Jane sat perfectly still even though her heart thrashed wildly inside of her ribcage.
Streaks of golden light streamed through the tall windows and cast a heavenly glow on his handsome face. His steel-grey eyes glowed with excitement, and he stood at the front of the church, in a dark tuxedo, with his blonde hair gelled to the side in a 1950s manner, and his pouty lips stretched into a blissful smile.
He was happy. It was one of the most important days of his life and he looked every inch of a fairytale prince.
A familiar melody broke the peaceful silence and the guests rose to their feet once the flower girls appeared and slowly moved towards the altar, leaving a trail of pink petals on the ground. The bridesmaids followed soon after and their tan, lithe bodies were swathed in chiffon gowns and their long hair was twisted into elegant chignons.
Jane watched with a heavy heart and a guilty conscious as the beautiful bride – enveloped in a sea of white lace and satin – glided towards the love of her life with a brilliant smile peeking underneath her veil.
Simon was getting married, Jane thought and even though she had been telling herself that for the last five months, the words still sounded foreign in her mind.
The love of her life was going to spend the rest of his life with another woman.
She swallowed a thorny lump that spawned inside of her throat and carefully sat back down when the bride took hold of the groom’s hand and lovingly stared into his eyes.
Jane forced herself to watch. Simon was, after all, her best friend.
Her palms were sweaty and she clenched them into tight fists to keep the tears from filling up her large, brown eyes and spilling down her porcelain cheeks.
Suddenly, a turbulent sea of memories surged through her mind; bits and pieces of sepia-toned film flashed through her eyes in which she shared laughter, tears and her heart with the man that stood a few feet away and slipped a shiny ring on another woman’s finger.
Her insides twisted into a cherry knot and hot, bitter tears rushed down her cheeks. It was hard to breathe – her chest felt tight and heavy – and when the newlyweds exchanged a romantic kiss, her heart dropped like an anchor into the soles of her feet.
The ceremony was over and the newlyweds, along with the horde of guests, rushed out of the church with tears of joy, untarnished laughter and hearty pats on the back.
Jane sat perfectly still.
Her heart beat weakly inside of her chest now. Silent tears streamed down her cheeks as she stared off into the distance and wondered if her body was dead. She couldn’t feel her toes and fingers – her arms were limp with exhaustion and her legs were frozen.
“Jane…” a soft whisper drifted through the eerie silence.
She knew that voice; it lulled her to sleep whenever she couldn’t stop crying and it served as a beacon of light at the end of her dark tunnel.
She turned around and stared into his deep, green eyes. They softened at the sight of her tears and when he stood up to sit next to her, her heart swelled with happiness.