Off-Color Wedding

The bride wore a yellow dress, the most expensive one she had ever owned. Her freckled olive skin and buoyant red hair suited her outfit. Zipping up the dress that morning, Jocelyn Anjelica felt happy. Thinking of how beautiful she looked in the mirror helped drown out thoughts of how this would be the last day she would get to look like this for a while.

Tyson comforted her minutes before the ceremony began. “You'll always look beautiful to me,” he told her. “I love you no matter what.” He wore a wrinkled white shirt under a light green tuxedo, rented from a tailor on Market Street, and a candy-striped bow-tie, the knot a little too tight. Although he had been a little anxious getting dressed that morning, the bride could not tell. Perhaps love was blinding her from seeing his doubts, but it was more likely that he hid things very well.

He hid his surprise when they walked together in Branch Brook Park, and she told him she was pregnant with his child. He wasn't the type to get speechless; his silence made her nervous.

“What should I do?” she asked.
“Let's get married.” he blurted. Even then he knew that marriage would only add a thick layer of deceit to others he had laid already.

He had gone to the park that afternoon intending to come clean. He would've told her the truth about his line of work: he wasn't a mechanic Down Neck. He would've said, “You make me feel like my life is worth saving.” That would not have been a lie either. He hadn't sold in seven of the eight months they had been together. He was willing to promise that he would never sell again. Instead, Tyson ended up convincing Jocyelin (and himself) to get married and soon. Later, he would find himself with time to think of the irony.

His mother did not try to conceal her thoughts.

“Boy, you're moving to quickly. You hardly even know this girl.”

“Yeah, well, I feel like I know her.”

“She has no idea how much trouble you get into. I know that for a fact. This girl is not for you. She's quiet; you can't shut your mouth. This girls deserves to be taken care of. You can't hold a steady job.”

“I take care of my responsibility, Ma.”

She started cleaning the house, a sign that she was tired of the conversation. She knew this boy was too stuck in his own ways. She knew too well.

Now he stood frozen under a naked wedding arch in Branch Brook Park. Fold-up chairs formed the aisle the bride walked down to meet him. His mother was already tearing up, Tyson wondered if these were tears of joy. Before even one had fallen, her eyes fell to feet of the bride. She stared at yellow flip flops, and wiped away the first tears with a tissue from her pocket book. Too many colors were being mixed today.





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