Sunday, September 13, 2009

Till death do us apart

"Perfect" the maid of honour remarks, as I sway the embellished white bridal gown. She adjusts the coronet adorned with a wreath of Rosemarys and covers my face with a netted veil. She hands over a bouquet of red roses to complement my attire.

I ask the make-up artist to overdo the mascara of my eyes. I have to conceal my tears behind the shades of heavy make-up and a pretentious visage. As I breathe in the fragrance of the bunch of crimson flowers I check their colour which stands a striking contrast against the purity of my white frock.

Perfect on the outside. But I feel shattered inside. I am supposed to look high in spirits.

But I won't cry. Not today.

His words with a velvet touch flow into my memory. I shake my head to brush his thoughts aside. He is my past. I remind myself. A closed chapter.

With a sigh, I walk towards the centre aisle of the church from the dressing room.The page boy carries the train of my flowing gown escorted with the bridesmaids. At the entrance of the church I am greeted by the best man with a wedding bouquet and a kiss. The prelude of melodious music flows in. I walk towards the altar as the flower-girl spreads rose petals on the floor.

"All rise for the bride"

Every step resounds in my ears. The guests greet me, but I walk on by like a cold expressionless stone. My father smiles at me and walks arm in arm with me.

As the bridal procession towards the altar continues the minister performs the call to worship.
" We are gathered here in the sight of God and these witnesses to unite Rachel Adams and Eben Scott in holy matrimony. As followers of Jesus Christ, let us reverently remember that God has established and sanctified marriage, for the welfare and happiness of mankind.In Christ's holy name. Amen. "

I look down the the path and count the marble tiles. Anything to keep me distracted from breaking down and weeping in front of the 150 odd guests who gathered. I want to yell at the crest of my voice that I belonged to someone else. The path seemed to take forever.

But I won't cry. Not today.

As I near the stage, I do a double-take, unable to believe my eyes. A man at the farthest end among the guests attracts my attention. Praying Jesus that it shouldn't be him, I walk dilly-dallying.

My heart thumps loudly. It's him!

Who informed him about the wedding anyway? I wanted it to happen hush-hush and brisk before he would come to know of it and become heart-broken.

Why did he have to come here now?

What did he mean by gate-crashing at the event?

Didn't he know it was difficult for me already to marry a man I didn't love? It isn't easy! But I had to. I killed my heart and the love it contained for agreeing to this wedding.


He looks very pale. His eyes are not looking at me. They are penetrating through me and I feel the sharpness of his piercing glance boring through me. He seems to ask the question that I haven't dared to ask or answer myself.

The congregation is asked to seat. The ushers light the candles. The groom enters escorted by groomsmen.

" Who gives this woman to be married to this man? " Asks the priest.

" We do". Answer my parents.

Though I avert his gaze, he keeps staring at me. I pull down the veil to shield my face from his questioning glance. I feel my heart pulsating unrythmically and reverberating audibly to the priest. His look of despair haunted me throughout the wedding proceeding.

That feeling of distraught.

That feeling of helplessness.

Heartbroken. Crestfallen.

That feeling of being jilted and betrayed in love.


I search for him among the guests and take a mere glance at him just for a split second, and look down immediately, but not before catching the 1000 expressions that crossed his face all at once.

I feel a dizzy spell. My extremities feel so numb. Bucketful of emotions are consuming me and whirling me mercilessly.

This would have happened quickly and painlessly if he didn't turn up here uninvited.

Why is he making it difficult for both of us?

His eyes convey to me every word with sparkling clarity.

Come back to me this very moment. Even now it's not too late. For whose sake are you doing it anyway?

I feel like running into his arms and calling off the wedding. But I shouldn't be distracted by sheer display of emotion. I feel my world closing on me.


But I won't cry. Not today.


The priest before the statue of The holy Jesus chants the wedding vows on the The Bible.

"Eben, do you take Rachel to be your wedded wife and in the presence of these witnesses do you vow that you will do everything in your power to make your love for her a growing part of your life? Will you stand by her in sickness or in health, in poverty or in wealth, and will you shun all others and keep yourself to her alone as long as you both shall live? "


Eben looks straight into my eyes and says confidently "In the name of Jesus, I Eben Scott take you, to be my wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, for as long as we both shall live. This is my solemn vow"


I don't feel myself. I don't hear a thing of the proceedings. I am so withdrawn into myself.

The priest looks at me and asks " Do you take Eben Scott as your husband?" The stern look on his face jolts me back to reality. Wondering for how long I've been a statue, I try to spill out those two words but they don't seem to come. Everyone wonders seeing my hesitation. Time and dimension freeze. After what seems like an eternity I manage to say I do, which sounds nothing more than a squeak and shows clear signs of stoical suffering though I intend it to sound confident.


Hymns are begun to be sung by the choir. The priest hands over the rings to us.

The Minister says "Father, bless these rings which the couple have set apart to be visible signs of the inward and spiritual bond which unites their hearts."


Eben says "Receive and wear this ring as a symbol of my trust, my respect and my love for you." Eben slides the ring over my trembling fingers.Everyone in the hall wait for me as I fumble for words. I finally stammer "Likewise". I look at him past the groom. He stands expressionless.

The priest says " Now that you both have given themselves to each other by the promises, I pronounce you to be husband and wife, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen "

The guests clap acoustically.


I expected him to intervene. But he stood there heart broken. It's all over now. I belong to somebody else now. I can feel him exploding inside. I mangle my fingers and dig into the flesh with my nails. Despite that I can't feel the physical pain of it. But my heart weighed down with excruciating pain.

But no, I won't cry. Not today.

"You may now kiss the bride."

The groom lifts the veil and kisses first my cheeks gently. And then my lips. I can't feel a thing. Eben's kiss isn't anything like the warmth and sparkle of the passionate kiss of his. It is bland and cold. Eben senses my discomfort and lets me go.

The minister says " It is now my privilege to introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Eben Scott"
The hall breaks into applause.

My eyes begin to moisten with tears.

But I won't cry. Not today.

I suppress my tears before they start to stream down. I betrayed him and that feeling claimed my conscience. I feel like a treacherous vixen with vile.The groom slides his hand along my waist and excitedly takes me to the Bridal wain decorated with red roses waiting outside. The chauffeur opens the door for me. I get inside the wagon but my eyes search and pine for his sight. Maybe the last chance ever. He meant the world to me. He protected me like a harbour in an unexpected storm when I was like a vacillating wrecked ship. He was my pillar support admist the changing scenes of life. He made me perceive a world of true beauty.

But he is my past now. I can only hold onto those abstract memories.

I roll down the window pane, silently hoping for him to come out and look my way. To my utter dismay the wagon starts off to my supposedly new home. As the chauffeur veers off into another lane, he sends me a mail on my blackberry. Even before reading it, I know what would have been typed in anger.

Why?

Why did you betray me? I expected him to curse me bitterly.

But as I read on, to my astonishment, he doesn't seem to hold anything against me.

Look forward to the bright future this man wants to give you. Bury your past below profound depths. Have a beautiful life ahead.

It's hard to let you go. But I'll try. You deserve a better man afterall. Maybe we are not meant to be together. Seems like destiny had better plans for you.

Stay happy. Keep him happy. And just remember that out there in some corner of the world a man will be happy because you are happy.

As I finish reading the letter, my eyes brim up with tears. I can't control or suppress anymore. Now, at this moment, I break down and cry. Just this very day. Eben misunderstands and relegates my tears to a bride's cold feet emotions.

Tears roll down my cheeks and pelter down on the note, wetting the paper. They smudge my pretentious make-up and heavy mascara. I wail and weep with all my heart for the injustice I did to him.

For the injustice I did to us.



27 comments:

  1. the quality of english is superb... not seen on blogs...

    :)

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  2. Pretty nice story.Terribly sad too.But I would've liked to know why the girl ditched her lover to marry someone else.

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  3. painfully sweet story... the narration, as usual was serene n expressive...

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  4. nicely written liked the way you described it

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  5. wow, that was
    a whole Novel.
    it kept on going.

    anyways, very nicely written
    frend.
    keep writing.
    :)

    ---
    The Fun place.

    ReplyDelete
  6. beautiful ... sad but beautifully presented

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  7. thats the kind of story I love to read!
    10 on 10!!

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  8. Nice story..............xcllnt presentation

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  9. I found you from Samadrita's blog! And I am glad I did!

    I also wrote a similar story, in essence but different in plot. :)

    Wonderful narration of feelings. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I found you from Samadrita's Blog too! And wow, I felt the pain, the way you've narrated it is beautiful. Just a curious question - the emotions which are portrayed, do they come from your life, or is this just fiction?

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  11. Simply beautifully scripted!!Your command of the english language is superb.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey Aparna be a li'l something for you at my blog.Go check! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just happened to click into your blog via another, and I don't usually stop and read short stories...but this one had me reading. Very well written. I can only imagine the gutted feeling in a bride's stomach when she's a in situation like that. Very well thought out, and I like the way you handled the delicate situation and played it out just right. Could totally picture it all in my head, excellent writing. :)

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  14. Hey!!
    1. I love your background
    2. I love your header.
    3. I love your previous post.
    4. And the pictures you have uploaded.
    5. I love your blog !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey!!
    1. I love your background
    2. I love your header.
    3. I love your previous post.
    4. And the pictures you have uploaded.
    5. I love your blog !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey girl you're tagged in my last post.Go check :D

    ReplyDelete
  17. Fantastic...Amazing.. Fabulous!!! I could relate to the story

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  18. OoPs! I posted my comment twice earlier :p Sorry for that!
    Thanks for your comment. Glad you liked it. Do come back again :)

    ReplyDelete
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  20. Nice blog...
    really like it ...
    must come here again..

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi
    You have great work in your blog, Like an Expert...
    Weldone..

    ReplyDelete
  22. aaww! Why dint she leave Ethan and Go. Much a sad story but a great one. damn! I hate sad endings :(.

    ReplyDelete
  23. wonderfully narrated! nd boy have u paid attention to every small detail! da whole scene of the nuptial was laid bare b4 ma eyes! The closest possible simulation of a visual treat! :)

    sad...dat she ditched him! :(

    Likd da flow in dis one! Language as always is beautiful! all in all a luvly write! :D

    tc!

    ReplyDelete

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