Flash Fiction: The Wedding

I saw Theo before he saw me. He was the second groomsman to come down the aisle, a bridesmaid on his arm. He was smiling, genuinely and awkwardly – he’d always hated being on display. He looked good – fit, but not that obsessive revenge-body fit he’d been the first year after our breakup. He’d cut his hair short again, like when we were in school, and he’d grown his beard back, just to frame around his mouth.

He didn’t see me as he and the bridesmaid walked past my pew. He didn’t notice me watching him until halfway through the ceremony, when he glanced absently over my row and then quickly back at me. We locked eyes. He smiled. He’d never smiled at me like that before. It felt … peaceful. There was no more anger, no more pain. He had grown and healed and forgiven, as had I. I knew, without him saying it, that he understood and accepted the choice I had made now, and could finally see that it had been the right one, for both of us.

Poem excerpt: Love

I folded myself away like winter sweaters in April to love you like you’d never been loved.

I poured it into your cork-stoppered heart relentlessly, watching it splash back on my feet but refusing to give up.

I loved you.

A favourite passage (from Bel Canto)

I can never turn off my editor brain, which often affects my reading experience, but Bel Canto is so perfectly crafted, my editor brain has stayed quiet and let me just be a reader. Here’s a beautifully descriptive passage that I love:

“It had been a beautiful party, though no one would remember that. White asparagus in hollandaise, a fish course of turbot with crispy sweet onions, tiny chops, only three or four bites apiece, in a cranberry demiglaze. Usually struggling countries longing to impress the heads of important foreign corporations chose Russian caviar and French champagne. Russian and French, Russian and French, as if that was the only way to prove prosperity. On every table sprays of yellow orchids, each flower no bigger than a thumbnail, all locally grown, trembled and balanced like mobiles, rearranging themselves with every exhalation of a guest. The effort that had gone into the evening, the positioning of each stem, the sweeping calligraphy of the place cards, had been lost without a moment’s appreciation.”

~from Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Poem: Him

He’s Clapton and coffee and old yellowed pages.

He’s sheet music and apple pie with vanilla from a pint.

He’s steaming showers and bars of Old Spice.

He’s dark beer foam and hazelnut comfort.

He’s whiskey and olives and ink-stained palms.

He’s worn hardwood floors and hot sheets out of the dryer.

He’s Thai food and stacks of stationery and a new pack of pens.

He’s watercolours and poems and lazy Sunday brunch.

He’s long drives and new places and thoughtful conversation.

He’s warm hands and silky hair and a strong heartbeat.

He’s thunderstorms and shooting stars and freshly fallen snow.

He’s effortless ease and loose laughter and perfect possibility.

He’s déjà vu.

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