By Stacy Hall
She looked down at her beaded white shoes. Their bright purity would have shamed a snowflake. They were not what she wanted.
She looked out the small window, so high in the chapel breezeway all she could see were the tops of the budding spring trees. The leaves were peridot, her favorite color, like her shoes were supposed to be.
She grimaced as her mummy-wrapped feet seemingly laughed at her. The shoes shouldn’t matter. She shouldn’t even be able to see them, but the gaudy lace dress her mother insisted upon had been hemmed too short.
So out they stuck, mocking her.
The huge wooden doors that barricaded her from the ceremony opened as the first bridesmaid began the procession. She dared a glance into the chapel. There were so many people. Hundreds. She didn’t know hundreds of people. She didn’t know those people. Her stomach roiled. She hated crowds, but the man at the end of the aisle loved attention.
The door opened again. All she could see was the golden cross towering behind the altar. The doors closed and her gaze retreated to the safe haven of the window, to the trees she loved, to the air that was fresh and clean. She’d always imagined she would marry outside in the serenity of nature, but her family-to-be was religious.
A wedding must happen in a church, they’d said.
Again the door creaked, providing a glimpse into the red-carpeted corridor to her future.
She hated red.
Oh lord, when had that aisle gotten so long— She took some deep breaths, but the rich perfume of over-priced roses made her cough. Their scent a pungent reminder of mortality. She put her hand to her nose to keep from vomiting.
Her head fell to ease the dizziness. She blinked and blinked, but the shoes she stared at were still white. They were supposed to be green.
This was not what she wanted.