I tried my best not to cry as my heels hit the marble walkway. I clung tightly to my father as we turned the corner and gasped when I saw the white roses that lined the room. My sister smiled from the seats and I forced a smile back at her, praying she didn't notice the tears that were threatening to stream from my eyes. Then, I saw him. His eyes were green and yet strangely golden as he watched the lace of my gown bounce down the aisle. This is my wedding day and my first look at my new husband, Mr Andrew King.
Now, obviously, I have googled the man. But there wasn’t really anything too interesting about him. He lived in the country, moved to the city with his mum when he was 12 and made a small fortune through his tech company, Archylo. Archylo specialize in computers and make some of the most advanced systems in the world, which are used by governments all over the world, but they are also the inventors of the app ‘LastChance’ which uses science to match you with your perfect man. He then plans the wedding and your first meeting is on your wedding day. It is effectively arranged marriages for people who don’t trust their parents.
I had now made it to the altar without tripping on my own feet, something I had had nightmares about for the last few weeks. My dad kissed my cheek and I relaxed only to meet the eyes of my husband-to-be. He smiled as we took each other’s hands and I tried my best to smile back, but it clearly came out as forced because he leaned forward and whispered
“How much does a polar bear weigh?” I turned away confused and stared at my sister who simply smiled. Then when I turned back, quizzically, he finished his point.
“Enough to break the ice at least, I’m Andy by the way.” The confusion on my face turned to laughter, as I turned away to hide my embarrassment at the miserably bad pick up line he had just attempted. Am I marrying a man who is already in the dad joke stage?
The priest began his speech about the love and holiness of the bond we were about to create. It went on for a couple of minutes before I heard the dreaded line, ‘Have anyone any reason why these two shouldn’t be married here today, speak now or forever hold your peace?’
I waited, one breath, two breathes, three breathes, nothing. Another breath, still nothing. Another.
And then, all of a sudden, a woman burst through the crowd of press, screaming and shrieking as she ran towards us. Her name is Samantha King and she is Andrew’s ex wife.
Her blonde hair bounced as she ran down the aisle, contrasting rather terribly with her patchy spray tan. When she finally reached us, she stopped and just stared at Andy, breathing slowly as she tried to catch her breath. Then she spoke and for the first time, I heard her voice whisper.
"Don't marry her. Marry me." Andy stared in both surprise and awe but never spoke a word. Instead, he turned to me, smiled and then waved his hand at one of his bodyguards. He moved forward, towards the woman who had now begun to cry. The guard's hand laced around the woman's arm as she cried and clawed at Andy's hand that was clung tightly to mine. She shrieked and cried for what seemed like hours and then suddenly, she was gone.
Finally, Andy turned to the priest and said.
"If you don't mind Sir, I'd like to continue on with the wedding please." The crowd laughed as the priest began his speech again, talking of the sanctity of marriage. Then came my bit and the part where my voice would hopefully not fail. The priest began.
"Do you, Maisie Amber Louise Carter, take this man, Andrew Mark King, to be your lawfully wedded husband" My heart started to beat faster and I felt the blood rush to my cheeks. The priest continued.
"To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer" My heart seemed to hammer out of my chest as I clung tighter to Andy's hand, praying to anyone out there that my legs didn't give way with all the news crews watching. The priest continued as he turned to me.
"In sickness and in health, till death do you part?" All eyes were suddenly on me. This was it, the big moment. I licked my lips and opened my mouth, preparing to say the words but nothing came out, no words, no noise whatsoever. I turned to my father who smiled and urged me forward, then to my sister who did the same. I searched the room for a sign, anything that would tell me what to do. Then, I felt a squeeze and I drew my eyes back to him, Andy, my husband, if only the words would leave my mouth.
Finally, it came to me. Get out, get away, run now. So I did. I ran from the altar, dress blowing in the wind and handsome husband chasing after me, calling my name. I knew it was a mistake, knew that this would be the best part of my life, but I also knew that I needed a minute alone, a minute away from the crowds and the cameras that broadcast across the world.
I was trending. 6 months I trended for, watching as my social media followers grew and I lost more and more of my freedom. I understand of course, the great Andrew King finds a second wife, a last chance, through his app. I guess to the world I was like a fairy, no one knew I existed until they saw me and then, they ruined my life.
I ran until the cameras were no longer visible but as long as I ran, I couldn't shake Andrew. He wouldn't give up and continued on my trail until we were very well hidden. I paused for a second, panting hard as I finally took in the gravity of the situation. I had just run from my husband, the man, the Andrew King and he may or may not have caught up to me, with a face that read nothing but anger.