LISP Short Story FINALISTS, IT’S HER WEDDING DAY BY Mo Abdelkhalek
It’s her wedding day. I saw her for the first time 22 years ago, on her day of birth. She was not a cute baby, but for me she was the most beautiful one I ever saw. I was only 8 and was never let to hold a young baby before. But on that day, I insisted to hold her, so I sat down, and she was put in my laps. She smiled to me for her first time, a smile that I will never forget.
It’s her wedding day. I last saw her more about 2 years ago, when she saw me getting into my car in a parking lot while she was getting out of another car. She tried to run to me, but I didn’t wait. I took off with my car as quickly as I could in the other direction. I couldn’t see her, I couldn’t meet her, and I definitely couldn’t talk to her. I was crying and screaming in the car that I had to stop driving and stood on the side of the road to take my breath.
It’s her wedding day. She has been sending me messages on Facebook since all of this started, without me responding to any of them. The messages were almost every hour questioning and wondering what happened and where I was then decreased to daily asking to see me or at least respond and then weekly asking if I am alright and saying her latest news. I always wished for her to stop sending me these messages, but when it took her more than a week to send one, I will start to get worried. The last message was a week ago asking me again for more than the tenth time to come to her wedding.
It’s her wedding day. She had been explaining every detail of her wedding plans in her messages, even asking me for opinion, even though she knew I won’t reply. Even before that, she was sending about this guy and how much she loves him, and that he asked about me and she couldn’t say anything except what they always say, “He is working and living abroad, and he can’t come back any time soon”
It’s her wedding day. She sent me a photo of herself while she was trying her wedding dress 2 weeks ago. The photo was taken by a mobile phone and was not that clear, but she still looked like an angel, as pretty as always and as innocent as always.
It’s her daughter’s wedding day. We always had a great relationship. We rarely fought and we were always laughing together and teasing each other. She was always the one to encourage me and support me. She also helped me and worked my difficulties with me and was always there with a big hug when I needed it. My first memory of her was when I was about 3 or 4, insisting on watching a musical show while I am eating my dinner, and she desperately accepted after a lot of moaning from my side, but with a nice kiss on my cheek.
It’s her daughter’s wedding day. I last saw her was in the hospital more than 2 years ago. She had a nervous breakdown after all of this started and had to be moved to the hospital. I found out from one of the Facebook messages, and I had to see her. I went to the hospital and hided in the cafeteria until all of them left her, and I also made sure from one of the nurses that no one was in the room except her sister, but they were both sleeping. The door of the room was slightly opened, and I could barely see her face, but I wouldn’t risk opening the door and waking them up. I stood outside with tears in my eyes, when suddenly she opened her eyes. I was not sure if she could see me, but I had to run away just in case. She sent me a message a week later, saying that she saw me that night, but no one believed her and thought she was just dreaming of me.
It’s her daughter’s wedding day. She also sends me Facebook messages every once in a while, asking about my health and how I am in general and if I need anything. She sent me a message a month ago asking me to come to the wedding and how it will make her, and the bride feel.
It’s his daughter’s wedding day. We never had a great relationship, and we were always arguing. He was a tough man and always thought I was not man enough, and I needed to play more sports. He rarely accepted my decisions and always criticised me. However, he was always proud of me for my accomplishments. He always congratulated me and rewarded me and encouraged me for more.
It’s his daughter’s wedding day. The last time I saw him, was the day all of this started. I packed all my stuff in my car and was taking my last bag and leaving a note with my keys beside the door, when he came and asked me if I have finished packing everything, and that there was no way for me to change my mind. I answered, “I told you I tried, it is impossible and...” He stopped me saying “take care” with tears in his eyes that I don’t ever remember seeing them before.
It was the day before, when I came back and found him, my father, in my room, looking at my laptop screen. He asked while standing up “What is that? Are you gay?” I had no reply to that, I couldn’t deny it, I could have but I would have to make up a huge sequence of lies about what he found. I just started crying. He continued “so you are gay? I was told rumours before, but I always denied them”. I still didn’t know what to say, there was nothing to say. He started asking many questions “When did this start? When you went to London? Or before that? Are you only watching, or you have been doing it? Have you done something here? Did you bring someone here?” He was standing in front of me at that moment, and I couldn’t answer, I was only crying, I couldn’t look at his eyes. With all of these questions, I just screamed trying to run out of the room. But he held me saying “ANSWER ME” and slapped me on my face, “SAY something, defend yourself”, with another slap on my face.
I couldn’t handle it anymore; I fell off to the ground crying and screaming. “This is who I am, and for a very long time, I tried to stop myself thousands and thousands of times, but I couldn’t.” He answered, “You have to stop this; I can’t have a faggot son”. “I have been trying for ages” I replied crying harder “it is not something to be stopped”. “Do you want your mother and sister to find out? Do you want everyone to know about you?” He looked at me and went out of the room saying “or you have to leave before your mother and sister come back tomorrow night”
It was a night of hell; I couldn’t stop crying in my room, thinking over and over and over again. Early in the next morning, he came into my room and from the door, he asked me to start packing as he doesn’t want me to meet my mother and sister. I asked, “what are you gonna say to them?” “Don’t worry, I won’t tell them. I will say you just left” He replied adding “Please don’t try to contact them, I want you out of our life, or I will have to tell them the truth”
It’s my sister wedding day. I have been having hard times for the last couple of weeks and it was getting worse every day. I woke up crying at night, and couldn’t focus at work. I couldn’t handle that I won’t see her on her wedding day, in her white dress. It was 3 weeks ago when my boyfriend asked me to take these couple of days off to take a vacation during this weekend. I accepted because I won’t be able to work anyway, and also, I have been giving him a hard time lately, so he deserves to go for a change together.
When he gave me the booking information, I was shocked that he booked the holiday to my home country, to my own city and even the hotel was in the same area where the wedding is happening. I looked at him not knowing what to say. “You don’t have to attend the wedding” he said “We can stay in the hotel and in our room if you want, but if you decide to attend, you will be able to. You can even just go and have a look from far away without letting them see you”. I didn’t know what to say to him; thank him for giving me the opportunity or blame him of not understanding the situation.
It’s my sister’s wedding day. I was not able to sleep last night at all. In the middle of the night, I tried to sneak to see the venue where the wedding is planned to, but it was closed with no way to get in. I hardly fell asleep after dawn and when I woke up, he was not in the room. He came back after half an hour with a new suit. “Try it on, make sure it fits you. Just in case you want to go” He said. He believes I should go to the wedding and that my father won’t be able to make a scene on his daughter’s wedding day, and that will make my sister and my mother happy, and he will see that and might let go and change his mind.
I went to him and thanked him for the suit with a big kiss, then walked to the balcony and sat there. He ordered breakfast and sat with me in the room trying to make me eat something. I tried but my mind was only thinking whether to go to the wedding or not. I kept looking at him, knowing that he thinks I should go, but also the fear of ruining the wedding was in my mind keeping me from attending. The fear of my father’s reaction that will end up hurting my sister and my mother was keeping me from the idea.
It’s my sister’s wedding day. I haven’t made my mind yet, and it was almost time of the wedding now. He came to the balcony and asked me to get in with him. He had arranged the suit, with the shirt, the tie, the shoes, the socks; everything was ready for me to put them on. He kissed me asking me to get in the shower and shave to start getting ready. At that moment I didn’t think, I only did what he said. I was pushed by him to get dressed; he even helped me with the tie and my hair and perfume.
It’s my sister wedding day. We arrived at the venue that was a 5 minute walk away from where we were staying. As soon as we arrived, we saw a big car stopping, and everyone was gathered around, then my mother came out of the front seat. I stopped; we were at a distance that we can see everyone, but they won’t look that way to see us. He held my hand tightly, then my sister came out of the car, she was like a sweet little angel, so pretty in her white dress even more pretty than I could have expected. I only had a minute to see her before they disappeared into the building.
It’s my sister’s wedding day. I wanted to see her again at least. I also wanted to hug her, to congratulate her, to tell her how pretty she was. I walked in slowly waiting for everyone to get into the venue before I can sneak again and have another glimpse of her. I stood outside the big door of the hall, looking at her dancing the first dance with her new husband. He looks handsome, smart and has love in his eyes to her.
Suddenly, my mother came out of the hall and saw me standing in front of her. “Oh GOD! You are here! You are ok!” crying out, holding my face, and then kissing me all over my face. “Where have you been? Why are you doing this to us? What’s wrong?” she started asking. “Mum, it’s complicated, I wish I can explain but I can’t. I am so sorry. But I can’t stay, I have to go. I only wanted to see her in her wedding day” I said kissing her on the cheek and starting to walk away. “You have to come in; you are her brother she has to see you” She said holding my hands tight and dragging me inside.
He was there as soon as we entered the hall, waiting for anyone who is late to welcome him. “See who is here, he didn’t want to come in” She said to him. “I am sorry, but I had to see her” I said. He didn’t reply, he just looked at me. I was then dragged again to the dance floor where my sister is, the song has just ended, and she was looking around her when she saw me.
It’s my sister wedding day. She threw herself at me at that moment hugging me so hard. I calmed her down and started dancing with her to the new song. “Don’t cry, you’ll ruin your makeup” I said. “Where were you? Why aren’t you answering my messages? Why are you doing this?” She started asking “Why didn’t you say you were coming? Why didn’t you come earlier...?” I shut her up with my finger to her lip “Shhh, stop asking questions. Are you happy? Do you love him?” She nodded shyly. “Then; Congratulations. I wish you all the happiness in the world” I said hugging her and dancing closely.
When the song ended, I gave her a kiss on the cheek saying “I have to go, it’s complicated and I can’t explain. Please enjoy your night and congratulations once again” I walked away from her after giving her to continue dancing with her groom. My mother was still standing waiting and looking at me and my father was standing beside her also looking at me. “I can’t stay” I said to my mum with a hug and a kiss, and then I looked at him, and walked away.
My boyfriend was waiting outside of the door waiting for me. As soon as I went to him, I noticed that my father was right behind me. He looked at me then looked at our hands that were holding up at that moment, and then he looked back at me and walked back inside. “Thank you for making me do this” I said, “I wouldn’t have come if it wasn’t for you, I love you, I love you so much!”