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The Best Woman’s Resolve

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— A drabble, for now.

Romance / Drama
Age Rating:

Eight Years Later.

The dawning realization of the loss of what I’ve had for ages wounds just as deep, just as sharp, as the realization of the chance I’ll never have; in one, I mourn the history shared between us, and in the other, I mourn the future we’ll never share.

June 12, 2029; Balesin Island.

I breathed; it is a big day today. I stretched out my arms as I got out of the comforts of my bed and wore my robe. My eyes wandered around the hotel room. The sun gave flecks of its light in the room’s interior. I prepared my coffee and approached the balcony of my hotel room. I smiled when I saw the scenery before me. It was beautiful and peaceful. It immediately offered the kind of peace cities, however safe, can’t offer.

I lifted my head with my eyes closed and let myself bask in the soothing presence of the wind and the calming rush of the waves as it hit the shore. If heaven was a place on Earth, it would look like this. I was impressed; he indeed picked a good place for the wedding. I reminded myself to commend him for that as soon as we see each other.

For a while, I let myself be put in a trance of the nature around me; that is until I heard a knock.

“Miss? Are you awake? Your dress for the wedding has arrived,” a soft voice spoke behind the door of my room.

“Yes. A moment, please.” I said in a moderately loud voice and opened my eyes and fixed my robe as I approached the door.

I opened the door and let the hotel clerk and the wedding planner in.

“Good morning, Miss Chloe.” They both spoke and smiled at me. They dragged the mannequin that wore my gown into my room.

“There. Place it there, by the coffee table near the window.” I pointed to the corner of my room. Both of them nodded and smiled at me.

“Thank you,” I said as soon as they left my room. I held my cup of coffee and scanned the dress. I saw a small greeting card at the back that says:

“Chloe, thank you for saying yes to this wedding. I’ll see you at the venue.”

I shook my head and smiled. That idiot.

I finished preparing earlier than I expected so I took my time to stroll around the beach. I held my bouquet as I approached the venue by the sea, the only people at the venue are the organizers. I observed the people and basked in the beauty of the venue as I stood on the aisle.

As far as weddings go, a beach wedding, by far, is the most tolerable kind of wedding to me.

I looked at the bouquet I am holding. It was a plethora of white and yellow flowers. They were all still fresh. I wonder how long these flowers would last before they completely wilt and wither.

Marriage, I thought to myself, is often like the flowers binded together in a beautiful bouquet.

I let myself wander in deep thought as I stared at the bouquet I am holding. How does it feel to want marriage? Or rather, the more appropriate question, how does it feel to meet someone so worthy of the risk called marriage?

One of my favorite poets, Ocean Vuong, said, “They say nothing lasts forever but they are just scared it will last longer than they can love it.”, and marriage was the first thing that came into my mind when I read those words.

For a long time, I was convinced that marriage was nothing but a farce. To me, it was too good to be true, too good to be everlasting. And, good things like that are not meant to last forever; it was an unwritten rule of the world, of life, of destiny. Happiness often does not last that long. Fate is cruel like that.

Sometimes, when happiness is prolonged, when bliss is desired to be kept forever, it often ends up becoming a curse, a burden people have to carry for the rest of their lives. Marriage was that kind of thing. It was the way of humans to preserve happiness and love as long as they could, an indication and a revelation of their selfish nature.

Too much joy, sometimes, is lost in our desperation to keep it.

I wonder how it feels to meet someone that will not make you think about all these?

“You’re early.” My contemplation was interrupted when I heard his voice and felt him beside me. He looked intently at me when I did not respond.

“Changed your mind about weddings?” he said and cocked his brow at me.

“My being here is proof that I have nothing against weddings.” I scoffed at his remark. Why do I have such an insufferable best friend?

“Right, right. It’s not the wedding you dislike, but marriage itself.” He nodded and looked ahead, the same direction I am looking at.

There was a long pause, yet it did not feel alienating, neither of us feeling uneasy. It was always easy being with him, being in his presence, being together.

“How does it feel?” I said in a small voice and looked at him “...to want marriage?” I continued.

“It was not the marriage that I want, Chloe. It was her, and a family together, and to be with them as long as this life permits me,” he answered, looking ahead with a smile only his bride can draw out of him. “I don’t really care about marriage, you know that of all people, but it came along with the desire to be with her for the rest of my life. The next thing I knew, we were already planning it.”

“You love her so much, don’t you?” I smiled despite the pang I felt in my chest.

“I do, and sometimes that’s enough to take this big risk.” I nodded slowly.

“It wasn’t enough for me...” I said in a shrill voice.

“I figured.” he nodded and raked his fingers through his disheveled hair.

“You know, even if it was... enough for me, who’s to know how long it’s going to be, right?” I chuckled bitterly.

“Hey, stop making me doubt myself and my decisions.” He teased a little to lighten up the mood. I chuckled and shook my head.

“I’m not. I’m pretty sure you’re as sure as you’ll ever be the moment you met her.” I looked at him and smiled. “...you’re going to be a great husband and father.” I continued and tapped his shoulder.

“You think so?”

“I know so. You’re my best friend. Of course, I’d know.” We smiled at each other as we basked in the warmth of a peaceful summer day.

“Congratulations, on your wedding.” I continued and closed our distance. I hugged him. Gladly, he returned. He was my best friend and I was his, before anything else, before we became each other’s regret in love.

I hugged him as if the whole world was right there in my arms, and that was the last and only time I would be holding it close. In his arms, I felt a lazy feeling of tenderness. It was so tender that I wanted to sleep in his arms, forever. It was so tender that even his steady breaths soothed my nerves, reached my heart and enveloped it with a warmth I never felt in other arms before. I felt my heart beat faster in his warmth, like my chest would cave in on itself as the history we shared returned to me with absolute vividness.

A history; that is all there is.

I felt his warmth reach my eyes, and tears threatened to fall. I closed my eyes to keep it all from falling. I felt him leave a soft kiss on my temple and rested his chin on my head.

“Save your tears on your own wedding day, dumbass.” He said as he softly chuckled when I drew a small breath. I was surprised that he knew that there were tears lingering at the back of my closed lids. Maybe it was my ragged breath that gave it away, or maybe because he felt like crying too; and every time I cried, tears threaten to fall from his eyes too.

We stayed in that position for a moment, and as if a gentle surrender, I withdrew from his hold. Had I done the right thing at the right time, maybe things turned out differently. Maybe if I wasn’t too afraid to play my cards right. Maybe if I wasn’t too afraid of getting it right that I suddenly have something to lose.

But, that was only a possibility of the future that only the brave fights for, let alone chooses.

A possibility; that is all it would be.

“Had your speech ready?” he asked, after a few moments of silence.

“Can’t be the best woman if I hadn’t.”

“The best woman, indeed.” he smiled at me, almost similar to the kind of smile only his bride is capable of bringing out. Almost.

“It was nice, having you here. Thank you for saying yes.”

“You don’t have to thank me twice.” I rolled my eyes.

“****! Get your ass over here already!” A friend of ours shouted from a distance. I smiled and waved when he did.

“I better get going. Wish me luck, and see you at my side later.” I laughed and nodded.

“I’ll be there,” I said in a small voice as I watch him walk away. I stared at his retreating back, his every step further away from me. It was stupid to hope for him to, at least, glance at me before he’s gone completely. He did not; not a glance, not even a pause.

A few moments later, we saw the bride. His bride. I walked towards the spot where the best woman should be. I elbowed him when I settled at my spot.

“Calm the fuck down. You look like a ticking time bomb. Your bride’s not going anywhere.” I snickered at him when I noticed his restlessness. He gathered his breath and clasped his hands together.

The wedding song played as she slowly walked down the aisle, towards the man beside me, towards her groom.

When she reached us, she smiled at me and mouthed, “Thank you.”

There, I knew from her smile that she would take care of the piece of my heart that was him.

I smiled genuinely at her as a reply, despite doing it with a grieving heart.

This, maybe, is the best woman’s resolve.

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