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The Very Next Day: A Short Romance

Copyright 2019 Hardy Publications

The day after Christmas. I waited for him in the bathroom, watching the snowfall against the tiny window sill. It was a small bathroom located in the basement of the church. The perfect hiding spot. We had thirty minutes left before the wedding ceremony started. Guests were being seated in the pews & we figured no one would miss us in the meantime. After the chaos of preparing for the big day, we just wanted a few minutes alone. A few minutes to enjoy each other before the wedding bells chimed & real-life called us to the alter. The door creaked open, I saw his smile emerge as he walked in. His beautiful eyes complimenting his charcoal grey groom tuxedo. He approached me slowly, with a small red box in his hand.

"You look amazing in that dress. Merry Christmas, my love." He wrapped his hand around my waist, pulling me against him.

His freshly trimmed beard brushed against my face, he kissed my cheek softly.

"Gifts are supposed to wait until after the wedding, remember?" I giggled as his lips pressed against mine.

"I didn't want to wait." He uttered into my ear, sliding the small box into my hand.

I opened it, revealing a gold necklace with a heart-shaped pendant. An infinity symbol was engraved in the center of the heart. My eyes gleamed at the sight of it. I looked back up at him.

"It's beautiful," I said as I pulled the necklace from the box, dangling it between my fingers.

He turned me around to put it on. "Infinity. It means I'll love you forever."

I felt his lips trace my neck, leaving gentle kisses as he draped the necklace around my chest. Chills coursed through me as held me close. I savored every moment, every touch of him as if it was the last. I knew that walk down the aisle would be the beginning of the end for us. He said it wouldn't change things, but I knew better. Marriage was different. It changed people, and I didn't want us to change. I loved us just the way we were. We were perfect and didn't need a piece of paper to dictate how we felt about each other.

"I love you too," I said, turning back around to face him.

He pulled my face up to his, kissing me again.

"We should go. Everyone's waiting for us." He said, sliding his fingers between mine.

"I'll be up there soon." An unconvincing smile etched across my lips.

He let me go as I watched him leave. My heart sank as I stood there, twirling the pendant between my thumbs. My eyes became glossy as a single tear fell onto my emerald green bridesmaid dress. He said he'd love me forever, and I believed him. I wiped my eyes and headed upstairs to witness the love of my life give his heart away to someone else.

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