The Scars on My Wrists (Nanowrimo 2013)

After struggling with depression and a suicide attempt, Marie decides to take a Gap Year to Italy and Spain. She falls in love, and more importantly, changes her entire life.
Edited for movellas, in its poorly written state. R rated for lots of swearing, cutting, and sexual language. TW: (recollection of) sexual assault, cutting

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18. Epilogue

Five Years Later

    I stare at him as I walk up the aisle, my dad sniffing into his handkerchief,  trying not to trip on my shoes or my long white dress. We're in San Marco's square in Venice, and there he is, up ahead at the alter, looking devilishly handsome, yet nervous. He tugs at his bow tie around his neck, as though it's choking him. I can't even hear the music, I'm just focusing on him. He's all I can see, and I'm there at the alter and he holds my hands. We're both shaking, shaking more than the day when he knelt on a knee and proposed to me.

    I can barely hear the words of the priest as he blesses us and we begin to say our vows. I can't even hear or focus on the words as I repeat them, I'm just staring at his face as the tears fall down.

    I have never been so sure of anything in my entire life. Sure that I love him. Sure that I can spend the rest of my life waking up next to him and cuddling and drinking wine and doing fun things with him, never growing tired even when there are days where I feel like crying and letting go. The sun is casting its golden glow across the pavement as he slides the ring on my finger and I dissolve into a hysterical mess inwardly. Nothing about our relationship has changed. He is still the Jandro that I met and fell in love with in Spain, the brooding graduate student, the caring lover, the silly fumbling idiot.

    And who am I? I am Marie. I am a survivor. I am a warrior. I am a fighter. The sun's glow shines on my pale arms, my raised scars clearly visible in my strapless gown. I am exposed to the world, to my family, to his family, and to all my friends. This is me. All of me. I am not ashamed. I am proud of where I have come from and how I have survived.

    I look out at our audience. The people we love, the friends we have. Lena and Charlene, my bridesmaids. Francisco, the best man. Mama in the crowd, and my Italian family and the people I've met over the years. They're all here to celebrate. To celebrate us. It seems so surreal now that it's all happening, is it really happening? 

    "You may kiss the bride." I hear that part. I hear the bells ring as he sweeps me off my feet and kisses me soundly, in front of God as our witness. Nothing has changed. But everything has changed. We know that we are spending forever together.

    That forever may entail fights. That forever may include bumpy roads and silent days and passionate nights. But forever is a long time to spend with another person. Initially, before I put on my shoes and gown, I panicked, as I suppose all brides do last minute.

    The second I saw him up there, though, with his arms folded, all doubts disappeared. 

    My parents are crying and I'm crying too. Petey, the ring bearer, doesn't cry. He's excited. At nine, he's just thinking about all the coca cola he can drink at the open bar. I know because he told me as I was getting my make up done.

    "Shall we go?" asks Jandro, leading me to the gondola that will take us to the reception. I nod, and kiss him firmly. He squeezes my ass discretely.

    "Not now," I say, winking. "Later." 

    I pull out my notebook. The scene is inspiring. I'm thinking about writing a story now, now that I'm a published author. I've written children's books mainly. But I'm thinking that I might write my story down. Leave it to inspire others. Change the world. The whole thing.

    "Honey, don't mix work with pleasure," groans Jandro as I start scribbling down a couple of lines describing the gondola.

    "Shhh," I say, finishing jotting down the note. "You inspire me, love." I can't help it sometimes. My mind works a mile a minute and inspiration can strike at the most inconvenient of moments. I put the notepad back in my little purse and sit back in Jandro's arms.

    "What are you thinking about?" he asks.

    "I'm thinking about how we first met," I say, absentmindedly, looking at the moon as it starts to appear in the dimly lit twilight. The push and pull splash of canal water is making me oddly nostalgic as I sit here with my new husband on the way to the reception.

    Yes. I will write a story. I will write my story. I will write our story. The story of the scars on my wrists and the story about how we fell in love and all that nonsense.

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