Short Story Fiction

It was a picture perfect wedding, until they reached the “I do’s”

story Jilted image

The preacher was growing nervous. His work here had come to an abrupt end, as the glorious occasion he presided over had quickly deteriorated. He held a growing concern for the visitors in his church. He was alarmed enough to pull his phone from his back pocket. This had never happened to him before. Now he was ready to dial 911 in case the situation got physical.

The groom stood at the altar holding a crushed bouquet of roses and wildflowers. The bride had shoved them into his gut before storming up the very aisle she had so confidently walked down only minutes before.

She flung the door open and stepped into the bright afternoon sun. She sat down on the top step of the stairs leading up to the church's front doors. Upset and disappointed, she began to cry.

Her bridesmaids, like chicks following a mother hen, were on her heels. They hugged her, consoled her, and wiped away her tears along with the mascara that streamed down her face. She couldn't believe what had just happened. The most important day of her life, her dream day, had turned into a nightmare.

Inside, the bride's family was furious. They started hurling threats and insults toward the groom's side of the aisle. The groom's family found themselves on the defensive and in a state of mild shock.

The groom's friends, on the other hand, were celebrating. They gave each other high fives and bragged on how the groom had proven himself to be a confirmed bachelor and still "one of them."

They began making their way to the altar to congratulate their friend on his bravery and what they considered to be a very wise choice. One of the friends flipped off the bride's father after the man spewed an insulting remark in his direction.

The offensive gesture caused the man to come unglued. In a rage, he went after the guy. That's when the escalating mayhem took an ugly turn for the worst. The preacher's premonition had come to pass.

During the commotion, the groom faded into the background and slipped out a side door. He walked to the front of the church where he found his bride still sitting on the steps. Her bridesmaids took offense to him being there and stepped between the two. The bride asked them to step aside so she could see his face. He was in tears as he held out the crumpled bouquet in her direction.

"I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry. I still love you, and I don't want our relationship to end." It was all he could manage to get out.

Her eyes searched him as she tried to read his sincerity. It was a futile attempt. He was a complicated man. They looked deep into each other's eyes, hoping to find a remnant, a single spark, an ember, a flicker, something they could hang on to.

Through the tears, the sorrow, and the wreckage of the day, it was obvious. There was still something there. It would need to be rekindled. She accepted the apology and the offering of her now-crumpled flowers.

"We need to talk." Her voice was firm and confident.

He easily agreed with a slight nod of the head.

She stood, and they walked down the stairs together. As they walked away from the church in their wedding clothes, several squad cars pulled up in front of the building.

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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