Monday, March 14, 2016

Holding On

“..If there is anyone in attendance who has cause to believe that this couple should not be joined in marriage, you may speak now or forever hold your peace.”

I held my breath as I looked at Newton, remembering how sure I was someone, namely his freak of an ex-wife, would show up and start causing a scene. I offered him a smile and faltered as a commotion in the back reached my ears. I turned, heart thundering in my chest, certain I would see Charity there, tears streaming down her plump cheeks, her short hair bobbing up and down as she sobbed and declared her undying love for Newton in a voice that was like a fork being dragged across a porcelain plate.
 I gasped in disbelief as a familiar figure stood, his arms crossed over his chest in that annoying way that used to just piss me off. Eyes of muddy brown met mine, and he smirked. “Yep, I have a problem with it.”

“You’re supposed to be dead.” I heard myself say the words and realized how stupid they sounded.

“Melissa, honey, you ought to know by now you can’t get rid of me that easily.”

“Who is that?” Newton asked, his faced scowled in annoyance.

“Its Royce.” I muttered, “its Fucking Royce…”

“I thought he was dead.”

“Me too.” I wanted to hug Royce and punch him at the same time. I felt the tears stinging my eyes and I felt the anger bubbling up, “How dare you come here now? How dare you?”
 I lifted my dress and stomped down the aisle towards my dead husband, rage driving away the knowledge that everyone was staring at me. “Six years you’ve been gone, I waited for you, Royce, and I mourned for you! You have no right to come back now and shout out ‘surprise!’ like it was all some big joke!”

Royce met me at the aisle, his voice low and surprisingly gentle, “I know, baby, its okay. I just wanted to let you know I kept my promise.”

“What promise?!” I was choking on my own tears now. I had imagined Royce coming back all these years and I knew it was illogical because people didn’t just survive airplanes blowing up in the sky.

“I told you I would come back, Melissa.” He said softly, “Don’t you remember?”

I did remember. His promise was sometimes the only thing that had kept me going while I mourned his death and tried to find a reason to keep going. Hearing the words broke something in me. I collapsed in his arms, the fight draining from me as I held tight, breathing in his familiar scent. The ache that I had been carrying around with me for six years was more painful than ever and I just knew that at any moment I would waken and see that it was just another frightfully realistic dream.

“Melissa…” I jerked my attention back to Newton’s concerned face. He was watching me with confusion in his eyes of gray.

I realized I was still standing at the altar, our wedding guests all in the pews. Royce wasn’t there though. The minister was staring at me intently, “Madam?”

“I have cause to believe… this isn’t going to work.” I felt tears spill from my eyes as I looked upon Newton’s shocked expression, “I’m not ready, Newton, I’m so sorry…”

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