Funny thing happened on the way to the wedding…

It’s Saturday morning. The sky is blue, birds are chirping, and everything in the world seems right. As I roll over in the bed there’s an empty spot. Loneliness sets in. Doesn’t seem like that long ago that he was here.

Abby stewed in her funk until she couldn’t take the depressing road it was leading her down. She rose from bed, trying to figure out something positive to do with herself today – and to help drive out the thoughts of him.

After putting on her workout assemble, Abby headed out of the apartment and began jogging through the neighborhood. As each foot pounded the pavement, it seemed to echo her heartbeat which only intensified because her head was still on him – Agustin. She used to think that name was funny, but in the throes of passion it was rhythmic and romantic to the ears.

Abby shook her head to try to rid herself of the reminders of the great sex they had. But it really didn’t matter because the path she was traveling contained many memories of the love they once shared. There was the park where they’d picnic and listen to the live concerts. The bakery where they’d get up early on the weekends to have coffee and bagels. And the bridge where…

She didn’t want to think about it. It was her mistake to let him slip through her fingers. She sat on a grass-laden knoll looking out to the bridge. Inside her soul was filled with guilt, anger, and regret.  She loved Agustin and she knew without a doubt that he loved her, but they were too young for the type of commitment he wanted.   But time’s past. She felt more mature, experienced even, aware of what she really wanted in life, but would he still want her?

Abby hurriedly grabbed her phone from the fanny pack and dialed a number that she prayed was still in service.

“Hello?!”

“Hhhii. Agustin?”

“Abby! It’s great to hear from you. How have you been?”

“I’ve been doing well. Hope you have been too.”

“Well, um, yeah I’ve been doing well too.  Finally moved up in the company, heading projects and all.”

“That’s great! Congratulations.”

“Thanks. So what have you been up to these days?”

“Still working and volunteering. Almost finished with the master’s. One semester left.”

“I’m happy for you Abby, but I’m a little caught off guard for why you called. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you did, but…”

“I was thinking about you this morning and, well, I was hoping we could, I don’t know, meet for a drink and talk?” Abby hoped she didn’t sound as awkward as she felt.

“Um, sure. How about that little restaurant on Sycamore in a half hour?”

Abby was surprised that he wanted to meet so quickly, but she took it as a good sign. “Ok. Make it about forty-five.“

Abby hurried home and scrambled around in her closet for something to wear. She didn’t want to look too sexy for fear of being obvious and desperate, but she didn’t want to be too casual or plain Jane either. She opted for a simple olive summer dress. It was one of Agustin’s favorites. Abby put the finishing touches on her hair and make-up and heading out the door.

***

Abby arrived to the restaurant early and grabbed a table close enough to the entrance where she could see Agustin come in, but still intimate enough where they could have some privacy. When he did show up, Abby’s mouth dropped. He was dressed in a black tuxedo complete with pink boutonniere and baby’s breath. Abby knew he hated dressing up, so there had to be something significant for him to be dressed this way.

“Wow Agustin! I didn’t know that this was such a special occasion,” she tried to joke to break the ice.

“Hey, why not have drinks and appetizers in style.” The two shared a giggle as he sat down.

Then there was silence. Abby’s curiosity was killing her about why he was dressed up, and Agustin was wondering how he could break the news. Almost simultaneously they began to speak, but it was Agustin’s voice that won out.

“Abby I’m getting married today. In fact, in a couple of hours.” Agustin’s face looked pained at having to tell her, but how could he continue to hide it considering his attire.

At the other end of the table, Abby looked shocked, hurt, and then near tears. She tried to recover quickly, “Oh, well congratulations!” After a moment of silence, “So why did you agree to meet me?”

“Abby, I’ve thought about you a lot over the last couple years and thought maybe we’d get back together, but you were pretty adamant about getting through school and a career. And if you remember, I did propose that day on the bridge. You turned me down.”

Abby felt the stab of guilt to her heart. She turned her eyes away from him because she knew he was right. “I’m sorry about that. I just….wasn’t ready.” She turned back to look at him directly.

“And I’m assuming, now you are and you thought that somehow we’d get back together and live happily ever after.”

“I didn’t really know what would happen, but I at least hoped for a chance.” The sound of disappointment and heartbreak resonated in her voice. She held her head down trying to fight away the tears that were trying to break through.

Agustin wasn’t sure what to say. Since he’d seen her he felt confused. He knew he loved the woman he planned to marry, but he couldn’t ignore that he was still in love with Abby too.

Abby finally found strength and raised her head with confidence. “Agustin, you found the woman who you’re really supposed to be with. I’m happy for you. I admit that it hurts knowing that we’ll never be together, but maybe it’s all for the best.”

He felt the resemblance of the heartbreak like years before at the bridge. “Maybe you’re right.” He stood and stared at her as if taking a picture to hold forever in his heart. Then he turned to walk away.

Abby sat. There was numbness at first. Then a myriad of emotions ran through her body. Finally one settled – heartache. The flood gates opened and she cried.

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