The bells are shining, round and bubble-shaped. The bells are huge, they hurt my head. The tower is tall, we walk right underneath. The aisle is…
My dress is white, my dad is shaking, my shoes hurt my feet but they look so nice. My flowers are wrong. I wanted lilies. Lilies mean death, apparently. Inappropriate for a wedding. I beg to differ.
I’ve always liked lilies.
My shoes still hurt. The bridesmaids float like angels. Their dresses are blue, with pink sashes. My husband, no, my fiance stands like a statue. The grotesque crucifix hangs on the wall behind him. So graphic. The nails.
The priest. I wanted an old one, he’s so young. The people line up. The little girl, with the flowers. The boy, with the rings. What’s his name? Who knows.
My dad’s still shaking. Maybe now crying. I want to smile. I don’t feel a thing.
He says, “let’s go.”
We take a step, and the aisle falls in steps like an opening handheld fan and it’s a staircase, covered in red. My dress is long, we fall. We float, like angels, downward. We float in time to the music. I hear a string quartet, I hear a beehive. I hear the bells, ringing ominous and dark. Lilies mean death, do the bells they ring at funerals? Are there special wedding bells, did I miss them?
The aisle is so long. Fiance waiting, sweating. The flowers are wrong.
My father says, “don’t worry, I’ll stop this aisle from being stairs.”
I blink. My reflection blinks, too. What a pretty mirror, such a nice frame. I suppose the hotel could afford it.
“Well,” I tell myself, returning to my makeup. “No matter what happens, at least it won’t be that.”
I paint my cheeks, my eyes. I’m in sweatpants, my dress hanging in the closet. I’d kicked my fiance out. How soon is “before the wedding?” How long were we supposed to spend apart?
Of course it was a dream. Can you dream while awake? Daydream, I guess. I was young, then. I pull my skin back at the temples. What kind of person gets married for the first time at 50, anyhow? I sigh, drop my blush brush to rest on the vanity tabletop.
Big wedding. Had to have a big wedding. Couldn’t have lilies. Headache.
Bells? Out the window, bells? Morning mass.
I raise the brush to my cheek again. Well, here we go.