Sitting on the rock, his feet dangling in the water. It was the place he could relax, where all the pressure was lifted off his shoulders. He wished, he could share it with her though. While his eyes scanned the ocean he wondered where she would be right now, what she was doing and whom she was with.
Caroline was never far from his thoughts. From the very first moment he caught her smile, heard her laugh, he was smitten. Such an old-fashioned word, “smitten,” but it fit. For Caroline, he did not feel the great pang of lust that had mislead him toward doomed relationships with tragic women. Caroline was different than any woman he’d ever known and when it came to thoughts of Caroline really all he wanted was just to hold her hand, have long talks, laugh, smile, share… and maybe if he was really lucky, make a life together, not today, but someday.
Suddenly the motorized sounds of the dune buggies came into clarity, the sounds of excitement and laughter bringing him out of his reverie. Tommy looked up and saw all of his friends and family, smiling and laughing, finding joy, happiness and bliss on this wonderful sun-filled beach. He wished he could smile back at them as they waved to him. He waved in reply but secretly dreaded their arrival.
How can I be doing this? How can I have been so foolish as to make it this far, ask all of them to change their plans, spend their money, make arrangements and come out here on this day to spend it with and me then be so selfish as to back out? Is that even what I am doing? Am I backing out? Am I calling it off? Am I ready to disgrace my family, disrespect my friends time and money? Ruin everybody’s day? Look at them all, so excited and happy, the kids frolicking at the water’s edge, so carefree… but this is my life. I have to live with what happens next. For them it is just a day, right? They’ll understand. They’ll forgive me. Jerk for a day, that’s what I’ll say. I’ll tell them that today is my day and I’ve decided to be head jerk. Have a glass of champagne and I’ll tell you my troubles.
As the dune buggies lined up side-by-side and he watched his family and closest friends climb down from their seats, he popped a cork, and then another, and then another. He asked that they gather around because time was running short and he had something important to share with them. His twin brother Jimmy was the first to reach him.
“Hey, Tommy, what’s going on? You look, um, well…. not quite right.”
“I’m good, Jimmy. I actually feel pretty good. What I am about to say is important and I’m just feeling nervous is all.”
“Hi everyone. As you know we’re trying to stay on schedule today, but I wanted to take a quick moment to thank all of you for coming out here today and stand by me, support me and share this important moment in my life. Jimmy said I look a little “not quite right” and the truth is, I’ve been here all night and considering the lack of sleep, I’m feeling pretty good. Anyway, as I was saying, thank you for coming out here today. I know it took a lot of time and expenses and I hope you will enjoy these next few days while we are all here together. As some of you know this is my favorite place on earth, and it is where I planned to marry Stacey at sunset, but I cannot go through with it.”
“… to his senses!”
“… a relief!”
Wait, what is going on? This isn’t the reaction I should be getting. Everyone is laughing and smiling and patting me on the back, congratulating me for…
Tommy breaks into a smile as he suddenly realizes beyond a doubt that he has made the right decision. Everyone else knew before he did what a mistake this wedding would have been.
“Everyone, everyone, can I have your attention for a moment! Thank you. I have to go talk to Stacey and her parents. I’ll be back, in the meantime, drinks are on me! Oh, and now that I know how you all really felt about this union, thank you for coming anyways, and next time if it looks like I am getting too involved in a mismatched union, don’t let me get in this deep! I am pretty sure I am done with screwed up relationships, but just in case, you’ve got my back, yes?”
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
The above short story was inspired by Author S B Mazing’s blog event Finish It, which began as a Blogging201 assignment meant to further expand our blogging experiences as well as our strength of community. Join her event to experiment with a story prompt and give your fingers a shot at short storytelling… every Wednesday she’ll provide a new prompt!
I am having a lot of fun participating in her storytelling prompts. It is challenging and I am growing as a writer so quickly, as a result. If you enjoy writing challenges and blogging events you might consider challenging yourself further with poetry writing. I host a poetry party once a month. For more information visit my page: Memee’s Poetry Parties