Fiction

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White Wedding Lie

My friend Sachie had texted some pics. I heard my phone ping again but I decided that I needed to get some fresh air before I could cope with what was happening. Slipping the phone into my pocket I stepped out into the garden. My boy Sarge was immediately at my side looking at me with his big brown eyes and resting his warm nuzzle against my leg. His eyes promised me that everything was going to be just fine. Stroking his soft fur helped. Yoga breath, I reminded myself. Be calm, nose in – mouth out, long slow breaths.

I leaned against the frangipani tree and pulled my phone out. She was absolutely stunning, his bride. Beyond exquisite. Her boho style dress draped elegantly on her long, slim body. Perfect hair, perfect make-up. I chose that moment to glance down at my feet, bare in the grass and all I saw was how badly I needed a pedicure and how fat my ankles looked!

“Come on Sarge, let’s walk a little. We’ll stay focussed in the garden and get some nice cool air. That will help, right?” He pressed gently beside me and I could not have been more grateful for his gentle company at that moment.

Another attachment came from Sachie – this time a video. I needed to sit down.

He looked happy and I knew his face, he was happy. His eyes were locked on his new wife as she stood with a champagne flute in her hand telling the story of how they had met.

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“So, how did I meet the most gorgeous man on the planet?” When she looks at him, it’s obvious in that moment that for each of them, they might as well be the only two people in the room. They are so in love.

“He was my table twelve. Shrimp scampi, fresh lemon, extra black pepper and a coopers pale ale.” There is a ripple of understanding and the clip scans so that I can see the guests enjoying their delicious meal, the groom’s favorite.

“Oh and he was there with a really hot girl, and I sort of thought that I should not be checking this guy out but then,” and she pauses and with a cute little wag of her hand she adds, “then I decided – I’m having myself some of that!” There is happy and good natured laughter. The bride beams at her man and raises her glass with a gesture for him alone. She knocks it out of the park, funny, sassy and adorable. Tick, tick, tick. I bet a lot of the guys in the room are wishing they were the groom, goodness even a few of the girls too!

“I put my name and number right across his bill and well, here we all are!” More laughter and a fair bit of hooting.

I had to take a deep, deep breath. You pretty, little bloody liar.

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I was restless. “Sarge, I need a drink. Let’s go boy.” Opening the fridge I looked longingly at the good champagne that had been chilling there for some time. “Don’t look at me like that, it’s water for both of us. I filled his inside bowl and checked my phone for messages. Surely, I would hear from him soon. I was doing ok, coping fine and was completely confident he would be calling, the very second he could.

After watching the video again, I knelt down on my yoga mat.

“That’s not what happened Sarge. Really, I should know, after all I was there. She got at least one fact right, I was hot!” My sweet boy cocked his head to one side in a show of agreement.

Three years ago I was at table twelve with David. I was impressed that she could remember his order – for sure I had no clue. Handsome, kind David with the gentlest nature possible sat opposite me with the saddest eyes I had ever seen in my whole life. It was wrenching. Four months earlier I had ended our long distance relationship. Now here we were, saying good bye in person, both of us melancholy. David was hopeful that now he had a transfer that we might try again. I had used the bathroom as an excuse – I needed to get myself together.

I was lost in thought looking at my own reflection when the door opened. The waitress started washing her hands at the sink beside me.

“Are you ok,” she asked in a kind tone.

“Yeah, no, yeah,” I said.

“Breakup? I mean you both look so sad out there.”

We were making eye contact in the mirror and adjusted our stance to face each other. She had an aura that was genuine and I could not miss noticing, she was a total babe.

“Sort of, yes and no. We broke up months ago but he just got back from overseas. So now, it’s more real.”

She started applying lip balm and I found myself telling her all about David.

“He is just the best guy. Kind, funny, honest – he is one of the good ones, actually great,” I tell her.

“But?” she responds.

“David is such a lovely guy. I feel rotten about everything.”

“He is very, very good looking,” she said with a tiny, wicked grin.

The irony of the situation hit me. I smiled for the first time all day.

“Are you checking out the guy I’m breaking up with?” I asked her.

Strangely, I found myself drawn to her and hoped that she would keep talking.

“Ok, you got me! I know, right. I was so checking him out and then I was telling myself, stop this – that guy is having dinner with his girlfriend. Get a grip Sachie.”

“Well, hi Sachie. I’m Ellie and that guy out there, he’s David.”

“Your David, your ex – he will not be a single David for very long. Are you sure about what you’re doing?” Sachie had asked me.

“I am too sure, that’s really the problem. It’s just so awful to hurt such a nice guy. Honestly, I’ve tried really hard to, you know make him understand it’s nothing to do with him. He didn’t do anything wrong.”

Sachie, our waitress had me figured out then.

“Have you met someone else Ellie?”

I felt the flame in my face. I answered her and could not keep the elation contained, “Yes, but I swear we have moved so SLOW, I could never have disrespected David in that way. That’s why today is so bittersweet. David knows, and I know – our time together, it’s finished.”

Looking back, my conversation in the ladies loo with our waitress Sachie was extraordinary. I didn’t know then that she was a psychology postgraduate who would finish the year at the top of her class. What happened next was even crazier and was the true version of how Sachie and David met.

“Hey, Sachie? Look, this is going to sound insane and I really promise you that we are not a pair of loonies. I mean, if you were truly checking David out, why don’t you give him your number?”

“You are actually serious. No! I’m not doing that,” said Sachie. Although she also laughed and gave me that sassy look that kind of said, but try to convince me.

“Come on, trust that instinct of yours,” I half pleaded. I wanted some part of today to be fun and positive for David.

“I don’t know. This seems a bit…”

“CRAZY!” I finished for her. Just then, another woman came into the bathroom. Sachie and I stopped talking and then she leaned over and hugged me. She walked out the door and I had no idea what she was going to do.

Later when David walked me to my car and held the door open he kissed me on the top of my head.

“You might be dumping me all over again but the waitress put her name and number on the bill. That’s a first for me!” He smiled and gently closed my door. As I drove away I peeped in my rear view mirror and saw him hold up his hand in a good bye gesture. Oddly, it felt just right.

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My phone lit up with a call. At last!

I nearly dropped it in my hurry to answer.

“Hey! Are you ok, I’m on my way! Tell me you’re fine?

I answered, “Jack, oh thank goodness. Yes, yes we are all good. There’s plenty of time. Hours probably!”

“I’m in the taxi now. Babe, I’m so sorry, there was no wifi on the plane! What’s happening, are you sure you’re ok?”

“Jack, it’s all good. Besides Sarge is here and Sachie has been distracting me with wedding updates.”

I heard Jack chuckle. Sarge indeed, his only competition. “I’m twenty minutes away tops, and I’m not getting off this phone. Should we call an ambulance?” he asked.

It was my turn to laugh at my usually cool as a cucumber husband.

“Jack, we are having a baby not a catastrophe and no, I do not need an ambulance. I just need you!” I replied.

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