Mate Dates

After running away from her husband to be, budding novelist Mara hides away in a bar, not really caring she's still in her wedding dress. In this bar, she encounters Garrett, the man she hasn't seen in ten years.
Garrett very well knows who Mara is, even if Mara doesn't recognise him through her whiskey haze, but he doesn't really mind her being there, so there she stays.


Author's note

A novella half inspired by Procrastination and binge-watching How I Met Your Mother. Enjoy :)

1. Runaway Bride


One: Runaway Bride



I can’t believe I’m doing this, I can’t believe I’ve done this.

The taxi driver gives me a sympathetic side-eye from the front of the car like he hasn’t seen a crying woman in a frilly wedding dress in the back of a cab before. Well, he probably hasn’t.

I can’t believe I jumped out of a window, a god damned window from the second floor of a pretty building. When had the nerves turned into bitter resolution? Ah, that’s when, when I realised that marrying Peter wouldn’t bring us peace.

I and Peter had been so in love, meeting first through our office jobs but then he turned out to be pretty much the worst boyfriend in the world. He forgot when we made plans, he didn’t know I was allergic to peanuts (which made our third date just a treat when I went into anaphylactic shock) and he flirted with other women and claimed that as long he didn’t touch it was perfectly fine. But I loved him and so we made it work, and when he proposed to me on a sunny beach I couldn’t refuse. I thought marrying him would make us better, force him to not forget about the little things and force me to overlook mistakes. But it didn’t.

I caught him flirting with one of my bridesmaids that very morning, the morning of our wedding day, and I had had enough. That was my intervention. I had ripped the bandage off by jumping out of the window and bricking it to the nearest taxi, all the while wondering whether any of the guests had seen.

My phone rings in the empty backseat, and I resist the urge not to answer it. Marlene, my sister and maid of honour, she’ll be asking where I am. Great.

I answer it with a barely there groan and she immediately leaps down my throat. “Mara now is not the time to have cold feet, the vicar is asking where the hell you are, open the goddamn door,” She seems aggravated and I can almost imagine her tapping her foot outside of the bridal suite I left behind, “If you’re not out in the next fifteen seconds I’m gonna kick it down, I don’t care that this venue costed several grand.” She's been totally invested in this wedding; I can't imagine her disappointment when she finds out it's not even happening.

“You can kick it down all you like,” I muse as the taxi driver not so subtly turns off the radio in an attempt to listen to our conversation, “I’m not there.”

“What do you mean you’re not there?!” her tone wavers on the borderline of mouse squeak and angry, prepubescent boy. 

“I mean I’m not at Roserville, I’m in a taxi,” I roll my eyes, thinking back on the lovely lodge I paid an arm and a leg for.

“You’re running away?” Marlene appears dumbfounded but I know that she is in fact an intelligent girl and she can put the pieces together quite easily.

“I’ve already ran away, by the fact that I’m in a taxi in my wedding dress driving away from Roserville,  with my ring in my hands instead of on my finger and money stuffed down my bra to get completely plastered later. Tell everyone the weddings off, Peter flirts too much, especially with that bimbo Megan who I didn’t even want as a bridesmaid. I’m sorry I wasted all of your time.” I say it in a rush, needing the words to be out there. In the front seat the taxi driver breaths out, whistling as if in shock.

I hang up as Marlene splutters over the line. I want to say that I did it because I was finished with what I wanted to say but really I think it is because I’m frightened of what she has to say. As soon as the phone is back in my lap I turn it off to prevent the flood of calls about to come my way and the driver turns the radio back on.

I lean forward, “Stop at the next bar,” I say to the driver and he nods absentmindedly. He turns off to a road I don’t fully recognise and I lean back and wipe a frilly sleeve against my eyes, not caring that the pearl white smears black with teary makeup.

There’s no going back after this but god I want to be happy and unfortunately, I can’t see a future where happiness equates to being with Peter. 


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