Saturday, August 16, 2014

Church Bells and Wedding Bouquets


Her hands were sweaty. She was nervous. I could feel her hands tremble as they grip my stems, almost as though she was holding on to dear life and expecting me to give her the assurance she needed. The assurance that this life-long commitment was not a mistake. Her wide eyes searched my fully bloomed petals, glistening with water droplets.

I couldn't help but wonder when she would realize it. The simple fact that if she couldn't be sure of the man she was marrying after three long years of dating, then how much more could I? How could I possibly know when all I got was a glance of his dark hair before he was pushed out of the dressing room and reprimanded for trying to break wedding traditions.

Frankly, I don't get why it matters so much that a groom does not see his bride before the wedding. Nonetheless, they ruthlessly kicked him out before going back to dressing the bride up, fussing over the smallest of details. Details that were so minute, they could have had gone unnoticed by the guests anyway. It took them hours. I sat on the vanity for so long that I was afraid I would wilt before the ceremony even began. Forget suffering through a long and winding reception only to get ripped apart by the love-hungry bridesmaids, I wouldn't even survive to see the kiss!

But, here I was, in the sweaty hands of the bride, who I must grudgingly admit is gorgeous, as she stood before the full length mirror. And, while I have always been proud of my flawless white petals infused with the faintest of pink- now glistening after having just been sprayed with water and a chemical that makes me feel revitalized- I am nothing more than a fraction of her unearthly beauty. The agonizing hours of being prodded and poked was well worth it.

My world tilted suddenly and I later realized that she had shifted me to one hand, wiping the other on the side of her dress. She repeated this process for her other hand. I couldn't help but think that she should have just worn gloves. But it was too late to go looking for a pair now. She was being called in by an usher.

I can hear the marching music, like every note from the century-old organ was wrapping its way around me. And, I assume, around the bride. She was shaking more than before. I was afraid I'd start losing some petals but she got a hold of herself as soon as an old man approached her and tucked her arm in the crook of his older. Her father, I suppose. And, just like that, we were walking down the aisle.

Just when the slow and repetitive bobbing up and down was about to lull me to sleep, everything came to an abrupt stop. Smiling faces of old and young, men and women, froze. The music stop. Even the chirping outside seemed to stop. Everything went still. That was when I realized that the bride had frozen in the middle of her march down the aisle and I felt wet. Did I just pee on myself? Is that why she stopped? Did I freak her out?

The salty tang of the liquid got to me. Tears. She was crying. And, her lips were trembling- no, they were moving, uttering words. "Sorry." She was saying it over and over again. I couldn't be sure if she was trying to say it once for everyone in there- the devastated groom, her disappointed and confused father, the equally confused crowd of guests, the nodding father. If she was going to say one for each person there, it'd take forever. But she wasn't. She was building the courage to look at her groom one last time before turning around.

And, turn around she did. In a flurry of white, she was gone back down the aisle and out the doors. And, she left me there on the floor. But before I could even feel indignant, a sharp pain took over me. There was sudden darkness. I couldn't see. I couldn't feel anything beyond the pain. But I could smell the leather from the groom's shoe. Just as everything slowly faded away, I could hear him shouting her name.

**A product of Prompt # 341 of


What is the hardest thing to do?

To love? Of course not. Some would say that it's the easiest thing in the world. After all, just how hard could it be to fall? It's not. It can be painful, but not at all difficult.

To stay in love? To keep yourself in free fall for as long as you can. I imagine that can be difficult. Challenging, even. But not the hardest thing a man can accomplish.

To forgive. I know, I know. There are those who would say that this is easy enough to do. Some would even argue that swallowing one's pride and asking for forgiveness is more difficult. But, it's not. Because forgiveness is more than just uttering the words "I forgive you" or "It's okay" or even "I've already forgotten about it". Forgiveness is saying those words and meaning them.

So, to really and truly forgive someone is difficult. You have to forgive them from the heart and mind. And, that does not necessarily mean forgetting the act done against you. It means remembering the act and not feeling hurt, or angry, or betrayed. It means that no matter what happens in the future, you can't use that act against that person. No matter what you see or hear, you can't feel bitter or jealous. Because you've forgiven him/her.

And, that's difficult. Because when you forgive someone you tell yourself it's okay. That person didn't know any better. He or She didn't mean to hurt you. So, it's okay. But when someone hurt you through neglect and suddenly shows you that he or she knows how to care for someone, how could you not feel hurt? Because then, you start to think that maybe he or she did know better. And, maybe he or she did mean to hurt you. And, you feel hurt and betrayed all over again. Then, you realize, you've never really forgiven that person. All you did was bury all the painful memories and hope that they don't resurface. But, that doesn't work. Because memories like those will always resurface.

So, it's hard. Perhaps the hardest thing a person can do. Or maybe I just haven't learned how to do it yet. How does one manage that, anyway? How do you forgive? And, more importantly, how do you forgive the people you love the most? Because, really, the people you love are the ones who hurt you the most. And, these wounds are the hardest to heal. So, how do I do it?