Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Aaron sat at the back of the Church studying the various decorations and structures that made up the hall. He noticed that it resembled everything in a dream he’d long since forced himself to forget; the moldings, the filtered light creeping in through dirty stained glass, the smell of the pews and dusty bibles tucked into the backs of the rows in front of him. Even the guests were the same (save his parents), bride too! Except for the groom- the groom would have stood to his left, not to his right- marrying his fucking ex!
Watching her, Aaron hoped she was thinking about him- sitting there quietly at the back of the church- but it didn’t look like it. Eva looked happy, but not in the way they were during the good years. She looked happy in a way that was so different from an way he’d known her to be that it seemed forced; it probably was… After all she always wanted to marry him, not Tom.
Either way, it was too late now; no last minute pardons or reprieves could mend a shattered heart. And even if it could, their love would have only been marred by the hurt he caused her and the hypocrisy that he’d never pulled his head out of his ass and asked her to marry him before she walked away.
Seeing her now at the alter- realizing her dream- crushed Aaron’s heart. Not just because he was never able to see the beauty of this moment for himself, (much less give it to her) but that she had to settle for someone else to get it; in a way, he felt like he’d ruined her wedding in that respect.
Tragically, he knew only after she left how foolish he’d been. His selfish desires to taste the flesh of other women would last no more than a month of deprecating debauchery resulting in a deep dissatisfaction that now made him nauseous. Digging into his memory he realized that the look on her face as she slammed the door was actually that of disappointment and not anger, and that the marriage she wanted was not “only about Eva” (he'd say in heated arguments) but that it was her love for him- her wanting him forever that he’d squandered away.
It was all so confusing; he’d gotten his freedom and she got her wedding. But sadly the underlying gravity of that outcome now cruelly exposed the low yields on what seemed like such attractive investments for what they were: shit. Whereas Aaron’s sexual freedom ultimately lasted but a month before it all ended (privately) in hot-sex-smelling-tears while in the arms of an unrequited-high-school-lover (naked as the day he was born and sobbing just as pitifully): Eva’s loss was written (quite publically) all over her face at the alter (shoving the words “I do” out of her mouth).
It became clear to Aaron as he watched Eva marry his best friend Tom, that neither she nor he had gained so much as a heartbeat of joy or additional fulfillment in the short months since she finally called his bluff and walked. He’d always thought that she was lucky to have him but failed to actually imagine a life without her; he had nothing to say now as he had nothing to say that day when she walked out.
* * *
The groom kissed the bride and Aaron and Eva’s story became just a memory. Eva walked down the aisle with a curious and tearful smile and conspicuously past Aaron without so much as looking at him. Soon she was gone and he would still be there; Aaron could not bring himself to feel joy (though he tried to join the chorus of well wishers with an empty smile and hollow clapping). There was no joy; not for him, and not for her. They had both lost out in the end despite their small victories and Aaron had only himself to blame.