The Night before the Wedding

It is the night before Ottilie Hunt's wedding. All over Britain, her friends and family mourn the loss of a remarkable young girl, once destined for great things, now destined to fade away. This moment gives them the opportunity to take a step back and look at what their lives have become. As they survive the damage, they too can make a choice: rediscover their true voice and follow it, or lose it again to conventionality.
The Night before the Wedding is a tale of false love, lost dreams and dead hope. It is the story of how an individual can lose sight of the path meant for them. It is about the fight for freedom - a fight so often lost.

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1. The Failed Marriage

The heavy front door slammed shut. Silence echoed around the house.

As if on cue, rain started to patter against the windows. The world was grey that evening.

Julia Hunt put down her cup of tea and glanced towards her husband who sat hunched in an armchair by the fire, staring gloomily into the flames. She felt a surge of annoyance. How dare he show his misery like that when she was trying so hard to put on a brave face? 

“For goodness sake Bill, sit up straight,” her voice rose higher, quavering uncertainly. “You know what the chiropractor said. It’s ridiculous, you sitting like an old man, after all that money we paid for your operation.”

The words hung in the air. Immediately, Julia wished she hadn’t spoken. ‘Fifty two years old, she thought to herself, and behaving like a child’. It wasn’t Bill’s fault. They were both upset, but they showed it in different ways: she disguised her discontentment, dressed it up as a worry about something else – usually money – whereas with Bill it was what it was. There was no pretending; if there was, it was to avoid causing someone else unhappiness. Julia admired that about her husband. She admired many of his qualities and although she never told him this, she would whisper it to herself at night, over and over again, when she needed reassurance that she had made the right choice in marrying him some thirty years ago.

Still, she wished he would speak. She hated uncomfortable silences, although she seemed to be so good at creating them. Her next words she spoke tentatively, hoping he would hear the affection in her voice.

“Your suit came back from the drycleaner’s today. I’ve put it on your bed.”

Silence.

“I hope this rain doesn’t spoil the wedding tomorr-“

“Oh, come off it, Julia!” His voice was harsh and angry, so angry that Julia shrank back in fear. “We’re both disappointed, so why not come out and say it? Why are you pretending that you don’t mind? I don’t want...I never wanted...” He trailed off guiltily, but they both knew what he was going to say.

I never wanted her to turn out like we did.

Those feelings, the ones Julia had never been able to name, rose up slowly in a seething, bubbling tide from the pit of her stomach to her throat. All those years of frustration and regret and loneliness had built up to this, this one moment when she finally realised what it was, that nagging thought, or feeling at the back of her mind. One word burned bright in her mind, it lit up her soul with its angry glow: hate. She was drowning in it, arms flailing, legs kicking...she looked across the room at her husband of thirty years and she knew it was true: I hate him.

 It was the first time she had ever admitted it to herself.

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