Being true to herself

by | Feb 4, 2023

The light streams through the low windows on the south of a large vaulted sanctuary casting a romantic glow over the red padded oak pews. The young woman, so full of dreams birthed in this womb of her teenage years, stands in the back observing. The candle arbors are placed on each side with beautifully tapered candles reaching up to the loft ceiling. Moving quickly with a youthful energy down the aisle she forces herself to confront her mother. This is the rehearsal for her wedding and she knows exactly what she wants. She wants to create her Cinderella moment and the live happily ever after story.
As she is leaving the sanctuary her dad steps up to her side tells her to follow him. His feet move across the tan linoleum of the foyer. Just ahead of him is the groom. Reaching the other side of the foyer, her father steps up into the stairwell to the balcony. Looming over her and her dad, up the steps, the groom is irritatingly leaning against the wall. The man looks lovingly at his young daughter as she looks up at him and her groom.
Swallowing before he speaks, he starts to voice his thoughts. “If, either one of you does not want to go through with this wedding, I will take care of everything to call it off. You won’t have to do a thing. Are you both sure you want to do this?” Her world comes to a complete standstill. For years she has mastered in thoughts while feelings are buried. As rapid as bullets from an AR-15 the thoughts come. How would it look if she said no? What would others think? How violently would the groom react? All the plans would vanish into thin air. As she is whirling internally, the groom states of course he wants to marry her, the dream of his life.
Her dad turns and looks at her. The moment is burned into her memory, the two men in her life standing on the steps of a staircase waiting for her response. Her entire being – all of it screams at high volume NO ABSOLUTELY NOT! A second of silence that lasts an eternity passes as she looks at them both.
Yes, of course I want to get married tomorrow.


  1. Dominique Christina

    Thank you for this. The interior life of your speaker is important here because we, the readers, are the only ones privy to their true feelings. We have to witness them betray their desires and feel that angst come up. I’d love to see you develop this more. The deliberate way la in which you describe the church…I’d love that same willfulness about helping your readers see the speaker with greater clarity. Thank you for writing this.

  2. Robert Vaughan

    Hi Celeste, this is rendered in such a lovely way. I was caught up in the words and their magic. But I would also love more concrete details, to be let into the speaker’s plight more. Thanks for this.

    • Len Kuntz

      Hi Celeste.

      You’ve captured a lot of wonderful details here so we can voyeuristically be a part of all that is transpiring. The tension you create at the end it palpable. This line struck as especially powerful–The moment is burned into her memory, the two men in her life standing on the steps of a staircase waiting for her response.

  3. Meg Tuite

    Hi Celeste,
    Truly a fairytale from hell! She isn’t allowed to speak her mind or disappoint the men in her life! WOW! She would rather live in the shadows of that tale, then live her truth! YIKES! This packs a punch! LOVE!

  4. Koss (No Last Name)

    Celeste, just wow. A fairytale many could relate to. What a sock in the gut at the ending. Nice work.

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