A Hymn For Him

“What the F*ck is Wrong With Me?” Part 4
500 words. Uses these three words: Bell, ache and glass.

The bells of the church rang, disturbing the silence of its grounds.

It was cold for April. She pulled her shawl closer to her. Despite the weather, the church looked beautiful, as it always did for a wedding. Spring was always a lovely season to get married in, she would know, and the small town church painted a perfect picturesque scene.

She shifted to the side as more people spilled from the church, waving to those whom she recognized.

“It seems as though the whole town came out for the wedding.”

She smiled at Tolen, the minister with more kindness in his whole body then he knew what to do with.

“Oh Minister, weddings are a time for celebration. Everyone loves a good celebration,” she laughed, shaking the hand of another member of the congregation.

“How right you are Claire. I must say, I was expecting you to fall or even stutter,” he gestured wildly with his hand, nearly hitting the veil on top her head.

“You and me both. I think my heart has taken permanent residence in my throat. I was so nervous.”

“You sure didn’t look nervous in there. You looked stunning.” The smile he gave her made her heart ached and fluttered at the same time; running wildly with too may emotions to grasp.

She ducked her head shyly, unused to such ingenuous praise, “The service was beautiful, I couldn’t have done it without your help.”

Claire was saved from further conversation when her Perri, her neighbor and first friend when she had moved to the small town hidden in the valley of Virginia’s mountains, pulled her into an abrupt hug. “You look absolutely gorgeous, hun. And you didn’t choke, which is very surprising, knowing you.” She jabbed her elbow into Claire, jostling the bouquet her in hands. Perri’s eyes softened, “Lilies, huh? Brendan did always have a sick sense of cruel irony.”

“They’re his favorite flowers,” Claire whispered. That was all that needed to be said.

The minister and Perri exchanged a glance, the latter placing her hand on Claire’s shoulder, giving her a comforting squeeze.

Claire brushed it off. “Well you two, I’ve got a husband to find, so if you’ll excuse me, ” she gave each a hug, promising her closest friend that they would catch up over a glass of red wine when she returned.

The grounds of the church were quite once again, as she walked towards the gates, her feet already taking her on the familiar path to the bottom of the grassy hill.

“Hi, husband.” She smiled, kneeling down to place the lilies beside the gray alabaster. “It would have been seven years today.”

“Today was my first time singing in front of the church without the choir. I wish you could have heard me. It’s such an improvement from my solo scenes in the shower,” she chuckled, letting the tears fall unrestrained.

And she sang to the gravestone, “I vow to love you ‘til death do us part…”



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