Nodding, I gave Mr. Thompson a wink and said, “It’s time.”
“Good luck!” he called out as I smiled. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right as I walked back to the altar.
Is this doubt I’m feeling? Am I second-guessing this? No. I loved Savannah.
Standing at the altar, I watched my parents walk to their seats. Then Savannah’s mother was walked down the aisle by Nicholaus. Taking his place next to me, he squeezed my shoulder slightly. “This is it. The beginning to your life of one woman forever.”
Grinning bigger, I laughed. I can’t believe I’m marrying Savannah. My heart pounded in my chest as I drew in a deep breath.
The music changed and I watched as Savannah’s best friends all made their way down the aisle one at a time. Each one was dressed in the light-blue dresses it took Savannah forever to pick out. One of Savannah’s cousins had a four-year-old little girl, Michelle, who was our flower girl. I couldn’t help but laugh when she skipped down the aisle and called out, “Savannah is coming! Savannah is coming!”
Chuckles erupted around the church. With a quick glance to my parents, I felt my heart warm as I looked at how happy they were. It was a far cry from the first time I told them I loved a girl who wasn’t Greek.
The music started and everyone stood.
The moment I saw her, my breath stilled.
Beautiful couldn’t describe her.
Savannah glanced around at a few people before looking up at me. Our eyes met and we both smiled. My heart hammered in my chest while she made her way to me. There was something missing, though. The spark in her eyes was gone. For a moment, I swore I saw doubt.
Shaking my head slowly to erase my erratic thoughts, I watched as she made her way down the aisle. Savannah sobbed and pressed her lips together as tears began streaming down her face.
Halfway down the aisle, Savannah’s smile vanished. She stopped walking and clutched her chest. Something is wrong. Looking at her father and then me, she dropped her bouquet and called out, “Thano,” before she collapsed to the ground.
I stood there for a brief moment in total shock before I ran over to her. I fell to the floor and pulled her into my arms. “Savannah! Baby, what’s wrong?”
Tears ran down Savannah’s face while she struggled to speak. “I really do . . . love . . . you.”
“Baby, no. No, don’t do this to me!” Looking up, I glanced around at everyone as I screamed out, “Somebody help her!”‘
My father, who was a doctor, rushed to my side. “She’s having a heart attack.”
My eyes widened as I fell back and watched my father. Someone yelled out, “Call 9-1-1!”
Savannah’s eyes were closed as my father began CPR. My mother wrapped her arms around me as she quietly began praying.
Wiping my tears away, I took Savannah’s hand and pleaded with her, “Baby, please don’t leave me!”
My pleas went unheard.
FOUR YEARS LATER
THE MUSIC PULSED through my body as I watched Nicholaus try his best to put the moves on some blonde he had been talking to for the last twenty minutes. It was almost painful to watch him crash and burn.
Letting out a sigh, I glanced around for Gus and Thad. If I knew Gus, he was in the parking lot screwing some girl—and Thad—Lord only knew what he was up to.
I motioned for the bartender. “I’ll take another bourbon, neat.”
Acknowledging my request, he quickly got my drink and set it in front of me. Sliding him a twenty, I said, “Keep the change.”
Tapping the bar, he smiled and said, “Thanks, dude.” Turning to the person who sat next to me, he asked, “What will it be, pretty lady?”
The air around me changed as I glanced to my right. A girl with brown wavy hair sat and said, “Jameson on the rocks.”
I lifted my drink to my lips and smiled. Taking a sip, I said, “A woman who knows how to drink.”
Feeling her eyes on me, I turned to look at her. What happened next was totally unexpected. My breath hitched as the most beautiful green eyes looked into mine. The first time in four years a woman had any sort of effect on me and it had to be in a fucking bar.
“Yeah, well, my daddy taught me two things. How to shoot a gun and how to order a drink.”
Lifting my eyebrows, I slowly nodded my head. “Remind me not to piss you off after you have a few of those.”
She gave me a polite chuckle and said, “You’re safe. Now my so-called best friend, not so much.”
Okay, I’ll bite.
“Why, what did she do?”
The girl took her drink and damn near drank the whole thing in one gulp. Letting out a frustrated sigh, she shook her head and turned her body toward me. “Listen, you’re cute . . . really cute . . . but I’m not interested in getting picked up by some overly-gorgeous guy who is out for a one-night stand. So you’re wasting your time with me.”