The Bridesmaid

The Bridesmaid

A Story by Here's What I Say
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Envy not a sinner�s fame, for you know not what disaster awaits him. Sirach 9:11

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My dress was too tight. I realize I’m a little overweight, but c’mon, I know it’s not that hard to find a size sixteen for that so lovely hot pink dress.
 
The wedding coordinator motioned me to stop fidgeting and get ready to start the procession down the aisle. I stood next to Barry, my arm linked in his and we waited for the music to start. Barry was supporting himself on his right leg, leaning away from me. Yeah, I know, the last thing he’d want is to be going down the aisle with me. He was hoping it was someone with big b***s and a tiny waist, yet possessing a big, juicy, stellar a*s too. Willing to bend to his every whim, do all of his chores, have the kids and still maintain that perfect figure, let him control the finances…a chauvinist’s dream.
 
As the sappy church music started to play, we remembered what the wedding coordinator’s frustrated voice yelled and echoed through the church the many rehearsals before: left, stop; right, stop; left, stop; right, stop. I knew Barry wasn’t much for weddings, let alone having to touch me for a minute or two at a wedding, but he I knew he could fake a smile- he does that every time I see him trying to hit a on a chick. He just made it harder for me to give the cameras any reason why I’d smile. Even if it was a beautiful wedding.
 
My eyes wandered around, hoping to see Jose around somewhere.
 
I walked down the aisle and I saw the side of one of the pews. Hanging off of the pew was this intricate arrangement of flowers. It was literally a sight for sore eyes to see something that isn’t hot pink. I wanted to reach out to touch the white rose. A petal fell off as I passed by. I noticed that amongst the roses were also lilies and winter jasmines, giving not only a beautiful sight, but also a deeply intoxicating scent- the mix of roses, lilies and jasmine. Even the guys wanted to reach out and pluck these flowers so they can have the scents to themselves to immerse themselves in it, leaving the arrangement of flowers incomplete and smelling less inviting.
 
He let go of my arm. Thank God. Barry’s cologne was starting to make my allergies act up. I stood at the last step of the altar and I saw Kelly coming up to get the second to last step. I guess it makes sense that I was on bottom of the bridesmaid hierarchy.
 
The congregation stood up. She had both of her parents hooked onto either one of her arms. As the little flower girls threw their land handful of white rose petals, “Here Comes the Bride” played. Yes. Here comes the bride. All dressed in white.
 
Ha, that’s good, tell me another one.
 
Those heels hurt. Fifty-seven dollars for a pair of four-inch, hot pink high heels that I’m never going to wear again. I swear, at my wedding, we will all be wearing sneakers and Vans under our gowns. Why were they making us stand and at least the bride and groom got to kneel? I know the bride can kneel- why don’t we get to kneel or sit down? Damn Catholic ceremony.
 
“I present to you Darrell and Arianna Dillon!” the priest announced. The crowd looked really happy. I mean seriously happy. Leaving puddles on the floor, they were so happy. The bride and groom, linked arm in arm, came down the steps of the altar to face their wet-with-tears friends and family. The Maid of Honor came down the aisle with her precious Best Man. Yes, Jason, nice to see you too. Then Agatha and Brian. Then Cora and David. Of course, Kelly and Gary. Oh, Barry and me. I hated that look he was giving me. He must have really hated sappy weddings.
 
 
                                                *            *            *            *
 
 
The salad was delicious. No expense spared, huh? It takes six months, minimum, to reserve this catering service here. Plenty of time to decorate this beautiful banquet hall with roses, lilies and jasmine, right? It was only up for an hour or two, and petals, and even whole flowers were falling to the floor as the little kids ran up and throw them around, having their own little wedding shower.
 
I sat at my table, facing the arrangement of the flowers in front of me. I made the decision to steal the flower arrangement in front of me. It was beautiful. I had to have it. I knew everyone in this room has had that same feeling.
 
“Angela, it’s me,” I heard Matthew say. God, I hope he didn’t notice my breath starting to get fast.
 
“Hi, Matt,” I heard myself say. I stood up to hug him. I love that cologne he was wearing. I’ve loved it since I smelled on him in sophomore year of high school. “I haven’t seen you in months. How have you been?” Why do I love it when he shrugs?
 
“Oh, I’ve been alright,” Matthew said with that beautiful tenor of his. “I’ve just been doing some serious business. You?” I shrugged as I smiled. For real this time.
 
“I’ve been doing some stuff for the wedding lately,” I said, hoping he’d smile at me again. I looked at his neck and I pointed. He looked down.
 
“What?” Matthew asked.
 
“Where’s that necklace I got you in senior year?” I asked pointing at his neck. “You know, that little full moon I gave you. You always wore it.” Matthew felt his neck for the necklace but then an enlightened look reached across his face.
 
“Oh yeah, I know, I left it at home. I mean, I love it and all, but I wanted to take it off for the wedding, you know? Trying to look formal and all.”
 
“Yeah. I guess we all have to do things we don’t normally do, huh? I mean, Arianna wanted me to make a speech today, and you know me, I don’t fall short on my promises, now do I?”
 
“Yeah, I know you don’t,” he said as he scratched the back of his head. “You always keep your promises. I still remember sophomore year of high school…remember when you had Arianna tell me that you said you’d be my date for homecoming if Barbara Jones said no? And when she didn’t show up that night, you were willing to show up in your sister’s old dress just so I’d have a date?” Of course now, years later, that’s a sweet, funny memory. At fifteen, though, showing up in another pink dress with more ruffles than a bag of chips was pretty embarrassing.
 
And to think I would have jumped like a monkey in that dress if he asked me? His word is my command.
 
“Yeah. I do. Oh God, they’re going to start the speeches. I’ll talk to you later, ok Matt?”
 
Don’t wait for him, I heard myself think. Reach out for him now and hug him. One for the road. I could feel the shocked look on his face when I held him. I don’t remember holding onto him that tight before.
 
I saw Jose at the entrance of the hall. He nodded his head. Everything was in order. I pulled away from Matthew. I let him go as he walked away, fixing his tie.
 
“First off, I’d like to tell you how happy I am to be the Maid of Honor,” Cecelia said into the microphone. “I remember back in high school how you said I’d always be your Maid of Honor and that we’d be best friends forever…” Oh, she told you that too? “…I’ve never been this happy before. I am so honored that you asked me to be here today as you declare your love for Darrell in front of your family and friends. You’re the best, Arianna. I love you, girlie, and I always will. Good luck with you and Darrell!” Cecelia sat down and hugged the bride from her seat. I watched as the microphone got passed down the line of bridesmaids, offering their carbon copy sappiness. I felt my heart thundering in my chest as it got closer and closer to me. I could feel every pore in my body aching as it produced more sweat to keep my temperature under control. The microphone was right next to me. I didn’t write a speech in case I chickened out.
 
I took the microphone into my hand and stood up. I felt the thunderous clapping in my ears for the storm that I knew I was bringing on. There was no turning back.
 
“Well, I’m obviously seeing how happy everyone is today,” I started off, winging it. “I was walking down the aisle and I nearly took Barry down with me when I slipped in Mr. Aden’s tears. Oh, thanks for catching me before I fell, oh great knight.” The crowd laughed generously, while Barry gave me enough time in the day to scowl at me.
 
“So yeah. Well, not a lot of people know this, but I love weddings. I really do. I love it when two people who truly love each other come together and take a sacred vow before God and say, ‘I love you and I will spend the rest of my life loving you, and only you’. That is the most beautiful thing in the world. I really love that and the way that always makes me feel. Warm, soft, and at peace with everything in the world.” People began to, “aww” in response to my words and I watched as the bride and groom shared a kiss. I took a deep breath.
 
“I remember when they got together back when we were in high school. It was so sweet. And it was so long ago. I remember when I saw them that I thought, ‘They’re going to make it. They’re perfect for each other.’ I never thought there was a more perfect person for Darrell than Arianna.” I looked over and saw Darrell look at Arianna with all the love that could possibly be in a human’s heart. I took a deep breath.
 
“I could stand here all day and tell you all about what happened up to now. But you know that saying, ‘A picture’s worth a thousand words’? Well,” I said, watching Jose roll the cart with the slideshow into the reception hall, “I figured these pictures would say so much more than I ever could.” I put the microphone down and nodded my head to him so he knew to turn on the projector. The big screen came down from the ceiling over the stage where the DJ stood. When the DJ moved off the stage, the slideshow began.
 
I looked up at the screen, seeing the fourteen-year-old faces of Darrell and Arianna smiling back at us. A chuckle eased my tension a little. This was back when Arianna still had braces and I remember that the picture had been taken right after she had gotten them. As a result Arianna was blushing profusely and covering her face in embarrassment. The next picture popped up- their first summer at Disneyland together. If you were looking closely in the background, you saw Barry and me face-to-face and it looked like we were screaming at each other. It wasn’t my fault- Barry bumped into me and made me drop my frozen banana.
 
I felt my mood easing a little more when the next pictures came up- little wallet photos of Darrell and Arianna from proms and homecomings long past. The hot colors of red, orange and yellow seemed to blind people as those pictures showed up- explaining why I looked like such a fool in my own bridesmaid dress. I remembered how we passed pictures of ourselves in our formal gowns and scribbling cute little notes of, “friends forever” on the back of them. Darrell and Arianna grew up right in front of our very eyes- a sight to truly bring loving parents to their knees with pride. I watched pictures of them hugging in their graduation gowns and then pictures of them hugging in a coffee shop in their college sweatshirts. I stared at the screen when a group photo popped up. Arianna stood in the middle with Darrell on her left and his arm around her shoulders. Cecelia stood proudly with Jason on her left, while he stood next to her with a very cool look on his face. Matthew stood on Arianna’s right, leaning in a little to make sure there was enough room for the people at the end to be in the picture. Barry stood on my right, albeit reluctantly, and I stood closer to Matthew, smiling brightly. For the first time, I noticed that my head was turned slightly in Matthew’s direction. I looked over at Jose. He nodded. It was just about time.
 
A few miscellaneous pictures appeared on the screen, sunshine lighting up each and every one of them as the pictures graduated with Darrell and Arianna. A picture of Arianna’s hand with her new engagement ring on her hand. Arianna hiding her wedding dress in her closet. Arianna’s shocked face at her surprise engagement party. Photos of the dress rehearsal party. I made sure each and every one of these pictures were in chronological order.
 
The next picture showed up on the screen, and the room fell deathly silent, except for the sounds of my pounding heart and twisting stomach. I could have sworn the lights went out when the dark picture showed up. Sounds of utter disgust and shock filled the hall. My heart continued to race, but I no longer felt afraid. Seven more gruesome pictures popped up before the slideshow ended with an unceremonious click of the machine shutting off. I felt numb as I turned my body to face the rest of the bridal party.
 
“I have to say, Jason, I’m glad you listened to me when I told you to buy that digital camera from Best Buy,” I said, trying not to grind my teeth to fine dust. “The pictures turned out great, huh? But the next time you feel like taking pictures during sex, try not to e-mail me the wrong attachment, huh?” I knew Jason was dangerous with his martial arts expertise, but at this point, I wouldn’t have minded if Jason killed me. Darrell was using all of his upper body strength to keep Jason from jumping over the tables and snapping my neck, but Arianna picked up her immaculate white dress and marched right over to me. She didn’t even stop as she slapped me clear across the face. I just let her hit me as much as she wanted to, scarring me and leaving traces of my blood on her dress. If she was going to be a monster to me, then I was going to let her be the one to do it.
 
Cora and Kelly pulled her off of me and let me have a chance to wipe my bloody nose. Arianna’s screeching screams were almost unintelligible and I watched her from my spot on the floor as Cora and Kelly pulled her back a considerable distance. I reached for the edge of the table and pulled myself up, letting my blood fall onto my hot pink dress. Arianna stopped fighting against Cora and Kelly long enough to speak clearly to me.
 
“…How could you do this to me, Angela?!” she screamed. “What have I done to you?! How could you do something so horrible?! I thought you were better than this!” She fought against them a little more before hanging off of their arms and sobbing. I stared back at her. Then I remembered what I really wanted to say.
 
“I thought you were better than this too,” I whispered. “Not once, in our entire friendship did I think you could ever do something so sick. I never thought you would do anything like this to Darrell. I thought you were a different person than what I saw in the photo. What? You didn’t think I knew? Or that I would find out? You don’t think I’m capable of wearing a mask just as good as you guys can? Well, have I got news for you- I can play the game just as good as you guys can. I can pretend like nothing’s wrong and that I’m going about happily in my life like everything’s perfect. Unlike you guys, I can’t hold it in forever. You don’t know how much my stomach turned at the thought of you and Jason together. You have no clue how much of a dirty rat and a sneak I felt like for harboring this secret from you guys. How could you expect me to be happy about this, Arianna? How can you possibly expect me to keep this secret and go on with my life like everything was ok? I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it anymore. Darrell deserved to know. He loves you more than life, so I think that’s all the more reason why he should know! Nobody deserves to be left in the dark like that. He deserves someone true and loyal to him that loves him as much as he loves her! God damnit, Arianna, Jason! His Best Man! Of all the people in the world, it had to be Jason! And you’re standing there expecting me to be sorry for what I did? Well, I’m not. I’m not sorry for anything, and I don’t feel sorry for you. I’m just sorry that Cecelia and Darrell are in love with cheaters.”
 
Whenever I imagined it in my head, nobody clapped or cheered for me or for my actions. Their scowls and looks of utter disgust and hatred towards me looked exactly like what I pictured in my head the ensuing months before the wedding. Darrell was calm now that the other groomsmen were holding Jason down in his seat. Darrell walked slowly and calmly to us, with a look of serene purpose on his face. Arianna looked at him, patiently waiting for him. Darrell looked her directly in the eyes, saying nothing, while she looked a little dazed. Darrell picked up her bloody hands and held them gently. He let them go for a second before he pulled out the shirttail and began to wipe her hands with his shirt. Then he pulled her in for a hug.
 
“Until death do us part,” he whispered tenderly in her ear. My eyes were popped wide open, but my ears closed up, blocking out most of the happy cheering and hooting. They celebrated them. They celebrated his loyalty to her. They celebrated her endurance through my disgusting act. They celebrated as Cecelia ran back into Jason’s arms, cuddling him, and gasping in shock and surprise as Jason fell to one knee. I turned around, not caring if I would sprain my ankle running out of the hall.
 
 
                                                *            *            *            *
 
I continued to wipe my blood with my soaked and overused paper towel from the bathroom, sitting in one of the overstuffed chairs in the lobby. I could hear the romantic music and the chattering of family and friends from the hall. I pulled all of the pins out of my hair and shook it back into its free position, or as free as it could from the heavy spraying from hours before. I stared into the red carpet as drops of my blood soaked in. My head hurt from all the hitting. How were Arianna and Darrell going to explain the blood on Mommy’s wedding dress when their kids asked years later? I shuddered at the thought. But they weren’t going to forget me. I may have been banished from their circle of friends, but my mark was left there, and no amount of denial was going to erase me.
 
I jerked back a little when I saw a white handkerchief in front of my face. I looked up at the person before I took it.
 
“For a freak I knew in high school, you’re pretty twisted,” Barry said flatly. I looked at him for one more second before wiping my nose a little more. The blood flow was beginning to slow down.
 
“Yeah, well, I think we’ve all shocked ourselves at some point in our lives,” I said, wiping my face. Barry stood over me for a minute.
 
“You know, Arianna’s right,” Barry said finally. “What you did was sick and twisted. I can’t believe you’d publicly humiliate her in front of all of those people.” I looked away from him. Chauvinist or not, I always hated it when he was right. He reached over and made me face him again. I had no idea that his hands were that soft.
 
“But I think you were right to tell her the truth,” Barry said. “It was sick what you did. But it was even sicker to think that she was going to spend the rest of her life lying to Darrell like that.” I lowered my eyes, feeling the pain sinking into my heart after getting past the shock of the experience.
 
“I know,” I said in a low voice. “I couldn’t hold it in anymore. God, Barry. I wasn’t even the one who cheated and it was driving me crazy keeping this secret in! How could she do that? How could she have found it so easy to keep the truth from him and just be so ok with it? It doesn’t make sense, Barry.” Barry didn’t look like he knew what to do. We had never really been close, and to hear me spill out feelings like that to him must have been more than he knew what to do with. Barry and I just existed together in that lobby, knowing we were there with each other, but not truly enjoying it. Then he sighed. He began to walk off.
 
“Matt?” I heard him whisper. I looked up and saw Matthew down the hall, pacing. I stood up. Oh God, that worried look again. I began to take my first step when I saw the bloody gown slip out quietly, trying not to be seen. She closed the door to the hall and faced Matthew. Barry pulled me by the arm and we hid behind a wall that looked into the hallway where Matthew and Arianna stood together. Barry and I slowly inched forward until the corners of our eyes reached the edge of the wall. Matthew was the first to speak.
 
“Jason? You slept with Jason?” Matthew demanded. Arianna put her hands up, almost to calm him.
 
“Matthew, it didn’t mean anything to me!” she whispered hastily. “It was just one of those things that just happened!”
 
“Sex doesn’t, ‘just’ happen,” Matthew argued. “You make a choice of whether or not you have sex with someone unless you’re raped! And you look like you were enjoying the f**k out of yourself!”
 
“Matt, please,” Arianna begged. “Please, calm down. Please you have to believe me, I don’t like Jason in that way. I never have.” Even from the distance at which I stood, I could see the tears sparking in his eyes.
 
“How do I know that, Arianna?” Matthew whispered. “How do I know that you never really loved Jason?” Arianna stood there for a second, letting Matthew cry. There was something in my heart that cried for and with him like it never did before.
 
I love you so much, Matt, I felt inside of me. I’d never make you cry like that. Arianna reached into bust of her wedding dress. My eyes squinted in confusion as she took the object out. I felt every cell in my body rebelling, screaming at levels only my heart could hear at what I was seeing. I prayed to God to not let what I thought I was seeing be what I was really seeing.
 
“I kept it close to my heart like I promised I would,” Arianna said, my leather string necklace with the white shell full moon dangling from her left fingers. “I held onto it ever since that night. I promised that I would always love you. So now you believe me?” I stood away from the wall and felt my knees disappear from underneath me. Barry held me up by my armpits as I controlled the sobs that threatened to tear my whole body apart. I didn’t have a camera. My only witness was my enemy from high school, who was now the one holding me up when I couldn’t stand. Darrell was going to forgive her if I said anything.
 
“You cheater!” I screamed. “You cheating b***h! You lying w***e! You disgusting, lying, conniving, little s**t!” Barry’s arms remained linked onto mine as security ran by, pulling us towards the exit. It was the last time I’d see her that day, but I’ll never forget that smirk, filled with triumph, that she threw at me as she held onto Matthew’s body.

 

The sequel, "Fallen":

www.writerscafe.org/writing/Stars%20Fall%20On%20My%20Heart/205180/

© 2008 Here's What I Say


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i enjoyed this. a few grammatical errors and such but nothing too big. I personally think what the bridesmaid did was right, but she took the wrong approach. and the smirk she gave over his shoulder at then end... made me want to reach into the computer screen and into the story and kill her. lol. well done.

Posted 15 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Wow... I was completely absorbed from beginning to end. I love that it had that unexpected twist. And the characters, especially the narrator; you provided them with such amazing depth and wonderful voice. I could see each and every one of them, and they all felt familiar to me in some way, like people I know, or people that I've known. You have an amazing talent. I'm so glad we discovered each other! :)

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

omg great job. i Love the ending even though i can kinda relate (backstabbing friends...) but then that, great f*****g job

Posted 15 Years Ago


Wow, this was entertaining... in that train crash sort of way. I think you could have put some more cinicism in the beginning and hilighted those dark jokes a little more; they really give the piece just the right amount of foreshadowing before the twist. Very well done.

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Like it...what a twist...such dark shameful secrets floating between the thin line of what they call "friendship"...haha! wow...back fighting and so on...the twists and the surprises...love it! Good job!

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Yes I friggin love this story well the ending was sad but I hate that b***h arriana, even though shes a fictional character. Grrr, I wanna find her now and punch her in the face!

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very emotional. I was as pissed as angela after reading this. Great job.

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

hey wow, someone who hates cheating as much as me. the one thing I have to say bad about this story is that I can't feel sympathetic for the main character at all. Here's why.. She can't be that good of a person if she lets Darrell go through all of the entrapment before she tells him. I mean, she could have told him before, right???

anyway, you really know your stuff. congratulations. I only found two technicalities.. "Hanging off of the pew was this intricate arrangement of flowers." I think you should change 'this' for an 'an'. And "It takes six months, minimum, to reserve this catering service here." Again, 'this' to a 'the'. And "I didn't write a speech in case I chickened out." To, I hadn't written a speech in case I chickened out.

Those are just technicalities.. The story was excellent.. I'm just a nitpicker sometimes. anyway, good luck in the contest.

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Nothing more to say apart from; I both felt and delivered the punch that ruined the wedding. It is so good to see a female write about betrayal in a calm caluclated way yet still allow emotional content in there.

This was what I call my cup of tea. Well done

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This one was amazing. I started by believing that this was going to be about how much it sucked to be a bridesmaid. I thought, you were just trying to get out of being asked to be in future weddings. Well, you probably won't be. How hysterical and horrifying this turned out to be. Could you imagine that if everyone who cheated received this type of justice? This highschool was filled with shady people. Also, the main character shouldn't feel to bad about Matt. He has been wearing the same cologne since 10th grade and doesn't wear a tie to a wedding. Loser. Great piece though.

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

very Beverly Hills 90210 but in a good way :) i was hooked all the way through. Damn about Matt though - i thought he was so sweet and perfect for your protagonist. Heartbreaking, the whole necklace thing. Sigh.

Posted 15 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 6, 2008
Last Updated on August 6, 2008

Author

Here's What I Say
Here's What I Say

Torrance, CA



About
I was born on July 3rd 1986 in Torrance, California, and grew up there all my life. I had a hankering to start writing when I was eight, but didn't start actively pursuing it until I was thirteen and .. more..

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