“NO, NO, NO, NO Terry! Don’t do it, please! You still have time to stop this, please, please, think of me, I love you, don’t do this to me, I beg of you!”
I felt my heart beating so hard that I wondered when it would explode. Will my body be destroyed like the rest of my illusions? My being is in ruins, my heart is in ruins, thanks to him, my Terry, my only love, the reason for my existence since I was young.
It has always been him. And now, I am about to see how and without any problem or remorse, he turns his back on me. So many years of my devotion, love, loyalty and commitment, all go to the pipe.
“Nothing I had to offer you, is it worth it in your eyes? My life, my years, our friendship, none of that matters to you? Terry, when did you stop loving me? At what point does your love die?” Everything is dark now, and I don’t know the answer, I know he did love me. But now?
The distance between us is freezing, even my bones hurt. I took a slow step forward, and then another and another until I reach him. I could feel his breath on my face. With nervous hands and a light touch, I caress his cheek. And with my cracked voice, I beg him for the last time.
“Please, Terry, don’t do it.” I look at him with my pleading eyes, waiting to see a sign. Nothing. Only determination, In those eyes, that gave me the world once. I can’t see a sign in them any more, something, anything. At that moment, I knew he was not going to change his mind.
Taking my hands in his. Terry squeezes me hard, not to the point of pain, but demanding my attention. “Sandra, you know I love you, but this is something we already discussed. And I’m going to tell you what is happening. I’m getting tired of repeating the same thing over and over again. But nothing seems to make you understand.”
“Do you want me to spell it out for you? I hope this way it will finally come to your head.” With threatening eyes and an irritated look. He contemplates me for a few seconds, softening his eyes just for a moment. Then he tells me, “This is not going to interfere in our relationship, let me be very clear. This. Has. Nothing. To. Do. With. You.”
“This is between Susan and me, it is a business matter. This is the last time I will repeat this. And it is the last time I hear some of your complaints. I’m sick of the same thing. Accept what is going to happen, whether you want it or not, and for the last time.” Closing the space that was between us to the point of brushing our nose. Pointing his finger at my chest and punctuating each word with each push, he said, “You. Are. Mine.”
“And if I tell you to do something, you will do it. If I tell you to jump, you jump. And if I tell you to accept this, you will accept it. In this house my word is law, I don’t want to hear your complaints any more, do you understand? Are we clear on this now? You have no choice but to accept it, as I told you this will be temporary, now I ask you, again, are we clear on this?”
With a threatening look, he dares me to contradict him. There is only that hard look and determination in his eyes. Swallowing my fear. And with words wrapped in pain, I answer.
“Whatever you have with her, you will never have it with me again. If you have a life with her, you will not have it with me. If you marry her, you will never marry me. If you have children with her, you will never have them with me.”
With strength and stubbornness, I hold his gaze, telling him I am not anyone’s toy. My opinion counts and despite the love and devotion I have always shown him, some things have a limit.
Squeezing my face in a painful hold with one hand. Coldness chills my bones when he pushes me towards the wall, hitting me hard on the back of my head. And screaming in my face, he told me, “You are going to do what I tell you. Your opinion is not important. You are only an insignificant woman who has nothing to contribute. All you do is open your legs for me, and you will continue to do it.”
“That will be your only function here, you are only what I’m telling you to be. And if I want to lock you in a room until the moment I want to use you again, I will. Be very careful how you talk to me, Sandra. No one disrespects me, least of all you. I would not hesitate to inflict a severe punishment.”
Releasing my face and taking a few steps back. He looks at me once more, shaking his head, before turning his back on me and leaving in anger.
After his departure. I stayed in the same place where he left me. Searching inside me, trying to find something that would remain standing. But I can’t see anything, everything was destroyed, like what I am to him, “Nothing”, I whispered.
After a while, when I was finally able to move, I could drag my feet across the room to the bed. When I managed to get there, I laid my head on the pillow and closed my eyes. They are so dry, I believe I am in shock right now. My moves are instinctive, I do not know what is wrong with me. I do not feel good, considering that my life as I know it is over, and in the most terrible way.
Also, I think that if death feels as painful as this rejection after someone’s death, you can feel the emptiness. As we all know, death is unavoidable, the body is gone but the memories and spirit remain. What if your spirit dies, but your body is still alive? What comes next?
Now without Terry, what am I going to do? “Terry,” I couldn’t help but whisper his name before I fell asleep.
I woke up to the sound of someone knocking very softly on the door, “Who is it?” I asked.
“It’s me Sandra, Marta, can I come in?” Marta asked me kindly. “Yes,” is the only thing I said.
Marta opened the door slowly, carrying a tray with food in her hands. Fixing my gaze on her, I asked her, “What’s wrong, why did you bring food to my room? With concern, I asked.
With a soft smile, Marta answers. “Terry asked me to bring you your meals here. He told me that you were not feeling well and that you will stay in your room all day.”
Hearing her words, I felt a terrible blow to my chest. Desolation and despair ate my insides. But I did not say anything. I nodded my head, confirming Terry’s instructions. My Terry, in a few hours he will stop being mine, Who am I kidding? He is not mine any more.
And of course, he doesn’t want me to leave this room. He must want everything to be perfect for this big day. And it won’t be perfect with me there. I wouldn’t be present for anything anyway.
“If you need anything else, you need to ask me,” Marta confirmed my thoughts.
“I know it is not easy for you, we all know it. But at this moment we all have to be together, so things will end up well. This will benefit us all in the long run. Be brave, everything is going to work out, and when you look back and remember how you felt, you will realize how ridiculous and useless it was.”
“So eat your food, don’t make me worry about you since I have a lot of things to do. Terry and the boys are getting ready now. There is little left for all the guests to arrive.”
Kissing my forehead and turning her back to me, Marta leaves my room, Oh, the joy of her words, a few months ago I could have believed her, but not now, what a disappointment. It breaks my heart to know that for all of them I am exclusively an accessory to keep Terry happy. Everyone is a traitor, with a heartbreaking cry I threw the tray of food into the air, “Traitors, EVERYONE!”
After Marta’s visit, no one came to see how I was. Alone and abandoned by the people I believed were my family. A beautiful illusion that ended, most bitterly, called betrayal.
Thinking about him and her together, another part of my heart emptied. After a while of contemplating the ceiling, I decided to stop. I walked to my desk, where I had a photo of Terry and me.
I remember when I took it. It was a beautiful day, I remember those times, I can tell those were the best in my life. This has been taken on the university campus, where we were studying. The grass was wet because it had rained the day before, the area was muddy, but we wanted to cut the distance and get to our class fast.
Helpless to do anything, Terry flew, falling on his butt. I thought it’s the day I laughed the most, all his backside was dirty.
Ha, ha, ha! I remember it very well, I immediately took out my mobile and started taking pictures of him. After that, he had no choice but to smile at the camera, how beautiful his smile is, my Terry.
The past is now so far away that it seems it never happened. More than ever, I must stop remembering it. Knowing what will happen in a few more minutes, it no longer has a point.
I decided to take a very hot bath to get rid of all the pain from my soul. I turned on the hot water, very hot by the way, letting it fall on my skin until it was a deep red colour.
Furthermore, I want to punish myself. It was because of me, he is no longer my Terry. I need to pay for that. I am guilty of everything, not only him, but everyone turned their back on me too.
That means it was me, something icy ran through my back. I did not deserve even the slightest consideration from anyone. He was right. I am nothing, I am nobody, I am not worth it.
Facing this reality. The tears ran wild without stopping, wetting my cheeks, my neck. I shouted and shouted and shouted more until I was speechless and breathless. I cursed my life, I cursed my love, I cursed everyone, I cursed him too.
The hours passed, and I was still in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet seat with only a towel covering my body. I was there, without thinking about anything. Emptiness floating around my head, I could not even think about how to fix my life. Not even what I would be doing tomorrow.
But I was sure of one thing, I had to see with my own eyes the exact moment when Terry would kill the remains of my love for him. And everything he represents in my life. At least I will give myself that. Seeing it will help not to fool myself with delusional fantasies. About a prince, and eternal love.
Gathering all the willpower I have left, I managed to stand up and go to the wardrobe. I only took out my underwear, socks, a pair of shorts, a simple shirt and my trainers. I let my hair dry by itself without even bothering to brush it.
Now is when my legs started to shake. Thinking about approaching that window. “Be brave, Sandra,” I said to myself. “Yes, you can, stand up and go.” With that little self-talk, I went to the window.
Knowing what I would see through, it would shatter any hope that might remain. With a trembling hand. I pulled the curtain open. Greeted by the most magnificent view I had ever seen. There it was. The Kensington mansion’s garden. It was more beautiful than ever.
Surrounded by beautiful flower arrangements, decorating the hallways. Small spotlights tinkling on the ceiling giving a fairy-like atmosphere. The grass is pruned with the liveliest green my eyes have ever seen. The surrounding bushes were redesigned in a spiral cut. One after the other, making a spherical pattern.
These bushes were also plagued with the little twinkling lights around them. And these beautiful white flower beds? Someone went through a lot of trouble to make them. At the reception, you can see an army of waiters serving. All kinds of treats to the guests with the best drinks money can buy.
I saw rows of perfect arranged chairs lined in white, with a lilac bow adorning the back. In the centre of the garden stood an imposing arch decorated with thousands of white roses. It was magnificent. Behind this arch, you could see a podium where a priest waits patiently for the arrival of the bride.
Alex and Frank, Terry’s brothers, were on the right side of the podium. Well-dressed in Tuxedos that scream money all over the place. Wearing Prada shoes too. Marta was sitting in the front row very neat, wearing a long purple dress, making her look smart and kind at the same time. But I know it’s a costume, all of them are wearing their costumes.
Turning my head a little, I focused my eyes on a vision that took my breath away. The groom, there he was. Beautiful, like an image taken from a fairy story. Immaculate, I had never seen him in a Tuxedo. I had not been lucky until now.
He felt my gaze because he turned in the direction where I was. I could do nothing else, but hold my breath. My pulse raced to see his beautiful face, there was the groom, my Terry, and the bride was not me.
Very Careful, withdrawing myself from the window, so as not to generate any movement that could give me away and be seen, I waited for him to turn his face away. When he did, I could breathe again.
Today is the day Terry Kensington will marry Susan Ramsey. The woman who counts, the worthwhile woman, the woman who is something, the one who deserves respect, I do not. That is why the bride is her. That is why I am behind a window. Discarded and abandoned, watching how the love of my life marries another.
Any other woman in my place would be calling the firefighters or something. But not me, a woman like me, who is nothing, who deserves nothing, who has nothing, no, I would not.
What for? What would be the case? To fight for a man who is not mine, who decided not to be anymore, who does not want to be with me, who did not choose me?
My destructive thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the wedding march. “Here comes the bride.” All present upon hearing this, turned their heads with curiosity to see the bride.
Walking straight into the arms of her beloved, taking her time, savouring the moment. The groom was no exception, when glances collided, he sent her a beautiful welcoming smile. A warm reception.
A few steps later, the father of the bride and the bride reached the podium, where the groom was waiting. Mr Ramsey, with pride on his face, gave the groom the hand of his beloved daughter. He descended from the podium, joining Mrs Ramsey and her other two daughters after exchanging a few words with Terry.
After taking the bride’s hand so delicately, the groom put all his attention on the priest. Watching in silence from the window, everything that was happening. I couldn’t hear anything. But I guess at that moment they were reciting the sacred vows of marriage.
Alex approached the podium. He was holding a small cushion in which two beautiful rings were resting. The groom took one placing it on the elegant finger of the bride, when he finished, the bride did the same. Then the groom revealed the happy and radiant bride’s face.
My mouth tasted like blood. I realized then I was biting my tongue, my red eyes filled with despair. My attention was stolen, again, when the groom leaned down to reach the lips of his beloved.
The kiss was sweet, calm and serene. When they parted from each other’s lips. The two looked into each other’s eyes, as if there was no one around. At that moment, I knew what death felt like.
I realized the little heat left in my body was violent and mercilessly extinguished by strong winds of treason. Murdered along with my hopes and illusions, he was dead too, dead to me now, and he will remain dead.