From a short I’m working on
“I’ll marry her.”
I wasn’t sure what I was doing, standing up. But something in me… snapped, looking at her face, tears blooming at the corners of her eyes, spinning away like jewels when she flung her head from side to side. A pale best man’s hand rested on her bare shoulder, lending comfort; maids of honour and a friend stood close.
She watched me now in shock and wonder. The murmuring of the gathered spread like wildfire. Eyes turned to me.
A tug at my sleeve. “Ray, what are you doing?” Eric, one of our group, asked me in an undertone.
I shook my head, eyes never leaving her. “It’s ok. I want to do this.”
I left my place in the pews. As I approached her, she hastily wiped the tears from her face, and extended a hand by way of introduction. A glistening finger brushed the cuff of my sleeve; a single drop, stark against the light grey of my suit, clung tremulously to the fabric before absorbing in.
I looked up from our clasped hands, brown into white, into her face. Her veil, pinned with a white rose to the bun in her hair, kissed her collarbone, her shoulders, her neck. Her ruby lips were full and looked for all the world like ripe fruit, waiting to be plucked; they managed a tentative smile. Moist eyes brightened, brown irises glowing from the gratitude of kindness.
I swallowed, not from the daunting prospect of betrothing myself to a complete stranger, but from finding myself utterly besotted. Who would abandon a creature such as this?
Perhaps I should have asked that question. Perhaps I should have asked why.