A white wedding
It was a wedding unlike any other. The bride wore white, with a shameless bouquet of blood-red roses. No one noticed that the groom was absent. She was too enchanting. Everywhere she moved, she carried a radiance like the hazy spread of sunlight. As she gazed at us and spoke her vows, they poured, a rain of succour, into our hearts, into our bellies, filling us with the warm promise of everything we could be, everything we had always wished for. The first dance was not a waltz but an uprising as everyone moved, almost as one, to a song I cannot now name.
There was a moment, at the reception, when I caught a glimpse of him. Two bored-looking girls had gone outside for a smoke, and I saw him huddled between them.
After the honeymoon there were rumours. How he followed her to work. How he sat, grim, silently accusing at every table, watching her eat. How he once clamped her arm to his until it broke. How he chained her to his door. How they were both fading.
Last time I visited, neither of them was home.