Author Caitlin Mazur
The Seventh Bridesmaid
WPC Battles Round One Winner
This story first appeared in the WPC Facebook Group Battles, winning the first round. Below was the photo we were given as a prompt. Word count limit was 1,000 words.
She appeared on a Craigslist ad of all places, a delicious twist of fate. I emailed inquiring about a step-in bridesmaid to bring my bridal party from six to seven, in order to match my fiancé’s three brothers and four fraternity friends.
My new faux friend was a perfect five foot seven, with golden locks and a blinding smile. She fit so perfectly with my existing party, I knew nobody would question her appearance. She would blend with the background of my professional photos, giggle and twirl her hair at my bridal shower, and drink a little too much at my bachelorette party. But ultimately, nobody would remember her once our special evening was done — that, I bet on.
The day of my wedding was a picture-perfect August day with cloudless blue skies and a soft breeze drifting across the Atlantic. My bridal party primped and prepped, with fake lashes, hair curlers, and steam irons, strapping on high-heels and Spandex to look their very best for my special day.
You know, the funny thing about weddings is how separate the activities become. Bachelor and bachelorette parties. Bridal showers with only women. Even the rehearsal dinner had my soon-to-be-husband out on the beachfront deck, throwing back Miller Lites with his friends. So he didn’t notice my seventh bridesmaid until she stepped out into our meticulously designed wedding aisle in her pink bridesmaid's dress that matched the peonies I’d so carefully selected.
I peeked from behind the stained-glass windows of the church, watching him do a double-take, his mouth perfectly rounded. He couldn’t suppress his surprise and disgust as she faltered walking up to the altar, and I couldn’t help but smile. Because it didn’t matter. When I walked out, all eyes were on me and my stunning Vera Wang.
I swelled with pride as the entire church listened to my fiancé profess his love for me, taking me as his wife and promising to love me through sickness and in health. I promised to have and to hold him for richer and poorer. Despite his transgressions, I was meant to be his wife. And a wife’s duty is to protect her husband, to hold and hide his secrets as if they were her own.
So when I caught the seventh bridesmaid teetering around on the balcony after the roofie cocktail I’d slipped her, it was almost too easy to trip her up so that she lost her balance over the railing. Seven floors would gather enough speed to snap her neck. My husband never meant to cheat. Now, his secret will stay forever hidden behind our unblemished marriage.