friend, upon seeing the black eye makeup begin to drip down my face, turns to go back into the chapel. I watch, ignoring the people staring at my barely clothed self, as my best friend returns moments later, dragging my fiance by the ear.

She throws the man into the street, spits on him, and then picks me up, carrying me to the limousine that was supposed to take us to the airport for our honeymoon.

She places me in the car, throws an obscene gesture towards my husband, and then climbs in after me.

The wasps leave my stomach, leave me empty, as we drive away from my mother and ex-fiance, and the crowd that has gathered to watch us leave, and head to the airport.

I realize, sobbing in the car, that two weeks spent with my best friend rather than a man that would so quickly leave me was exactly what I needed.

July 28, 2020 20:26

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54 comments

Charles Stucker
14:23 Aug 01, 2020

Good vivid voice, fast pace, instant tension (from the first sentence), agency for the protagonist, strong ending AND a title which perfectly captures the theme of the tale. i have only one quibble. Did you intend to go passive voice here, "I knew this was a bad idea. That we had gone into this too quickly. And yet, blinded by love and lust, I had said yes. I had donned that diamond ring, announced the engagement last thanksgiving. I had hugged everyone, tears in their eyes. Tears of joy in my own." Only one sentence free from passive v...

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Heidi Hanson
14:52 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you so much for the kind words! And no, I didn't mean to use passive voice there, I guess that just kind of happened. :)

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Jamie Limbaga
08:47 Aug 04, 2020

You completely captured the essence of the prompt, and really dug into that shock, the angst, the raging emotions and I'm all for it. I also really love the use of present tense in writing, and you pulled that off wonderfully. I also typically don't love the use of first person but you made it work and it made for an engaging read. Great job <3

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Heidi Hanson
13:45 Aug 04, 2020

Thank you so much!

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15:06 Aug 13, 2020

Wow! I really loved this! And the fact that it perfectly captured the prompt is a brava! Well done Heidi, I really felt the anger and the way she handled the situation. Great work! (P.S. would you mind reading my recent and first stories on Reedsy, 'Summer was warm' and 'Kaima'? Thanks!)

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Heidi Hanson
16:03 Aug 13, 2020

Thank you! I'll definitely check out your story too!

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Sue Marsh
16:55 Jul 29, 2020

Interesting story with an interesting twist.

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Heidi Hanson
13:49 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you!

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~Grace ~
21:41 Nov 25, 2021

I-I feel like this is a personal thing , like the prompt is.I.I don’t know

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Lilian Bock
21:59 Nov 22, 2021

I have a feeling if you kept writing this as an actual story it would turn into a gay romance between her and her best friend. Also, Did she strip out of her dress in front of the guests too or no?

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Nidhi Nair
03:35 Nov 11, 2021

such an amazingly powerful story. Just broke my damm heart. I have the yearning to see what happens to the woman I don't even know the name of

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Ferris Haney
15:34 Oct 25, 2021

this was amazing!!!!!!!

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Angela George
06:25 Oct 03, 2021

omg omg i really love your story. amazing job at making this. it was excellent! :)

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18:27 Jul 21, 2021

Love it! I was sad when it ended T^T

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Dianna Granger
13:04 Jun 01, 2021

It’s amazing! I love how she overcomes it in front of everyone else and breaks down later, and that her friends are there to support her! The story flows amazingly!

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Akshara ✿
06:09 May 27, 2021

Hello! This story was REALLY good! Your word choice was and the imagery was just wonderful! You are an extremely talented writer! I would love it if you could check out some of my stories too! :) Have a nice day, Heidi! Once again, amazing job!

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Penelope Nieman
05:27 Mar 31, 2021

Wow! Great job on the story!

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Khizra Aslam
06:00 Aug 05, 2020

Loved your story. ❤

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Heidi Hanson
14:10 Aug 05, 2020

Thank you!

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Aditya Pillai
05:40 Aug 04, 2020

This is such a great read! The anguish and angst is palpable and has really come through. I especially like the turning of butterflies into wasps, so clever! Thanks for sharing this wonderful work! Would love it if you could check out mine too:)

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Heidi Hanson
13:45 Aug 04, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Mae Obusa
22:49 Aug 02, 2020

I submitted my first story (first ever I submitted anywhere) and tried reading other stories on this prompt as well, learning how other writers would spin this. Yours was very angsty reaction and a very bold one too. I love the title, I wish I know how to make titles like this

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Heidi Hanson
14:18 Aug 03, 2020

Thank you so much! It comes with time, and some stories are harder than others to title.

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I really like this story, and I was kind of wondering if I could use your story as inspiration for mine. I wasn't planning on it but it makes sense, because the beginning of the story takes place in a park that I know in real life called Mariposa Park. I just saw this and wanted to base my writing after yours about how my character feels butterflies in his stomach.

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Heidi Hanson
14:20 Aug 03, 2020

Go ahead, as long as it's just for inspiration, I don't mind! Happy writing, and thank you for the kind words!

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Sarah 🖤💖
20:38 Aug 01, 2020

I've been searching for a story that uses this prompt, I found it so interesting. I really hope your protagonist can find someone better. And I liked how you wrote her friend to be considerate and such. Happy writing!

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Heidi Hanson
21:09 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you so much! I appreciate it :)

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E. Jude
10:13 Aug 01, 2020

Hey! I saw you followed me so I thought I'd check you out!! You should be proud of this story! It's a great piece!! Your word choice was amazing, and the imagery was just superb! You are an extremely talented writer! Please pursue your talent, if you haven't already! I would love it if you could check out my stories too!!! XElsa

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Heidi Hanson
13:49 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you so much! I appreciate it!

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18:51 Jul 31, 2020

This is a beautiful, heartfelt story.

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Heidi Hanson
13:49 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you!

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