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  • Kash V

A Sandy Situation

Wow. This was it. Today was all Steve had. Today was the day he was dooming himself to a lifetime of commitment and burden. 50 years from now, he was going to be sitting in Florida with his grandchildren and his cats, recalling this day where he sealed his precarious fate.


Today was his wedding day, also possibly the worst day of his entire life. Even worse than the day he got himself locked in his cupboard until his roommate’s girlfriend found him cuddling peacefully with his childhood teddy bear he found there the next morning. And he was still suffering from the embarrassment of that situation.


Ah well, there was no point moping now. He had had enough time to call off the wedding before, but now it was too late. He was just going to have to suck it up and bear with the situation.


So, with all the dignity he could muster, he got dressed in his best beach shorts with a cotton top (that’s what grooms wore to beach weddings…right?), and walked out of his hut with a broad smile plastered across his face.


The first thing he noticed was the extravagant sherbert orange shamiyana tent behind which lay the sea. He supposed it was the altar; decorated with white, pink, yellow and red Dahlias and Chancel flowers, as well as melon orange silky curtains on all four sides held together by a rope. There were many seats and round tables arranged in an array facing the altar at a sea view. Each seat had a bouquet of purple and orange roses on its backside. The aisle towards the altar was devoid of sand and footprints, while also adorned with several bouquets of lilac flowers on both sides.


Walking fast towards his best man, Steve tidied himself up. The whole time, guests were staring at him. He would have supposed it was because he was the groom, were it not for their astonished faces…Whatever that was about.


An hour later, he found himself standing on the altar, nervously fiddling with his fingers. His best man was standing behind him, holding Jessica’s (the bride) ring. The musicians nearby were playing the Bridal Chorus, and bridesmaids were walking down the aisle.


Then there she was. Right behind them stood Jessica Davis, soon to be Jones, wearing a silky chiffon white gown hanging gracefully down her shoulders. Her hand was locked with her father’s at the elbow, and she was smiling radiantly. As soon as she looked at Steve though, she froze on the spot. Her expression changed to one of astonishment and disbelief, much like their guests’. Now he was really starting to get worried. Was there makeup on his face remaining from last night?


Though, after a nudge from her father, she started walking forward again. Yet her expression had changed to one that closely resembled…anger? Why was she angry? While Steve pondered over this, the priest behind them gave a speech about weddings and commitment, before moving on to the vows.


“Do you, Jessica Davis, take Steve Jones,” he asked Jessica, “to be your wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?”


“I do,” she replied stiffly, though with certainty.


“And do you, Steve Jones, take Jessica Davis,” he asked Steve, “to be your wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?”


Now, looking at how in love Jessica was with him, he decided he couldn’t live with her on a lie, because that would be unfair to her when she could actually find someone to love her as much as she loves that person. So, with all the courage he could gather, he replied “I do not.”


Everyone was silent. Jessica looked at him yet again astonished as she slowly registered what he just said.


“I’m sorry, so sorry, but I can’t do this anymore.”


By now she was slowly gaining her senses, and looked like she was about to combust. Feeling the need to prevent this from happening, Steve continued, “Look, it’s not you, you’re a really great person, friend, and fiancé and I enjoyed spending time with you. But I just feel like we’re not meant to be, and I know there is someone else out there who would be better suited to you. Again, I'm sorry but I hope you understand…”


“UNDERSTAND?!” Ok, so that didn’t go as well as he had hoped because now she was booming. “How can you expect me to just understand? Oh my god, what’s wrong with you? It’s our wedding day! You couldn’t tell me before? What happened, am I not good enough for you? Oh god, is it because our zodiac signs don’t match? I told you that just because you’re Aries and I’m Capricorn, it doesn’t really matter!”


“No, no, it’s not that—” he tried to interrupt but it seemed like Jessica was on a roll now and would not stop.


“And so what if I talk to myself out loud, huh? Everybody does at some point or another. So what if I think of emergency/escape plans for every building I walk into? I care for my safety. Just because you don’t doesn’t mean you demean others who want to live!”


“Look, Jess, it’s not—”


“So what if I suck my thumb when I’m stressed?”, now she was practically shouting and not letting him interrupt. “Or that I can’t sleep with the lights off for fear of being kidnapped/killed? Everybody has their moments you know. If I listed yours, we’d be here for days! Oh, it’s because we met arguing over toilet paper in the supermarket isn’t it? I thought we were past that especially when I cooked for you on your birthday and you know how much I hate that, but I did it because I loved you!”


She seemed to have finished and stood there looking for a response. Upon realising this, Steve said the first thing that came to his mind. “Well I mean you did almost burn down our house while cooking but—”


“THAT IS SO NOT THE POINT HERE! But fine, if you really hate my cooking that much then why don’t you—”

“JESS!”, he finally shouted to get her attention. When she was, yet again, shocked at being intercepted by him, he continued, more softly this time. “Look, it’s not any of that, and I don’t hate your cooking. But I’m telling you that I don’t love you that way anymore and I can’t marry you. I know this is all a little sudden, but you could at least try to understand—”


“HOW DARE YOU? You expect me to understand after all you just said. You’re wearing goddamn shorts and a t-shirt to our wedding for Christ’s sake I mean…YOU’RE SLEEPING WITH KENZO AREN’T YOU?!”


What? Ok now Steve was shocked. Taking his silence as a yes, Jessica went on, “I knew it! I suspected it for months, that’s why I made her my bridesmaid so I could keep an eye on her. I can’t believe you. I trusted you all this while, and then you go and do this to me? Honestly, Steve, do you not have the slightest bit of decency in that—”


“OK HOLD ON!”, he replied after finally getting his bearings. “What are you talking about? I’m not sleeping with Kenzo!” His anger was starting to rise and he was losing patience now.


“Oh ya, then who are you sleeping with? Don’t even deny it, I know it’s true. I’ve seen you—”


“IT’S PANJU! I’VE BEEN SLEEPING WITH PANJU!”, he finally shouted.


There was, once again, a shocked silence. Wow, that seemed to happen a lot today.


“Panju…my…my brother?”, Jessica asked timidly.


“Yes, your brother,” Steve replied slowly, shocked at having admitted this.


The silence stretched evermore, until Jessica’s uncle shouted, presumably in a drunk state, “If the wedding’s not happening, can we at least ravish the luscious food?”


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