For years, I imagined this day would come.
The hall of the mosque that is used for various occasions are decorated with beautiful sets of flowers. All of them went with a theme, purple and white, and so did I, wearing a purple dress that was simple, yet elegant enough.
Some of the family members are busy tidying up the place and getting some final things done before the big event starts, and others have filled the hall by sitting patiently for the ceremony to begin. There is no need for anymore attention to the decorations. It was already time, and everything looks perfect the way it is.
I took a quick minute and step out of the hall to look for the man I love. The situation outside was no different than it was inside. I saw a group of men hustling themselves, fixing their samping and songkok. My eyes caught a glimpse of the best man giving the groom a pep talk. There he stood, the man of the night, at the end of the aisle. He looks even more handsome than he already is, yet I can tell how nervous he was. I took all of the courage and bravery to talk to him, even though I know it’s not the right time. He shifted his eyes from his best man towards me. My heart pounded even more than it should be.
“You know you’re not supposed to be here,” he joked. I just laughed. I couldn’t form any words to say. I just can’t believe it’s all happening. Right now.
He gave me a twirl and asked “Do I look okay?”
“You look like you’re ready for this.” I said.
“I am… And I hope you are too.”
Just as he was, I can feel my anxiety bubbling up a little too much. I feel so overwhelmed by everything that irrelevant questions start to appear. Is this too soon? Is this even right? But as usual, I left these questions unanswered.
“It’s going to be amazing,” I said, looking him in the eyes. “I promise.”
“I know,” he told me. “I can’t wait to start a new life with the woman I truly love.”
Our conversation is interrupted by the best man telling everyone to get ready. The groomsmen, certain family members and the man I am sure I am in love with will be walking down the aisle in less than two minutes. It was a hectic atmosphere but everyone was excited and happy.
“That’s my cue. I’ll see you in a bit, yeah?” he asked me assuringly. I just nodded. That’s the only movement my muscles are able to do. He gave me one last smile and got into position. The kompang starts playing and everybody knows that’s a sign of the beginning of a beautiful Malay wedding.
Him and the groomsmen entered the hall with confidence. The groomsmen placed all of the deliveries such as a pair of embroider shoes for the bride, a set of makeup and telekung on the floor carefully next to the deliveries from the bride’s side. As he takes his seat by the tok kadi, the solemnisation begins. It’s showtime.
After the exchange of poetry and discussions of the deliveries, it was time for the main part of the occasion, the welcoming of the bride. These next few minutes are the heaviest of my life.
Along with everyone else in the hall, I saw his eyes shifting to the entrance, just as where I stood. I look behind to where I was standing, and there she was. The love of his life. As she makes her way into the hallway, she noticed me. She gave me a smile and whispered, “I’m glad you made it.” And again, the only muscles that I was able to use were the movements of my head, nodding and hiding the fact that this whole situation pains me.
As everything else went along, I couldn’t pay anymore attention to what was happening. I felt like I was dreaming a nightmare. All I could think about was the three years he and I shared. Was it all a waste? Or were they the best years of my life? He was the space that filled in a void. I tortured myself thinking that I had to get away from him. I wanted to prevent myself from being hurt that I eventually hurt myself. But I guess he gets the last laugh.
I came back to my senses when I heard people started clapping and saying ‘Alhamdulillah’. My eyes never left him. I want to see his face one last time. He stood up and searched about the room, finally placing his eyes on mine. I gave him a big smile and mouthed “Congrats,” while giving him a thumbs up.
And that’s that. He is officially another woman’s husband.
As everyone in the hall is satisfied with the ceremony, I turned around and walked away, but unlike the last time I did this, I don’t expect him to chase me like how he never did.