Weekly Prompts hosted by SueW & GC Valentine Red

It was over. We had made it through it. The affair. Make no mistake, it hurt. No, hurt is a word too weak to describe what had happened inside me. In my chest, in my gut. It was devastating, it was humiliating, it was debilitating. I was totally and completely debilitated by the betrayal. The broken trust was, in its own way, worse than the heart pain. I was humiliated, it had happened. It was only six months before our wedding. My dress was ordered, only a couple more payments to go. The bridesmaids colors were all picked out, the only groomsman had been measured for his tuxedo, the vest, bow tie and kerchief all in matching shades of ocean blue, my favorite.

My fiancé was wearing a straight white tuxedo with flared out tails. It had been ordered too.

Of course, none of that had made any difference and had complicated everything exponentially. So, it was nearly Thanksgiving, and I was headed back to the beach where we could spend the long holiday weekend together. I despise cooking except on Thanksgiving and Christmas when the kitchen is filled with too many cooks, the house is teeming with running, screaming children and snoring dads, or moms, grand-mom’s and grand-dad’s.

This year it would just be the two of us, one of our last holidays as single entities. I was supposed to drive down Wednesday evening, slotted to get to my fiancé’s place around seven o’clock. I finished packing up the food and clothes I was taking, and had even wrapped a gift or two, when I realized it was just barely past nine o’clock in the morning.

I had a sudden, wonderfully devious and erotic thought. I’d drive down early and get there while my fiancé was still at work. I was so excited, I was shaking with anticipation imagining the surprise on my fiancé’s face to find me home, with a nice dinner cooking and a glass of red wine in my hand.

The drive takes about three hours, a little less without traffic and oddly, there was very little. Although, it was a little early in the day for the holiday rush to descend upon the small beach town. I was going to get there even sooner. Better and better.

Not better, in retrospect of course. Something felt off when I entered our apartment. The one I had found. The one I had put the deposit on. The one I decorated myself. Something didn’t smell right. A different fragrance. Not perfume but something soapy with a scent. Shampoo maybe? Didn’t smell like something my fiancé would use. Too light. Too flowery. I wrinkled my nose as I walked past the closed door of the guest bath, the smell came from deeper into the apartment. The odd scent was stronger here near our bedroom door, closed. Odd, again. I think I heard the muffled noises coming from our bedroom long before I allowed my brain to process the meaning. Just as I placed my hand on the bedroom door, my brain decided to decode the onerous sounds. I nearly doubled over when the full realization punched me in the gut.

I hesitated. Did I go on in or turn and flee? If I fled, my fiancé could and would convince me I had heard wrong. I would believe the words and consciously subdue what I thought I had heard. That would be the easiest. The most sane. The safest.

I turned the knob and walked in. Our huge king sized bed was positioned very close to the door. The sickly light fragrance assailed my nostrils. The explosion that hit my mid-section now attacked my eyes. The sight forever burned into the fragile lens of my cornea. My bridesmaid and my fiancé were mouth to mouth, chest to chest, mound to mound. So involved they didn’t hear the door latch. Bridesmaid must have heard me gasp, though I didn’t know I had, because she turned her head and screamed.

That was almost a year ago to the day. My fiancé texted, called, begged, sent flowers, wrote letters and periodically showed up on the deck of my home; begging forgiveness, promising fidelity, pleading for the return of my love and devotion. It took a year but I acquiesced. I know, I know. Once bitten and all that, but there’s also forgive they neighbor and that whole line. So, my fiancé is not my neighbor, but it still holds true. Everyone can make a mistake once, right? Last fling. Loss of independence. New challenges and all that crap. I know, because I heard every excuse and explanation possible during the year of our estrangement.

It’s been rough, touch and go on my part. Less go then touch until I was touched again, held in the arms of the person I loved above all others. That scent that was only my fiancé’s scent enveloped me. The long, endless nights, days, weeks, months disappeared when lips met and claimed mine again. All is good. All is right in our world. The wedding is back on; minus one bridesmaid of course.

I step into our apartment, folding my luxurious satin wedding gown draped several times over my arm, wrapped within its protective covering compliments of the bridal boutique. Everything is set and everything is ready.

I try to hang my gown in the closet, my side; but, I have to make more room. Turning to place my gown across the bed, I notice for the first time, it’s unmade. My fiancé is a tad fastidious, so I’m a little surprised, but like me, my fiancé is stretched to the limit with wedding plans, wedding soirée’s, as well as a ten hour work day. Turning around, I carefully fold my gown on top of our sock chair. Yes, we have a designated sock chair. Neither of us can remember where we got it or whose it was at first. It’s the God-awful ugliest chair you’ve ever seen. Faded gold-like paint smeared over dinged and scratched arms of some undetermined wood from some long-ago dining set. Circa late 50’s maybe, but what do I know about furniture. Echo’s of gold embroidery are only evident by the tattered strings and filigree outline visible on the baby-puke green damask cushions. It’s sturdy and fits in the corner by the bed perfectly. It’s where we sit to take our socks off and put clean ones on the next day. It’s where one of us sits while the other reclines on the bed, and we talk. It’s our coming-together-at-the-end-of-the-day-chair. It’s our sock chair.

Stretch. Shake out my aching left arm. God, my dress is heavy! I can’t wait to wear it. I know I will hate taking it off. Will want to wear it for days and days on end. It’s so very beautiful. I’ve never had anything so magnificent, so majestic, and so expensive. I’m going to cherish it always, this I know in my heart.

I squeeze the big foam bed pillows back into shape. My fiancé insists these are much better for us. I push two pillows up against the headboard and pull up the sheets, then the light blanket and finally the lovely bedspread; a present this past year. Gorgeous. The white background is covered with embroidered sea creatures; crustaceans, birds, shells, turtles, and dolphins on a backdrop of transparent hibiscus flowers in water-colored teal. It’s exquisite.

Going to the other side of the bed, half the length of the bedroom; I pick up one pillow. Squeeze. Place it against the headboard. Second pillow. Squeeze. That’s odd. Something on the other side of the stark white pillowcase gets caught in my engagement ring. Turning the big pillow over, I expected to find a loose thread , I stop. Look away. Look back. Drop the pillow and freeze. I can’t breathe. I can’t physically take a breath. My entire body has seized. Frozen. Completely and utterly frozen. Burning heat now. Starting in my ears. I feel the heat wash down the back of my neck into my spine. This massive flow of burning emotion drops to my toes, back up through my legs, into my stomach. I feel it pool in my arms, run into my hands before taking a direct route into my eyes. Red. All I can see is red. The room is red. The bed is red. My dress is, red.

I look down to see paring shears in my hand. You know, the ones with those huge chunks of jagged-sharp edges that my grand-mom used when sewing. There’s bits of cut and torn cloth clogging the nut and bolt holding the blades together. There’s red dripping from its blades too. Blood? My blood. Must’ve accidentally cut myself. The room is a chaotic blend of foam, bits of cloth, layer upon layer of tulle and satin resides over the top of the destruction. Looks like a Christmas gift, all wrapped up with a beautiful bow on top. Yes, a gift.

A gift needs a card, yes? I rummage through the drawers I had dumped out then flattened to the ground, I think I may have jumped on them, I can’t find what I’m looking forward. Then through a mound of foam, I find it. THE pillowcase. Yes, this will do. Using the old scissors, digesting it of the rooms ruination; I neatly and meticulously cut out in a precise square, the tightly embroidered name. Her name. On my bed. In our bed. I feel the heat again, take deep breaths to keep the rage contained. Dear God, don’t let my fiancé come home now. I can’t even think the words, yet I feel them. I know I’ll do it if my fiancé walks through that door.

Embroidered pillow case in hand, at least the part I didn’t shred, I head for the front door. Turn around and go back into the bedroom. Kicking the remnants of what-was-to-be onto the floor; I pick up my ugly sock chair and carry it out the door with me. Oh yes, the gift card. Turning, I place the lovely, embroidered name of my ex-bridesmaid under the mail clip. Tug on it to make sure it’s stable, not going anywhere and walk serenely to my car, sock chair wrapped in the cradle of my arms.


  1. Beautifully written, Gypsie! Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your weekend! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michael! Gorgeous weekend wished for you as well! 💙


  2. SueW says:

    I loved this. Thank you so much for sharing with our challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are most welcome and thank you as well!! 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadje says:

    Such a gripping story Ami.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sadje! Creative nonfiction. Several parts are true! 🙏 Dodged a bullet with that one though!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nicole Smith says:

    Wow, I was invested from the beginning. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Nicole! 🙏


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