As I stood in my wedding dress and my makeup artist touched up my lips, I heard my wedding party cheering. Did Taylor Swift accept my invitation and just show up? No. Yet, much like Swift herself, something did drop from the heavens above. I opened the window and called out, “What is that!?!” All at once, the group made their way inside and up the stairs to me.
I started to repeat my question when my sister showed me a white box covered in lace and glitter. With the biggest smile, she said, “It must be a gift! It was delivered from a drone. Whoever sent it must be loaded, right!?” I took the box to see that there was writing in gold on top.
“Happy Wedding Day Nikki. Open before you say “I do”. XOXO”
Who could have sent this? Was it Taylor Swift herself? Maybe it’s a “sorry I couldn’t make your big day, but here are front-row seats to my sold-out concert. P.S. Karma will take care of Ticketmaster!” gift? It’s a long shot, but you never know! All I know is that whoever sent it must have done their research on my wedding. The white and gold glitter matched my theme perfectly. As I was admiring the details my sister cut in, “Open it!!!”
So, I did. Inside was a single cardstock letter that lay on top of a gold sparkling cushion. I read the letter out loud to everyone.
“Don’t do it. Jackson is not who you think he is. More to come.”
My body grew stiff and I didn’t move as the group all stood in silence. Is this a joke? I looked around at all the confused faces. Then my sister grabbed the box and pulled the cushion out. She searched for more but came up with nothing. The first to speak was my cousin Sara (who we secretly call Stupid Cousin Sara behind her back). She said, “I don’t get it.”
“There is nothing to get Sara! This has to be some dumb prank. Who did it?” Becca yelled.
Again, confused looks all around. Still holding the box, Becca then took the card from me and tossed everything into the trash. She was going full Big Sister/Maid of Honor Mode.
“I don’t know what the hell is wrong with one of you, but nothing is going to ruin Nikki’s day! Nikki, you have about 20 minutes before you walk down the aisle to your AH-MAZING fiancé Jackson. Do not let some sick game screw this up.” Becca cried.
I shook my head yes and then Becca motioned for the makeup process to continue. The next few minutes were as quiet as that mouse the night before Christmas. Then it was time to take our places for the start of the ceremony. Both sides of the wedding party joined as dad took my arm and asked if I was okay. I lied and with a fake smile told him I was just nervous.
Then round two came with the wedding coordinator running up to me with panic in his eyes. “Hey, Nikki…there has been a last-minute flower delivery for you,” Vance whispered to me.
I turned to him, “That’s fine, it’s too late. So just have them put them anywhere.”
Vance swallowed hard and then said, “Um...you might want to have a look for yourself.” Annoyed, I stared at Vance, waiting for him to tell me that it could wait. The panic in his eyes said differently. So, I went with him. On the other side of the door stood a flower delivery with a sea of all-black roses.
I screamed, “What the hell is this?!”. The delivery man stepped forward, “It’s 18 dozen and two single roses here for Nicole Harris.” He looked so unfazed and as if this was just another day on the job. Right then Becca came outside.
“I’m sorry, but what in the fresh hell is going on?” She asked.
Once again the delivery man started, “It’s 18 dozen and two single roses here for Nic-”
“Who sent them!?” Becca screamed.
He still seemed unfazed. “Only name I got is, From a Friend. So where do you want me to put them?”
Becca turned to him with flared nostrils, “Oh, I can name a few places you can shove them!”
“Stop. Just throw them in the dumpster out back.” I said as I grabbed Becca and headed back inside. Vance followed behind.
Inside, dad asked if everything was alright. Together Becca and I said, “Yep.” Then I turned to Vance and told him that it was time to start.
The music started and the wedding party made their way to the courtyard of the venue. Then it was my turn to walk the aisle. After my first step outside, all eyes landed on me. Is this what Taylor feels like when she goes on stage? My eyes then redirected to Jackson. The emotion that stained his face made my heart race even more.
I took my place next to him and we shared teary-eyed smiles. Then the boring wedding stuff. Vows, rings, and then the I do(s). Then Vance cued up for the beautiful moment of our first kiss. Just beyond us and the officiant was a beautiful water fountain. As our lips touched, the water began to flow. It was picture-perfect…for about four seconds.
The clear water behind us took a turn and then became a dark shade of red. The 80+ guests gasped as the once romantic background turned into what looked like the blood flowing down the halls from The Shining. Jackson was just as shocked as I was. Becca turned to Vance who was already yelling into a headset to cut the water off.
Then Stupid Cousin Sara spoke, “What is going on?! First the letter, now this?”
“Letter? What letter?” Jackson asked.
As Becca sent death stares toward Sara she spoke, “Nothing! Let’s move on!”
This did not satisfy Jackson as his eyes locked into mine and he asked what was going on. I briefly explained to him about the letter and roses before the grand finale of the blood fountain.
“Let’s talk about this later. It’s time to sign the final wedding documents.” Becca said as she motioned for the photograph and us to follow her.
“Are you sure Nikki? It seems like SOMEONE doesn’t think you should marry Jackson. I’ve listened to many true crime podcasts to know that the husband always did it. Are you sure you want to go through with this?” Sara asked.
Becca then grabbed Jackson and started to walk him toward the doors. “Let’s go Mr. and Mrs. Clark. Nothing is stopping this marriage from happening.”
Jackson pulled away and pleaded, “What is going on? Becca, you seem to really want this marriage to happen. Desperate in fact. Is there something I am missing?”
“No babe. Let’s just go sign the paperwork and forget all about this.” I said.
“But what if he wants to wear your skin as a coat!?” Sara cried out.
“Sara, shut the hell up!” Becca screamed.
Then everyone started in. Some agreed with Becca, and some told Becca that she was out of line. The arguing started to uproar until a voice came booming over all others, “Just tell her Jackson!” I turned to see that the voice belonged to Vance.
“Tell me what?” I said.
Jackson turned as red as the fountain and no words came out of his mouth. Vance started again, “No? Well, I gave you a chance. Multiple!”
“What is he talking about?” I asked. Yet, Jackson stood there silent.
“I sent the letter. I even matched your tacky décor. Then 218 black roses, followed by the waterworks. Nikki, Jackson is cheating on you.” Vance said.
I grabbed Jackson’s hands and asked him if it was true. Still in shock, all he could do was start to cry.
“It’s true. For 218 days he has been seeing someone else.” Vance continued.
I started to cry, “Who is she? Do I know her?”
Vance took a deep breath, “Not her. It’s me.”
Again gasps from the crowd as I turned to Vance with fire in my eyes.
He continued, “I didn’t know he was with anyone. Let alone a woman. I mean the things we did…Anyways, it wasn’t until you hired me two months ago that I knew. He has been saying he was going to tell you and call this all off, but I guess that isn’t going to happen.”
It grew quiet as I took all this in. After a moment, I spoke up, “It’s okay. Jackson, I will still marry you.”
Finally, Jackson broke his silence, “What? I’m so sorry Nikki, really I am, but you realize I’m gay right?”
“What!?!” Sara blurted out.
Becca stepped forward, “She doesn’t care. You heard her. Y’all have been together for over a year now, so let’s not let some twink get in the way. So, give this thing a shot. We just need one shot.”
“What do you mean by one shot?” Jackson asked.
“Oh. My. Gaga.” Vance started. “You’re pregnant. Also, thanks for thinking I am young enough to be a twink.”
Now it was my turn to become silent. Jackson looked at me with much confusion. He then asked, “How? We’ve never had sex. You said you were saving yourself for your husband. And I was saving myself for the twink…I mean Vance.”
In unison, both Sara and Vance gasped, “Oh damn.”
“Is this why you and Becca are so set on this marriage? You think that you can pass me off as the father?” Jackson asked.
I couldn’t speak. I wanted to go jump into the red waters and swim away. “Better you than some random guy she hooked up with two months ago,” Becca interjected.
“This is why you wanted to rush this? Wow. Guess you aren’t the woman I thought you were.” Jackson said.
“Coming from the man who is screwing the wedding planner,” Becca replied.
“Any other secrets that you want to share?” Jackson asked.
“Yes,” Sara said. Followed by another round of gasps. “I know that you call me Dumb Silly Sara behind my back. At first, it made me so mad, but then I realized that since I know you do it, then it doesn’t hurt as much. So that makes you both stupider.”
With that final secret out of the bag, everyone stood in silence. I had no clue where to go from there. I really wanted a drink, but couldn’t. Because…well you know. Then laughter broke up the uncomfortableness. It was coming from Dad.
“Oh, daddy! I am so sorry. I know mom is rolling over in her grave right now.” I cried out to him.
“No, she is probably laughing her ass off.” He said. Becca and I looked at him with confusion.
“Girls, every family has their own bullshit to work through, but our family can handle any scandal.” He said.
Becca asked, “So you aren’t mad or upset?”
“I’ve done my fair share of screwing up. Not everything needs to be figured out right now, but Nikki I think you should let Jackson go. We can still have a party though! I mean, I did pay for it.” Dad said.
“I don’t want to disappoint you or mom,” I said.
“As I said, all families have their own things to work through. Now, let’s go. And later, remind me to tell you girls about how Stupid Cousin Sara is actually Stupid Sister Sara.
And with that truly last secret (for now) coming to light, we all made our way to eat, drink, and dance the night away. Who knows what the future holds? We are all just humans and can’t predict the future. It’s not like a drone can drop off warning signs to help guide us.
I hope you enjoyed this story! It would mean so much if you subscribe to my Vocal Media profile. You can also follow my journey on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. AND check out my podcasts and blog on my website. Again, thank you so much, stay safe!
About the Creator
Growing up I had many visions of what I wanted to be when I grew up. At times I was relentless on becoming a Power Ranger or a writer. After twenty-nine years, the path that seems most obtainable is becoming a writer.