Lilly had always dreamed of that day. Her little life, lazily splashed with amazing fantasies, looked rose-coloured through her glasses.
As a Southernese girl born in a remote Orsinian village, life inspired her motivational stories. Three favourite movie heroines were a reflection of her favorite fantasy:
Muriel Heslop, from Purpoise Spit, Australia: The Aussie girl who found happiness and success in her gloomy existence on the day of her wedding, Abba’s songs resounding as her life’s background music.
Toula Portokalos, from Chicago, Orsinia: The Greek girl who fell in love with a non-Greek man and struggled to get her family to accept him. She had her big fat wedding, and of course, it was love’s victory.
Loretta Castorini, the Italian widowed book-keeper from Brooklyn, Orsinia. Loretta thought it was time to marry again after several years of loneliness. She accepted the proposal of a nice, middle-aged fellow named Johnny Cammareri but discovered that in startling contrast to the pleasant, mild-mannered Johnny, his youngest brother Ronny -moody and passionate- was the man she really loved. She was moonstruck.
Those were the stories she liked: beautiful stories with happy endings.
Her wedding dress was on a dummy, in the dressing room. Her veil and the jewels she would be wearing, were immaculate white. Classic. Not like those modern impossible colours some brides wore in Europe: graphite black, pink champagne, ice blue, dusky red. Fashion designers must have gone all crazy.
- A bride in red or black… how funny is it? –she thought and shook her head in disapproval-.
I may be wrong, but I always thought a white bride as a symbol of purity nowadays is something quite flippant; yet, most brides still wear white. Purity itself is an ambiguous concept, hard to define, old-fashionedly misunderstood and more likely to be found in the mind and the soul, rather than in the body. But that is debatable and controversial. And I’m too lazy to discuss the aspects of my point here.
Wedding ceremonies are so beautiful that some people may easily feel like getting married just for the sake of enjoying one of the most emotional and colourful days of their lives. Everybody deserves an awesome moment of glory once in a lifetime. Some even sanctify it for the rest of their lives.
And that glorious day of July 2008, the soon-to-be Mrs. Lilly Brantsch, formerly known as Miss Tigerlilly Mistyglass Hamseller, firmly believed her life would surely change.
I couldn’t help being on a dreamy bluesy mode that day. It must have been the solemn organ music resounding in my ears; the pretty bridesmaids in flashing pink; the soft smell of summer flowers on the church benches. The truth is I felt an overwhelming emotion inside me.
Max was a gorgeous groom. He looked great in his tux. He waited patiently for her in the aisle, alternatively checking his watch and looking at the church gates. As a proud Zantlander, he was punctual as a Swiss watch; but just like every bride in her day, Lilly was allowed a little unpunctuality. And twenty minutes later, there she was. So pretty. The happiest woman on earth.
I felt the sudden urge to go out. The black diamond cat charm I was wearing became a black bat and started chocking me like a tight rope. I was frightened. I covered the shiny black bat with my hands, so that Bob –who was sitting beside me- wouldn’t see it. I needed to leave the church on the spot. Bob stared at me, surprised, and asked:
- Are you okay?
- I need some fresh air. I’ll be back in a minute. Don’t move. -I said-
I rushed to the street, sat on the stairs and removed the choker thing from my neck. I watched the metamosphosed tidbit in amazement. It had black wings and red tiny eyes that… glowed!
- Wow, what a nice Lolita in her red minidress. You look so gorgeous, Leni –said Ed Davies on his huge motorbike, pointing at me-
I looked back. I couldn’t believe it was him again.
- For Pete’s sake, man, make some noise to let me know you’re there and stop scaring me! Didn’t you have business to attend to? By the way, this is for you –I said returning the black diamond bat to him-
He jumped off his bike, pulled my arm strongly and whispered in my ear:
- Hey baby, I’m not trying to scare you. It’s just that you’re easily frightened. And this is yours. –he answered, sharply giving me the charm back, hitting my hand-
- Then why you seem to be everywhere? Here, there and all over the place, yesterday, today and tomorrow? Or is it just my imagination?
He laughed loudly and said:
- I could say the same thing about you.
- Ohmm. Don’t be the smartypants.
He took a deep drag from his cigarette and laughed loudly.
- That’s because I got your number, little miss Sandwich.
- I don’t want this. It’s a weird present. And it’s choking me. –I said, giving him the black bat-
That was rude. He looked very dissapointed and I fell sorry.
In the meantime, the wedding ceremony was over. The church gates were opened abruptly and a screaming crowd rushed outside, throwing rice and rose petals to the newlyweds.
The bridesmaids surrounded them when Lilly announced that she would be tossing her bouquet. Everybody knows that the "lucky" lady who catches it will be the next to get married.
Lilly threw the bouquet at the screaming group of girls. The competition to catch it became a stampede. The flowers flew in slow motion; did a quadruple sommersault in the air; looped describing a weird path and finally landed… on my head!!!
The bridesmaids yelled and pounced on me; Ed laughed his ass off; Bob gasped in anger.
I got up and escaped in a panicky mode, moving the flowers out of my way. To my amazement, the big flower bouquet followed me whilst bouncing along the bumpy road, leaving pink petals trace behind.
I headed down the road and didn’t stop running until I realised I could run, but couldn't hide: the flowers would follow me, no matter how far I would go. I deeply sighed and flopped down on the sidewalk, grabbing in my right hand the flowerless bouquet. I kicked off my shoes, overwhelmed with anger and rage.
Ed started his bike and approached me.
- It seems someone will marry you soon, Leni. -he laughed-
- I hope it happens when pigs fly! –I said, real cross-
- What a touchy little person you are. Getting married is not that bad! –he said laughing loudly-.
I threw the remainder of the bouquet to his face and shouted:
- Get married, then!
I couldn’t help it. These things make me real nervous.
"Tranquilize" (The killers)