"You may kiss the bride."
I smiled as we leaned in for the kiss. Our lips made contact and it lasted for who knows how long. When we pulled apart, the guests applauded and cheered at our romantic moment.
Chris grabbed my hand and lead me down the aisle toward the awaiting white limosine he'd somehow managed to rent at the last moment. But that's how Chris was; always making things work out when I was so positive it was doomed. Our families and friends threw rice and red rose petals through their tears and applause. I covered my head to shield away from the falling rice and the glare of the sun off the windows on my mother's egg shell white house, stepping carefully so as to not trip on my lovely white gown as I tried to keep up with Chris' long strides. Why was he going so quickly?
Family and friends rushing by, becoming a blur. Half way down the driveway to the limo, everything started to slow down and become quieter and quieter. Was something happening? Why had everyone gotten so silent? I stared confused at the people around me as I passed them. Their faces showed joy, excitement, and love. They're mouths were moving but what they were saying was barely audible to me. I looked toward Chris who was looking back at me with great concern. His mouth moved but still everything was on mute. I shook my head.
"What? What are you saying? I can't hear you." I stepped toward him, realizing we weren't holding hands anymore. As I put my weight on my leg, I crumpled to the ground slowly, as if time had slowed down just for this moment. I tried to reach out and catch myself but my limbs wouldn't respond, and I landed on my arm and side. Suddenly all the voices and sounds were booming in my ears, the sun glaring into my eyes, and people were grabbing at me from all sides.
I was so frightened by the abrupt change that I couldn't respond or register what to do. I called out Chris' name. I knew he was standing near me but I couldn't move to see him. Strong arms embraced me, lifting me slightly off the rocky ground. Chris' voice was loudest above the others, his breath on my ear.
"Sweetie? Honey are you alright?" he asked.
Yes, yes I'm alright. I tried to say I was fine, but I felt paralyzed all over my body. My senses weren't working. Just as quickly as it had come back, my hearing diminished to almost nothing while my sight vanished. From blurred faces, to smears of color, to total blackness.
I could hear Chris screaming my name. "Don't leave me! Come back, baby! Please!"
I tried to call out, to tell him I was still here with him but my voice wouldn't work, I was unable to produce any sound, not even a squeak. He was sobbing, whispering my name over and over again. No! I can't leave you, Chris! I haven't left you, I'm in your arms... Hear me, please!
But he couldn't hear me, and I couldn't do anything to let him know I wasn't gone yet. My mind started to wonder in overdrive. Where am I? Why can't I see or speak or feel? Did I have a heart attack? I'm too young to be having a heart attack! So many questions with no answers buzzed through my mind but one stood out above them all, a question most dreadful and horrifying came to me: Was I dying?