From Sophie Kinsella's "I've Got Your Number".
There's an eerie silence in the room where I sit, alone, wishing there is some way for me to know if I'm even supposed to be here or not. Then the texts start coming through. My phone beeps a steady rhythm, like a heartbeat. A frantic heartbeat. I look at the phone in disbelief. The messages are all from Sam.
No no no no no.
Are you serious?
I type furiously back. He can't expect me to disappoint two hundred wedding guests, can he?
I have to do this, Sam.
It actually hurts to type his name out. Why, oh why does that hurt so badly?
Does he love you?
I reply reflexively.
The retort comes zipping back, cutting into my heart.
That's not a proper answer. That's just you, retreating into your shell.
What the worst feeling I have is knowing he's right.
I'm marrying Magnus.
I type out those three words, my heart breaking, and I don't even know why.
Stop. Stop. Stop. No. No.
Steady as a beating drum, the texts pile in, each a desperate plea.
Don't marry him. I'm begging you.
The last text makes me stop. Sam? Proud, smart, aloof, wonderful, crazy, infuriating, fantastic Sam is begging me?
What do I have to do to change your mind?
The text comes through and the tears start to fall. I knew it all along, and I know it now. I want the whole package-a wedding, a husband, a life with someone else to share it, and everything that entails. Just not with Magnus. With Sam. What am I going to do?
"Poppy, you almost ready?" Magnus comes through the doorway and stops when he sees the tears. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." I shake my head, then bow it low. "Everything." I find the strength to stand, and slowly feel for the ring. The beautiful ring that should have been mine forever, but couldn't be. No one could wear a ring with so many strings tied to it. I slip it off of my finger and hand it to him. He takes it, wordlessly. "It sounds so trite, and stupid, and so what you don't want to hear at this moment, but I'm sorry. My forever belongs somewhere else."
"Poppy, don't do this. We can get married. It will make everything right."
"Do you even hear yourself? Weddings are not solutions to problems. They aren't bandages to hold together what is falling apart."
"Why are you doing this?"
"Because it's the first thing I've done for myself in more time than I care to recall." I realize. I walk towards the door, and Magnus moves to block me. I push past him, and out the church doors onto the street outside. My friends are arriving at the curb. "I'll explain later." I say quietly, and they nod. I hail a taxi, and then realize I don't know where I need to go. Where does Sam go to the dentist? I feel a rush of relief when I remember his dentist's name and address from his assistant's many emails. I smile at how useful looking at a few messages can be.
I alight at the dentist's office, and the taxi driver waves me off when I attempt to explain why I have no money. "You've got more important things on your mind, I wager." he smiles as he takes off down the street. I walk up the office stairs, and smile as I see Sam through the glass door, sitting in the waiting room. His head is in his hands, and my heart twists as I realize I never replied.
"You don't have to do anything to change my mind." I respond verbally to his last message as I push the door open. "It's already made up." I cross the small room to him and sit down as he looks up in shock.
"I thought it was too late."
"It was just the right time." I lean into him, and know that everything is right, right now, and always will be, as long as I'm with Sam.