Let It Be Me

tent_wedding_ceremony

Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.

~Maya Angelou

Unlike what I’d been told I’d feel; I was completely calm. I felt no flutters or nervousness; just wanted to run down the aisle and become Mrs. Nixon Campbell. From my position in the alcove in the back I could see him and his boys lined up on the left side of the pastor. As my friends walked down the aisle lined with white pillar candles and white and orange rose petals I waited for my turn. The tent was packed with 75 guests but my eyes were on Nix.
Finally it was my turn as the strains of The Bridal Chorus began. I stepped onto the parquet floor and walked towards the rest of the wedding party.

I smiled as I reached him and took a deep breath.

The pastor’s deep voice rang out clear in the small tent as he spoke about the joys of marriage. I knew that it would involve hard work but there was no one else that I’d want to put in work with. Looking up into his face I was reminded that the night of our second date I called my best friend and told her that I knew Nix was the man I wanted to marry.

As the pastor started the vows my eyes began to tear up.

“If there’s anyone here knows any reason why these two should not be wed speak now or forever hold your peace.” The pastor said.

I continued to smile until Nix cleared his throat and said, “I do.” Initially we all laughed, thinking that he was so ready to say the words that he’d uttered them at the wrong moment. However, one look at his face told me that he hadn’t misspoke; he was serious.

I stared at him as his face lost a bit of color before his best man grabbed him by the shoulder and whispered in his ear. Nix shook his head.

He turned to the room and said, “I’m sorry.”

I handed my flowers to my maid of honor Iris and yanked off my veil before I cocked my head to look at him. He stared back at me before he said, “I’m sorry, Bronte. I…” his words were cut off by my fist. I punched him as hard as I could before gathering up my skirt and stalking down the aisle. I could hear the gasps of the crowd as I moved towards the tent’s exit.

I ran up to beach to the street and looked around for the limo. Instead of the glow I’d felt earlier today all I felt now was anger, hurt and embarrassment. Without turning around I knew that my girls Lily, Aria, and Iris had followed me because I could hear the whispering sound of silk swishing as they walked. I gripped the train of my gown tighter as my heels hit the cool stones of the sidewalk.

We’d just found the limo when I felt a tug on my arm and spun around to face my former fiancé.

“Wait,” he said. I stared into the face of the man I’d been fighting for, the man who I’d made sacrifices for, who I’d put my life on hold for repeatedly during the past six years and all I felt was tired. I couldn’t summon the love that I’d felt earlier nor the joy of possibly becoming his wife; just overwhelmingly tired.

“For what? What? You must want this back.” I said as I pulled the engagement ring from my finger and held it out to him.

“No, I wanted to explain…” he started. Again, I cut him off as the tears I’d held back earlier began to run down my face.

“I’m tired of waiting. I don’t need an explanation. I’ve been with you for six years; I’ve waited many times during our relationship but no more. I feel like I’ve been standing in front of you begging you the entire time to let it be me. I never pushed you. I never forced you to make this move you proposed to me and you just hurt me for no reason! You did not have to let it get this far! You could have told me last night that this wasn’t what you wanted. That I’m not who you want.” I dropped the ring to the pavement and got into the limo without looking back.

I couldn’t tell whether the pain in my chest was hurt or anger but I knew that this was only the beginning of the storm.

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