Yesterday I went to a wedding.
It was the wedding of the daughter of a fellow worker, someone I consider a friend, but even so I was surprised at the invitation. Very few people from the office were invited, but it’s true that the bride’s mother and I share a bond that has lasted for quite a few years. So, I said yes, even if the prospect of a wedding is not exactly something that I relish.
The last wedding I went to was five years ago, and we went together. It was the wedding of one of our closest friends’ son, and I wore the same dress as I did yesterday. Why buy something new, I thought, when I only wore it that one time? The fact that I was in the same outfit stirred even more memories. It seemed I was the same person of back then, but I knew I wasn’t, and nothing is the same. So much has changed in five years – one of the major changes being the fact that we are no longer together.
This time I was by myself. Well, not literally, there were several people from the office and one of them, whom I am also close to, gave me a ride. But it was not the same as going with you, as feeling your strong presence by my side, of holding your hand and pressing it as the bride and groom exchanged their vows… of toasting to us and whatever we had together. All that was gone, vanished from my life.
I have to say I’m not in the mood for weddings. Or anything remotely romantic. Life has disappointed me in that aspect, I feel let down; I am weighed down by so many mistakes I’ve made, not to mention some I feel you have made too. I get sad, sometimes even mad, at the fact that we could not keep this thing we had together, that we did not cherish it as the precious thing it was, or used to be, that we let it slip between our fingers. What fools we were, what fools we are to just let it be.
It was very hot at the wedding. A hot summer day, near 40 degrees Celsius. The ceremony was outside, and not everyone managed to find a protective shade. It took some time, as wedding ceremonies do. Suddenly we heard a thud – one of the guests, a young man, had fallen on the ground and hit his head. That was the noise we had heard. His wife panicked and started yelling, exactly at the same time the bride and groom were exchanging their vows. They looked a little bewildered but went on. In the end the man stood up, it was nothing but his wife’s fright. Fortunately, no tragedy to mar the bride and groom’s happiness on their wedding day. They had enough with the heat.
The cocktail followed. We felt dehydrated so we drank tons of water. Then, a gin tonic. Something you’d have drunk too had you been there. Then we went inside, for lunch, where it was cooler, and there was music, and people danced. Everybody seemed happy, animated, dancing, singing, laughing… I felt detached, as if in a world of my own. The songs they played did not please me, watching the couples dancing, as we used to, annoyed me, and at a certain point I just felt like leaving that place where love was being celebrated, while I only felt like mourning the love I have lost.
In the end, I played my role. I talked, and smiled, even danced for a bit, but my heart was not in it. Amidst those two hundred persons, a huge loneliness invaded me. Was I missing you, or is it just that I don’t know how to be joyful anymore? I felt like a stranger, someone who did not really want to be there, someone who had no wish to join in the feasting and celebrating. When I looked at the bride’s mother, my friend, and saw how her eyes were shining, how happiness flowed from her every pore; when I saw the proud look of her husband as he walked his daughter down the aisle; as I watched the bride and groom look at each other adoringly, I felt as if I were an alien, belonging to a different world. The world of the sad and lonely, the world of those who have been let down by love and no longer believe they can find it; or, in my case, discover it again in the eyes of someone I have not entirely forgotten.
You have no idea that I’ve been to a wedding. You’ll never know how much I thought of you on that day, how much I’ve missed you and you’ll probably never know how sorry I am for the loss of us, of what we had together. Or maybe one day I’ll be sure of my feelings, and I’ll let you know. And who knows, there may even have some good news in store for me. After all, life is full of wonderful surprises. No matter how great my disappointment, who knows? Maybe, just maybe, I can go back to believing in love again.
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