She waited at the alter, all in white, blushing from head to toe. The soft satin feeling unusually sensous and the veil hiding the smile beneath. The curls on her head was tamed with a straightner today and the diamond danglers shone as the lights highlighted her features.
Yes she looked gorgeous today and perhaps the most beautiful girl in the church.
The bells rung...ding...dong...ding dong...
She looked up and closed her eyes in a prayer and then she looked up to find her father staring intently and also a little scared as if he was going to breakdown any minute now. She smiled at him hoping to reassure him of the love she still had for the first man she was ever in love with.
she fidgeted with her pristine white golves and took a quick peek at the door.
"He will be here", her mother whispered into her ear and dusted away the invisible wrinkle on her back.
she straightened and sighed, nodding her head twice. Yes, he was going to be here. What if a little late?
After all ten minutes was nothing.
The clocked ticked and then everybody turned simultaneously to look at the door. Was he here yet?
"How did you meet him?" The maid of honour, in dazzling lilac asked her. They were at her dressing room and the chuckling, whispers and laughter all continued. They all looked like they wanted to know her secret.
"He is so handsome", someone said and she could literally see the green in her posture, "And in the Army! You are so lucky, Anna".
"I met him when he was passing out", some looked like they didn't understand, "At Deradun, The Indian Military Academy girls! You know to update your general knowledge...", she couldn't stop the disappointed shake of her head, "I was completing my last year in B.A and befriended an officer's daughter. She told me it was a beautiful parade at the academy", Anna blinked her eyes in happiness. It always felt good to think about they meeting, "Then at the end i stumbled in the crowd. Flat on my face! He came running, as if some kind of national emergengy, took me in his arms and ran to get some ice for the bump on my head..."
And then they fell in love and she couldn't stop meeting him. Joshua had to go then. Jammu and Kashmir, a terrorist sensitive area, he was posted for three years.
"I'll be back soon", he hugged her hard, "And then I want to marry you".
Today would be his lady day at job. And then honeymoon.
Back at the alter, she looked at the preist who didn't exactly look happy at the delay. And she wanted to tell him to go and take his grumpiness on someone else.
The door bursted open and she started to grin in excitement when a man in uniform, looking grave walked directly towards her father. They spoke for a long minute and she lost her patience.
"What? where is Joshua?" she frowned.
"Anna...Josh had...an accident", her father rushed to tell her, "He..."
"SHall we go to him?" she tried not to cry, "Why are we still standing here and talking?"
Her mind were going through a series of fashbacks. She was standing at the airport, waving Joshua goodbye. He was running back and giving her one tight hug, hiding his tears in one big wide grin.
He told her he would be back, right? He never lied to her.
"Joshua said...", she pulled away her viel, her heart stopping, "We are supposed to get married today".
Her father hugged her, "Oh sweetheart", he gulped, his voice coming out more like a wail, "He can't...He couldn't make it".