I fastened the veil with one more bobby-pin, took a deep breath and turned to face the mirror. The sight nearly took my breath away. My shaking hand reached for the flute of bubbling champagne on the counter. I swallowed the sweet nectar with a hint of peach as fast as my throat would allow it to go down. My hair and makeup looked like something out of a bridal magazine. The dress that I had dreamt of all my life hugged my body in all the right places. The diamond on my left hand gleamed and glistened in the soft glow of the bathroom lights. Etta James “All I Could Do Was Cry” blared from the adjoining room. I choked back tears and reached to refill my champagne. As the bottle slipped out of my hand and cascaded across the floor, a small scream of frustration emerged from my tightening throat. It was followed by another scream and a barrage of sobs as I sunk to the floor.
My name is Amelia Juhl. Today wasn’t supposed to go like this. This was supposed to be the most magical day of my life. In 20 minutes I should’ve been entering a church full of family and friends and prancing up the aisle towards the love of my life. Well, the man I had thought was the love of my life anyway. Now, to my detriment, he had become the love of someone else’s life. I was told this morning they had their baby…the baby conceived while he was still claiming he loved me, born on the morning we were supposed to get married. Sometime’s life is a totally ironic bitch, like that.
So what am I doing in my wedding dress crying on the bathroom floor? I’m not really sure, to be honest with you. All I know is that it’s a gorgeous gown and I wanted to wear it. It called out to me this morning. It begged to be taken from the closet and nestled against my satiny skin. It was odd to me how it felt warm and cold at the same time. The last few months that’s how my heart felt as well. I liken it to a small campfire in the middle of the frozen tundra. There’s still something alive in there, yearning to burn and grow, but the surrounding elements will not allow it. My mind begins to wander back to him and for a brief moment I wish he was here, that this was our day. That we could erase the betrayal and heartache that he caused. I wished I could stop loving him. And I wonder how I could possibly still love a man that would do that to me? I don’t know the answer. All I know is that I did.
I start to stand up so I can go get some more champagne. As I do, the bathroom door flies open and smacks me in the head. I’m sent sprawling backwards as my two best friends, Emma and Paige, bust into the bathroom. “Amelia!! What the hell are you doing in here?” Emma wails. It takes a moment for them to register the fact that I am in my full wedding get-up, slightly drunk, possibly unconscious and now lying in broken glass and a puddle of champagne. I moan from the floor and they rush to my side to lift me up.