He watched from the stained glass windows as she made her way to the altar. Dressed in white, the train of her dress sweeping the floor. He knew instinctively her mother had chosen the dress. No way she would’ve chosen something so dramatic for herself. But what did he know? He’d been wrong before hadn’t he? He didn’t think she would move on after him. Not so quickly. He thought he’d have time. Time to get himself together. Time to figure out what he wanted from life. He assumed. It pained him to realize how wrong he’d been.
To say he’d miscalculated was a gross understatement he thought as he strolled back to his car. After their breakup she’d gone underground. Her social media pages might as well have closed down due to inactivity. She’d posted a couple of pictures of the new guy but he’d had no idea they were so serious. The first time he’d seen a picture of her with that guy had turned his stomach. That guy had his hands around her waist. Even as he thought about it his clenched the steering wheel tighter. Sucking in a breath and slowly releasing it, he eased up on the gas. It wouldn’t due to add to his issues by getting a ticket.
His mother told him about the wedding. His mother had told him to reach out to her. Write a letter, call, do something. She still believed in them. Heck. He’d still believed in them. He kept a framed picture of them in his drawer on his side of the bed. He couldn’t bring himself to get rid of it. Now, he supposed, he’d have to. He didn’t think it was right to keep a photo of a now married woman.
He pulled into a local pub and took a seat at the bar. The bartender took on look at him and shook his head.
“You look like crap.”
He winced at the probably accurate depiction. His head still bowed, he lifted his eyes and said,
“The love of my life is marrying someone else today.”
The bartender looked at him. His hard eyes momentarily softened as if he was reliving his own memories.
“The first couple of rounds are on the house. The third one is on you. After the fourth one, I’m calling you a cab.”
He didn’t know whether to be thankful or annoyed by the established limit to how far he could binge. Sighing he nodded and accepted the first of the promised four rounds of liquor.
Immersed in his own depression he barely heard a woman call out and order a whiskey sour.
Chuckling while pouring the second round the bartender said, “You know. Forty years I’ve tended this bar. First time I’ve ever seen a bride in here.”
Turning slowly, a lump in his throat, he watched as she fought to get the train of her dress into the bar. He slid from the stool and jogged over.
“Here, let me help you with that.”