I was a dirty lie in a clean white dress.
All smiles and a bouquet of gardenias in hand, like a fool before the eyes of an all-knowing God, I stood at the alter ready to say, “I do,” when I never even asked, “Do you want to?”
You got down on one knee and opened the little black box in front of me. My breath hitched in my throat, seeing you. My heart beat quieted my thoughts. I felt the word forming in my mouth and before I could stop myself, ‘yes’ fell from my lips. With trembling hands, you slid the ring around my own trembling finger. As you stood, you wrapped your arms around me and pulled me in close. I smiled against your chest as i heard the thump-thump of your erratic heartbeat that matched my own. It made me so happy to love and be loved by you.
My sin was omission, so I hid my face behind that thin lace veil so that you could not see. For if you looked into my eyes, in that moment when I took your hands to say our vows, you would see in my eyes what I have always known as truth; I didn’t deserve you. You, who stood there next to me smiling so sincerely. If I told you the truth – the kind of love I have to offer, would you still want it, would anybody want it?
Winter was particularly cruel. The cold air setteled in my heart. The door to my room creaked open and my mom poked her head in, she was checking on me. Her warm wrinkled hand, rough from years of hard work, rested on my cheek and her tear-filled glassy eyes pleaded with me.
On days like these, when she sat by my side in the eerie stillness of my room, silent for hours, I wondered why she didn’t just hate me, for surely that would have been easier. Loving me meant waiting, always waiting, for me to be happy because sometimes I just seemed to forget how to do this one basic thing. Loving me meant holding me even when I didn’t feel worthy of being held. Loving me was like willingly taking the poison – the way a smoker does every time he reaches for another cigarette – because depression is depression but it’s also a cancer. Cancer – it’s almost foolish to ask, but would anyone want it?
Saying the last of our vows we officially began our new lives together. ‘Till death do you part’ reverberated off the church walls and we both smiled, hoping this to be true. I wanted to live in this moment, be this happy my whole entire life. But, as always, my overthinking mind came to its own conclusions and fast forwarded to our future.
A future where one day you’ll wake up to welcome a new day, since you have always been a morning person. The light will shine in through the parted curtains illuminating the room in a shower of gold. In the dim morning light, you will turn to look at me; your hand that has always reached out for mine will stop dead in its tracks and you’ll realize you no longer recognize this sorry excuse of a person. This person that is so hard to love. And, you’ll wonder when exactly it was that you stopped loving her. You’ll wonder when she became a stranger. And, it will hurt. But like the cancerous tumor she is, you’ll decide to cut her out. She won’t hate you. She won’t even hold it against you. Because this type of love would anybody want it?