She opens the door to her closet and pulls out the dress that has been hanging there for months. She studies the gorgeous bead work and the low cut neckline, it’s the dress she has dreamt of since she was a little girl in pigtails and ribbons. This is the day every girl dreams about, the moment in life that changes everything.

Her Family has gathered outside her door, lining up to have a moment alone with the bride before the big moment. The cake is baked and decorated to perfection and the flowers have all arrived, everything is in place.

Short StoriesIn her room, she stands in front of the full length mirror, staring at a face she no longer recognizes. A tear rolls down her cheek and a huge lump in her throat, she squints her eyes to keep the tears from flowing. She tells herself to be strong. She tells herself things will get better with time. She reaches for a glass of wine to calm her nerves and gather her strength, drinking it down quickly. She has another glass to ease the pain.

Her father enters the room to offer his last few words of acceptance. She sees only a stranger standing before her, spewing words from his lips that have no meaning. He doesn’t know her, he cannot see the pain she hides inside. He has become a distant memory to a little girl that he used to know.

Shortly after her father leaves, her mother enters, giving her praises for the groom. After all, He is such a good man, she would never suspect that he was hiding his true colors. Her mother smiles, she is happy, which makes the day a bit more bearable to the bride. She has hidden his true identity from her mother to grant her happiness and to keep her from the constant worry. Her mother notices, however, a shimmer of sadness. She says nothing, perhaps it is just her nerves. Her mother remembers the day she got married and the nervousness she felt right before she said “I Do”.

After the last family member has given her comfort and remarked on her beauty, the room clears…….. It is TIME!

She and her bridesmaids gather in the hall. She pulls back the curtain on the window and peers outside. Everything is beautiful, her aunt has done an exceptional job with the decorations. She had never expected this, based on the funding she was allowed for the wedding. Outside, she can hear the chatter and laughter from the crowd that has gathered to celebrate her once in a lifetime event.

Her father, somewhat jealous that his daughter has asked both him and her stepfather walk her down the isle, grabs her tightly around her left arm. She begins to shake, the moment is closing in on her rapidly. Her stepfather, a man who has filled the father role for quite some time, takes his place on the right. She grasps tighter to the bouquet of flowers in her hands. She begins to feel weak and her knees begin to shake uncontrollably. She leans against her stepfather to brace herself, as the bridesmaids start to walk down the grassy pathway towards the groom.

She sees him, he looks stunningly handsome in his khaki pants and burgundy dress shirt. Who is this man that stands there with tears in his eyes, a man that hours ago beat her into submission. The man who threatened to kill her if she didn’t follow through with his plans. He now smiles and seems to long for their life together.

She slowly moves toward him, stumbling with every step. Her step father pulls her closer and supports her unsteadiness. Their song plays loudly over the sound system. The song they have had for a few years now. The words seem to be ironic. “Even the best fall down sometimes, Even the wrong words seem to rhyme, out of the black you fall in time… we somehow find you and I collide.” She reaches the end of the isle and her fathers give her away. Her husband-to-be grabs her hand…. The VOWS Begin!