A Blue Wedding

Who knew that a day of such joy as this could hold this much sorrow? Slowly the guests arrive wearing their Sunday Best, all dolled up for the occasion. My aunt, clad in shimmering silver, makes her way over to the piano. Her twelve-year-old son stands nearby and quietly tunes his violin with the ease of a professional. The introduction to the wedding march plays sweetly as I turn to fix my violet dress in the mirror one last time and I put on a brave face. A hand rests on my shoulder.

“Don’t worry, Danni,” sooths the best man, “Liam will look after Cass.” I turn and fake a smile.
“I know, Will.” I spin away from him to take my place in the procession, praying no-one can see the tears shining in my eyes.
‘Hold it together, Danni,’ I tell myself. Leading the march are Liam’s cousins, the flower girls, Amy and Kate, in matching blue silk, and the page boy, James. Jacinta and Beth, the bridesmaids, follow with knee-length red silk and a million volt smiles. Will offers me his arm and we proceed down the aisle together. Halfway we hear the rapid intake of breath and everyone turns to see her.

Cassandra Evelyn Banks. The bride in the white tulle and silk wedding gown that her mother spent hours slaving on to make perfect. My sister. As I get to the altar, I turn to get a look. My little baby Cassie, who used to ask me to tie up her laces for school, was all grown up. She looked amazing, smiling, totally oblivious to the thousands of eyes trained on her. No, all she could see was Liam, her husband to be in only a few short minutes. I’m glad she was happy.

I force myself to look at him when Dad hands Cass over at the altar. Liam looks happy too. The smile he’s giving Cass is just like when . . . I snap myself out of it. I can’t afford to cry, Liam needs me to be strong. I give Cassie an encouraging smile before taking my seat.

“Do you, Liam Jonathon Gale, take Cassandra Evelyn to be your lawful wedded wife?” asks Father O’Connor.
‘Li,’ I plead to myself, ‘Please Li . . .’ I am so selfish.
“I do.” Those two words break my heart.
“Do you, Cassandra Evelyn Banks, take Liam Jonathon to be your lawful wedded husband?” the priest chimes again.
“I do.”
“Is there anyone in objection to this marriage?” Father questions, “Speak now or forever hold your silence.”
‘I do,’ I admit silently.
“Then I pronounce you, man and wife!” The church erupts into cheers. I watch as a glowing Liam leads Cassie out of the church and I find a nice place to sit alone. I take out my phone and open one of the pictures.
“Good-bye, Liam,” I whisper, tears streaking my face, “You will always be my first and my last. The best and only boyfriend in the world for me. Good-bye, Love. Be safe.”

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