The Girl I Should Have Married

Larry W. Van Guilder

 

     The girl I should have married was green with envy, purple with rage, and red-hot with passion. Amid the black tie and white gowns of my wedding party she radiated like a captive rainbow.   

 

I walked over. "Who are you?"

 

"I'm the girl you should have married."

 

"You know, I thought you looked familiar, but I'm terrible with names."

 

"That's OK. It's been a while."

 

"So, how did you get here?"

 

"In my Jetta."

 

"No, I mean what are you doing here?"

 

"Oh, well, I saw the announcement and I thought I'd show up. Have you missed me?"

 

Under the circumstances, it seemed prudent to ignore the question. "Since you're here, let me introduce you to some people."

 

I whispered as I escorted her toward my new bride. "Listen, can you tone down the colors a little bit? We don't want to startle anyone."

 

"No," she answered. "I have to be myself."

 

She continued to flash red, green, and purple, with a hint of chartreuse.

 

"Darling, this is the girl I should have married."

 

"Oh, really? Well, how nice to meet you," my new bride said. She leaned over and whispered to me, "How did she get here?"

 

"In her Jetta," I replied.

 

"No, I meanoh, never mind."

 

My new bride smiled as I took the arm of the girl I should have married and walked over to where my parents stood sipping champagne.

 

"Mom, Dad, I'd like you to meet the girl I should have married."

 

"How do you do, dear?" my mother smiled.

 

"A pleasure," said my father.

 

"I'm the girl he should have married," my companion said, and flashed purple for emphasis.

 

"Yes, dear, we heard," my mother said.

 

My father leaned over to me. "How did she get here?"

 

"In her Jetta," I replied wearily.

 

"No, I mean, well, never mind."

 

"Well, we should go," I said.

 

"Nice to have made your acquaintance, miss," my father said, and I hurried away with the girl I should have married before she could reply.

 

I walked with her to the church doors. "It was nice of you to come," I said.

 

She glowed red and green. "I wouldn't have missed it for the world."

 

"Well," I said, "I suppose this is goodbye."

 

"I suppose." She raised her head and kissed me softly on the cheek.  

 

I watched her leave, a study in neon. I turned back to my new bride. Red, green and purple novas flared randomly within the creases of her virginal white gown. They could only have been reflections.

 

Larry W. Van Guilder came to the writing of fiction by the usual route: an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee and graduate studies in American history. After a nearly decade-long hiatus, he renewed his creative activity early in 2005, and has since completed a novella, several short stories, and a modest collection of flash fiction. His previous work has appeared in The Melic Review, The Blue Penny Quarterly (since reborn as The Blue Moon Review), The Manhattanite, 24:7 Magazine, Pulse, PYROWORDS and a score of other webzines, some extant, some long departed.

 

Photo by Robert Kalman.

 

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Story Copyright 2006 Larry W. Van Guilder. All rights reserved.
Photo Copyright 2006 Robert Kalman. All rights reserved.