The Wedding (a short story)

Rick sat crossed-legged on the carpeted vestry floor, his ripped trousers and baggy t-shirt were only just beginning to dry from the rain outside. He picked at his stale bread roll that he had scavenged from a nearby bin, contemplating his temporary residence for the night. The sun shone through the small stained glass window and a draft rippled through his hair from the door which was slightly ajar. He had been homeless for as long as he could remember and trying to recall his family and friends conjured up…nothing. Of course, he was aware that he was unlikely to have been born on the streets, but there were simply no recollections from before.

The sound of voices in the adjoining church alerted his attention. He knew he ought to stay secreted in here but his curiosity got the better of his. Rick fumbled for his belongings and crept out of the vestry into the church, stealthily hiding himself under a side table covered with a white tablecloth. He concealed himself completely beneath it. Something was happening here; flowers decorated every flat surface and smartly attired people absently wandered into the church through the ornate wooden doors. They took their seats on the rows of pews. Music suddenly struck up and this all began to feel very familiar to Rick – like deja vu. But he couldn’t fathom why. He peeked out from a gap in the tablecloth, spotting a tall dark haired man in a pristine suit. The door at the very end of the church opened and a breathtakingly beautiful woman with blonde, curly hair entered. She was wearing a flowing, ivory silk dress and set about walking down the aisle.

As the woman drew closer, Rick got a better look at her face.

“You look beautiful, Scarlett,” Gordon, the tall dark haired man said in a thick Irish accent.

Rick attempted not to breathe too audibly, so as not to be seen. But they were so close, he could smell the woman’s perfume.

“That perfume!” Rick murmured to himself, “I know that perfume… I remember!”

In that past life, Scarlett and Rick were standing at the altar. But instead of sporting stinking, torn clothing, Rick was wearing an expensive-looking suit. Scarlett was wearing the same ivory silk dress and the same perfume. After the wedding, Rick and Scarlett retired to their apartment to start their married life. Scarlett offered her new husband a glass of champagne to toast their future. Rick swallowed it trustingly but all too soon his head began to spin.

“What did you put in that drink?” Rick exclaimed.

“A pill that will wipe your memory,” Scarlett replied. “ When you wake up, you won’t remember ever being rich, ‘but poor Scarlett will be left with all your fortune’!”

“If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together – let them speak now or forever hold their peace,” the vicar pronounced.

Rick crawled out from his hiding place and stood up.

“…Rick?” Scarlett questioned.

“I do,” said Rick. “She is my wife!”


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