It Should Have Been Me
It was like a beautiful nightmare.
A bridesmaid looked at him from her place on the steps…across from the pulpit. With his white tuxedo tailor-fitted to his body, John Stewart, tall and bronze and happy, looked just as beautiful as she thought he would on his wedding day. He was as perfect and clean as an Easter morning in the spring. Perfect.
There was only one thing wrong with all of this: He was marrying the wrong person.
She found herself mouthing the words to him, but not voicing them aloud.
John was not even seeing her in his vision. His smiling concentration was on the woman in the white designer wedding dress gliding down the aisle. He was thoroughly captivated…but she was NOT the right one.
She was just noticing that the music had already started. Mounting worry began to take hold of her at recognizing that iconic tune.
She whispered now, but the first strains of Here Comes the Bride were drowning out her hushed voice. Time was running out. She had to get his attention.
“John. John. Johnnnnnn…” she hissed insistently. But he was transfixed on his betrothed. It was all she could do to keep from throwing the flowers at him.
The bride was more than half way down the aisle and getting closer. She had to do it.
“John!” she shout-coughed while covering her mouth in a futile attempt to be discrete. Her precaution failed miserably as the bridesmaids and groomsmen, superheroes all, were now looking at her. Was the bride looking too?
Her heart was pounding. Had blurting out his name alerted the bride of her intentions to communicate with her groom? She could feel her sweating in a level of nervousness she had not felt in years.
The good news was that John had also turned his head towards her.
It was now or never. She had to take the chance. She finally had is attention.
“John,” she whispered…hoping the bride would still not hear her words even though she was just several approaching steps away. “John…it…it should have been me!”
John looked at her and smiled.
“What?” was all he said seeming just slight the slightest bit confused.
She felt encouraged. She felt that she was getting through to him. That he understood. That he comprehended that something was wrong. That he was making a mistake.
“I said,” she repeated now pointing at herself and her eyes bulging out. “It should have been ME.”
John now smiled in recognition of what she saying. He nodded and smiled at her pleasantly.
“Yes!” He nodded and said it with a smile…and in her same insisting whispered level of voice. “I know this.”
“Then why are you marrying herrrr?” she growled out but still while moderating her tone.
“Because it’s 4:30pm.” He pointed to a gold watch on his wrist.
What? She was incredulous. She wanted an explanation. That wasn’t a good reason. It wasn’t good enough. It didn’t even make sense.
She decided he was making a joke. She wanted to explode. It was too late. The bride was already with John at the top. She couldn’t even look at her.
She looked up at the maid of honor, a raven haired Amazon, who was now indicating for her to settle down by gesturing with the palms of her hands towards the ground.
No one cared. John was making fun of her and everyone was kneeling down now.
The bride and groom were on their knees also, taking communion in the Roman Catholic wedding style. The priest placed two pieces of broken bread in their hands and they fed it too each other. Then he gave them a cup of wine and he gently guided it to her lips to let her drink and then she did the same to him.
She knew if she saw John bring out a ring she would lose control. She tensed and braced herself.
This was a travesty. As beautiful as it was…it was a travesty. If he knew it should have been her, then why was he marrying the wrong woman!?
She could not let this happen.
But now the priest was now joining their hands. She could barely see from where she was. She knew that as long as John did not place a ring on the bride’s finger it could not happen. She just had to wait for it…and then she would know what to do. She just had to keep an eye on their hands.
And then the bride did something. She flexed her wings. Her right wing spread out so that it just neatly blocked the view of their hands from anyone kneeling from behind her side. It was the perfect check move.
How could she do anything if she couldn’t see when he was about to ring her? That bitch was about to win! She choked back a hysterical protest. She didn’t know what to do.
But, then the ornately robed priest came to her aid. He looked up from the bride and groom and raised his finger as if he had just remembered something.
“Ah! And, lest I forget,” he said in a rich, and fatherly voice. “…if anyone should object to this union…let them speak now. Or, FOREVER hold their peace…”
That’s when Mari Jiwe McCabe stood up from her position as Second Bridesmaid.
She shouted, “It should have been ME!”
The entire congregation, the attendant press corps, and millions of onlookers watching the televised marriage ceremony collectively gasped.
“Yes! That’s right!” she repeated. The congregation was now rumbling in disbelief, but it was too late to stop now. “It should have been me!”
She tore at the top of her bridesmaid dress until the stupid pink satin gown was half-off of her. She stood there with her Vixen costume now exposed, which…with its Lion yellow color…clashed perfectly with the white pink décor of the ceremony.
Now she pointed up at the dais to the kneeling confused form of Shayera Hol, who…while looking fantastically beautiful and radiating nothing but purity and angelic innocence… was never-the-less, guilty. Guilty! GUILTY!
“That woman…” Mari sobbed
“That woman…” Mari cried
“That woman…” She pleaded to the high heavens and to anyone who would hear her. “…that woman up there is a god damn thief! It should have been ME!”
In a loft apartment in the Chelsea section of Manhattan Mari broke from her nightmare without breath
Had she been screaming in her sleep?
Her silk pj’s were in a state. She had torn them in her dreaming fury. She panted on the bed and shuddered from the cold sweat she was bathed in.
She reached to the window behind her and opened the automated drapes. It was still dark out.
4:30am according to her clock. A perfect 12 hours left.
“Oh…my…god.” She collapsed back on the bed, eyes wide open now. “Just a dream.”
She grabbed her ear-microphone off the nightstand. Fumbled with it, but got into her ear.
Mari fell back on the bed and thought of how to excuse herself to the Maid of Honor that she could not attend the wedding of Shayera Hol to John Stewart.