At every wedding I’ve ever attended, when the minister gets to the part where he says, “Speak now or forever hold your peace,” I’ve always wondered if anyone ever does.
I never thought I’d be the one.
I stand here, my insides liquefying in the battle between what I have to do and what is socially acceptable. The minister stands there framed by the candlesticks, with his finger on the open page, his mouth half open as he stares at me. He looks shellshocked.
I guess that answers my question.
As the silence lengthens, heads swivel. The mother of the bride, perfectly coordinated in scarlet lipstick and silk. The lady with the peacock feather hat. A couple of little boys, resting their chins on their hands as they watch me with bright-eyed interest. The bride turns, recognition dawning on her face a split second before panic, and her eyes sweep the assembled. I can see the dollar signs in her eyes.
And then He turns. Meets my gaze. In the spark that flashes between us lives a history we never acknowledged till this moment, from his dad’s library where played hide and seek, to the tingle when our fingers touched last week over a workplace toast.
I summon all my vaunted self-possession to banish the quaver in my voice, and when I speak, my voice echoes in the awkward silence:
“Don’t do it.”
I would like to have played with my last 17 words and done something more with this, but as I have appointments looming and kids shouting in my ear, it’ll have to do for today. How’s that for pounding out a piece of flash fiction in fifteen minutes? 🙂 Here’s the inspiration for this particular Write On Edge fiction prompt: