Hi Folks, Another tale of woe and love gone wrong here. And as requested last week, this one is much shorter. SS06
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As I looked around the church, I felt useless. The flowers were beautiful. The decorations were beautiful. The architecture of the hall was exquisite. Great care had been taken with every detail of the wedding and I hadn't had a God damned thing to do with any of it.
It was crazy. It was embarrassing as hell. I don't remember ever going to a wedding where the mother of the bride was kept completely out of the loop for the planning. The groom had done everything. I don't know how he did it. His parents weren't rich and they weren't helping him.
Tommy is a really nice kid, if a little boring, but that is Candace's problem. I don't think she'd take any advice from me if I did offer it. My daughter and I have a very strained relationship at best. And today won't make things any better. Candace blames me for her father's absence from her life over the past three years.
The only thing that makes the situation palatable is the fact that she's almost as angry at him as she is at me. I think that deep down inside, both of us want the same thing. We both want Sam Hill to come strolling into this fucking church and make everything better.
She wants Sam to come back because every girl wants her father to give her away at her wedding. I want Sam to come back to take me away from my miserable life. And if he can't or won't do that, then I have something planned for him that will make my life better any way.
I can't believe the quality and the beauty of the place cards and the seat markers. They're absolutely beautiful. I'm still at a loss as to how Tommy paid for all of this. My future son in law is obviously more successful than his parents already. Maybe I can hit him up for a loan.
I laugh because there's almost no chance of that. Tommy barely speaks to me. Oh, he's very polite if we're trapped in the sme room and he has to talk to me, but I get the impression that he avoids me like I have an STD that can be transferred just by me glancing at him. I swear I've seen that boy wash his hands after talking to me.
Anyway, Tommy seems to be pulling the money for all of this out of that Internet business that he's a partner in. I'm sure that he hired a wedding planner too because all Tommy ever wears are Jeans, T-shirts and Asics running shoes. Stylish, he ain't.
As the ushers open the doors one of Candace's bridesmaids, Lupita, comes over to look at everything and make sure it is all perfect. I guess that she doesn't see me here doing the exact same thing. The silly girl could have simply asked me and I'd have told her. But I keep forgetting, most of these fucking people don't talk to me anymore.
Seeing Lupita in that dress pisses me off. Tommy and Candace somehow managed to spend almost a thousand dollars apiece on the bridesmaid's dresses. The dresses are so nice that most of those girls are going to wear them a lot. They look really good. And here I am, the mother of the bride, wearing a dress off the rack from Kmart.
My dress isn't tailored and it doesn't fit properly. It has a lot of...ruffles that stick out at odd angles. I hate this dress. But it was the only thing I could afford. I had given a lot of consideration to just asking Tommy to buy me a dress, but again, getting a chance to talk to him was like getting an appointment with the Pope if you're a Satanist.
I tried everything. I tried subtlety. I kept asking Candace who had bought the bridesmaids dresses, but she didn't take the hint. I tried showing her the pictures of dresses I liked. Usually she just nodded her head and told me whether or not she liked them. Now the doors were open and lots of people were coming in. Most of them looked wonderful and here I was stuck in this ridiculous dress. Once again I blamed Sam Hill for my predicament.
As I turned to go and see how my daughter looked in her five thousand dollar wedding dress, I caught a glimpse of one of the women pointing at me, out of the corner of my eye. I turned towards her and her smile disappeared.
The groom's side of the church was filling in nicely. There were a few scattered people on the bride's side.
Tommy's parents walked in and looked around. His mother smiled and nodded her head. Her husband hugged her as a tear rolled down her face. She gently dabbed her face to prevent her makeup from being smeared. I hated that bitch.
Then I noticed it. Tommy's dad was walking with a limp. He was supposed to be walking Candace down the aisle since her deadbeat deserter of a father couldn't be found or bothered to attend his own daughter's wedding. That really sucked for me because I was sure that the bastard would be here. Oh well, I'd just have to wait for Tommy to knock Candace up. Surely Sam would show up for the birth of his first grandchild.
Just before the ceremony started, there was some commotion going on. With his dad out of commission apparently, Tommy had decided that some uncle who had just shown up should walk Candace down the aisle.
Tradition be damned apparently, Tommy and Candace were discussing it so loudly that I could hear them as soon as I went behind the stage area.
"Tommy, Honey, one of my mother's brothers can give me away," said Candace.
"No, Candy, it has to be my uncle Santino," said Tommy. "Trust me Honey, you'll be glad."
"What difference does it really make who walks me down the aisle?" she asked. Just as I was about to step in and try to help them solve the problem, Tommy cocked his head and stuck his lip out.
"Please, Honey," he asked. And my daughter melted. She nodded her head and his eyes lit up. He tried to kiss her and she backed away.
"Not until after the wedding," she said.
"We're going be doing a lot more than kissing after the wedding," he said.
"We did a lot more than kissing last night," she smirked back at him. Clearly I wasn't needed here either. When I went back into the church proper, the photographer was taking pictures.
Son of a bitch, he had just finished photographing the section that I was sitting in when I got back. As he and his assistant moved on to the next section, I tapped him on the shoulder.
"I'm sitting there," I said pointing to my section.
"Okay," he said nodding. Then he turned to go back to where he was going.
"Hey, I'm the mother of the bride,'" I said.
He turned back to me and sighed. "Then you should have been in some of the pictures we took," he said. I was shocked. I sat down in my chair and watched to see if the photographer would come back in my direction. It really wasn't a big deal. They'd be taking pictures all day long. They'd probably take hundreds at the reception.
There was a little bit of commotion on the groom's side. I watched as a bearded man walked into the church. The woman with him was wearing a dress that I'd have died to wear just once.
It was a beautiful shade of sea foam green. It was molded to fit her body and every man in the church looked at her. She was slim yet curvy. Her breasts were uncovered just enough to be tantalizing, but covered enough to be modest. The dress was tight enough to show the shape of her ass, but not so tight that it screamed, "Skank."
Her eyes seemed to sparkle and her face had a few lines on it. The lines on her face were the kind made by a lifetime of laughter. They added to her beauty rather than detracted from it. She had to be at least fifty, but her body could have been on a thirty year old. Judging by her face you also couldn't really tell her age. Her hair really pissed me off. Her stylist had to be a genius. Somehow her pixie cut had layers of inky black under a very natural gray that was prettier than either would have been alone.
The bearded man was hugging everyone while his wife or date or whoever she was sat down next to Tommy's parents and started talking to them.
The organist started to warm up and the bridesmaids got into position. I looked to the corner of the church and saw my daughter. Most of the audience couldn't see her but from my seat I could. She looked beautiful. For once, I really wished that her father could have been here to see this. Then I noticed the expression on her face. She had given in to what Tommy wanted but she wasn't happy about having some stranger give her away.
As the organist played the wedding march and Candace walked down the aisle, I noticed the expression on her face had changed. Apparently my daughter had decided that her wedding, her special day was more important than the details. She held the bearded man's hand and there was a big smile on her face.
After that everything went off without a hitch. The ceremony was non-traditional. They just walked down the aisle, stood in front of the preacher and said their vows. There was no part for the mother or the father of the bride to play. I think those things had been eliminated from the ceremony because of Sam's selfishness.
As they said their vows I noticed that the bearded guy, Tommy's uncle, had tears in his eyes. There was something about that bearded man that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I started to wonder why he'd be so emotional about seeing a girl that he was meeting for the first time, getting married.
It was there on the tip of my tongue. It was that nagging feeling just before you remember something or someone. Agonizingly, just before recognition fired, the vows were complete and the couple started to walk back down the aisle. I looked up and noticed that the photographers were taking pictures and everyone was getting up to position themselves for the bouquet toss.
My daughter turned her back to the crowd and then tossed the bouquet over her head, where it landed, not in the hands of one of the young women who eagerly sought it, but in the lap of the bearded man's companion. She'd been laughing and talking to Tommy's parents when it fell.
She pissed me off yet again with her reaction. She looked at the bouquet, laughed, shook her head sadly and then flung it to the group of younger women. I'm no expert on body language, but her reaction was clear. She wanted to get married but knew that it wasn't in the cards for her. Perhaps that bearded guy that she was with has no intention of getting married. There were lots of guys out there who didn't want to pull the trigger. Most of them had commitment issues. I knew about that far too well.
I went to the outside of the church and watched as my daughter and new son in law were showered in rice as they left to church before getting into their waiting limo. I caught a ride to the reception with a friend of mine named Ralph who'd been here just in case I needed him to provide a service for me.
At the reception everyone danced and ate and had a great time. The food was incredible. As I've stated before, Tommy had spent an incredible amount of money on the wedding. He would probably be paying for it for a very long time. On one hand, I was glad that he'd spared no expense to make sure that my daughter's special day was indeed special. But the length of time that they'd spend paying for it made me wonder if it was worth it.
After the bride and groom had their dance, Tommy's parents and the bearded guy and his date did a dance. That should have been for the parents of the happy couple. So supposedly I should have danced with the bearded guy, but since we'd never met, I guess I didn't expect him to come and find me. Still, it would have been nice to have been included.
Then as all of the other couples went out onto the floor to dance and the reception turned into more of a party than a formal affair, things started to happen.
Ralph came over to me and smiled. I thought for a moment that he was coming over to ask me to dance.
"Linda, it looks like I don't have to do anything," he said. "But we still have a deal, right?"
"Yes, Ralph," I said. "We still have a deal. I don't suppose you want to dance do you?"
"I'm not a very good dancer," he said. Then he walked away smiling. As soon as he walked away, another guy came over to me. He was looking around as if he wanted to be sure that no one saw us together."
"Hey, Linda," he began. "I uh, heard that you're working the late night shift over at the 7- 11. I think I'll stop by for a slurpee and some pussy?"
Unfortunately, his timing was awful. Just as he spoke to me a couple of women had moved over near us that he couldn't see. They both looked down their noses at me. At the same time I noticed that Ralph was out on the dance floor trying to resurrect the eighties by doing the robot, with some woman that I'd never seen before. I was so angry that the plastic of my dress started to melt.
At that moment, as I was looking for a place to hide, it happened. I noticed that my daughter was dancing with the bearded man. She had her arms around him and was smiling from ear to ear. He was smiling down at her as well. I started to wonder what he could have said that would make her that happy. It was embarrassing for her to be dancing that closely with another guy in front of her new husband. Then I noticed his eyes. They were exactly like hers. It all made sense then.
"Ralph," I screamed at the top of my lungs. "It's Sam, arrest him!"
Ralph looked around stupidly and shrugged his shoulders. He held his hands up in the universal, "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about gesture."
I pointed at the bearded man who kissed my daughter and then started running. Ralf took off after Sam who was running not towards the doors but the rear of the hall. I couldn't figure it out. There were no exits that way, unless he intended to go up the stairs and out of a window on the second floor. His date seemed to be in a hurry to get away from the commotion. She headed for the door. Maybe while he was in jail, I'd talk to Sam about his choices in women to replace me.
For some reason most of the people in the crowd seemed to move out of Sam's way. They also seemed to be doing their best to block or impede Ralph. Then I saw that Sam was making his way back towards me and the doorway to freedom. Ralph was also closing in on Sam. Sam was in good shape but he's 52 years old. He's a year older than I am. Did he really think that he could outrun a guy who's ten years younger than he is?
Just as Sam passed by the supply closet, with Ralph hot on his heels, the door to that same supply closet suddenly opened up, hitting Ralph so hard that it knocked him off of his feet. He landed hard, with his breath knocked out of him and lay there.
I looked outside to see where Sam was and he was at the curb. I heard the growl from outside. It was louder than all of the commotion inside of the building. Sam's car pulled up beside him. He jumped in on the driver's side and the car pulled off like it was jet propelled.
Sam's car was a special edition Rousch Blackjack. It was a highly modified, supercharged Mustang GT. I remember the day Sam picked that car up. He spent so much time telling me and everyone else who'd listen to him about all of the things that separated that car from the normal Mustang GT. The chase was over. Even if that door opening hadn't knocked the shit out of Ralph, he wouldn't have been able to catch Sam. The Blackjack made over six hundred horsepower. Ralph's police department Jeep couldn't keep that car in sight.
Once Sam got to the highway, it would have been over anyway. I didn't know what to do. My frustration and my anger had quickly reached peak levels. I was so angry that I forgot where I was and all of the people watching me and laughing at Ralph.
"Fuuuuuuuccckkkkkkk!" I screamed at the top of my lungs. I started crying and just sat down at the nearest table. I had suffered three long years of anger and sadness and regret and a hundred other emotions after what Sam had done to me. I had finally had my chance to make that bastard pay and he slipped right through my God damned fingers. It was just too much.
Tommy's dad took pity on me and grabbed me by my elbow and upper arm. "Come on Linda," he said. "Let me take you somewhere that all of these people won't be staring at you."
I nodded my head and he led me through the hall. I heard a bunch of tee-hees and a few genuine laughs as we made our way through the crowd. We went to one of the rooms on the second floor of the hall. He quickly disappeared and I thought at first that he just didn't want to be seen with me. He came back a few minutes later though, with a good bottle of Scotch and three glasses. Of course he brought his wife too."
They were good people. I appreciated what they were doing for me. I heard a siren as we started to drink. I looked out the window and saw an ambulance.
"It's for Ralph," said Tommy's Dad. "He's kind of out of it."
"Did you know?" I asked him.
"No I didn't think he got hit that hard," he said. "But he ran flat out, straight into a metal door. He kind of did it to himself."
"That's not what I meant," I said. "Did you know that my husband was going to be at the wedding?"
Neither he nor his wife could look at me. "Yeah, I knew," he said. "Shit, most of the people here, knew. Linda, who do you think paid for all of this crap?"
"I guess I should tell you that I'm sorry about not telling you, or participating in the lie, but I'd really be lying then because I'm not sorry. Linda for months now all Candace has said over and over again is, "I wish my daddy could be at my wedding."
"Linda the only thing stopping him from being here was you. He found a way to make his little girl happy one more time and I don't think he regrets a second of it. So yeah, I knew, my wife knew, Tommy knew too. Maybe a few other people around town were in on it as well. Candace didn't know so don't blame her. That was Sam's idea. He didn't want to put Candy in a position to have to lie to you or pick sides, so she didn't know."
"What I'd like to know myself is what caused all of this. I mean everyone knows the stories and the rumors, but only three or four years ago, I remember going to barbecues at your house and you guys were just like every other couple in town. The next thing I heard was that Sam had run out on you. Some people say that he left you for another woman. The woman he was with here tonight is pretty enough that a lot of guys would leave their wives for her. But Sam just doesn't seem to be that type. And since he left, we've been hearing some stuff about you that isn't very good. I chalked it all up to you going a little crazy over your marriage going down the tube. What exactly happened between you two?"
Just as I opened my mouth to say something the door opened and Buck Ettacrap, the local police chief stepped in. He didn't look very happy either.
"Linda, I need to ask you some questions," he said staring at me. He walked in, big as life and twice as serious with a gun strapped to his hip. Tommy was in the hall behind him. He still had his suit on. He had his tie open and dangling though.
Tommy and Candace weren't leaving on their honeymoon until the following morning so it didn't surprise me to see her push her way into the small room, look around, and seeing that there were no available chairs plop down on Tommy's lap.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"Hey Candy," said Buck. "I really hate to intrude on your special day, but we have a couple of little things to look into."
I just knew that somehow I was in trouble. And I also knew that it was all Sam's fault again.
"Linda, i have a deputy downstairs, with a broken nose, a sprained wrist and a possible lacerated spleen. The EMT's tell me that they need to transport him to the hospital to verify the spleen, but Dave has seen enough of them both working as an EMT and over in Iraq where he got his training to be pretty sure. How the hell does that happen to a trained law enforcement officer at a wedding?" he asked.