Even as he sleeps

My Dear Love,

I got married today…

It was perfect, the wedding I always wanted; it was like a dream. But the silver chairs we picked seemed dull in the sunlight, arranged in rows like tombstones at a cemetery, green and silver ribbons decorating their backs. Conversations felt miles away.

When the music began, everyone grew quiet. My mother glided down the aisle first before taking her seat in the front row on the right. My grandparents followed, hobbling as best they could before they, too, sat down. His grandparents were next.

Killian and Melissa walked as the first groomsman and bridesmaid. Killian twirled her at the end of the aisle and kissed the back of her hand sweetly, dramatically. James and Rose, Penn and Chelsea, Jase and Onika, every clean-shaven groomsman strode with dignity; every gorgeous bridesmaid floated with grace. Eli sauntered in when it was his turn, that ridiculous smirk on his lips. Dora, you remember her. She and I’ve been friends since kindergarten. Of course I chose her as my maid of honor. I just know she rolled her eyes when Eli bowed upon her arrival. Such grace and with such theatrics, it was ridiculous.

And Xander, oh Xander. It’s unfair how calm he seemed as he stepped down the aisle. But when young Dean and little giggling Luna waddled down the aisle—the rings in his hands, flower petals in hers—every heart in the room melted.

Then it was my turn.I ran my hands over my lace sleeves, willing my heart to stop beating so fast. The bodice hugged my body, silver vines clinging to the fabric, accentuating my panicked breaths. The skirt fanned out behind me as I carefully moved forward. I thanked God no one could see my legs shake.

I kept telling myselt, Just one foot in front of the other, just one step at a time.

When we were pronounced man and wife, Xander took his sweet time drawing me to him. His lips ghosted over mine before he finally claimed them. My head spun. Was I dreaming? I could have sworn I was.

At the reception, we danced the night away. I let Xander’s hands roam anywhere and everywhere he wanted. We kissed so many times. I laughed when Eli came between us and Xander accidentally kissed his cheek. My own cheeks still hurt from smiling so much.

When we weren’t dancing, we were swarmed by friends and family with well-wishes. I couldn’t go a couple steps off the dancefloor without some relative stopping to me to congratulate us. They were so happy for me, they told me. They were glad I had finally moved on.

But have I?

When she came to your funeral, I was confused, so confused. I knew who she was. I knew the two of you were close, but I didn’t know just how much she meant to you. All those days you said you were staying late at work, you spent them with her. She told me everything. At first I was angry. I was ready to pull out her hair and mine. Instead, I took off something else. That day, in that casket with you, I buried the engagement ring you gave me along with a part of my heart, a part of my life I’ll never get back.

I’ve gone to work, gone grocery shopping, gone on dates with my (now) husband, as if everything was okay… as if everything is okay. But I pass by your old office every day. Through the glass doors, I see her, your old receptionist. I see that sad smile on her face. I can only stare whenever we see each other. I try to hold my head up, but all I can think about is you when I see her.

Even as Xander sleeps next to me, exhausted, dead to the world, I’m think about you. I’m writing this letter because I miss you. I miss you. . . but more than that, I hate you. I hate you because even when I’m supposed to be happy, even when everyone thinks I’ve moved on, even when I want to move on, I’m hung up on you.

How long had it been going on?

Why wasn’t I good enough?

What else did you lie about?

Did you even love me?

I hate you… I miss you.

Rest in peace,
The woman who still has questions

Photo by Zachary Poisal on Unsplash

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