Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Susan fidgeted as the priest droned on through the exceptionally long list of vows. Could she really go through with this? This marriage had disaster written all over it from the beginning, but it was the only way out for her. At least it was the only way she could think to get out of the drab, dreariness of Seattle and on to the beautiful sun-kissed beaches of Hawaii. She'd dreamed of Hawaii since she was a little girl playing with barbies dressed in string bikinis. Tad didn't know he would be coming back from his honeymoon alone. At times she thought she was being mean, marrying him for the plane ticket; but Tad would survive and she couldn't afford to get there any other way. Tad was a strong man... he would be fine. But now as she looked at him, his eyes glistening with the tears he so obviously held back, she wasn't really so sure. Susan's veil started to itch and she fought the urge to scratch her aching head as she wondered if these vows would actually take longer for the priest to spit out than the marriage would actually last? The Vera Wang dress her mother insisted she wear was tight and she almost felt as if she couldn't breathe; and yet, perhaps the dress really wasn't the problem; perhaps she was feeling guilty for tricking an innocent man?
Tad didn't actually love Susan; she was certain he didn't. He was simply looking for someone to look nice on his arm at the office dinner parties and complain to the guys at the golf course about. That was why she had said yes when he proposed. She would have felt awful if she thought he had actually given his heart to her. He'd never told her he loved her, after all... not the actual words. He had affectionate sayings that he equated with, "I love you," but would never actually put those three words together in a sentence in her presence.
Susan wondered at the expression on Tad's face though. He was looking at her... well, the only word for it was "lovingly". Oh God! She was losing her nerve. What if she actually got married and then lost her nerve? She'd end up stuck with a relatively nice (but boring) man in the cloudy, wet of Seattle for the rest of her life. She'd never break free! She had to say something now... call it off before it was too late. She had to get out of this, but she suddenly found herself unable to breathe. She opened her mouth to protest but the words wouldn't come out. That damn designer dress was cutting off her oxygen. Pockets of light began to dance around Tad's eyes as her vision began to blur. "I can't faint now," she thought, "I have to call off the wedding first!"
Susan felt her last breathe leave her and found herself floating on a cloud... of what, she couldn't be sure. It felt like a dream, but she was aware of people around her, saying things, calling out, crying. If only she could tell them she just didn't want to get married! She tried desperately to speak, but even in her head the words sounded like a mushy, incomprehensible mess. This was not how this day was supposed to go!
Finally, the pressure to escape was too great and she let herself drift away from it all. As she drifted she heard Tad's voice and began to dream of him. They were standing alone on a sandy beach in Hawaii, newly married, kissing passionately. She loved him. She actually loved him and even more astonishingly, he loved her! How could she not have seen it before? The little things they always did for eachother, the ease they felt when they were together, the common interests they shared, had all been beacons of love that she had been too preoccupied to notice. She had to find a way back! She had to get back to Tad and tell him how she felt.
Tad found himself back in that same church the next week, but this time he let the tears flow freely from his eyes. It was his Susan, his one true love, why had he not told her before that dreadful day? He watched her casket rolled slowly passed him as it left the church to find her final resting place. The agony of this moment was filling the place in his heart where her love had been and he knew he would never be able to love again.