Kiss the BridebyPaul Grove©
John Notle tried not to be noticed as he sat down in the back row of the church. He hadn't planned on attending the wedding, but he felt it was his duty to stir up a little trouble. But not until the preacher asked if anyone objected to this union, he was going to rise up his hand & then he was going to kiss the bride. It was his plan.
There on the altar stood Bernie, his lifelong friend. They had grown up together on the mean streets of down- town L.A. Bernie was the brain while John was the brawn. They were called the Dynamite Duo. Nothing could come between them. Well, until college. Bernie went off to college and law school in the East on a scholarship while John stayed behind. They kept in contact. But then Crystal entered into the picture.
John had met Crystal at a party he crashed in Malibu. They hit it off right away. John was so enraptured by her beauty and grace. She was a fashion design student at UCLA. They dated for awhile and John eventually moved into her apartment. They were discussing getting married by the end of the year.
But Crystal's parents didn't approve of John. They threaten to cut off paying for her schooling. Then they offered to send her to Paris to continue in a world-renowned school there. It was Crystal's dream career. John realized that he couldn't tell her to not go. He told her to accept the offer & he'll wait for her. It would be John's downfall to have her leave him.
John began to drink heavily to cover his loneliness. It got him into trouble one night when he attempted to drive home drunk. He got into an accident, luckily he was the only one hurt. But he was arrest for felony drunk driving. Bernie has just passed his law exam & returned to help his friend. Crystal also returned to be at his side. It was at the trial that the two people met. An attraction was formed, but denied because of John.
Bernie did his best, but John was sentenced to two in prison. John told him to take care of Crystal while he was gone. Be there for her for whatever she needed. Bernie promised him he would. He told Crystal that she wasn't to visit him at the prison. She tried to object, but John wouldn't take no for an answer. He went off to San Quentin to pay for his crime.
Crystal did visit him & saw the horrible life he lived there. She devised a plan to help him escape & they would flee to France, where he couldn't be extradited. This enraged John. He couldn't allow her to do such a terrible thing. John decided to lie & tell her that he didn't love her anymore. It broke both of their hearts, but at least Crystal wouldn't do anything stupid like getting him out of jail illegally.
John decided to stay busy & he would soon lose track of time. He got his college degree in record time. He would have a job waiting for him as a computer programmer when he got out of prison. Life was turning around for him. But his mind kept thinking of Crystal. Six weeks ago, John was released from prison.
John decided to visit Bernie. Bernie seemed nervous to see him. It was then that John discovered that Bernie & Crystal was going to get married. He masked his disappointment by congratulating his friend, telling him that the best man had won. Bernie asked if John would be his best man at the wedding. John declined, claiming that he had just started this new job & couldn't take the time off. It was a big lie. John couldn't stand to see his beloved Crystal be married to any other man but him. At that moment, the knot of friendship between Bernie & John became untied.
Now John was sitting in the church waiting for his chance to tell Crystal that he still loved her. He would march down to the altar & kiss the bride. He knew that Crystal could be his again if she would only kiss him. It was the only ace John had to play. He hoped it would work.
Then the Wedding began. Her father escorted down Crystal. She wore a gown that she designed for her final exam at Fashion College. She looked radiant in it. A tear of joy ran down her cheek. She smiled broadly as she took hold of Bernie's hand at the altar.
At that moment, John realized that his plan was wrong. These two people were so deeply in love. More than he could have imagined. He had no right to disrupt this wedding. Crystal had fallen in love with Bernie & so had Bernie. They have precious gift that no one had to right to take away. It was a big mistake for him to be here, yet he couldn't bear to leave the wedding. He ends up being the last one in the church.
John was so deep in his thoughts that he didn't heard the young woman asked him a question. It was Melody, Bernie's kid sister. She embraced him, told him that she was glad that he was here. She looked great. She was no longer the string bean girl that he had remembered. She sat next to him & they talked. She made him feel better about himself. It was long before John began to feel some old feelings that he had felt toward her as kids. She was his first crush. She was three years younger than he was yet she was his best friend's sister, a big taboo for kids. But now John wasn't bound by lame childhood rules. She invited him to come to the reception as her date. He accepted & she kissed him in joy. This brought him a great deal of happiness. He kissed her back.
Maybe it wasn't a mistake to have come to the wedding. He had intended to disrupt the wedding by kissing the bride, but now he seemed destined to leave with the one he was meant to be with. Isn't life wonderfully strange?
"Love is an elusive butterfly. Try to grab it, and it will gently move away. Leave it alone and it gracefully land upon your shoulder"
Copyrighted to Paul Grove 2000