You know her.
Carnations are her favorite flowers. Her favorite color is green. She hates coffee, and always sleeps on the left side of the bed.
She reads Me Before You after every exam, eats Pasta every Thursday and hates cooking.
You know this.
There's a scar just above her left eyebrow, an accident from when she was ten, and a tattoo in her right wrist that reads Smeraldo.
You know this as well.
For someone who always claims to be so bad with details, you know hers by heart.
You know because you were the one who cooked her every meal, whose hand she held at the tattoo shop, and the one to give her tissues every time she read that book.
You know because the right side of the bed was yours.
You know all this and more because you were there. You have always been.
From the moment she sat beside you in that Anatomy lab four years ago, to the second she looked you right in the eyes, saying she needed space three years after.
You know she loves you, maybe not as much as you love her, but she does.
You also know that up until last week, you were still waiting. For a call that never came, a message you never received. You were still waiting for her.
What you got instead was a fancy envelope delivered by mail.
A letter you know she didn’t write, words she probably didn’t mean but it still had her name, along with someone else’s, signed at the bottom of it.
You don’t know how to react. You don’t know what to think. You just feel. And feelings can be so heavy and so strong they can choke you if you don’t remember how to breathe properly.
You rack your brain for everything you know about her, but nothing explained the envelope, just like nothing seems to fit the picture of the girl that is currently walking down the aisle.
A majestic bridal gown, Gardenias in one hand, the other holding onto a man you recognize as her father and she walks.
With every step, your heart seems to sink a little deeper, and beats a little faster. She walks past the row where you’re standing and for a fleeting moment, everything around you disappears while you wait for her to turn to look at you, but she doesn’t.
You should have known better.
You’re part of this big fancy looking crowd, in this big fancy garden and there is no way she would have turned to look at you when she’s already looking at someone else at the altar.
And so you wait.
You wait for vows to be made, rings to be exchanged and a love to be finally sealed with a kiss.
Then for another fleeting second, you wait to be told that this is all just a prank or a nightmare, and you wait to wake up in your right side of the bed, safe and comfortable. But it never happens.
The ceremony goes on in a blur of flowers, drinks and pictures, and all along, you’re trying to link all what you know to this.
Her favorite color is green; you remind yourself, but everything from the flower wreaths that decorate the guest chairs, to the paper lanterns that surround the dance floor, and the ribbons that hang from the branches is a certain shade of red.
Carnations are her favorite flowers, you think, but they are nowhere in sight.
Nothing is adding up and your mind seems to shut down every now and then.
Now, you’re in a table with four other strangers when the groom stands to make his speech.
He thanks everyone before he starts talking about the woman that brought magic to his life, the one who painted his world and made him the luckiest breathing man.
You look at him and wonder if your eyes would light up the night sky the way his are doing right now, if you were the one standing in there instead of him. You then try to hate him, you desperately look for a flaw in his speech, a lie, but you fail to do so. You can’t seem to hate him. Not even when every word he says pierces right through your heart, and sheds lights to its darkest corners, reminding you that painfully enough, you related to all his words one day.
The best man stands next and you listen carefully to the jokes he makes and the stories he tells of how special their bond is. The crowd laughs and claps then toasts and laughs a little more, unaware that somewhere in the middle, the last intact pieces of a heart are breaking slowly, painfully and in the cruelest of ways.
It all comes rushing back then. You’re just waking up and she’s staring at you, you’re in the kitchen cooking when she hugs you, she’s laying on the couch when you bring her flowers because she had a rough day, it’s her birthday and you’re in the library buying her a gift, it’s your anniversary and you’re in a fancy restaurant you had to save for two months to afford... Now she’s no longer home and you’re waiting by the door, on the couch, in the kitchen, and in your left side of the bed and it’s so cold. You’re holding your phone, jumping when it rings and it’s not her and you wait. You’re waiting when days become weeks then months and you can’t lose hope, not just yet…
She’s in the middle of the dance floor now, holding him the way she once held you, looking at him the way she once looked at you and suddenly, you forget how to breathe.
Your feet are carrying you away before you even know it. They seem to know where the exit is and you’re thinking. You shouldn’t be here, you should have thrown the invitation, you shouldn’t have waited…No. You shouldn’t have allowed her to take so much of you because now you don’t know what you’ll be doing when you’re not waiting…
A distinct voice calls your name and you stop dead in your tracks.
She’s right there in front of you, saying “God it’s been so long” and “I’m so glad you made it” and “How’ve you been?” but you can’t answer because you’re checking the two constant things you know she can never change.
You look at her left eyebrow. You can’t see the scar but you know it’s there, then you look at her right wrist. Smeraldo. It’s really her.
She’s waiting for you to reply and she’s obviously feeling nervous.
Thousands of words are pushing against your brain walls seeking release. Questions standing in an endless line, waiting to be asked and answered and you don't even know where to start.
You take a deep needed breath then spell the words that push their way out first.
“What’s your favorite flower?”
Your voice comes out unrecognizable and your heartbeats are drumming in your ears.
She looks puzzled and it takes her a while before she finally answers.
It's happening again. You're feeling too much, but you can't let it show. Not yet.
“And what’s your favorite color?"
It's cold and you wait for her to complain about how weird this all sounds but she doesn’t.
She's looking at you and there’s something in her eyes you never saw before. Is it pity? Or is it sympathy? You can’t seem to tell the difference. All you know is that, she never looked at you this way and you already hate it.
You don't wait for your voice to spell any more questions because it no longer matters.
You’re walking away now.
You’re walking away from a woman whose favorite flowers are roses and whose favorite color is red. You’re walking away from a woman you don’t know.
Smeraldo, the tattoo in her skin means “the truth untold” and it all makes sense now. She has always been this way, a truth that was meant for someone else to find. That's what you keep telling yourself as you walk back to the comfort of your house and your bed and for the first time in a year, you lock the front door and turn off the lights because you're no longer waiting.
You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.
I loved the amount of detail you put into this - it really conveyed how much (and yet how little) the narrator knew about her. And the ending, while sad, was perfect, with her favorite color/flower being different and the meaning of her tattoo.
Thank you so much for reading! It really means ALOT to me!!
This story is beautifully written and like so many others in real life, the MC is love with a person he thinks he knows, or at least in love with the illusion of what he thinks he knows, to find out she is something altogether different. As the story begins, you peel back the layers of the woman so we get to know her through the main characters eyes. When she turns up next at her wedding, we realize the main character doesn't really know her as well as he thought he did. But then you slipped in the Smeraldo reference at the end, which means,...
Congrats on the shortlist! definitely deserved it
Thank you so much! ^^
Wow, this is great. It weighed on my heart the whole way through. Well done.
Thank you for reading! It means alot ^^
thank youu xD 💜💜💜💜