“We are gathered here today to witness the union of two great people,” The pastor said.
Standing beside her best friend Lily, Amanda was trying her best to contain her tears. All she could think about was how this was supposed to be her wedding. Instead, she was standing on the sidelines watching her best friend marry the man that had dumped her because he wasn’t ready for marriage.
“I can’t do this,” Amanda whispered before running out of the church.
“I can’t believe this!” Lily said in anger as she ran after her.
Amanda, overrun by emotions, couldn’t think of anywhere else to go but the washrooms. Before anyone could catch up, she ran inside the washrooms and locked the main door. Lily, who was close behind, ran towards the door.
“Amanda, open this door and walk back into that church now!” She yelled while banging on the door.
Amanda sat on the floor in silence.
“I’m not going to repeat what I just said! I can’t believe you would do this on my wedding day. You’re so selfish!” Lily said in anger.
Amanda couldn’t imagine that the woman who had dated her ex and agreed to marry him was calling her selfish for not being okay with it. She knew that Lily had her flaws and loved herself more than anyone, but she never thought it would ever affect her life. A part of her knew that running out of the church was over the top, but as she remembered how things had gone down, she realized that she had every right to be upset.
Amanda and Lily were very opposite in terms of personality and interests. Amanda liked a simple life; her main focus in life was to have a good job, a good car and a good relationship. On the other hand, Lily loved luxury and it reflected in how she lived her life. Her job didn’t pay much but she was always in the fanciest clubs, drinking expensive wine and driving an expensive car. Her love for luxury also influenced her choice of men; she would never date a man who didn’t make a six-figure salary.
In terms of dating, Amanda liked men who treated her well and whose end goal was to marry her and raise a family. Despite being opposites, the two related so well. Lily would help Amanda to get out of her comfort zone from time to time, while Amanda helped Lily to be more humane towards people. Their friendship was odd to the rest of the world, but it worked for them.
Lily loved taking Amanda to clubs and high-class restaurants whenever she started dating a new man. Most of the time, she was always third wheeling since her dating life was almost always on the rocks. One day, however, they went for lunch, and as they were leaving, Amanda bumped into Marcus, and in his attempts to apologize, they started a conversation.
Marcus was unlike the men she was used to dating, mainly because he was Lily’s type, but he had all the qualities she loved in a man. Most of the men she had dated were well off financially, but they weren’t as wealthy as Marcus.
At first, she was a bit sceptical about getting to know him because, in her mind, men who had money were always shallow and thought of women as objects to play with. Their conversation led to dates, and as they got to know each other better, Amanda realized that he was indeed different.
They became official and started spending more time together as time went by. Like most couples, their relationship had its ups and downs, but they always found a way to make it work. Amanda was sure that Marcus was the man she would marry, but because she didn’t want to seem pushy, she never talked about their future. However, she hoped that Marcus had the same view as her and that one day he would propose.
Year in and year out, their relationship remained the same. Whenever she saw him pull out a box from his pocket, she would get excited only to find out it was either a necklace, bracelet, or earrings. Four years into their relationship, she finally snapped and decided to raise the issue.
“What do you see in our future?” She asked him off-guard as they were driving home from a date.
“Where is this coming from?” He asked surprisingly.
“It’s been four years, Marcus; where are we heading with this relationship?” She asked.
“Can’t we just go with the flow and see how things work?” He asked.
“So, in short, you don’t see us ever getting married?” She asked.
“I’m not going to propose to you just because you want me to!” He snapped.
“Okay, but are you ever going to do it because you want to?” She asked.
Marcuse remained silent and focused on driving.
“Well?” She asked.
“Drop it, Amanda; I’m not in the mood for this!” He snapped.
The rest of the ride was silent until he dropped her off at her place. As he drove off, Amanda tried her best to remain calm but was worried that her relationship had finally reached its breaking point.
In the days that followed, Marcus never texted or called Amanda, and because she was also upset, she didn’t reach out. One week passed, and on a random day, Marcus called her and asked to meet. Her first thought was that he wanted to apologize and assure her that they would one day get married.
On the day of the meet-up, she dressed like she was going on a date and was ready to get her man back. When she got to the restaurant, however, her hopes were shattered. Marcus had called her to break up with her stating that he was not ready for a long-term commitment and didn’t like that the woman he loved was pressuring him. Amanda was furious, but there was nothing she could say that would make a difference, so she stood up and left.
In the following weeks, she tried her best to heal while remaining calm, especially in public. On weekends, she would spend time with Lily, who had been there for her since the breakup. Lily had never liked Marcus, and immediately he broke Amanda’s heart; she drove to his place to yell at him. Amanda knew it was unnecessary and tried to stop her, but she also knew her best friend was extra deep down, and she liked that someone was standing up for her.
Months went by, and the story of Marcus faded with the wind. Amanda decided to get out of her comfort zone and called Lily so they could go to one of the clubs she liked. After three unanswered calls, she got worried and decided to look for her at her place. Since they had known each other for years, Amanda and Lily had spare keys to each other’s houses, so she opened the door and walked in.
Nobody was home, but the lights were on everywhere. Lily always forgot to switch off the lights but in one or two rooms, which meant that she was at home.
“Lily!” Amanda called out, but nobody answered.
“Where is this woman!” She thought to herself as she looked around.
When she got to the bedroom door, she had her giggling and opened the door.
“Amanda, it’s not what you think,” Lily said in a whisper.
Amanda looked over at Marcus, who was sleeping on Lily’s bed. She knew that Lily would try to give her some stupid excuse, but it wasn’t going to change what she had just witnessed. At that moment, all the pain she had struggled to heal resurfaced, and she walked out of Lily’s house in silence.
The two didn’t talk for close to a year until Lily showed up at Amanda’s workplace to give her a formal invitation to her wedding. She knew after what had gone down, Amanda would not consider being her maid of honour but having her there was significant.
Amanda grabbed the invitation, and just as she was about to rip it, Lily manipulated her into believing their friendship was too strong to be destroyed by one mistake. She would spend time showing how sorry she was, but this was her one good day, and she wanted Amanda to be there.
Amanda looked at Lily and realized she was right. As they made wedding plans, she accepted to be her maid of honour and was finally ready to let go of all the hard feelings. What she failed to realize was that it was easier said than done.
Sitting down on the floor, remembering how things had gone down, it dawned on her that the friendship she was trying so hard to save was destroyed the day Lily chose to betray her. So, she stood up, unlocked the door and walked out. Marcus, Lily, and the other bridesmaids and groomsmen were standing outside the washroom waiting for her.
“Finally, we can go back to the church!” Lily said as she grabbed Amanda’s arm.
“No,” Amanda said bluntly as she pulled away.
By now, half of the wedding guests had gathered outside, wondering what was going on.
“What? Stop jokes, Amanda; you’re embarrassing me,” Lily said in a low tone.
“Like you embarrassed me by dating my ex, and now you expect me to walk back into that church and be okay with you getting married to him?” Amanda said.
“You said you were okay with us being together!” Lily snapped.
“Would you be okay if the roles were reversed, and Marcus had accepted to marry me instead of you?” Amanda asked.
“Surely, what do you expect me to tell people?” Lily asked, ignoring her question.
“The truth is that you’re a bad friend with narcissistic qualities, and I realized it a bit too late,” Amanda replied as she walked away.
“You’re overreacting, Amanda. Can’t we talk about this later?” Lily said.
Amanda didn’t respond. She knew continuing to engage with Lily would make her feel bad, and she was not the one in the wrong. Instead, she walked away in silence, heading for the gate. As she passed the guests, she heard different women gossiping about her calling her jealous for not wanting Lily to be happy.
On an average day, it would have bothered her, but on this day, she didn’t care. The betrayal was too deep, and Lily would have cut her off a long time ago if the roles had been reversed. As the days passed, she realized that as much as Marcus had shown her character development, knowing him opened her eyes to who Lily was.
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