The Big Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

The HAPPIEST day of his life may be the SADDEST day of hers.

The Big Day

 

The GPS told me to take the next exit, so I eased into the right lane. I grabbed my water from the cupholder and took a big sip from it. My stomach was empty, and I could feel sweat dripping from the back of my neck. It was either the heat or nerves, but I couldn’t figure out which one. I took the exit and pulled into a McDonald’s drive-thru, getting just a kids meal. I ate most of it in the car, but I lost my appetite towards the end. The motel sign appeared, so I pulled into the parking lot. After I checked in, I went and grabbed my suitcase, along with my dress from the trunk of my car. My old maroon Monte Carlo. Two fender benders and it still couldn’t die. 

I unpacked my suitcase, which didn’t contain much, just some pajamas, an old pair of jeans, an even older t-shirt, and some shampoo. And there was of course the dress. I kept it folded neatly in a plastic bag by itself. It was a cheap black dress from Macy’s, but it still gave the impression that it was expensive, not that anyone would really be focused on me. None of them were going to know who I really was to him. I laid the dress out on the bed, staring at it for a few seconds. Tears began rolling down my face as I thought of tomorrow. I never thought I’d see the day. Marriage was always too far in the future for him, so it never ever crossed my mind. I put the dress back in its bag and laid it out on the bed, lighting one of my Marlboro 72s. As I smoked, I began telling myself not to go. I should just pack up and go back home. He wasn’t even going to remember me, so what would it matter? I was no one. But I’d driven all that way, so I wanted to see it through to the end. No matter how it ended. I put out my cigarette and got into my comfy plaid pants, along with the matching shirt. I switched on the TV and tried to just fall asleep. It was harder than I thought. I’d smoked three more cigarettes and watched three episodes of Full House before I started dozing off. I finally shut off the TV to get some rest. Tomorrow was the big day. 

***

I looked in the mirror at myself in the black dress, wondering if makeup was even necessary. I decided some mascara and a little lipstick couldn’t hurt. I grabbed the invitation from the dresser and headed out to my car. I sat in the driver’s seat and adjusted my mirror until it was right on my eyes. I told myself to stop crying. Today was a happy day. Plus, I didn’t need any mascara running down my cheeks. 

***

I took a seat way in the back, being the only one in the row. The church was almost dead silent as the wedding was about to begin. He walked past me, looking as handsome as ever. He wore the white and black three-piece tuxedo, with a white flower in the coat’s top pocket. His hair was slicked to the side, and his face was freshly shaven. Like I said, as handsome as ever. The music began playing, and the wedding party began walking down the aisle. Boys and girls I didn’t recognize passed me, smiling. The bride’s theme came over the piano, and everyone stood up. As she came walking in her long white gown, I realized that she was even more beautiful than I’d anticipated. She was blonde with bright blue eyes, and she had a small flower tattoo on her shoulder. I knew exactly what he saw in her. They were both beautiful, ready to live a beautiful live together. 

“You may now kiss the bride,” the pastor said. Everyone clapped as they held each other and locked lips tightly. I clapped softly, wiping a small tear from my right eye. 

***

The reception had started, and before I knew it, it was time for the mother and son to dance. His mother danced with him, and she was as happy as any mother could be. She wore a brown dress, and her hair was done up perfectly. She was gorgeous just like him. I fought back even more tears as I watched them, wishing it could be me who was dancing with him. I knew I’d have my chance, but it wouldn’t be the way I’d wanted it to be. 

The dollar dance started, so I waited for my turn in line. I knew it only lasted a few seconds, but I still didn’t know what to say to him. The truth? No. I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t ruin what might be the happiest day of his life. I walked up to him, and he grabbed my hands as we began moving side to side. “Thanks for coming,” he said. “You work with my mom?”
“Is that what she told you?” I placed my right hand on his shoulder.

“Yeah. At the beauty salon.”

“Actually...well..." He waited for me to speak. “I’m actually getting a new job, so I used to work with your mom.” I lied like she did.

“Oh.” He released his grip on me and smiled. “Well, good luck. And again, thanks for coming.” 

I smiled and walked away, not even sitting back at my table. His mother looked at me as I walked, like she was asking me a question. I knew what it was. She wanted to know if I’d told him. I shook my head, giving her the answer. 

I stood beside my car with its door open, thinking about what a good thing I did. At least that was what I told myself. How could I tell him the truth? How do you tell your son that his whole life was a lie, and that his real mother was no one? 

I lit one of my 72s and got in my car, driving away, ending the big day. 


Submitted: February 21, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Jordan Fos. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Serge Wlodarski

Good twist at the end. Didn't see it coming.

Sun, February 21st, 2021 8:02pm

niah

Good twist although I did think it could be something like that but then I dismissed it it'll teach me.

Mon, February 22nd, 2021 12:55pm

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