Today was SUPPOSED to be the day of my wedding. (To a man who is NOT my current [and definitely last] fiancé.) All day I've been imagining what I would be doing at this very moment if I was getting married to that other man. Let's call him Franky. This "*" will represent the alternate universe. This "-" will represent reality.
  1. * 8:30: I've been up all night long. My face tells the tale. I've fought every day with Franky about this wedding. My complexion is pale, and an inky blackness is under my eyes.
  2. - 8:30: Got up with my fiancé, Chris, in a freezing cabin on the family pasture. My body is sore from the coldness. I'm not well rested, but not bothered by it either.
  3. * 9:00: I peel myself out of bed. It feels like my heart is about to pound out of my chest. My breath feels cold in my lungs. I know I'm making a mistake, but I'm stubborn and it's too late anyway. Franky and I have an apartment together and the wedding is paid for. All our family is in town, as well.
  4. - 9:00: Drive back to our apartment where Chris showers before work (the Pasture doesn't have running water during the winter). I run to a local coffee shop and get him a cup of black dark roast before driving him into work.
  5. * 9:30 I can't choke down my breakfast. There is a pit in my stomach. It aches. I feel like crying, but I won't. I'm stubborn. I can't turn back now.
  6. - 9:30: I run a couple of errands before returning home and showering before going to work. Nothing particularly special about this day. But I'm happy. Everything is great.
  7. * 11:30: The bridesmaids start to arrive at my house. We have a mini spa planned out before we all go to get our hair and makeup professionally done. I still do not feel relaxed or ready. But I laugh like I'm having the time of my life. Faking happiness has become second nature to me after four and a half years.
  8. - 11:30: Arrive at work. Clock in. Talk to my good friend and supervisor. Go upstairs. Find schedule for the over night I'm working. Locate fiancé. Get busy with something else before I can talk to him. Realize that I sorta miss him even after being apart for only a few hours. He makes me so happy.
  9. * 3:00 - Spa done, makeup on, hair curled and up. I'm stepping into my dress. I'm about to start taking pictures with the bridesmaids. This dress... it is so beautiful. Why do I hate it so much? I look so sickly. So thin. My bulimia has gotten worse over the past year. It's a miracle my teeth aren't rotting. It's amazing I can walk.
  10. - 3:00: An unexpected several hours of freedom have presented themselves. Chris picks me up from work. I kiss him upon arrival. I love him so much. He slides his hand down my back and holds me at my waist. It's a gentle, loving gesture. Once home he pulls me into his arms for a warm embrace. I feel safe. Happy.
  11. * 4:00 - Pictures are in progress. My heart feels cold as it beats much too slowly, much too loudly... *thump thump thump*. I should feel excited to see my future husband at the end of the aisle. But instead... all I feel is dread. All we do is fight. All he does is control. What little freedom I have left will soon be gone.
  12. - 4:00: Drinking a beer (don't judge me...) while baking a cake (dark chocolate red wine loaf cake). Chris researching something while in the recliner. The apartment is in quiet happiness and smells of chocolate and cinnamon.
  13. * 6:00: Walking back up the aisle after the ceremony. Holding hands with my new husband. I feel so nauseous. But not from excitement, though. A silent, deadly dread has settled into my heart.
  14. - 6:00: Giving a tour of the museum. Bustling patrons, impatient Girl Scouts, the smell of new carpet, the hum of an air vent.... I know this museum backwards and forwards. I've given countless tours to all ages. I know what I'm talking about. And I enjoy it immensely.
  15. * 8:00: Pictures have been taken. Food has been served. Dancing has begun. I'm forced to dance even though I hate it. The attention of a million new relatives overwhelmed me. My shoes are hurting my feet. I want to curl up and sleep. But I must party on. Perhaps till the break of dawn.
    I really got into the rhyming in this one. Oops.
  16. - 8:00: I'm coming back from running a second errand. I see Chris letting people into the lab, and run into a coworker. I tell him a funny story about the errand I just ran, and go upstairs to see what's happening with the over night.
  17. * 10:00: The reception is winding down. I feel half deaf from the crowds and from the music. I'm not sure how I feel going back to a hotel alone with my husband. But this is my life now. I'm hungry. I have barely eaten all day. I'm tired of smiling and telling people thank you when they congratulate me. I shouldn't feel this way.
  18. - 10:00: Able to escape work earlier than I expected. Chris and I go home and pack up the car to take back out to the Pasture. Clothes, blankets, space heaters. Hopefully we sleep warmer tonight.
  19. * 11:00: I regretted getting engaged. I should have known the feeling of doubt and regret would only grow a million times worse with marriage. I thought I loved him. I wanted to love him. He told me I loved him. But everything feels so wrong. He's not good to me or for me. He wants me to be silent and beautiful and bear children. Nothing more.
  20. - 11:00: It was a regular day. Nothing special or exciting or out of the ordinary happened. But it was perfect. Having an ordinary day, and being with a man who loves and respects me is a thousand times better than having the wrong wedding to the wrong man.
  21. I regret nothing.