Prompt: The love of your life is getting married to someone else. In a last-ditch attempt to win the love of your life back, you bust into the wedding and profess your love mid-ceremony. Start your story with the line, “Don’t say yes!”
“Don’t say yes!” I yelled across the crowded church. I promised myself I wasn’t going to show up. I wasn’t going to make a scene. And yet, there I was, completely sober, standing at the back of the church, ruining what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life.
“Andrew! Get out now!” Andrea’s father bellowed, his voice echoing around the room. For a moment, seeing how red his face was, I considered leaving as quickly as I had come. But, I had already started this and now I needed to say my piece and be done – whether her father punched me in the process or not.
“I will not leave until I say what I came to say,” sure I wasn’t the most eloquent person there and I definitely wasn’t the best dressed. I had to park blocks away and run through the rain to get to the church. Water dripped from my hair and clothes, muddy footprints followed me on what was the pristine white runner. But I didn’t notice any of that until later. At that moment, I only had eyes for Andrea. She too had eyes for me, but her look fell somewhere in-between disbelief, contempt and curiosity – leaning more towards contempt.
“What the hell are you doing here, Drew? You better turn around and leave before I throw you out that door!” Scott, the groom, also not too happy to see me panting and heaving…or breathing in general. I cautiously took a step forward.
“Andrea, please! Don’t do this…don’t settle, you know marrying Scott isn’t what you want. It’s what your father wants! Sure, he has money, posterity and I barely have two cents to rub together, but you know you’re in love with me. I know it. Hell, you even told me so two days ago, right before you slapped me across the face!” Now that created a gasp that could have been heard across the globe.
“Is that true, Andrea?” Scott questioned. “You told Drew that you still love him?”
“Not still…” I interjected, not taking my eyes from Andreas face, her expression torn. Before I could hear her response, I was tackled from behind. How I missed Andrea’s brother and uncle sneak around the back of the pews is beyond me. Even face down on the floor with my arms pinned behind my back I wasn’t about to give up. “Tell him, Andrea! Tell him you love me! That you have always been in love with me! I love you and will spend my life doing everything I can to make you happy if you choose me!” I barely finished my plea before the room went dark.
I woke up in my truck parked in a Wal-Mart parking lot 10 miles away. I have no clue how I got there, but if I was a betting man, I would place money on the fact Andrea’s bodyguards took it upon themselves to relocate me. It was night outside when I had come to. I flipped on the ignition to see the time and sighed knowing the wedding and reception had been over for hours. Well, at least I tried. Pitifully, but I tried. Andrea was now Mrs. Scott Hunter and I was alone, with a splitting headache, outside a super mart. Perfect.
Living on a working ranch had some positives. One was that I could hole myself up for days or weeks at a time, earning my keep and avoiding anyone I did not want to see. That’s exactly what I did. I kept myself busy and tried not to think about what could have been. It’s important to not that I tried, not succeeded. Many night’s I found myself tempted to drive into town and bury my self-pity in a bottle of JD. But I had never been the drinking kind and didn’t want to start.
By the time a month had passed, I had pretty much convinced myself that I was better off. I was almost…happy. Well, not exactly happy, but no longer depressed. That was until a Tuesday afternoon when a little white sedan can barreling up the dirt road. Hearing the crunch of pebbles underneath the tires I walked out of the barn and waited. Finally the car came to a stop and out she stepped.
Andrea was just as beautiful as the day I met her. My heart tried to jump out of my chest and into my throat, but I swallowed it back down and stood there, like an animal caught in a snare, just waiting for the worst of it to be over.
“That was a pretty ballsy thing you did, Drew. What the hell were you thinking? What ever made you decide interrupting my wedding was a good idea?” She ranted and raved on and on for about five minutes and didn’t stop until I cut her off with my laughter. She was so cute when she was mad, stomping her pretty little foot in the dirt every other sentence. I could not help but see the humor in the midst of torrent. “Do I look like I’m laughing?”
“No…but you want to be.” I knew this girl so well. Sure, I had only been acquainted with her a couple of years but I probably knew her better than she knew herself. She tried to look mad. She tried to stay angry, but she couldn’t, and the giggles escaped. “Damn! Here I was, planning to give you the riot act and you have me laughing!”
“Did you marry him, Andrea?” Surprisingly, pointing out the elephant in the room — or pasture as would fit better our location — didn’t make me nervous. Andrea sighed, pulled the glove off, held it up her left hand,
“No.” Not even an engagement ring adorned her well manicured finger.
“And why not?” Was I being a little too cocky? Probably.
“Because, you were right…I am in love with you.” I smiled.
“Say it again, Andrea.”
“I love you, Andrew.” It was spoken so softly, the words were almost carried away on the wind. But I heard them, threw my hat up in the air and took her in my arms.
“Marry me!” I laughed, swinging her around in a circle. She hollered yes loud enough for the cows in the back 40 to hear.
“Are you sure this time? You won’t mind being married to a dirty rancher? There’s no glitz and glamor out here with the steaming cow pies.”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Do I need to load my shotgun should some of your male kinsfolk think to pay me a visit? I’m still bruised from where your brother decked me.” She laughed,
“No, you’re safe. They just want me to be happy. It took a lot of explaining, a lot of yelling and a lot of tears to find that out. But, other than being pissed he has to pay for another wedding, Daddy has forgiven me…and you.”
“We’ll elope! Problem solved!” I smiled and planted a kiss on Andrea that would have made my horse blush.