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That next day, Hannah was a zombie. She couldn’t eat or focus or even sleep the next day. Even though she wanted to know who murdered her mother, she also wanted to try to forget about it.
The wedding was in three days, and Hannah was extremely distracted by the dream, more like a nightmare which had her mother’s ghost appear to her. She couldn’t even talk to anyone, especially Carter at this point. It was obvious that she was ignoring him, and he knew this.
“Hannah? Look, I don’t know what’s wrong or what I did to make you ignore me, but I love you and I really need to hear your voice……the real thing, not the answering machine. Okay? Love you. Call me back.” Hannah sat in the chair across from the fireplace as she listened to the 27 messages from Carter. All of them said the same thing: “Hannah, I’m sorry.” “Hannah, what’s wrong, baby?” “Hannah, talk to me girl, please.” Hannah didn’t want to call him back. She didn’t know why she didn’t want to talk to him, but her conscious was making her stay away from him.
Finally, Hannah got the courage to talk to Carter at one of the most awkward dinners in history.
“Hey, Carter? Can you pass the mashed potatoes, please?”
“Yeah. Here you go.” Carter stopped and looked at her in amazement. “Wow.”
“What?” Hannah replied with no clue as to what he was amazed at.
Carter’s smile quickly grew to the point where Hannah truly thought that his cheeks were going to grow over his eyelids. You literally couldn’t see his eyes anymore. “You actually said something to me. It feels like years since I have actually heard the real voice of my fiancé.” He laughed while she smirked at his remark. It wasn’t her fault that she didn’t want to talk to him for the past few days.
After dinner, Hannah quietly snuck back into the darkness of her bedroom and fell asleep.
“Hannah! Hannah? Get over here quick!” she heard a voice coming from the stairs.
“Okay! I’m coming, hold on!” she responded. She ran as quickly as she could in her silver, high-heels, trying not to stumble over her own feet or her beautiful homecoming gown.
“I have to tell you something.” She saw Carter talking to her as she came around the corner of the kitchen.
“Oh, okay. What is it?” She asked as she breathed deeply.
“I have a confession.” He paused as Hannah looked confusedly at him. “I know who caused your mother’s death.”
Once again, Hannah woke up speechless.
“Hey, umm I have a question for you,” Hannah said to Carter one morning.
“Alright. What is it?” Carter replied as he continued to cut up an apple with peanut butter.
“I had the weirdest dream that you had something to confess to me, and you said it was bothering you for a while. I know it’s probably one of those crazy dreams that you have before you get married and everything, but I just wanted to see if there’s anything that maybe you want to talk about. Ugghhh!!” Hannah took a deep, deep breath trying to regain the oxygen she just spit out.
Carter stopped everything that he was doing and turned to look at Hannah. He looked incredibly worried and didn’t know what to say. Should I tell her or not? He kept thinking that same question over and over for a complete silent minute or two. “Well, there is something that has really been bothering me. And I feel that I should tell you before we get married.” He sighed. “Well, umm I don’t know how to tell you this but……”
Suddenly, the telephone rang.
“Oh, uh, hold on. Hello?” Hannah said as she picked up the phone. Carter never got a chance to say what was on his mind.
“Hannah, I need you here for a moment,” he called up the stairs.
“Coming!” He could hear her footsteps coming closer, getting louder and louder.
“I really need to confess something to you,” Carter said as he looked down.
“What’s wrong?” Hannah looked concerned.
This time, the alarm clock went off.
Carter was the one waking up, sweating, from a nightmare.
Carter and Hannah woke up and rushed to the church separately. It was one of those superstitious things that you always had to follow: you never see the bride before you get married on the wedding day.
For some reason, the same thoughts kept going through the very soon-to-be married couple’s heads. I hope I’m not making a mistake, There’s something wrong, and Carter was frantically thinking about his secret. Should I tell her? She has a right to know. He kept sweating because he was nervous and he forgot to write his vows. What was he getting himself into? She definitely didn’t deserve him, especially because of what he did.
“There are ready for you. You have to come in 5 minutes.” Carter’s best man, Preston, came to talk to the nervous wreck of a groom. Meanwhile, the maid of honor came to calm down Hannah.
“Hey, girl. We are going to start in about 5 minutes,” Bailey said to the bride. “You know,” she started to say, “Carter really loves you and he would never do anything to hurt you.” But, Carter needed to talk to Hannah and he heard that sympathetic quote from Bailey. Seconds later, he ran out of the church.
“Dude! What are you doing?! There’s a wonderful girl waiting for you in that church! What are you doing?” This time it wasn’t just Preston; it was Nick, Toby, and Preston. They all shouted at him in unison. “What are you doing?!”
“I don’t know. I have no clue what I am doing. I’m only a senior in high school and I’m getting married. What was I thinking?” Carter replied sadly.
“You were thinking that you were in love. You are in love, with a great girl. Don’t do this to her. I know you and you would never do anything to hurt her.” Preston tried to reassure him.
“Why does everyone keep saying that? How do you know that I wouldn’t do anything to hurt her? You don’t know……” Carter caught himself. He wasn’t going to tell anyone. Not now. Not ever. “I just need some fresh air. I’ll be in there in a few minutes.” Carter was finally calming down.
“Keep an eye on him, kay?” Preston said to Nick and Toby as he ran to tell Hannah that Carter would be ready soon.
DUM DUM DUM, DUM! DUM DUM DUM, DUM! Hannah appeared at the end of the aisle linked elbows with her father. But, Hannah’s father was not happy. Mr. Jones was very stiff and walked extremely slow and took really small steps. Everyone assumed that he just didn’t want to see her little girl leave him. But no one knew that something in his conscious was telling him to not let his daughter marry Carter.
Carter was fidgeting all around the alter as he saw his soon to be wife gradually coming towards him. You could just about see the sweat coming down his face. Something wasn’t right; and Hannah could tell.
“Carter, is something wrong?” she said as soon as she got placed on the stair next to him.
“No. Ugh. Just nervous.” Hannah could tell he was bluffing but it didn’t really cross her mind of what it may mean.
“Where are gathered here today, to celebrate the holy matrimony of Hannah Erika Jones and Carter Atilano Dudley,” the priest began.
“What is it, Carter?” Hannah asked as quietly as possible.
“I have to talk to you.”
The priest paused and looked at them with a deadly, piercing glare. Hannah and Carter then shut their mouths, but they continued their hushed conversation.
“We need to talk, now.” Carter was serious. Hannah could tell.
“Excuse me,” Hannah said politely to the priest. “We need a minute. We will be right back.” Hannah and Carter quickly stepped down from the stair and into the room of which Hannah got dressed in. They could hear all the guests go into their own hushed conversations as they walked down the aisle earlier than expected.
“What’s up? I mean, what’s soooo urgent that you couldn’t wait until the end of the wedding to tell me?” Hannah questioned impatiently.
“I really need to confess something to you. But I don’t want you to hate me. But I don’t want our marriage to start of as a lie. But I still love you.” Carter said all in one breath. He looked down at his new, shiny, black shoes and waited for Hannah’s approval to proceed.
“Go ahead. What is it?” Hannah said anxiously.
“Well, before I met you, I got in trouble, money trouble and I didn’t know what to do. Jefferson College accepted me but they didn’t give me a scholarship and my parents wouldn’t help me afford it. When things got down to the wire, I needed a lot of financial help, so I called this guy. He said that he would give me all the money I needed if I did something for them.” He paused and looked at Hannah. She was incredibly confused. But he continued, “And so they told me I needed to kill this woman if I wanted to be able to get the money to go to college. But this is still before I ever met you. Ugh. I refused to murder an innocent woman, but they threatened me, so I had to do it. They chose the woman and told me where she lived and what she looked like.”
Hannah was completely bewildered now. “What are you saying, Carter?” she said starting to assume what he was talking about.
“Wait, before you make assumptions, I didn’t know it was your mother until that day. But I had no choice. I’m so sorry, Hannah.”
Hannah was starting to cry, and these weren’t the happy kind of tears you were supposed to get on your wedding day. “So you killed my mother? And you are the reason I got kidnapped, starved, and beat? You caused my father and I all that pain and suffering?” Hannah voice was getting louder and stronger and firmer. Not much later, everyone in the church could hear her yelling at Carter. They all gasped and Mr. Jones starting to cry.
“How dare you! How dare you purpose to me knowing what you did! How could you do something so….awful?!” Hannah was totally livid at Carter, who was supposed to be her husband. She couldn’t believe her ears. She was just about to marry her mother’s murderer. What kind of daughter is she?
Hannah fell back onto the couch and let her big, white dress surround her. She had black mascara running down her cheeks and her eyes were glossy caused by her tears. She didn’t know what to say to Carter anymore. How could she talked to him, after all, she could barely look at him, let alone in the eyes.
When she finally pulled herself together, well, at least enough to talk, she looked up at him and stood. She said, “I thought you loved me.” Carter instantly began to say, “I do,” but it was no use because she had already left him.
Carter stood in the doorway of the church, watching his love runaway. He knew that she would never forgive him. But more importantly, he knew he would never be able to runaway from his mistake.