It was the first dance that worried her more than anything, she wasn't sure why. Maybe it was because the song itself spoke exactly of how she felt. The death of her dad earlier that year meant the job of giving his daughter away would have to go to her brother. Her mother would be proud and tearful, and with the cousins coming home from Canada, it was going to be wonderful. But the dance, she wasn't ready for that.
There was so much to do in the run-up to the big day; it kept her busy and preoccupied. When it came to practicalities, she was an expert. The flowers, the cake, even the dress… none of it made her emotional. She was in organisation mode and had her ‘management hat’ on, protecting not just her head, but her heart too. Talk of the reception would pull her thoughts back to the dance, and she knew as soon as their song started, she would not be able to hold back the tears. She wondered if she should just let herself cry.
The day of the wedding started with torrential rain, but nothing could have dampened the spirits. As the hairdresser fixed the tiny white flowers in her hair, she chatted away with the bridal party. The sparkling white helped to add to the air of cheer as family and friends gathered to watch the beautiful bride get into the car with her brother.
A million photos were taken at every stage. It was the photographer’s job to capture every smile, she knew that. She just hoped that the cameras wouldn't catch her crying. She did not want her tears to be one of the everlasting images.
It was almost perfect - all a bride and a family could ask for on a wedding day. After dinner, as the band set up, her heart started to pound. 18 months in the planning; it was time.
Everyone gathered around the dance floor and waited for the bride and groom to take to the floor. As the opening chords of their song struck up, she tried to paste on her smile. The couple walked to the middle of the floor to the rapturous applause of their family and friends.
She started to cry. But no one saw her. No one was even looking at her. Instead they watched her sister, her best friend, dance with the man they both loved.
We are delighted to nominate the following FlashFlood stories to the 2023 Pushcart Prize: ' The Doll House ' by Nathan Alling Long &...
CHICKEN +50 Buttermilk fried, the apogee of chicken, its chickeniest chickenness, rich gold with bite and crunch and tendern...
In case you missed any of the pieces we appeared during the 2023 FlashFlood, here's an index to everything. Happy Reading! ' They...
A shaft of sunlight fell across the worn herringbone floor, drawing his gaze upwards to the flawless blue sky beyond the row of windows, ...