Featured Fiction
// Christine Jamieson

I Do
The doors of the chapel swung open and everyone was already on their feet. I took a step, careful not to falter. The music was playing in the background but I was not listening; the only thing I could hear was the beat of my own heart thumping
against my rib cage. I realized it was my turn to speak.

“I do.”

The words seemed to flow perfectly out of my lips, like my mouth had been longing to say them. This was what love was supposed to feel like. I glanced over into my beautiful about-tobe husband’s eyes, waiting for him to say those two little words. Suddenly, I saw it all clearly. He was going to say those words and I was going to be stuck, forever. I stared at him, begging
with my eyes for those words not to come out of his mouth.

“I do.”

Taia lit the candles, letting the match she was holding burn down to her fingers before lifting it to her lips and blowing it out, trying to look casual. The motel room smelled musty; it was cheap, Micheal was cheap.

She stepped out of her three hundred dollar dress, lay it on the bed, and spread out her hair, waiting for Micheal. The door creaked open; his shirt was already undone, his eyes wild.

“Don’t you look beautiful.”

He said as he crawled on top of her. His hands slid under her, unclipped her bra. His lips pressed
up against hers, violent, wild.

Taia stared at the ceiling the entire time. His sweat dripped down onto her body; his hands grabbed at her. When it was over, she turned to him: “Don’t ever leave me. Okay?”

Ms. May went out only once a week, to walk the seawall along the water. Her doctor said it would be good for her. In preparation, she applied makeup; smooth foundation to cover her aging skin, layers of mascara to make her eyes flutter, and bright red lipstick to make her thin lips look plump again.

Ms. May walked the seawall on Fridays. She didn’t own a car, so she took the bus. She knew the bus driver by name, and he was always patient as she strolled on. She always sat in the section designated for seniors.

One day, tightly placed beside two teenagers, Ms. May heard whispering while she waited for her stop. The teenagers whispered about her makeup, about how she caused the bus to slow down when she got on it. Ms. May just stared straight ahead.
Ms. May returned home and looked in the mirror; her foundation no longer looked good, it looked orange. Her lips looked pressed and thin, and her eyelashes were caked with mascara.

Ms. May never went out to walk the seawall again.

// Christine Jamieson

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