Seeda opens the bathroom door, and leads me back along the corridor towards the lounge room with the pool and games. I notice something I didn’t see last night –a stair case. She holds her hand out to help me up the stairs. I accept and with my other hand, hold my dress up above my feet. When we reach the top of the stairs there is a big room. That looks like it is used for parties or something. It is packed today though. There are rows of chairs, flowers hanging from seat to seat. A higher platform at the front and a priest in black and white, a long white rug streaming along the aisle.
Seeda takes me to the back of all the seats and tells me to stand there and wait. I force myself to look up. The man from last night is standing there looking at me with a smirk. In the front aisle, Jamal and his older workers are sitting next to him. He sheds a sincere saddening smile. I hear an organ start to play. The panic hits me. I turn my head, start to shiver I want to run, but I realise I can’t. I have to stay. They would kill me if I tried to leave. Seeda gives me a small push forward, I realise it’s a nudge to walk. Tears start to pour out of my eyes. I can’t help it. My legs are beginning to feel weak again. I’m feeling wobbly in these to- high stilettos. This isn’t how my life is supposed to go. I was supposed to come back to Tassie after an awesome school ski trip with Chelsea than go back to Tassie and pluck up the courage to ask my crush to the school leavers dinner! In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have dreamt a nightmare like this! I look up and realise I’ve stopped in the middle of the aisle. It’s like there is a wall in front of me. Like I cannot possibly go any further. Seeda walks up behind me and pushes me forward. Like she has broken the wall. Finding some source of comfort I stare into Jamal’s eyes. And for some reason, he makes everything feel better.
One foot, in front of the other, until before I know it I’m at the front of the crowded rows of seats, lifting my heavy feet up the step to stand next to the priest and look into this strange man’s eyes. He snatches my hand and holds it in his, slowly at first the priest begins to talk. He starts of in English, than swaps to Arabic. I don’t understand what he is saying but at one point the man stares directly at me. I begin to think he is saying his vows. The priest looks at me now and tells me to repeat one line in English. The words elude me, even though I understand them. “Will you promise to love him, cherish him, in sickness and health?” not being able to say anything, feeling my stomach rise in my throat, I nod. The priest gives me a sickening smile that surely makes my stomach rise into my mouth. He looks back at this man that is soon to be my husband and says what I’m assuming as, “you may now kiss the bride.” His face leans towards mine. I try to back away, yet his hand slides behind my head so I can’t move it. Thankfully, before I know it, it’s over. I’m hoping this man that I don’t even know the name of, doesn’t like a physical relationship. Turning to face the audience, he slides a solid silver ring on my finger. It has a single big diamond in the centre, than a circle of smaller diamonds around it. I’m shocked by its stunning beauty, yet deterred by the motion of why I’m wearing this in the first place. The priest hands me a ring. I’m guessing I have to slide it on his finger. I do so, and he holds my hand up to the crowd. They stand and shout with joy. Yet all the while I stand and look at Jamal’s eyes. I see the hurt. This man picks me up, puts his arm under my leg, and carries me down the centre of the aisle, and down the stairs. He carries me down and sits me on the couch. Gently touching my faces as he removes his arm from under my leg. Everyone from the reception rushes down the stairs and into the game area. I see more people rushing through the front door with black suits and white aprons on. They are carrying silver platters up stairs. Jamal’s co-worker people, rush up stairs behind them. Within half an hour, they call everyone back up; including me. When I reach the top of the stairs, I can see all the rows of chairs have been moved, and now there are 7 or 8 round tables. On one wall, there is a long, straight buffet with too much food. There are salads, prawns, lasagne, fish and chips, a roast beef, jam and cream scones, ice-cream, fresh strawberries, raspberries, apple and bananas, Pavlova, and so much more. I feel like I could go on forever. The one thing that struck my first notice though, was the wedding cake. Or more significantly, MY wedding cake. Pure white, three layers, with a single light blue edible flower, attached to the top right- hand side. Walking over I grab a plate and serve myself up, just a massive serve of Pavlova, when my apparently new husband comes up behind me and shows me to my seat. Looking at me, he leans over for another kiss. Grossed out I know I must oblige. I sit there for what seems like minutes in my head, but I know hours have gone by. Everybody leaving, I see them walk out the front door, its twilight outside.
Someone yells out, cya Ahmeer! My new husband turns and waves. I finally know his name! Seeing me look at him, he walks over and grabs my hand, leading me down the hall way, past the door I was in last night, and to the door at the very end. He opens it. There is a large king sized bed. With satin blue sheets. I’m starting to realise he likes blue. The walls are a soft faun colour, with a stain glassed window of blue and green stars. For a guy, I have to admit, his room is pretty. This comforts me for a few seconds. He is standing near his dresser, lighting a couple of candles here and there. Creeping up behind me while I’m astonished by his room, I hear a click. He has locked the bedroom door. Locked us in here. Together. Alone. I start to freak out, but don’t show it. Placing his head on my shoulder, he whispers “you looked beautiful today.” And kisses me on my neck. I move away from him. I’m scared. He walks towards me. And pushes me down on the bed, moving his sweaty hand up my long white dress. He stops when he reaches me undies, and starts trying to lower them. By now I’m screaming. But he is pretty much lying on top of me. I can’t compete with his body weight. He is managing to lower them down past my knees. Urging me to shut up, he slaps me. My face begins to throb and sting. Tears are rolling down my face. I know, I realise, I can’t stop what is going to happen.
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