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.
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.
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.