I was dressed in a completely inappropriate shade of pink. Fuchsia was pretty on flowers or against darker skin tones but against my pale skin, I looked like a raspberry ripple ice cream with the big ruffles and white sash compressing my middle. Charlotte had insisted though. “Think how striking you will all look against my dress!”
Not one to do things by halves, Charlotte had chosen a black dress for her wedding. I hated to admit it but, she was right; as our little troupe of bridesmaids teetered down the aisle you could hear the occasional gasp or, “wow” from some of the guests.
The plane was two hours late that day. I had secretly cursed myself for deciding to fly up to Edinburgh on the day of Charlotte’ nuptials, something which I knew she was none too happy about. The wedding ceremony was booked for late afternoon though and I didn’t relish the prospect of seeing Joe for longer than was necessary.
Joe, my ex, also the best man who had left me for one of the bridesmaids, an old friend of Charlotte’s from since before I even knew her. I couldn’t blame her, she didn’t know me from a hole in the wall and I was positive Joe had lied his way into her affections. Besides, I thought to myself, she can deal with his lying bullshit now. I’d lost weight, changed my hairstyle, ditched the hangers-on and turned my life around.
Joe winked as we approached. His new squeeze sashayed next to me, hips swaying in exaggerated motion. I rolled my eyes. Was he winking at her or me? I shot him a scowl, he looked away.
In a moment of impulse, I decided the only solution was to seduce him. Bring him down a peg or two, leave him begging for more. Maybe, I could arrange it so that “she” would discover us, in flagrante. Everyone was booked in at the hotel that evening, there was an open bar, no expense spared. A wicked smile crept across my face.
They were all the same, I decided as I walked away from Joe’s room at two a.m. It had been a disappointing performance really. Joe was so drunk, he could barely see straight, let alone get it up. I’d already seen my replacement heading off to a darkened corner earlier with one of the groom’s entourage who was NOT Joe. She didn’t seem too concerned about her new boyfriend as her companion steered her away, a large, masculine hand resting firmly on her shapely butt wiggling in its own pink satin cocoon.
“Ah well”, I pondered. “What’s good for the goose and all that.”
I’d left him where he’d passed out. Half-naked, spread eagled on the bed, trousers and boxers round his ankles, black bow-tie loosened, and shirt unbuttoned. Hell, he was still very sexy, even in his half-cut state but my ill thought out plan for revenge fizzled out at the crucial moment; I deleted the photo of his pathetic looking dick from my phone, kissed him on the cheek and left. He wouldn’t remember much in the cold light of day.
It wasn’t so much that I had been blind to the truth. It was just that I had seen the truth differently. Joe had always been a great seducer. Not just of women but of people he dealt with in every day life. He worked for a big advertising agency, I was involved in one of his projects. Within weeks, we were shagging at every opportunity. Meeting in hotels. The back of his car. We even did it in my parents’ bed whilst I was house sitting for them one weekend. Never at my flat though, he liked sex to be illicit and naughty with just that hint of danger.
I had begun to take note of how lots of his female friends would ignore me at social events or spitefully get my name wrong. One of their favourites was Esther or Elspeth (my name is Elizabeth).
The final straw was at Charlotte and Andy’s pre-wedding bash for those who couldn’t make the Edinburgh gig. After the third time, it became clear that she and Joe were disappearing at the same time and for a lot longer than simply, “powdering my nose,” as she had drunkenly slurred at me.
It was the tear in her dress that confirmed it. Her stretchy, bandage style bodycon dress of vivid pinks and blues had been wrenched up her thighs with enough force to rip the seam. She was flushed and perspiring, hair wild and breathing heavily. I could smell the guilt laden scent of sex from across the room. The time to confront her was at that very moment but instead, I gave her another G&T, sought out Andy in the crowd, whispered, “Follow me,” in his ear and met him outside at the back of the club. It was sordid, quick and seedy, but in that moment neither myself or Charlotte’s fiancée gave a damn. The fact that the wedding went ahead with me there was testament to that.
Now, as I stood to the left of the bride, watching her and Andy tearfully exchange their vows, I could feel the first flutters of life in my belly. I smiled, radiant and glowing. I couldn’t wait for the speeches.
© Grace McGowan 2017