3 I do’s Make an Almost Wedding

The organ march begins and Matt’s head whips up along with other heads just in time to see her enter. She is a vision in white. His breath hitches and his throat constricts, heart rebounding painfully against his chest.

Being in love is definitely not all that wonderful as they make it out to be.

The beatific glow on her face – and she really does literally glow – puts a smile on his and everyone else’s face. The one part of weddings that everyone looks forward too. When the bride walks down to aisle. Petty things are put aside and everyone concentrates on her because it’s her day.

She walks up and stands at the altar.

She glances up, smiling, catching his eye for a moment and he swears she’d just made his heart stop.

Matt had always had this vision of what his wedding was going to be. And this was exactly how it was gonna be. Except there is just this one tiny little glitch. It’s so small; so insignificant that it’s an almost imperceptible error.

He was not the groom.

He was the best man.

Just the thought of it. Heart wrenching, throat thickening, absolutely can’t breathe.

His best friend on the other hand, the groom, smiles and so he smiles painfully with him.

He wanted to be the one who stood next to her on her wedding day, but he instead he was the best man. And as much as it hurt being there, standing there, watching her get married to someone else, his best friend of all people, he does exactly that. All for her. All because she asked. All for love. Painful, heart wrenching, gut kicking, stomach churning love.

The priest does his thing but Matt’s not paying attention to him. No he’s not. His eyes are fixed on her and desperately trying to drink in this vision of loveliness. To memorize, every curve of her lip, every line of her body, the look on her face, the look of pure happiness. This was as close to perfection as he would ever get.

You’re happy for her, he tells himself.

You’re happy. Because real love, honest love isn’t always apparent or obvious. He was doing right by her because real love isn’t selfish, bitter, angry or immature and he is content with the fact that from now on he was going to live vicariously. Because if she’s happy, you’re happy, he told himself, if she’s happy, you’re happy. Period.

Before long, the vows are exchanged, and then the rings. The priests never asked for objections, it was the kinda crazy thing that only happened in movies he reminded himself, though for one crazy moment, he want to object vehemently to this marriage, hoping that they were stuck in some sappy, cheesy, romantic comedy where he was jump up and say that the marriage should not be happening at all. That he was the one she was supposed to be marrying, not his best friend, because he loved her, so much that it hurts.

It was his one last chance to tell her, what he could not voice out for seven long years. And at that point, everything he’d been telling himself about how he was happy for her gave way to the urge to tell her how he felt for her. How much he loved her. How she should be with him and not with his best friend.

But the brief urge to scream for the ceremony to halt because he loves her quickly dies a quick death with one glance. She looks so deliriously happy. Just like she did when he enters the bridal room in the church.

She was standing in front of a tri-fold mirror, looking happier than she’s ever been but frightened as a kitten and completely unsure of herself. She looks at him through the mirror, and her eyes widen the slightest bit. She turns around.

“You look beautiful.” he says.

She smiles faintly, “As do you,” she jokes back and he’s speechless, still blown away by the bare verity that she still had to power to make weak to his knees. He wants to kiss her. And in his fantasy, he does. In that same fantasy, she kisses him back. And somehow, they live happily ever after.

But he doesn’t.

Instead the other kiss then happens. And the deed is done. She officially belongs to someone else, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death parts them.

His heart thumps painfully in his chest, struggling along as best as it can to contain itself in its grief. Cause it’s broken into a million little pieces, and the jagged pieces are hurting to him. Matt’s eyes shine with unshed tears, not of happiness but bitterness and regret and everybody thinks he is moved at the sight of his two best friends together, happy and starting the rest of their lives together. And he let them think that. Because if they knew that his urge to curl up into a ball and cry till his tear ducts dried up was of anything other than happiness for the happy couple, he had a feeling that they wouldn’t exactly approve.

It’s time for the wedding reception, and everyone is waiting for the newly married couple to take the floor for their first dance as man and wife. The musician calls them out and they take the floor.

They finish dancing and she is dancing with her father when Matt gracefully cuts in, demanding a dance with his best friend, the one true love of his life, and he laughingly obliges, because for him, Matt was almost like a son. He sweeps her off and notices her sparkling eyes. Something knots deep inside of his stomach because he wants to be the only one who makes her eyes sparkle. But someone else does it now.

He slips his arm around her, pulling her closer, “You’re cold.”

“Am not.” She protests softly, but nestles into his embrace anyhow as their bodies move in harmony on the dance floor.

She rests her head in the crook of his neck and for a few moments Matt imagines that this is their wedding. His fingers flutter over her bareback and he’s tempted to drop kisses on her shoulder. But instead he reins himself and drop soft kisses on the top of her head as they dance.

He knew that these few moments that he spends with her dancing are going to fill his dreams forever. He revels in the moment because he knows that they’ll be over all too soon and he’ll be left hanging on to bare traces of them when the feeling of emptiness creeps in when the dance is over.

The feeling that you’re all alone in a world surrounded of pairs, yet you’re the one who happens to be left by yourself. The feeling of your best friend getting married to the only person you’ve ever truly loved while you watch at the sidelines as you stare out at them.

The feeling that you can’t get rid of, no matter how hard you try.

And in that one moment of vulnerability he mutters the three words he couldn’t bring himself to say in the 7 years of friendship, ‘I love you..’

There was a pause and she pulls away from his embrace, their eyes meeting in mid dance floor.

“True love cannot be found where it does not exist. Nor can it be hidden where it truly does.”

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