That One Time That She Almost Got Married
I was 209 days in, on planning the wedding of a lifetime and one that had already exceeded budget. I was scaling back on the invitations, only to have close and immediate family, along with a few close friends and associates of the family. I managed to knock off some of the cost, leaving us around the set budget of $45,000. That didn't include the dress and the rings, which were purchased long before the budget came into place.
I was burdened with the stress of planning. Not to mention the extra weight that I had gained in the process. Day to day, trying to make sure that I would be able to fit into the dress of a lifetime, and I had two months, before slipping into it. Easy fix, but costly. I hired a nutritionist and a trainer. I was where I needed to be, 30 days later. We were now, 30 days away, and things were finally coming together. We were in a good place and it was going to happen! So, I thought. Over the final 20 days that preceded the wedding, so many things would transpire, in which I could have never been prepared for.
I remember having an argument over him making last minute travel arrangements out of the city. The team was not playing, so I couldn't see any reason for him to be leaving town. Why would he leave, instead of staying to assist with last minute wedding arrangements and decisions that needed his attention as well as approval? He was gone for the duration of a week, leaving about two, until the final day. I didn't want to spend those last days fighting over anything minuscule, so I didn't spend too much time on my point. Once he agreed that continuing counseling, into the marriage and beyond pre-marital counseling was something that we would need, it solidified the decision for me. We were on the same page with everything in life, and that was a big plus for me.
As we headed into the last two weeks before the wedding, and while we were at our home upstate, the both of us came up with a plan to get together with our closest friends, apart from one another, so that we could have a moment. It was designed just for the sake of being comfortable with one another taking me moments or me time. However, we strictly enforced rules that fit into the system of trust that we were continuing to build. Whereas, our me moments, would not include strippers, strip clubs, or subscriptions to members of the opposite sex, which may attempt to seduce and tempt either of us. We did not invite this behavior into our relationship- or ever give an opportunity for temptation on any level, to seep in.
It was important to the both of us, as I was still working a job back home, over 2000 miles away. My Bi-Coastal lifestyle allowed for me to make trips back and forth, to be with him for the duration of the 3.5 years we dated and became engaged. I thought it was important to maintain some independence in the relationship and the marriage by remaining pro-active about my career and success.
Once I made it to my hometown, I couldn't wait to go back to work. One of my bridesmaids worked with me and I was dying to show her the cake that we decided on. I would also be letting her know that I would be in town for the next few days and that we were going to have a pamper moment, time of our life!
I arrived around 7pm, notifying my Fiancé that I had made it safety and was going to lay down to rest for work. He responded back, That's good to hear. I'm hanging out right now, with (xxx) I'll give you a call in the morning. I love you.
Once I arrived to work the next morning, one of the supervisors had changed the schedule. I was livid, because this was something that she would do, to complicate things. She was aware of my travels and I always gave notices, but she would never take account, of the days that I said I was and was not available. She was extremely difficult, and I guess with the stress of the wedding planning, I felt that I couldn't take one more stressor. This was not something huge, but it was the final straw. Plus, it was my last two weeks at work anyway, before I would be leaving.
I decided that whenever my manager arrived at work, I would just let him know the situation, and I would just quit. I took a break to call my fiancé to vent, but he didn't answer the phone. Oh well, no biggie, as I knew they were out late, the night before. When 4pm came, I approached my girlfriend with opened arms, as she arrived to work. She wore the strangest face, and hugged me tighter than usual. Well, I missed her too. I knew she must have heard about me venting over the schedule earlier, from the break room gossip counter. However, she never said anything, as I went on to tell her that she and I would be getting out later that night. She didn't have a whole lot of words, but she did ask me if I was O.K. I explained to her that the flight was smooth, and that I got a good night of rest, but that I couldn't deal with what had happened this morning. She continued to stare at me, as if she saw something on my face. I cannot explain the look she was giving me, but I figured she thought I was over reacting a bit.
At that point, I went straight into my managers office, so that I could address what happened, before the mess got to him. I walked in, and he too, had a face as if he'd seen death warmed over. Geez, I thought to myself. It's not like I cursed the girl out or anything. But I went on to tell him that I would not be completing my last two weeks. He sincerely asked me, How are you doing? So then, I figured he knew that I wasn't the source of the blow up earlier that day. Perhaps, he understood that this was something constant with that supervisor. Assuming he knew, I remember saying to him, “I am going to have to make this my last day. I just can't do it, and there is too much going on, for me to deal with.” To which he replied, I completely understand and I am so sorry to hear. I wish you all the luck and please keep in touch with us.
Now, I loved my boss to death, but this departure seemed strange altogether. But, I can't argue with a mutual decision, where both people are as compassionate about staying in touch and wishing each other well. I called my fiancé to tell him to good and the sad news: I just quit my job- I'm about to hang out with the girls and I will be back in town early, due to not having to work. He didn't answer.
I fell asleep as soon as I made it back to my apartment, all of which had been packed up except for the bed and TV. I had some small items here and there, for easy access. The movers would be there the next day, so I had nothing to do but sleep, until my girlfriend got off work.
My sleep was interrupted by a phone call from my homeboy, who called to ask me how I was doing. I laughed when I heard his voice, because though he was on the phone, I picked up on his tone. It was all too familiar with how my bridesmaid and boss had just asked me earlier in the day. I told him that something extra weird about the day was occurring, because people had been asking me that. It wasn't that they were asking, it was how they were asking. I rambled on and on about what had happened at work with my boss, and his somber goodbye.
That's when my friend, who at that moment, seemed more confused than me, asked: Have you seen the news? I said, No. why would I need to see the news? He responded, Oh, just asking. So, I told him that I would call him back. I went to the television, turned to the news and there is was, plastered across just about every news channel that you can imagine.
Overnight, and during the wee hours of the morning, (XXX) and (XXX) was involved in a deadly car crash. (XXX) - my fiancé was killed, while (xxx- his best friend), survived. My heart dropped! I kept flipping channels. More and more about the accident was reported. I kept seeing his face, but tried to convince myself that if I kept turning the channel, I'd hear something different. I kept thinking about how I was supposed to be celebrating that evening and getting married in a week. I couldn't hold my phone long enough to dial anyone's number, as my hands were shaking. I couldn't breathe and I felt like I was dying. No wonder I had not heard from him all day.
I changed the channel again. There were reports that he was survived by a wife and two children. First, I thought, I don't have any children. Who are they talking about? As her face flashed across the screen, I thought, who is this woman? I knew he had two children, but he said he never married! Who was I asking these questions, as I was there in that apartment alone, with my thoughts.
I had just figured out why my bridesmaid was looking at me so strange. She was likely wondering why I was talking about work, after the death of my fiancé in the early hours of the morning. She was likely wondering what I was talking about altogether. When I mentioned I couldn't take it anymore, I was talking about work! When I referred to what happened, “this morning”, I was referring to work! And then, I also understood why my boss was so compassionate. He thought I was quitting behind this. While it was something I knew nothing about until this very second. The day began to reply in my head. Everyone's face earlier in the day, was mourning my loss, and I was carrying on about a schedule, because I was the last to know.
The man I was about to marry, was married? But I've been to his home every weekend for two years, we've gone on multiple, week long vacations together. I know all his friends. It was a home he purchased prior to our engagement, but one that I was moving into, indefinitely. What was going on, right under my nose? No wonder my friends didn’t say anything. They were likely as shocked as I was. But shouldn’t they have said something? I was confused, humiliated, embarrassed, angry and sad. I didn't know which issue to deal with first.
After I didn't hear from anyone in his camp, I caught the next flight out. I got a car from the airport and headed straight over to the home that we shared. I walked to the door and I used my own key to enter.
Once on the other side, I was greeted by a lady. It was her, the lady from the TV. The wife. She asked me, who I was. I paused. I looked around at everyone in the room, some that I knew and some I had never seen before. I locked eyes with my finances dear friend, and the one who'd been involved in the accident with him. I looked away and I looked back at her. I replied, I am Nobody. I turned to walk out the door.
As I exited and walked to my car, my Ex-fiancé friend chased me down to the car. He apologized profusely. His girlfriend joined him and she stated that they didn't know. He alleged that he thought (XXX) had told me. He went on to say, that while they were out, my fiancé disclosed to him that he hadn't told me, and that it was the reason he'd been out of town the previous week. He said he was trying to finalize the divorce.
I still didn't know what to feel, as I was so angry and hurt at the same time. I really didn't have any time to think about anything, because the rest of the family were headed out the door. That's when his wife yelled out, You're more than welcome to come back inside and get your things. She laughed, and everyone looked at her, while shaking their head in disgust.
Our attorney had by then approached the car, with a handful of our mutual friends. He said that they were legally married and because of that, I could not fight under the common law marriage. I knew I had the support of those friends standing there. But it was way more than I had bargained for and all I could think about was how it would play out in the media. I wanted nothing to do with any of that situation. I got into my car, and I drove away without looking back.
Several months later, I received a piece of certified mail that I was reluctant to open, after seeing the address. However, after a few weeks, I opened it and discovered a check written to me for an undisclosed amount. It was from his best friend. There was a note that read, “There’s no reason that you shouldn’t be able to live the life that you had become accustomed to. Sincerely, (xxx)