I’m beating a black hollow gong; the sounds rattle the soul.. Get submerged in the riotous tides…
They want to manifest.
My left hand flutters to the scarf around my throat. Tight. Too tight.
I drag in deep breaths. No. Not now. Not today.
In. Out. In. Out.
I look down at myself, resplendent in white.
No. Not now. Not today.
She’s not well. I knew this before I loved her. I knew this, yet, I love her still.
But please, not today.
I sometimes believe she loves her more than me. Like now.
But we’re getting married, please pay attention.
They want out. I grit my teeth. Tight. No.
But it seems the more I resist, the more restless they get.
And I know.
With all certainty, it’s going to happen.
I can’t do this to her.
I look at my groom. A scowl etched on his face. His dark eyes seem to scream: “Choose! Her or me?”
The pastor is asking if everything is ok. Of course not.
My eyes swing from my groom to my friend. Then back. And forth.
My mother is approaching the altar.
She has chosen.
The crowd is moving and murmuring.
I look at my feet. Be a man. She has chosen.
But I love her.
“Stay here.” I tell the fussy mother and run after them.
Let my shame remain covered.
I reach the back office just as the first jolt comes and I am slammed to the ground.
Pain, sharp pain lances through my head.
The black is coming.
I let go and welcome it.
The voices are out.
I run to her and drag her fully into the office.
She is screaming. An incoherent language. She is jerking, her hands flailing wildly about.
I get a fist in my eye and I cry harder.
When will all this end?
I hear a gasp and see my groom staring at us in shock.
The friend is shouting gibberish in an unknown language.
And I love her even more.
I close the door behind me and join them on the floor.