I’m not usually the jealous type. I was happy my baby sister was marrying the man of her dreams, even though I didn’t even have a boyfriend. Really. But as I stood next to her in the church and they repeated their vows, I couldn’t help but feel a little envious.
Kimberly looked so elegant in her white lace wedding gown. The groom was handsome in his black tux. I was imagining how I would want my own wedding, when suddenly I felt a thousand eyes on me. Even through her veil, I recognized my sister’s glare. Oh, the ring! I slid the band from my finger and quickly handed it to her.
“Repeat after me,” the pastor began as I drifted back into my lonely thoughts. The next words I heard were, “I now pronounce you man and wife, you may kiss the bride.” My new brother-in-law, Mike, elegantly dipped Kimberly and placed a tender kiss on her ready lips. The crowd “awed” and then applauded for the picture perfect couple as I waited in my hideous bridesmaid dress to be escorted out of the church by Mike’s brother. If this was a romance novel, the groom’s brother would be handsome and we would fall in love. But instead Mike’s brother was a pimply-faced teenager, and he was winking at me. Yuck.
After the ceremony, we headed to the reception where I tried, for my sister’s sake, to be a gracious maid-of-honor rather than a grumpy old-maid. “Hello, dear,” my great aunt said as she pulled my head down and planted a slobbery kiss on my check. “Don’t worry. Your time will come.” That was only the first of a string of sympathetic comments I heard that day. And the number of well-wishing matchmakers offering to fix me up were too many to count.
I was determined to hide my thoughts so I smiled for the pictures and shook hands with the guests. When it was time for the most depressing ritual of all, the throwing of the bouquet, I obliged. I knew Kimberly would throw it to me, but I had no intention of catching it.
I positioned myself between my two large cousins who were practically salivating for the bouquet as if catching it actually meant they’d soon find love. I knew better. Kimberly turned around and tossed the flowers over her shoulder. My cousins dove for the prize, which my sister had aimed right at my head. They sandwiched me in their collision and the three of us landed in a pile, my face breaking the fall.
For my unselfish participation in the barbaric ritual I obtained a busted lip and a chipped tooth. That was bad; but even worse I discovered that the flowers had somehow ended up in my hands. So now, not only did I resemble Mike Tyson after a fight, but Kimberly also insisted I still pose for pictures. “We’ll laugh at this one day, I promise,” she said. I had my doubts, but knew not to deny a bride any request. I obeyed and offered the photographer a swollen, closed-lipped smile.
The rest of the reception was a blur. Only my love for my sister kept me there. For anyone else I would have been home in bed eating chocolate and watching old movies. When they finally drove away, I didn’t waste any time kicking off my painful shoes and ripping my hair out of the tight updo.
I was walking back to the church when I heard a horn honk. I turned to see my sister standing up through the limo’s moon roof.
“What are you doing back?” I called out to her.
“Take this,” she said, tossing me a piece of paper. “Mike’s college roommate’s brother is a dentist. Mike already called him. He’ll fix that tooth for you tomorrow.”
“Thanks,” I said reading the name “Todd Williams.” I was touched Kimberly remembered me during her special moment. Suddenly, I had a thought. “Is he single?” I yelled vainly into the air as her limo sped away for the second time.
I held the paper in my hand as I ran my tongue over my broken tooth and imagined my own wedding to Dr. Todd Williams, successful dentist. It would be a lovely wedding, I dreamed. And Kimberly would be the one wearing the ugly bridesmaid dress. Wait–I quickly edited my fantasy. Kimberly would be wearing a hideous bridesmaid dress and she’d be eight months pregnant.
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