|Someone Said I Do
Author: ShropshireLass PM
Rachel does not get to the wedding before Ross and Emily exchange vows, but an encounter with Colin makes Rachel release that she can cope.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 1,405 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-09-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2744528
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Someone said, I do
It's not over until someone says I do.
That was the thought that had gone through Rachel's head, over and over on her journey. It was what had sustained her all along. The man on the plane had given her some misgivings, but the end result would justify the intervening trouble and she had arrived in Heathrow ready to face Ross. But she had had no end of trouble getting there once she had arrived from the airport. A snap tube strike had been called, no-one knew what was going on, and the taxi cabs were too few and too expensive.
When she arrived, hours later than she had intended, it was ominously quiet outside. She'd hoped to see Ross beforehand, quietly, so that she could have a private talk and make her plea, but now he'd be surrounded by people. How could she go up to him and say that she wanted a word with him alone? And no, she couldn't say it in front of other people. How everyone would look at her if she said a thing like that! And what if he said no? What if he got nervous?
Staring at the door now, she gulped. It would be beyond merely being surrounded by other inconvenient people. He was probably exchanging vows right now.
Visions of a hundred soap operas flooded her mind.
'If any person knows any reason why this man and this woman shall not be married, speak now for forever hold your peace.'
It was the last thing she wanted to do, to make an exhibition of herself, but she loved Ross and if she loved Ross, then she would do it, no matter what the consequences... She went up to the door and opened it, taking a deep breath. Ross was kissing Emily.
Rachel allowed the door to close, staying outside. So far as she knew, no-one had even noticed her appearance – all had been watching the newlyweds. Rachel almost stumbled down the steps, away from the building. It's not over until someone says I do. They did. It's over. Now what would she do? Go straight back on the next plane and go home? Leave New York even? She sat on a low wall and put her head in her hands.
After half a minute, she noticed that there was someone next to her, looking at her. She looked around at the man who was watching her. He was also sitting on the wall, about her age, probably tall, though not as tall as Ross, clean shaven and brown haired. He did not look like a wedding guest – no more than she did – dressed in jeans and casual shirt. His curiosity was not unmixed with a certain type of sadness.
'No invitation?' he asked.
'I've got an invitation,' Rachel said. 'I'm just late.'
'You're one of the Americans.'
'You're one of the English,' Rachel said. He nodded slightly. 'Were you invited too?'
'No,' he sighed. 'You're one of the lucky ones. I was one of the people who was surplus to requirements. I'm Colin.' Rachel nearly jumped and he noticed her reaction. 'You've heard of me?'
'You're Emily's ex.'
'Yes. Very much so. She didn't want me there. I suppose I can understand that. I'm not sure I'd want a whole crowd of my ex girlfriends around when I got married, but I'd have liked to see her. She must be looking very beautiful.' Rachel hadn't noticed. She had had eyes only for one person.
Colin kicked the wall with his heel and said,
'It's just hard you know. We were on a break.' Rachel jolted again, but Colin didn't notice. 'My own stupid fault. I was the one who said we needed to stop, take a break, think things over. I didn't think she'd flit over to New York and come back attached.' He shrugged. 'Not that I worried, when I heard. I didn't think it would last, what with her being here and him being there. Actually, I wasn't sure she hadn't made it up, or at least made a lot out of some little flirtation, just to annoy me, so I asked someone else out. I thought that would wake her up. Emily didn't even care. She said she was pleased for me, and that's I knew I was in trouble. We only went on a break because she was getting a bit possessive. Look what happen, she let me go.' Colin gave a harsh laugh. 'Who would have thought that she'd be the one to move on?'
'Some people are like that,' Rachel said, thinking of Ross. It had been too easy for him to get over her. First he wanted to own her, behaved unreasonably over Mark, and then as soon as her back was turned, he moved onto someone else. How could you go from one extreme to the other? It was an odd thing for him and Emily to have in common.
'I shouldn't have suggested we go on a break,' Colin said. Rachel glanced at him.
'Have you tried to talk to her about it?' Rachel asked. Were there any cracks on Emily's side of the relationship?
'Yes, but she just said that to me, she was the one that got away and that we were definitely over. She said that she'd been possessive because she knew all along that I didn't really want her, and that my suggestion that we go on a break brought the truth home to her.' Colin shook his head.
'Oh,' Rachel said.
'How can you win an argument like that? It wasn't her that was the issue, it was her behaviour... and I have to admit I made it worse by making a point of not telling her where I was and what I was doing. I thought it was more important to let her know that she couldn't control me.'
'It was more important to tell her you loved her,' Rachel said. And she was reminded of the time when she'd had the chance to make it up with Ross and had insisted that he take responsibility for the whole Chloe incident. Sometimes, you had to let your pride go.
'So, it's over. I let it go, let her fall in love with someone else, and now I've got to take the consequences.' He had said that, but Rachel could just as easily have said the same.
Rachel could hear music from inside. She had probably better go and join the wedding party. Ross and the others would be bound to work out sooner or later that she had come for the wedding, even if they didn't know what time she was supposed to arrive. If she never put in an appearance, it would make her look pathetic.
'Going inside?' Rachel asked, standing up. She would face them all. A chapter of her life was over, but she was ready for the future, whatever it held.
'No invitation, remember?' Colin said.
'That's right,' Rachel said. 'What if you came as my date?' She wasn't attracted to Colin or indeed to anyone right now, but at least he would be someone to talk to. She wouldn't have to hang on the edge of the crowd, depending on her friends to feel sorry for her. Colin shook his head.
'I'm not going where I'm not wanted. If - if you're a friend of hers, don't tell her about seeing me.'
'I won't,' Rachel said.
'It was nice talking to you...'
'Rachel,' she said.
'You take care,' Rachel said. 'It's not the end of the world, it only feels that way.' He gave a small smile.
'I'll remember that. And you - I saw you when you arrived and the way you looked when you came back from the door. You take your own advice.'
'Er, yeah,' Rachel said, and watched Colin walk away.
She was going to take her own advice. Unlike Colin, she did not have the excuse of having no invitation. She'd go in there, with her head held high.