Friday, November 05, 2010

This Day Forward

After the pre-arranged signal lets her know the wedding is ready to begin, the organist nods. Family and friends stand and turn toward the aisle. I smooth down the front of my dress shirt. Several pairs of eyes are focused on me and, for a moment, I consider leaving from the side door.

But, it's too late to run.

As the music begins, I look down the aisle and our eyes meet. She smiles and I can tell that, while undeniably happy, she understands how I feel today. I appreciate this acknowledgment. Her father looks at me and leans down to whisper into her ear, and she nods as they continue their measured steps toward the altar and away from me.

My friends laughed and called me a delusional romantic when first I told them I wanted to marry her after I returned from our third date. It did not take too long for her to know she did not feel the same. She became a good friend, though eventually it was a roommate who took my place in her wedding dreams.

The music fades and the organist folds her hands on her lap and watches along with us as the minister steps forward, ready to begin the ceremony. When he asks, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” I wait until I hear her father speak.

“Her mother and I do,” he says with firm voice.

“I do, too,” I whisper.

I promised I would stay, but I can't help it. I leave without looking back at her standing at the altar with her husband.

© 2010 Marisa Birns

239 comments:

  1. You can feel the reason to depart. Captured well in very few words and paragraphs, Marisa. Sharp work.

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  2. Unrequited love is tough. Especially if you stay friends with the person. He was strong to stay at the wedding as long as he did. Good story!

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  3. That was lovely, Marisa. Lovely and sad and well written. And, did I mention lovely?
    At my first wedding an old boyfriend fainted as I passed him going down the aisle... not bragging, just sayiing... OK, so I'm bragging!!!

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  4. Awww, he should've said it louder! #hopelessromantic ;)

    Great story, Marisa. Loved it!

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  5. Brilliant, really!

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  6. Short, concise and tugged at my heart! Wonderful, Marisa!

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  7. Oh Marisa, this is so sad, so poignant. Excellently told story in so few words. Love it!

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  8. What a poignant, beautiful story, Marisa! It is told, as only you can tell it. You are wonderful at capturing so much emotion in so few words.

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  9. Anonymous11:19 AM

    He should've stayed until the "If anyone has a reason for these two not to wed, ..." part and spoken up :)
    Wonderful flash Marisa!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous2:37 PM

    Ah, what an exquisite stab in the heart! Lovely, sad story. Yes, he was very brave to stay so long.

    Excellent writing as always, Marisa.

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  11. Very sad, and well written.

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  12. I love really short pieces like this. A burst of energy and feeling.

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  13. Anonymous3:31 PM

    Beautifully written, Marisa. A touchingly real story.

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  14. You have great range, Marisa. Last week was horror, this week tugs at the heartstrings. Very well done.

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  15. I can't believe his friend had the nerve to ask him to be there when he knew how he felt about her! Unbelieveable!

    Bless him. Here's to hoping he finds someone more suited to him.

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  16. Unrequited love is so sad. May he soon meet the woman he hoped she would be.

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  17. Loved her enough to let her go. Wonderful.

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  18. Marisa, you are so good at capturing a moment, and you make it look so easy. It's not. Excellent work here. I'm really impressed.

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  19. Anonymous7:12 PM

    That's so sad and beautiful. Well done.

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  20. Aw... that was so sad and beautiful. I want to give him a hug, though. And hope he finds happiness in love. Great story. Peace...

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  21. Lovely, yet sad. Just back from my sister's wedding, so this one really struck a chord for me. Very nicely done.
    ~jon

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  22. What a sad and sweet story, Marisa. It was compact and deftly told. Great work.

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  23. Beautiful and sad. To love someone so much you can be unselfish and give them away...!

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  24. Sad, poignant - made me feel sad, but at the same time, with his walking away, I know he's releasing her - well done...

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  25. You said so much about their friendship in so few words. I love that he's turned up and is there for her on this day and that, as she walks towards her husband, she takes the time to acknowledge how much that must have cost him emotionally. Beautifully done, Marisa.

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  26. Poignant and ever so melancholy... Perfect flash!

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  27. Very sad, but he should have stayed for the reception, gotten good and blotto and hooked up with one of her bridesmaids.

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  28. Laughin' at Harry's approach to really giving good *cheers* ...

    Marisa ~ From their 3rd date he knew a love that could do that ultimate 'unconditional' thing. Makes sense that you'd tuck in the touching touch ~ the whisper and nod from Dad and Bride. Yeah, feelin' it inside.

    Congrats to Bride Cathy the Webster for always makin' the good guys swoon. ~ Absolutely*Kate

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  29. This was a great story. I have been this main character, but I just didn't show up!

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  30. Wow...so simple, but so powerful. Well done.

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  31. Oh, how sad, can't she suddenly say, 'No I want to marry someone else'? Go on, change it, no-one will notice. I loved your writing in any case.

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  32. Oh so sad. I have tears in my eyes.

    Loved it.

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  33. Anonymous1:34 PM

    Oh, bless him - the hurdles and pitfalls of love. I bet this story reminds all of us of someone...

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  34. Much as I hate anything that has to do with weddings and marriages, another great story!

    Doubtless the most recent award you have received, given by ah-hem!, spurred you on to continued great heights!

    I sure can pick 'em!

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  35. Ah, you, Perry. Still so grateful for the bestowal of lovely award to me. I knew there was a reason I was shoved to great heights.

    Now, help me down.

    Thank you for liking the story. You hate weddings? How about spiders?

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  36. The story captures the torn heart perfectly -- hard to do with so few words. Bravo.

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  37. Awwh, that was sad. It was also beautifully told.

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  38. Such a sweet, sad story, Marisa. Well done. You didn't realize that you had actually written a story about Cathy Webster, eh? ;-)

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  39. So poignant, Marisa, but whilst capturing a lot of the bittersweet realities of love and life.

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  40. Oh the sadness of unrequited love. A sweetly, beautiful and sad story. Glad I read this, and apologies for taking so long to read it. PC problems and the flu kept me away.

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  41. Ahh, that was sad. Beautiful, but a bit sad. I love it.

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  42. I'm coming to this one late, but I'm really glad I read it. What a heartbreaking moment.

    For some reason I read the narrator as female. That made it more interesting to me, too.

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  43. Ah, Marissa,

    Lovely. Gave this tender entry a tweet. Hope you will find me on Twitter so that I might find you: http://twitter.com/maryltabor

    Thank you for your lovely comment on blog post: Why I came to writing so late ...

    Mary

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  44. Wow, that packed a punch. I was reading along quite serenely when I got it. And suddenly my heart was wrenched. Very effective. I still feel sad for him.

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  45. Anonymous6:54 AM

    Just stopped by to wish you a Merry Christmas to you and your family, may you have lots of rest and peace!
    Huge Christmas-y hugs ;)

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  46. Aw, so sad and poignant. And, so well-written - the emotions danced lightly on your words and were felt deeply.

    It looks like you have been on a break, also.

    I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year!!

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  47. Loved it! Pulled me in straight away.

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  48. I too read the narrator as female. I think it could have gone either way. Masterfully done!

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  49. Consolation Prize winner!

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  50. Where ye be - see you on Facebook and Twitter :-D

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  51. So sad. And yet, so good! Love it.

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  52. sweet and sad! Feel kinda sorry for him. But . . . what kind of freinds would make him come when the girl of his dreams is marrying someone else?

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