Previously: Our Family Wedding II (The Groom)
The Best Man
Weddings Weddings Weddings.
The air is steaming again with the sweet aroma of desperate women. I do not know what it is about happy weddings that creates sad, lonely, ready-for-anything women. They are everywhere, and they are always trying to prove something. Its funny that by June every year you can already spot the serial wedding-hounds. Like Daisy - Lord bless those endless legs - and her exotic frienemy, Jummai. It would be awesome to get them together in one room. That would be a party. And then there were the older women who prowled weddings looking for fresh blood to make them feel young again. Those were the ones who let loose with such abandon that would make their younger competition blush. Almost everything I know, all the tricks that have women coming back to beg for more, I learned from an older woman.
Speaking of older women, it is taking a lot of restraint not to wink at The Mother of The Bride as she sits over there primly, doing her darnedest not to look at me. But her respectable attire does not fool me one bit. There is a feisty nymph inside those respectable motherly clothes. But this is not the time or place; and whether or not I get a repeat performance from her, something inside me knows that I will get her alone in a room again and watch those eyes grow dark with wanting me. Not that I really want to, but I never do what I should do. For now, I put my lecherous thoughts aside and turn my attention with the rest of the guests as they rise up to welcome the Bride.
The glowing, blushing bride.
I have known her since high school when she was a sassy little know-it-all, and many years later I still feel that intense sense of protectiveness towards her. Even now, I want to snarl at every man in the chapel and growl
"Mine. She's Mine"
The same way I almost did when my best friend proudly announced to me that he was going to make her his. But I held back, I reasoned that he could only be taunting me into admitting what he had hinted at all these years - that I was in love with her. Besides, she was not remotely his type, and everyone knew he was still disgustingly in love with the ex-girlfriend who dumped him and fled to Europe. Wonder what happened to her... It was a huge shock to me when she shyly came to me and told me that she had decided to date him. "He's sooooo perfect," she had crooned, all smiles, as she gushed excitedly about him. I could not believe my ears, I had never imagined that someone like her could be remotely interested in someone like him and I truly regretted introducing them...
She had just graduated from college and had come for a two week visit, to relax and catch up. I think deep down I was hoping that now that she was all grown up, something would blossom between us. Unfortunately, my best friend had shown up uninvited to talk about his runaway girlfriend and see if I had any new information about her. It was a funny story really: he swore to everyone that he had done nothing wrong and that he was in love with her, but her family protected her from him like he was the devil. After many weeks, the subject was tiring and I just wanted him gone. So I did the selfish thing and asked her to take him to a local bar while I finished up the imaginary work I brought home from work. I knew she would not be impressed with him and would find an excuse to get rid of him soon enough. But something must have happened that night because a complete change came over him and he started to pursue her ardently... and now, in less than a year, they are getting married... and I am still surprised by it all.
I look at her smiling and glowing as she floats down the aisle and I literally stop breathing. It's no secret by now that I am in love with her. I have always loved her. But when someone has so much power over you, you do everything you can not to fall into their hands. Because then they can really hurt you. So the more I loved her the more distance I put between us. And now it is too late; because how do I say to the only person I have ever loved "I love you, but I slept with your mother six months ago, because I wanted you....." I feel the sting of tears as I realize I am losing her forever and I look away. The mistake I make is looking sideways at my best friend...
The look in his eyes as he watches her coming down the aisle is cold, hateful. If I did not know him I would say he had the look of a killer, and even though he is not looking at me I shiver a little.
"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of God, and in the face of these witnesses, to join this Man and this Woman together..."
Who is this man?
I have known him very well for years. And even when he has been away in school or taking care of family business we have managed to stay in touch. And I owe him my life: after my parents died and I had no one, his family took me in as one of them. They are responsible for my education, my comfortable life, everything. But they have always had their secrets. And as I look at her over his shoulder I feel the cold hands of fear squeezing me so hard that I can hardly breathe. I cannot, will not, let her marry this cold stranger...
"Now, if anyone knows of any reason why these two should not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, speak now, or forever hold your peace..."
I open my mouth to speak, and before the words are formed I hear them whispered and echoed throughout the chapel "I DO"
No one is as surprised as I am...
Coming soon: Our Family Wedding IV (Mother of the Bride)