The first note of ‘here comes the bride’ bled through the heavy wooden doors of the church as Sarah and her father stood just outside the sanctuary.
Gripping the sleeve of her father’s perfectly tailored suit, Sarah put one foot in front of the other and slowly made her way into the sanctuary. With their strides perfectly in sync, Sarah and her dad made their way towards the altar.
With every step her heart slammed against her ribs so hard she feared it would be heard over the organ.
Stride in stride, they made their way down the aisle.
‘What am I doing?’ She all but shouted to herself.
As they continued down the aisle, Sarah saw her. Sitting in the back, she sat at the very end of the second to last church pew. She most likely chose that spot strategically so that she could easily slip out without being seen.
The music faded as they inched closer and closer to her section. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, as they inched along soon they were walking past and it took everything within Sarah not to turn around and look back.
As Sarah and her father approached the altar, Sarah’s heart slammed against her ribcage, seemingly trying to escape her chest.
Sarah and her father took a few more steps before the soft material of her father’s tux was replaced with sandpaper like hands.
Sarah looked into Mike’s eyes as he helped her get into place across from him. Her stomach fluttered as she looked at the man she was supposed to be in love with. He smiled brightly, truly happy and excited; ready to be wed, but she did not feel the same.
Her father vanished, heading back down the stairs, on his way to claim his seat beside her mother.
Sarah’s eyes flicked to the pews and her eyes landed on a pair of green ones looking back at her.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to-”
“I’m sorry.” Sarah heard herself say, her eyes turning back to the man whose hands she was holding.
There was a pause, the whole church fell silent, almost as if the entire congregation took a collective breath and held it.
“I can’t do this.” Sarah said, unwinding her hands from his.
“What?” He said in a faint whisper.
Sarah didn’t respond, instead she made her way towards the stairs and began to make her descent.
“Sarah, what in God’s name are you doing?! You’re embarrassing me! Get back up there!” Her father yelled.
Paying him no mind, she hurried down the steps and down the aisle. Her heart slammed forcefully against her ribs as she headed down the aisle. Heading for the door, Sarah thought about her; thought about reaching out for her hand as she ran by, but alas that would be unfair. Sarah could never put the woman she loved in such a situation. But, as the saying goes, great minds think alike. As Sarah ran past her, a soft hand slipped into hers as the sweet smell of vanilla filled the air.
Before Sarah could even think to react or look in the woman’s direction, they were charging for the church doors. Like school children on the last day of school, they burst through the doors and ran from the church as if it were on fire.
“My car’s this way!” The woman said, pulling them to the left.
Sarah gladly followed and soon they were hopping into the cherry colored convertible. With one turn of the key, the car was alive and they were on their way out. Someone yelled Sarah’s name but between the roar of the engine and the rapid beating of her heart, the call was merely background noise.
As Sarah and the woman peeled out of the church parking lot, her mother shouted but it was too late, they were already gone. Up the street and around the corner they went before finally stopping at a red light.
“Oh my God! I can’t believe I put you on the spot like that, I didn’t mean to-”
Red painted lips covered Sarah’s, causing her brain to short circuit, then, as quick as the lips were on hers, they were gone again, as the car pulled off.
As they headed for the highway, the woman behind the wheel looked over at Sarah.
“I knew you’d make the right choice.” She said, causing them both to laugh.
Resting her head on her lover’s shoulder, Sarah felt herself relax for the first time in what felt like ages.
“I’m glad I did. I love you Ruby.” Sarah said.
“Ha! Gay.” Ruby laughed as they pulled onto the highway.