The weather is hot and muggy but it is July. The day is beautiful. I stand in my wedding dress and feel like a princess. Like all the princesses I saw on TV and in the movies. I will be married in a few hours. I am eighteen years and excited, yet I have no idea what I am getting myself into. The man I am to marry is someone I have chosen, I think. He is five years my senior. He has a nice smile and eyes the color of chocolate milk. I have a temptation for guys with brown eyes. Perhaps because my first love had them.
The sick feeling hits me an hour before I am walk down the aisle. I will be someone’s wife, forever. I am hoping maybe this is a dream. The blisters on my feet from the white high heeled shoes, to match, assure me this is not a dream. This is real. All of a sudden I believe this adventure I am about to embark upon is all wrong. It does not feel right. Something is off. This is not good. I even share how I feel with my mother. She is adamant and does not falter. She has no sympathy because for her it is all about image. There is no way I can back out now. The wedding is in less than thirty minutes. Besides, this is Canada my mother assures me. “You can divorce him next week if you wish. Today you marry and tomorrow you worry about the rest”. She says with a fake smile. My heart sinks. I feel as though I am trapped. This is a nightmare. I have no where to go and no one to turn to. Except down the aisle.
As the music plays I do my part, I walk down the aisle. I put one size seven, white stiletto heel, in front of the other. I stall as long as I can. I cannot go back. I keep hoping I will wake up or my soon to be husband will change his mind or perhaps even have a heart attack. None of this happens. I think, perhaps, I do not know him well enough. We have only been together for a year. Perhaps it is too soon to marry? It does not matter now. I am in tears as the priest recites our wedding vows. I look up into the audience and everyone gives me their best smile. They believe I have tears because I am marrying the man I love. I do not think I love him. I just think he is a nice guy and I really care about him? I am now thinking this might not be the same thing as love. Perhaps I am too young to know what love is. And now, maybe, I will never know love. My heart weeps.
The priest waits for me to say the words “I do” back to complete the life long contract. I feel like I am agreeing to being tortured in public. I say it back and close my eyes to gain composure. The priest announces us husband and wife. I feel as though I have been sentenced to death row. Afterwards I try to smile and greet everyone. I thank them for their presence at my wedding. All I can think of is how I allowed this to happen? I am eighteen years old and married. I am too young. It will not work. I have no idea why but something tells me in my heart he is not the one for me. I have to prepare myself. I will need all my strength.
As the photographer takes hundreds of pictures of us, I pray. I pray when the photos come back my secret will not shine through. I do not want others to judge or question me. I will try hard to keep my part of the bargain. I have made my choice. Although I regret it already. This is not my new husband’s fault? I have duties to fill and expectations to meet. To be safe, my wedding photos will never be on display in our home or given to friends and family. I need to conceal truth at all costs.
My husband and I walk towards our apartment. He picks me up to carry me through the doorway. For a second I think I might be irrational or have wedding jitters. I genuinely smile. We make our way to the bedroom. The excitement creeps into me. In a few moments I will put on something sexy with lace for my new husband. We will make love for the first time as a married couple. My husband’s eyes lock with mine. He undresses quickly and says to me “I am glad that whole charade is over with”. My heart rips into two. I can’t help myself. I have to know. “What do you mean?” I ask in a whisper. He takes a step forward and gives me a hard slap on the left cheek. I take a step back. I am completely stunned. Who is this man?
“Never question me again. Never”, he says. He climbs into bed and is asleep in minutes. I stare at him. I keep expecting him to jump up and say “I got you”, or something else. I wait for over an hour and he never stirs. I wonder how this moment is possible. It is just us .I should be making love to my husband but instead I spend the whole night crying silently. I don’t want make him angry again. I stay up all night filling out thank-you cards for the guests at our wedding. My instincts were right. From this moment on, my husband is a complete stranger. The person I though I knew is just an illusion. My sentence begins a life long game of charades.
Catina Noble has over a hundred publications including short stories, poetry, articles/interviews and photography. She has been published in a variety of places including; Chicken Soup for the Soul, Byline Magazine, Y Travel and Woman’s World. She is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society, a Professional Member of the Canadian Author’s Association and recently won 1st place in the Canadian Authors Association-NCR Poetry Contest. Please feel free to stop by at http://catinanoble.wordpress.com
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