Roselyn Waverly stepped into the musty smelling church. She adjusted her black headband and looked around at a sea of faces that she didn’t recognise. In her numb state she probably wouldn’t have recognized the people that she did know. She made her way through a group of people standing at the top of the aisle and looked round but didn’t really see what was there. The flowers and people all blurred together. When her stomach clenched up the first time she tried to ignore it. When it clenched for the third time she knew what was about to happen. She turned to push back through the group behind her only to find the group had grown and were more tightly bunched.
“Excuse me,” she muttered. But nobody heard her. Roselyn’s stomach clenched up a fourth time and it didn’t care where she was it was ready to empty out its contents. She clamped her hand over her mouth trying to stop any from coming out. She could no longer wait for them to move aside. Putting her other hand out in front of her and pushed her way through. The group scoffed at her and mumbled what a rude girl she was. Once she was through the group she realised that she’d never been here before and had no idea where the bathrooms were. The quick glance around the foyer with her blurred vision didn’t answer her question either. Pushing her way through the crowd of people that were swarming in the door she managed to make it outside to the garden.
Doubled over and heaving she could feel people watching her but not one person asked if she was ok. When her stomach was finally finished she cleaned her face with a tissue out of her handbag. Leaving the pile of bile behind, because she hadn’t eaten in days there was no actual food in her stomach; she headed back toward the church. She could feel eyes on her and thought it was because she’s been the one throwing up in the garden.
“What are you doing here?” asked a man who stepped into her path.
“S-s-same as you,” replied a startled Roselyn.
“You should go,” he growled and then turned away from her disgusted. She made her way back to where she was when the sudden urge to vomit had taken her over. She stood at the top of the aisle and looked down this time with a clearer head. There were so many people and so many flowers. She’d only taken a step forward when a wiry old hand clasped around her arm.
“Go home,” hissed the old woman.
“But Grandma Josie….” Roselyn started.
“Don’t call me that you harlot,” she growled then she moved down the aisle as fast as she could with her frame. Roselyn stood there mouth agape unsure of what was going on. She stood there for what felt like seconds but turned out to be longer. A stranger stopped next to her shoulder and offered his hand.
“You’ve been standing here for ages. Would you like help getting down there?” he asked. Roselyn didn’t even look up at him so would never know that his beautiful brown eyes were taking her in and the owner of them was thinking how attractive she was. Roselyn kept her eyes forward and took the hand that was offered to her. She barely heard the whispers and hisses from the other people in the church. They got halfway before Roselyn’s feet couldn’t move anymore. The coffin was sitting up on a stand lengthways across the stage. There were photos of Anton all over the place and many of them had the same girl in them. Roselyn looked back to the coffin and saw that girl standing by it. The top half was open and her hand was inside holding onto Anton’s arm. Roselyn couldn’t remember Anton ever telling her that he had a sister. But in all their time together there were a lot of things that he didn’t tell her. After two years Roselyn had only met a few family members and Grandma Josie was mad at her for a reason she couldn’t figure out.
“Poor girl,” whispered the stranger that Roselyn had forgotten was holding her hand.
“Who is she?” Roselyn dared to ask.
“That’s his fiancé,” replied the stranger. The floor suddenly got closer to Roselyn and there was nothing she could do to stop it. The friendly stranger was able to catch her before she hit the ground. One of the church staff got a cold washer and glass of water. Most of the guests were watching on but no-one else even offered to help. He couldn’t figure out what this girl had done to make everyone so unfriendly towards her. Finally she opened her eyes. He held her on the floor for a little while to make sure she would be ok on her feet.
“Fiancé?” she asked. He was astounded that someone could be at his cousins’ funeral and not know that he was engaged.
“Yes. Anton and Lorna were supposed to get married in six months,” he replied raising an eyebrow. Who was this woman and why was she here. “Who are you?”
Roselyn took a breath and looked at the ground but couldn’t find the words to answer him.
“I said who are you?” he growled at her. Roselyn winced and he realised he had grabbed her shoulder a lot tighter than he’d intended.
“I’m his girlfriend,” she whispered.
“You’re a liar,” he yelled also much louder than intended. There was something about this woman that was so intriguing yet so infuriating. By this point most people in the church were watching the two of them. Even Lorna by this point knew that something was going on. She turned away from the coffin and looked up the aisle.
“Is that her?” Lorna cried. A few nods and whispered responses from the others in the church gave her the answer. Within seconds Lorna was on top of Roselyn with her hands around her throat. Roselyn didn’t even try to fight back. She’d been devastated enough to find out the man she’d loved had overdosed, but to find out that he’d been lying to her for the whole relationship was another story. For two years she’d believed she was the only one and that he was away with work a lot. She left her own hands limply at her side as Lorna’s hands closed around her neck. Anton’s cousin managed to pry Lorna off and he escorted Roselyn outside.
Roselyn stood staring at the door as the organ music floated through the church. She stared a moment longer and took herself home. As she was driving down the highway she thought a few times about how easy it would be if she just hooked the steering wheel to the right straight into the barrier. She decided against it. When she unlocked the door her Maltese, Corbin, was so excited to see her and jumped all over her legs. She stepped straight over him and headed to her computer. She decided that if she wasn’t going to end her life that she better get on with it. She went into her emails to see what she needed to do for work. They had given her the week off but she knew if she didn’t start on some of it now that she would be screwed when she went back. She noticed among all her work emails was one from Anton. She took a deep breath as she hovered the cursor over his name. She clicked on it and it seemed to take forever to load.
She groaned. How dare he have the nerve to call her babe after lying to her so long.
I haven’t been completely honest with you.
“Too right you haven’t,” she grumbled to herself.
But before I go on I want you to know how much I love you and that I never planned any of this to happen. I’m in love with two women and one of them is you. When I met you I had already been with Lorna for three years but there was something missing from our relationship. In you I found everything I had ever desired but I wasn’t strong enough to let go of Lorna. She doesn’t know about you either. But things have been going terribly with Lorna for a long time. We are engaged now but I want to leave her and be with you full time. I love you so much more, when I’m with her I wish it was you. So I am leaving her tonight. I’ll be at your door in a few hours.
Love always with all my heart
Looking at the date Roselyn realised it was sent just before he killed himself. Corbin started whining next to her. She picked him up and took him to the couch. For the first time in years she cried. Roselyn had started down the path of healing.