None of the Above

Carly closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She was 34 years old and she had no man waiting on the side. But was this really it?

The door opened and Carly sat upright, expecting her father. Glenn stepped into the room.

“Oh fantastic! Now you’ve seen the dress. Glenn, can you leave? She will be ready in five minutes.”

“Can you give us a minute, Adjo? Just one minute. Don’t worry. Just wait outside and tell her father we’ll be right out.”

Adjo paused and leaned towards Carly.

“Remember what I said, okay? I’ll be right outside.”

Glenn took Adjo’s place in the sofa. He waited till they were alone.

“That is a really beautiful dress.”

Carly didn’t smile. Glenn took her hand.

“I’m sorry about the text. I can’t excuse it, and I don’t plan to. It’s over with her.”

“Is it? Really? Maybe the next one won’t be Jaz, it will be Taz, or Daz.”

“I am really, really sorry, Carly. But what do you want to do? We don’t have a lot of options. We don’t have any options. You know me. I know you. We’re expecting a baby. Your mother, my parents, and 300 people are waiting for us to get married. What do you want to do, Carly?”

She stood up from the sofa and walked to the window, looking out at the rows of cars lined outside the chapel.

“I don’t know what I want to do. There is just too much pressure on me right now. I am not happy, Glenn. It’s my wedding day and I am not happy!”

“Happiness is overrated, Carly. Everything is overrated! Life is what you make it to be. There is nothing set in stone that a wedding is supposed to look or feel a certain way. We’re doing what’s right. If we don’t do it, we’re just being selfish!” Glenn snapped.

He bent his head in frustration.

“Happiness is not like the weather forecast. Do you want us to postpone this to tomorrow? Do you think you will be happy then, Carly? Please, tell me, what do you want me to say? I love you. I will love you forever. You’re going to be the mother of my child. I love you. Is that what you want to hear?”

Carly was still silent.

“I’m going back to the altar. Here are the options. A, we get married. We’re adults. We can make the most of this. B, we postpone it, give you time to clear your head. I’ll still be ready. C, we call it off completely, you get an abortion and we go our separate ways. What do you want, Carly?”

Carly still couldn’t speak. Glenn got up and walked out. He walked silently past Adjo and Carly’s dad and down the long aisle to where Kwasi and the pastor were waiting. He ignored everyone’s stares. He could feel Carly’s mother’s eyes on him when he stepped up next to Kwasi but he refused to turn. He was here. He was standing here. The rest was up to her.

Carly carefully re-applied her make-up. Adjo and her father were standing in the open doorway, waiting. When she was done with her make-up, she double checked her hair and her dress and then breathed deeply. She walked up to her father.

“You look beautiful, Carly. Are you ready?”

Minutes earlier, she had almost told Glenn ‘none of the above’ to his options. But ‘none of the above’ really wasn’t an option either. He and Adjo were right. She had no options. She had no choices.

Carly smiled at her father.

“Yes, daddy, I’m ready.”

He took her hand and Adjo dropped the veil over her face. Jonas pushed open the heavy oak church doors and Carly peered through the veil straight at Glenn. He had on a slight smile. Today, she’d walk down the aisle. Tomorrow was another day. Tomorrow, she just might pick ‘none of the above.’