Flash Fiction

Bridal Nerves – flash fiction

My hands shook noticeably as I adjusted the veil, my anxiety attributed to normal bridal nerves by the obligatory admiring posse.  I barely recognised myself in the mirror; a version of me I had pined for, actively pursued and yet now baulked at.  All the warnings levied at me now flashed through my mind;  “Marry in haste, repent in leisure” being the headline on the mental ticker tape.

“I need some air,” standing abruptly I pushed through my entourage, keen to fill my lungs and clear my head.  Out on the balcony, I could sense the hum of activity in preparation for the celebrations.  Marquees flapped in the gentle floral scented summer breeze, worker bees zig-zagged with purpose carrying trays of who knows what, clipboards touted with purpose by the self-important.  The wedding train had left the station, and I realised with a jolt I desperately needed to get off.  Now.

He would be upset, of course, and deeply wounded that I chose such a public moment to deflect.  It was true that he loved me, but in the same way I loved him, and it wasn’t enough.  We were both trying to fit into a life we wanted, even if it was the wrong size.  In time, he would understand, meet someone else.  I imagine they would elope, no grand wedding for a bride to flee from again.  No announcements in the paper, a smaller guest list.

It wasn’t right that I should be able to so casually picture my husband to be eloping with an imaginary bride, that added fuel to my fire.  He deserved better.  I deserved better.  Yet, had I not got what I deserved last time, what was this but this karma?  A broken heart for a broken heart?  

I gathered my skirts like a Victorian runaway and dashed from the hotel in a cloud of tulle and lace.  Past questioning eyes and aghast faces, I ran.  I ran from the life I thought I wanted, with no idea where I was going.  Wedding dresses are not the most suitable getaway attire and when faced with a sweeping country estate drive I realised my exit would not be as speedy as I hoped.  I sank to the well-tended grass in despair.

“You look like you could do with a lift,” a familiar voice said, a voice I thought I would only ever hear in dreams now, “Something tells me you’re going my way.”  He came, I hadn’t dare even hope.  

My eyes met his and a frisson of electricity snapped between us.  He offered me his hand and hauled me to my feet.  I kicked my wedding shoes off, hitched up my dress and escaped my wedding on the back of his motorbike.  Heading back to the life and love I want to deserve.


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