A diaphanous veil lands soft on her head. It cascades light, like light, like breath, upon her shoulders. Rosette patterned lace hugs her shoulders and trails down her arms. Her fingers are long and bare. No costume jewelry decorates them. Not today.
She swallows hard and presses her hands against her corseted stomach. The butterflies fly free and wild inside of her and there is no place for them to settle.
She wishes they would settle. She wishes they would dry out and die like autumn leaves.
She can visualize them spiraling down in a death race. Which will win? Who will hit the ground? Who will remain in the air?
She knows that he will be there. He. Him. The man she loved. The man she rejected. The man that she would not say wedding vows to today or tomorrow.
It was nothing but a summer fling. Much like a swimmer’s joyful splash. Lingering round crystal drops that drop and fall and crash. And are gone.
She lines her lips with red and colors them in.
“I will tell him I do. All because I know I must. It is not my choice. He is not my choice.”
But she knows that it must be done. For them. For her family and for his family too.
She would say her vows to this other man and she will sparkle and she will gleam.
She will whisper “I love you” until he believes that it is true. He will not see the lie lying within her heart.
She will keep it hidden.
She will bury it thick and deep.
And he will never know.