Time to knock on that door. The other side of the door has a woman who doesn’t like me very much right now. You wouldn’t too if I left you hanging on our wedding day.
The other side of the door is also full of chaos in the form of unanswered questions and wounded feelings. There is a heart with deep cuts in there that’s marking the floor with red. There’s a mess made by rubble from a wrecked relationship that once stood tall. The dust has barely settled for all I know. The embers from the fire refuse to die down completely.
I’m about to walk into this chaos that I started.
When my knock sounds on the door, she will open the door for me. She will be wearing a white sundress. Her hair will be wet. I’ll recognize that look. She’ll have been swimming. Suzzie likes water too much. Her eyes will be bloodshot. She’ll be hungover. I’ll recognize that look too.
I’ll notice the cup in her hand.
She’ll nod when I say hello. With the cup in her right hand and the door handle in her left hand, she’ll use the cup to point me into the room. She’ll close the door and follow me in. She’ll use the cup again to point me to the couch.
Suzzie barely speaks when she’s infuriated.
I’ll brace myself.
I’ll sit. I’ll look around. If things had stayed the same, I’d be waking up in this bed right here maybe even at this very moment. People sleep in the next morning after getting hitched, don’t they? The bed will be unmade. Rose petals will be all over the floor. An empty champagne bottle will sit on the table, half a bottle of whisky will sit next to it. The clock on the wall will point to 10:13 or 10:14. Almost quarter past.
I’ll lean back on the sofa and look her way. She’ll sit in the middle of the bed, fold her feet under her and sip from the cup. I’ll wonder if that’s coffee or whisky. I won’t ask.
She’ll look at me.
“Hi,” I’ll say.
“Didn’t we just…?” She’ll point towards the door.
“No. We actually didn’t.” I’ll try a smile.
She’ll have none of it.
I’ll lean forward. I’ll start speaking.
I had every intention of attending the wedding. I had every intention of standing at that altar and watching you walk towards me. Saying the vows and meaning them. I had every intention of marrying you Suzzie. I would think you were beautiful. I always thought you were beautiful.
Look, I got into the car with Eddie and Kev. We were headed to the church. To you. The car was cruising at a good speed and we were making good time. Wanna hear something? Hehe. Kev even read me a message from mum that said they were waiting, and she asked him to remind me to walk slowly during the ceremony. You know, because I tend to walk fast? He said that she didn’t want me to make you trip on your perfect dress. I imagine you looked gorgeous in that dress. Mother really had nothing to worry about you know. I had every intention of getting married to you and staying in step with you. You were not going to trip on that dress.
We got into the car. Kev got behind the wheel. Eddie joined me at the back. We’d let the windows down so we could enjoy the cool breeze. The sun was high up. The skies were so blue. The grass so green. We had the perfect day in our hands. So what could stop us from having the perfect wedding?
We were nearing the church, almost taking that last turn, you know? I was coming to you. Then I realized that I really wasn’t coming to you. I was running away to you.
I was coming to you with feelings that didn’t belong to you. I met someone, Sue. Two days before the wedding. The timing was lousy. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. So that morning in the perfect day under the beautiful sky, I willed my mind to stop thinking about her. I couldn’t. The sky was perfect and I found myself wishing that I could spend such a perfect day with her. I hadn’t even spoken to her, but I kept seeing her in my future. I can’t believe I’m saying this to you, but Mercy said that I owed it to you to be honest. Yeah. She’s called Mercy. You actually know her. She planned the wedding. Shocking. I know.
When I realized that I was coming to my wedding bearing feelings for another woman, I had to be honest with myself. I mean, what was I doing? You didn’t deserve this. Would I spend our honeymoon thinking about her? Is that how our marriage would start? It felt wrong, Sue. It just felt wrong. You didn’t deserve this. So I asked Kev to stop the car. I couldn’t come.
If I could do anything to go back to the Zach I was before I met her, I would do it in a heartbeat.
I should have picked your calls. I should have talked to you. But for the life of me, I didn’t know where to begin. I couldn’t make sense of anything.
I’ve always had a handle on things but this one is beyond me. I can’t fix it. My heart won’t listen to me. I have begged it to love you like it used to. I have tried to ignore what it stubbornly wants. I have tried to coerce it with all the good memories of us – and they are so many, believe me. So many. But it will have none of it.
I don’t know how to fix my heart. It has let me down. I have let you down.
I have caused you pain. I have made you cry when I don’t deserve your tears. I have taken your perfection and trampled on it.
I am so very sorry, Sue. Please forgive me.
That’s what I’ll say to her.
I’m going in. Wish me luck.