The Wrong Idea

26th June 2013 – One day until the wedding

She couldn’t believe in one day she’d be married. It had felt like she’d been waiting her whole life. Jessica read back on her wedding notes which were all crammed into a bulky, red journal. She smiled to herself and sighed. The journal was overflowing. There were photos of various wedding dresses from tight to wispy, from glistening white to ivory and cream. Jessica stood up with the journal in her arms and danced around the kitchen laughing to herself. She sat down on her bed and continued to flick through the masterpiece she had been creating since she was a little girl.

Claire, who had been friends with Jessica since they were teenagers was always a little concerned about Jessica’s’ obsession with weddings and marriage and often told her to calm down but now that the wedding was only a single day away, Claire allowed Jessica to let her over-excitement loose. The only thing keeping Claire quiet was the fact she knew the truth.

“It’s going to be the best day of my life” Jessica thought to herself as she lay down holding the journal to her chest. She thought about the beautiful dresses her bridesmaids would wear, she had decided on duck egg blue and gold with white roses and sparkling table decorations. James, the lucky man would be wearing a stunning white tuxedo with a duck egg blue tie, his teeth would be perfectly white as he smiles at her down the aisle and his hair perfectly groomed for their special day. Jessica felt herself warming up and getting excited so she took a couple of deep breaths and opened her journal up, she flicked through it over and over again until eventually she drifted off into a deep sleep.

***

A few days before the wedding

Claire had arrived at Jessica’s house and let herself in and wandered up to her bedroom to talk about transport for the big day. She opened the door and Jessica was snoring her head off and her journal laid face down under her bed. Claire had never been allowed to look inside the journal because she had never met James and Jessica always said ‘I want it to be a surprise when you see how gorgeous he is at the wedding!’ all Claire knew was that they met in a bar one night and hit it off and he engaged after the second date because they both believed it was love at first. Claire wanted to meet James but respected her friends’ decision and understood that love does happen in strange ways sometimes. Claire couldn’t control herself, she had to look in that journal whilst Jessica was fast asleep. She slowly tip-toed over to the floor where the book was peacefully sat and bent down and picked it up… She felt like she had picked up a secret recipe that nobody in the world knew about. She took a deep breath and opened the first page. It all looked like a standard wedding planner until she reached the last few pages… At the back of the journal were hundreds of photos of James. Some were photos he had taken of himself and others were of him and a big scribble next to him. There was also a brunette lock of hair stuck to the page with red love hearts drawn all around it. Claire thought it was so strange to have that in the back of a wedding organiser so she turned the page and couldn’t help but gasp. Stuck in the back of the journal was a letter from court which read.

 

Dear Miss Jessica Carter,

This letter is to inform you that Mr James Harrison and Mrs Elise Harrison are taking you to court for harassment. They feel as though you are stalking them and it is affecting their home life and their relationship. A court hearing will be held on June 27th 2013. Until then, I advise you not to be within the same area as Mr and Mrs Harrison as a possible sentence may be given.

Regards.

Claire dropped the letter on the floor and stood there in silence. She had a sudden moment of realisation. That’s why she had never met James, that is why the journal was so private and that is why Jessica was so obsessive. She had been stalking a married couple and potentially causing harm. Claire put the journal back where it came from and went home, she understood that Jessica was ill and that she would be going to the court hearing with her dressed in a bridesmaid dress. The thought of it made her heart skip ten times faster but Jessica was her best friend and she had to do what she wanted to keep her happy.

***

June 27th 2013 – The day of ‘the wedding’

Jessica stood up straight and stared at herself in the mirror. “I look beautiful” she said to herself out loud and began to giggle. Claire sat on the bed trying her best to put on a smile for Jessica. Claire knew today wasn’t going to end well but she tried her best to pretend like she was going to a wedding. Jessica started to fiddle with Claire’s hair and told her she looked stunning. A car beeped its horn outside and the two girls headed out of the door as if it was going to be a great day for all. Claire watched her best friend’s facial expressions the whole journey and she could see right through her fake smile. Jessica suddenly jumped up and shouted ‘WE’RE HERE! We’re at the church!’ Claire looked out of the car window and no surprise to her, they were parked outside court.

Jessica skipped up to the big wooden door in her beautiful, white, slimming dress. Her hair looked incredible, her make-up had been done to perfection and the smile she was braving looked so real that you would think it truly was her wedding day. Claire stood back for a second and took in everything that was about to happen, she took a deep breath and followed Jessica up the stairs and through the door dressed in an amazing duck egg blue dress holding a small bunch of white roses.

The two girls headed to the front of the court room and everyone looked at them in what can only be described as embarrassment. They reached the front and sat down with who Claire assumed was Jessica’s lawyer. Claire looked across the table and saw James and his wife, they both looked exhausted and drained. She then glimpsed at Jessica who still had a giant grin on her face, she was staring at James and her eyes were glowing. It looked like she genuinely did love this man but it certainly wasn’t the same for him.

Hours passed and Jessica’s mascara was now smudged all over her face as she had cried throughout the whole hearing. As Claire listened to James and Elise tell the situation to the judge she wondered what had happened to her precious best friend. She had changed from a little girl ballet dancing with her in a hall to a crazy lady who had stalked an innocent couple and committed horrible acts such as trespassing and violence.  Claire wanted to leave, but as she was about to stand up, the judge announced that Jessica was sentenced to five years in jail for the seriousness of what she had done and the physical and emotional damage she has done to the couple.

Jessica let out a harrowing wail and Claire sat there in silence. James and Elise sighed with relief and two big built men dragged Claire’s best friend away. She stared as Jessica was taken down some stairs as she screamed and ripped her dress ‘IT WILL ALWAYS BE ME JAMES AND YOU KNOW IT WILL!’ Jessica screamed up the staircase. The whole room dissolved into a loud muttering mess and Claire sat there looking into blank space as a single tear slowly rolled down her cheek.

The End

I looked into his eyes for what I thought would be the last time. His deep, brown eyes were always so mysterious before I got to know him so well. We shared so many memories, memories I can’t ever bring myself to forget, memories I wish I could forget and memories I have managed to forget. We were only young but I have realised that someone can still mean so much to you that it hurts, no matter what age you are. I never expected to fall for someone so quickly and I never expected it to last so long. He made me feel euphoric most days yet other days, exasperated. We experienced so much together, trips to the cinema, walks in the summer and cuddles on the sofa. But thinking about the arguments we shared makes me feel almost disordered. I must have spent 2 nights out of 7 a week crying myself to sleep, arguing with him was the thing I hated more than anything. However when we were together, smiling in each others arms, I happened to lose every care in the world. I could never imagine him making me feel unhappy even though it was obvious that he did.

It was a sunny and breezy Saturday afternoon in the middle of August and we decided to take a walk down to the river in the small village where we live. He held my hand and that always made me smile. He opened his bag and he had packed a picnic rug and a flask of orange juice, I smiled at him and gently kissed his cheek. He was so caring and he made me feel so special. We lay down and talked for hours whilst listening to our favourite song on repeat until the sun began to sink and it started to get colder, he took his jumper off and helped me into it to keep me warm. He put his arm around my waist and we headed back home. We took the long route home so we could spend a few extra minutes together and as we reached my house he gave me a hug and a kiss and I went back inside, the smile couldn’t be wiped off my face.

Back at school, he seemed different, very distant and as if he didn’t care about anything I had to say. It made me feel wistful. Rather than confronting him about how I felt, I held back even though I knew the outcome of this wouldn’t be great. I sat in class but all I could think about was what I had done wrong to make him be like this with me. And once I begin thinking about something, I cannot stop myself. It’s as if you think of one thing and so many other thoughts branch off that initial thought and take over your mind, practically killing you inside. I think my friends could tell I was down and they tried to cheer me up. But I loved him, so if one thing was even remotely upsetting me about our relationship, I was upset about every other thing in my life. I looked over and he was laughing with another girl, it made me wonder if things would be better if I let him go, whether he’d be happier experiencing things with other girls. I didn’t want to make him feel tied down but I didn’t want him to think he could get away with anything he wanted to either. Relationships are so much harder than you’d expect, especially when you’re a teenager.

As soon as I got home I knew he would text me asking what was wrong but I just didn’t want to speak to him. I switched my phone off and went to sleep. I think my family started wondering what was the matter with me because as time went on, I became more and more discontented and I just knew I wasn’t as happy as I was in the Summer. I was sick and tired. I tried to blame it on my school work and the stress of exams but deep down I knew it was my relationship and the way he would change his personality so often. I was constantly receiving mixed signals from him and I didn’t think I could take it anymore despite the fact I was always so afraid of losing him and seeing him with someone else. The idea of someone else making him as happy as I had for so long made me feel more than feeble. I spoke to a few of my friends and each of them had different opinions on what was best for me but the more I thought about it, the more I wondered whether I could be truly happy without him.

A whole day passed and he hadn’t even tried talking to me. I was beginning to get paranoid and was making up crazy scenarios in my head about what he was doing. Maybe I wasn’t ready to let him go, or maybe this was the sign that it was the right thing to do. I didn’t know, I just wanted to speak to him.

I spent a night thinking about all of our happy memories but I realised the arguments overruled the good times. He eventually contacted me and we arranged to meet up to spend some time together. The moment I saw him all the negative feelings disappeared and I just wanted to hold him. I looked into his eyes and smiled, it felt as if I wasn’t even upset about anything. But I was, and I couldn’t keep letting these feelings build up because eventually I’d break down and say something I would regret. We sat on the bed, watching TV and there was complete silence. We sat there, neither of us saying a word. I couldn’t do this anymore, I was constantly fed up. I wish it was easy to go back in time, when there were no worries or complications but that was easier said than done.

I turned and looked at him, the look on his face made me nervous and I told him we needed to talk. He looked worried, and I was too. I was worrying about every little aspect of this situation. Whether he would be upset, whether he wouldn’t care or what if he had found someone else. I was overthinking again and I knew that was a bad idea. I explained how he made me feel when we argued and he didn’t even seem to feel bad about it, it was as if he didn’t care which made me angrier. I still loved him. I still wanted to be with him, we had just shared the perfect summer together and to feel it coming to an end was heart-breaking but how was I supposed to know whether I would be happier without him if I hadn’t been for such a long time? Maybe I was just used to being with him, and had been settled down for so long I had forgotten what it was like to be alone.

After a tearful hour-long conversation we agreed it was best we waved goodbye to our relationship. I didn’t even know how to feel, I was devastated, heart-broken. But also relieved, everything that had happened whilst I was with him was a lesson and I had learnt everything I needed to know about relationships. He had hurt me more than anything ever had before in so many ways which pains me to even think about. I cried for a few hours straight and wondered how he was handling it but knowing that I had now gone from having everything to nothing was a slight shock to the system.

Time went by, I thought about him every day and I still do even though so much time has passed. I know he is happier now and I am too, I get lonely most nights and I feel pitiful a lot. I sometimes miss him but remembering everything he did and said to hurt me helps me understand I miss the bond we shared. It was an extremely hard thing to get over but knowing that he was happier without me was a good thing. Friends are the most amazing people you can have in situations where you lose the love of your life. They took my mind off everything and made me smile every day. I thought I was in love with him but after having so much time to think, I question myself whether it was true love or whether I was worried about having nobody.

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. – Alexander Graham Bell.