Fiction logo

Take Off

To have and not to hold

By K. C. WexlarPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 7 min read
Take Off
Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Veronica sits on the edge of her first-class seat, fiendishly chewing her ginger ale's straw into a knot. She made a horrible mistake, and she knew it. Was it too late? Her mind raced back over the last twelve hours.

At 5 AM, she'd awoken with the Glam Squad already in her room. She was transformed from boring old Ronnie into The Future Mrs. Richard Harding the Third, Society’s Dream Bride. She’d been buffed, sprayed and waxed into oblivion. Now donning a white lace gown that itched like hell, with its ridiculous thirty-six buttons down the back, Veronica silently cursed her mother-in-law — known by the Country Club Circuit as “The Dutchess” — for manipulating her into choosing this torture chamber of a dress.

The whole morning had been frenetic chaos despite Clipboard Girl, a pestering “wedding organizer,” who smelled like the perfume a fourteen-year-old would buy his girlfriend. Clipboard Girl provided meaningless real-time itinerary updates for which Veronica faked enthusiasm. The Dutchess had planned the whole affair, footing the insane bill. Apparently, money equals input, and this much cash equaled all the input.

Veronica had at least picked the honeymoon. Tahiti, Sweetie, of course, her fiance had sighed into her neck. She hated being called Sweetie, but she was thrilled nonetheless. She’d never even been on a plane.

Finally, Veronica had the hotel suite to herself. She snatched some well-deserved liquid courage via the open bottle of Dom. Unable to locate anything for a glass but make-up trays, she raised the bottle directly to her gooey glossed lips. Her sandpaper mouth felt the bubbles burst on her tongue.

To me.

An urgent knock at the door broke the internal toast. Veronica took off the ruined lipstick, smearing it on a nearby Egyptian cotton hand towel.

She expected Clipboard Girl to be back with some new nonsense about the seating chart. Veronica didn’t know any of the 300 guests, save her parents and a few close friends. These were her fiance's “people,” and she was already dreading all the forced introductions when all she wanted to do was dance.

Clipboard Girl better have the Dom, at the ready. In a goddamn real glass. Just shove all the old cougars at table 13 and give the bride a minute to herself, she angrily thought as she opened the door. But it was not Clipboard Girl.

It was him.

Her first.

Her almost soulmate, her almost everything.

Rugby Boy.

Veronica’s heart seized and every hair on her body — at least whatever was left after all the waxing — stood on its end.

“What the hell are you doing here?” She must be hallucinating. Perhaps a delayed after-effect from her 30-day pre-wedding juice cleanse? She still wasn’t able to take off those pesky last five pounds. Just the thought of that putrid green gloop now made her wretch. The dress tightened, along with her throat.

“Ronnie, you can’t do this,” Rugby Boy blurted.

He looked exactly the same.



“What?” Veronica blinked hard through her false eyelashes.

“Please, Ronnie, I know we’ve been out of touch, but I saw the posts on Facebook,” Veronica did some quick mental math. Rugby Boy lived at least five hundred miles away. “It took me forever to get here,” he pleaded. “I know my timing is terrible, but I also know I’m not too late,” he put his hand on her shoulder. The old electricity coursed through her body. She remembered that first party.

Suddenly Veronica realized someone could see them. The Dutchess could see them. “SHHH! Get in!” She yanked him into her room and closed the door.

They had maybe three minutes until someone else showed up. One pop song’s worth of time for whatever this was going to be. Rugby Boy used the moment to hold her, to cry, to beg, to promise her that he’d never break her heart again. If she could forgive him, they could leave right now. His Carolla was downstairs.

As he went on and on, Veronica floated above herself in the moment. And I just leave a note for Clipboard Girl and a poorly-timed text message for the groom? The Dutchess could just read about it in the paper and hopefully not ask for the two hundred grand back?

“It’s too late, you’re too late. I’m already in the dress,” she said urgently.

“Take it off,” he reached for a button.

And quite amazingly, he can take it off despite its intricate clips. They fell onto each other for a moment. She remembered his hands on her and his voice in her ear. Electric, it was always electric with Rugby Boy.

But then she remembered everything else.

With her best friend.

A jolt of anger and bruised ego smacked Veronica as if the water in the Dom’s ice bucket had been dumped on her perfectly coiffed head. She violently pushed Rugby Boy away.

“Get out!” Veronica spat bitterly.

“Please, Ronnie, I know he’s not right for you.”

“You don’t know anything about me. Not anymore.”

She yanked back on the gown, but there was no way she could do the buttons again, not without assistance. “Dammit, I can’t get this back on —“

“It’s a sign.”

“No, it's vintage.” Veronica needs Rugby Boy gone. Now. “You need to leave.”

“Please, Ronnie, I still love you — I always will…” his tears are coming back, but she led him to the door and swiftly pushed him back across its threshold.

Rugby Boy looked at her one last time. His eyes, wild with emotion, bore into her soul just the way they always could. Precisely why his betrayal broke her in half, broke her so much that it nearly killed her. The lies he hid in those eyes. She slammed the door in his face.

Clipboard Girl was not happy the thirty-six buttons had to be redone as it “completely threw off the day’s timeline.”

"Why again, did you take off the dress?“ she muttered impatiently as she re-encased Veronica.

Veronica had been waiting to use this line all morning.

“Because I’m the BRIDE. That’s why.”

Clipboard Girl shut up instantly and went back to the buttons. And despite the ruined timeline, Veronica got married that day. She wore the dress, walked down the aisle, and made the vow.

But now, as she sits next to her husband on Flight 707 to Tahiti, she is filled with dread and rising bile in her stomach. She takes off her seatbelt.

“I’ve got to get off this plane,” she says, under her breath at first.

“Did you say some champagne, Sweetie?” her new husband coos.

Ugh, Sweetie.

“No,” she gulps. “I said, I have to get off this plane.” Veronica can barely believe the words coming out of her mouth.

“Oh my goodness, are you alright? It was the juice cleanse — you’re ill!” He wraps an arm around her.

Veronica feels more than ill. She feels out of her mind. She’s about to break something irrevocably. She’s going to smash it to a million pieces right here.

“I’m not sick, I’m sorry, I have to go before we take off.”

“What … why? We’re on our way to Tahiti!”

“I can’t,” she starts to cry. But there aren't any words. People are looking now.

In a quick motion, she takes them both off, the band and The Rock. Her hands are shaking as she stacks the rings onto his tray table. She rises, and he’s so utterly confused she can use it to her advantage.

Thank God she booked the aisle.

Veronica takes off down the plane’s corridor. Her soon-to-be ex-husband’s voice fades into the background, filled with acrimonious words like prenup and lawyers. She’s running now, but it’s not toward Rugby Boy, the last-minute liar.

She takes off like a bat out of hell. Out of all that.

And back into herself.


About the Creator

K. C. Wexlar

Sweet, scary and strange but always satisfying.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (1)

Sign in to comment
  • HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward)4 months ago

    Nice ❤️👌

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.