A Close Call: First Line Friday, October 11, 2019

Carson pulled at his neck tie as the air became heavy with organ music and she approached clouded in white. Feeling as though he were about to suffocate was an indication that he didn’t want to marry Allison, or anyone else, for that matter. But, maybe it was too late, as he watched Allison seem to float down the isle, joy written in every pore of her face.

He couldn’t decide what to do! It didn’t help when he caught sight of his mother’s proud face. He hadn’t given her many moments to be proud of him. She had told him that marriage with Allison would be good for him, as it had been for his father in marrying her. However, he couldn’t remember a day when his father hadn’t appeared harassed and unhappy in his wife’s presence.

Earlier, he had finally waylaid his father as they changed into their tuxedos, for it seemed as if he were trying to elude him. He had asked for his father’s advice on whether he should marry someone just so that they could make him a “good” man, as defined by his mother.

His dad had tried to distance himself, but looking at this young man he loved more than he loved himself, he had told him to follow his heart and not do anything that he didn’t want to do. Then, in a whisper, he had asked Carson not to tell his mother that he had spoken to him, for it would make everybody’s life better if she didn’t know.

That was the moment Carson started to rethink the belief that marriage would be good for him, but a lot of money had been spent and he felt obligated to carry through with the ceremony. So, he got dressed and walked to the altar, awaiting his fate.

But, when Allison stood beside him, he felt that sense of dread again. He looked at the preacher and subtly shook his head. He turned to her and whispered in her ear, “I’m sorry, but I would rather hurt you now than disappoint you later.” Then, he turned and walked down the aisle, leaving her staring after him.

As he exited the church, he could hear her screaming, “You get back here, Carson. You are going to marry me whether you want to or not.” He had heard his mother use those words, whether you want to or not, so many times to strong-arm his father.

He kept walking. Then, he started laughing out loud, for he realized that his father had courageously saved him from a wretched life. He owed him, big time!

Written for the First Line Friday Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie., October 11, 2019.

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