The Wedding

By Johannes Adriaan Snyman

It was the brightest of sunny days any bride could have wished for, but the pale look upon Lydia’s face revealed a different cloud hovering over her heart.

The venue, spectacular in every way, reflected the beauty of couples joining in matrimony, but the nothingness in her heart overwhelmed any thoughts toward a life lived happily ever after.

Lydia was sitting on the grass under a big willow tree some distance from the chapel where Jonathan and herself were suppose to tie the knot only a couple of hours earlier.

Given the circumstances, she didn’t want any company, yet when Kathy, her best friend from childhood came strolling over the lawn, Lydia felt a sudden relieve from the deep and dark aloneness that surrounded her.

“If you want to be alone…” Kathy started saying, looking with empathy and with a question mark on her face at her friend, whose wedding dress has made a neat circle around her..

“No, you are fine,” Lydia uttered with a coarse voice, which she thought of as very strange as she didn’t cry a single tear since she ran out from the patio of the chapel.

She cleared her thought and quickly said; “Please, sit with me.”

“I can image how you must feel,” Kathy said sincerely but to the two of them, those words were very superficial, as Kathy clearly didn’t know what else to say.

“You are right,” Lydia replied without thinking. “You don’t know half of it!”

Kathy could hear the hurt in her voice.

“Do you want to tell me?” she asked with caution.

“The car accident he was in…” she stuttered. “Promise me you won’t tell anyone!”

“Of course dear, I promise,” Kathy said, more with the frame of mind of supporting her friend in distress rather than thinking about the weight of the promise.

“The car accident… It is true. Jonathan was in a car accident this morning.”

“Of course it is true,” Kathy retorted totally taken by surprise, touching Lydia’s hand. “We told you about it, remember?

“Yes but it is only half of what happened.”

Kathy didn’t say a word but with the big question mark on her face, it wasn’t necessary for any form of a syllable.

“Kathy, you saw the police vehicle about half an hour ago?”

“Mmm, not sure?”

“It was the police constable who told me the actual events…” Lydia said, having her gaze in front of her but not seeing anything.”

“Told you what Lydia? Told you what?” Kathy replied slightly impatient.

“Jonathan was shot… murdered!”

“Lydia darling, wait a minute, I can see you are upset. Calm yourself for minute will you?”

“You don’t believe me? My fiancé was shot! My husband to be, he was shot!”

Kathy took Lydia’s hand but she pulled it back.

“I have no one else to tell, Kathy. Jonathan was mixed up with some really bad people a couple of years ago. He was a drug addict, and owed some people money. So I helped him out with funds I inherited, but my family, to this day, doesn’t know anything about it. He came clean after that, no more drugs, and we had a good life. I don’t know how this happened, but he must have relapsed, because the police know what they are talking about. They say he was under the influence of some substance, on his way to the wedding, and according to some eye witnesses, were pushed of the road by some red sports car. When he hit one of the lamp posts, the driver in the red car got out, put a gun against his head and shot him at close range.”

“Dear me, no… Lydia darling, how can you be sure?” Kathy asked trying not to look shocked.

“I know that red car.” Lydia said without emotion. “It was also the same police constable who helped us getting Jonathan free from these drug dealers. I know that red car…”