Chapter Ten: The Wedding
She got married on a Friday. June 1st, if memory serves. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Every moment of that day is emblazoned in my mind.
For weeks I debated flying to Denver and showing up at her wedding. She showed me where the church was—somehow it was important for me to know. That was the same night she modeled her wedding dress for me. If I had any doubts that I was madly in love with her, the gut-wrenching pain that suddenly shot through me when she walked out of the bedroom was proof enough.
At that moment I knew my cause was lost. Later that night, I left one red rose on her back porch and wrote “I love you” on the windshield of her car. If I had any balls, I would have knocked on her door and introduced myself to Howard and told him I was in love with his fiancée. But I didn’t. Instead I left my calling card for him to find. Later that week I bought an airline ticket for her but never sent it. In my heart, I knew she would not come.
We kept talking on the phone up until a few days before the wedding. I kept telling myself to knock it off, to walk away, to make an end to the torment I was putting myself through. I debated over and over showing up at the wedding and making an ass out of myself and letting her know how I felt. Instead I planned a trip to Mackinac Island.
It seemed perfectly logical to me. If she was going to get married to someone else, I was going to go to our special place and be with her memory. The more I thought about it, the more important it became. I had to be on that island when she got married, I had to be in our place at that exact moment or I would go wild.
It rained in that day. I remember checking the weather reports. If I had a direct connection to the weather gods, I would have implored them for thunder and lightning and monsoon-rain cascading down. Perhaps they would have granted my wish, for the gods are known to be capricious.
Instead it was a steady rain, damp and cool and constant.
I made it to the . I checked my watch, over and over, seeing in my mind’s eye the progression of events, her walking up the aisle, her foregoing all others including me, her saying, “I do” to another.
I stood and looked at the trees. Ironically, the sun was shining through the trees, a picture-perfect day that made the moment bittersweet. The birds chirped and squirrels chattered while flowers displayed their blooms. My heart was set to break while all around me the world was peaceful and bright.
Slowly, ever so slowly, I took notice of the peace and beauty around me. Jennifer was lost to me, but I was still alive. I lived, I breathed. I took stock of the sun and the trees and the flowers and late spring getting ready to burst into summer.
At that moment, standing there, with church bells ringing two thousand miles away, a peace came over me, a calmness, a certainty that my path, my future, lay before me. A door closed and yet another opened. What was could never be taken away and what will be is a canvas waiting for inspiration.
Jennifer had been a part of my past for so long, and perhaps will be a part of my future again. But now my adventure followed a different road. I had a future to create, and if I didn’t create it, I would have no one to blame but myself.
The adventure of this life was one I was not to share with Jennifer. One thing I knew with certainty, it was my future and my canvas, and it was my inspiration that was going to make it beautiful or sad. I decided I would make it beautiful, and so I did.