Stu didn’t invite me to his wedding, but that isn’t going to keep me from going. No one means more to me than Stu.
On the day of the ceremony, I put on my best black dress and heels, sweep my hair into a sophisticated style, and drive thirty-eight miles so that I can witness Stu promising to love, honor, and cherish a beautiful woman I’ve never seen before. I try my best to hold my emotions in check, but the tears fall anyway.
At the reception, a man asks whether I’m a friend of the bride or the groom.
“Groom,” I say.
“Me too. Stu and I used to play baseball together. My name’s David.” He sticks out his hand.
“Jasmine.” I shake the man’s hand. Why would Stu ask some old acquaintance to share his special day, but not me? “I just can’t understand why I didn’t get an invitation,” I murmur.
David raises an eyebrow. “You weren’t invited?”
“Stu must’ve been worried that I’d disrupt his big day.”
Alarm registers on David’s face. “Does he know you’re here?”
“Not yet.” But he will. Soon. I scan the crowd. No sign of Stu. The wedding party must still be with the photographer. I should be in those photos.
“I could get a message to him for you, if you’d like,” David offers. “If you’d rather not stick around.”
Does this man think I’m stupid? He’s obviously trying to get rid of me. “Thanks anyway, but I’m not leaving until I speak to Stu face to face.”
A moment later, Stu and his new bride enter the banquet room. Everyone claps.
I take a few steps forward, out into the open, where Stu can see me.
Stu’s face blanches. “What are you doing here, Mom?”
LORI CRAMER’s short prose has appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Fictive Dream, Riggwelter, Unbroken Journal, and Whale Road Review, among others. Links to her writing can be found at https://loricramerfiction.wordpress.com. Twitter: @LCramer29.