The nightmare wedding

Written by Emma Angelbäck

 “I lay at the head of my bed and snuggled into a soft white blanket over my long outstretched legs. I lay there on my back and looked out over my small but cozy room. I slowly let my eyes wander around the room and finally stuck to my half-open door. I strained my ears to listen to all the sounds of the house as I used to do sometimes when I was taking it easy. I heard clinking sounds of cutlery, plates and glasses from inside the kitchen where mother was doing the dishes.

I heard Dad clicking around on the keys on his computer with the door wide open in the next room. Sometimes there would be a pause and I could hear him drumming on the table with the fingertips of one hand. I imagined my father sitting there at his small desk in a bright little room that smelled of paper and envelopes. As he hummed and cleared his throat, I thought of him running his fingers through his beard with his other hand as he thought of how he would phrase himself in the next letter. He used to have special "thinking grimaces" and my mother often says that I look like him when I sit and think.

My eyes were fixed on the door to my room which was slightly ajar just like I always had it so my cat could go in and out whenever he wanted. I listened to the sound of cars faintly heard outside the house from the highway even though the windows in my room were closed. The scent of lavender found its way into both my nostrils and tickled me as I breathed. I saw my little sister pawing out of the bathroom and into her room where she closed her door.

I felt my thoughts begin to wander and how I ended up in another place inside my head. I found myself daydreaming and turned my concentration to my cat pawing into the room. He jumped into my bed and lay by my pillow close to my face. I watched him at the same time as I stroked him from his head and along his spine to his ass. His fur glistened beautifully in the rays of the afternoon sun that found its way into my room in the evenings. My hand sank softly into the fur and I felt his cat body give my cold hand warmth. I buried my face in his fur and smelled my perfume mixed with his cat scent. I listened to his purring cat noise. A sound that gives me peace in the most stressful moments like now.

I felt goosebumps in my legs because I knew I should be studying but right then I just felt like stopping time and keeping my head close to my cat and dreaming away. I lay and watched him at how quietly his stomach rose and fell in time with his small, small breaths. I reached my hand towards the bedside table to check what time it was and if it was even worth studying for the test tomorrow. But time had ticked by much faster than I thought and by then it was far too late to study. I felt my eyes water with fatigue and how they grew heavier and heavier until they closed again completely and I finally fell asleep.

I suddenly opened my eyes and looked at the clock which was way past the time I usually get up to school. I thought it was strange that my parents didn't come rushing into my room to get me up. I rubbed my eyes and blinked a few times. I pressed the alarm button and hoped it would help to see better. But the rays hit me right in the eyes so I had to close my eyes for a while because it hurt so much. My little room, which I had experienced as small but warm, now felt empty and large. I tried to hear sounds but the whole house was quiet and it's usually never quiet. I thought it was strange because it's not usually quiet at this time when everyone is getting ready for work and school.

I slowly pulled off the covers and sat on the edge of the bed. The cold quickly spread to my arms and legs. Just as I got out of bed I felt a pounding headache and I was a little dizzy so I sat down again. I couldn't help but feel the sensation of discomfort in my throat as I swallowed my saliva. I stood up again and cautiously pawed to my closet and put on some clothes but I still didn't get warm. I walked past my mirror but couldn't see the reflection of myself, but that might be because I was tired.

I carefully pushed open the door to my bedroom but it opened with a bang and the doorknob came off. I picked it up and saw that it was a little rusty. I tried to put it back but after a while I gave up and continued towards the stairs. I walked down the stairs carefully so as not to trip. The stairs creaked as I walked down them and the railing wobbled as I held onto it. The white paint on the stairs had started to peel and I got the feeling that I was in the future. Everything was so different but I knew I was in the right house even though it felt so wrong.

I walked around the house and looked around. I ran my hand along the dark wallpaper in the living room. The wallpaper that used to be light gray was no longer light. In the corner, the wallpaper met a green wall, and between the two walls stood a high stool with a gold vase that I never noticed. I felt the coldness of the house embrace me and a cold core went along my whole body and made my skin tingle on my arms. I knew that it is my house that I and my family live in, although everything in the house did not look like before and the warm feeling of home was no longer there. Instead, it was like a cold chill spread through the house and took away all the love and warmth. It was like the house was uninhabited even though I knew my whole family was here yesterday when I went to bed.

I heard cooing noises and felt hunger pang in my stomach so I turned and went into the kitchen to eat some breakfast. I opened the fridge and saw that it was empty. I checked the freezer and all the pantries but it was empty everywhere. I pulled out a chair from the kitchen table and sat down hastily out of despair. There on the table was a note and I read the text.

“Welcome to join us and celebrate our eldest daughter's wedding. She is marrying her handsome husband on December 1st at 3:00 p.m. We look forward to this and hope that you want to join her on her big day. We celebrate her at home in the garden where she now lives. we offer food and drink, starter, main course and dessert. Of course some snacks before the evening's partying with. The plan is that we will also have the after party at the same place and then we look forward to speeches and dancing with a lot of noise. Hope you can attend this event and join her in celebrating before she gets a new and loving home with a strong man that she can love and start a new life with, get in touch to attend no later than the day before, greetings her parents."

I felt panic begin to spread through my body and my hands began to shake. I started walking quickly towards the front door but I couldn't find it. It was like all the doors were gone and when I looked around I didn't see any windows either. I ran around the house trying to get out but I knew it wasn't going to help. I realized it was December 2nd today but thought it all seemed very strange. I felt a big lump in my stomach and it spread inside me giving the feeling that I was suffocating. My heart was beating faster and faster and I was shaking in a cold sweat. I try to calm down and go into the living room and there I turn on the TV. I crawl into the corner of the couch and pull a blanket over me and sit there staring blankly into nothing. I have my eyes fixed on the television, although I neither hear nor see anything that happens on the screen.

Suddenly there was a rattling sound and a key was turned. Before I could react, a man entered the house that I can't remember seeing. He was tall and wore black jeans and a dark gray long-sleeved shirt with a high collar that was nervy. He had dark brown hair and side legs. The hair was shiny and looked soft and freshly washed. He put the bunch of keys down on the hall dresser and hung up his jacket in the wardrobe and finally put his shoes on the shoe rack.

He looked at me and said "Hello my dear wife I'm home now" in his dark male voice. I thought the voice seemed familiar but couldn't place it when I heard it. He looked at me and said after a while when I still didn't answer, "Have you already forgotten that we got married yesterday." Half as a joke and half as a question. He looked at me searchingly, spun me around and slapped me on the bottom while grinning a little. I felt a faint whiff of men's perfume as he walked toward me with determined steps. He kissed my forehead and I felt his warm mint scented breath. Both his perfume scent and breath felt familiar but from what I had no idea.

He grabbed my small hands and placed them around his neck. He reached for a control and started some kind of romantic music. Then he threw the controller away and put his hands around my waist. I recognized the music and a memory like a movie playing when me and this man danced in wedding clothes in front of a lot of people. I felt his hands move more and more up towards the middle of my back and he tried to unbutton my bra. I moved his hands down towards his waist but then his hands started to wander down instead.

I didn't feel at all safe in his company, so I pushed him away from me and backed away, but then he took a step forward. I saw a goofy smile spread across his face and saw his lips move but I couldn't quite make out his words. "give me a son my beloved wife, give me a son." I wasn't sure if it was a joke or not. I felt him grab me and I tried to fight back but he was both bigger and stronger than me. It was pointless because the more I struggled the tighter he gripped me.

He quickly picked me up and awkwardly carried me to a small room with a double bed. I recognized his jerky gait as he carried me away and understood that he must have done it yesterday too. He raised his voice and said "Since you were so gone yesterday, we can make up for our wedding night now." He whispered in my ear "I hope you are as good as your parents told you and that you do as I say now." I knew that now I had no chance and it was only for me to give up.

The water slowly ran down my completely naked body. From the scalp it flowed towards the ends of the hair then to the shoulders and further over the spine before finally reaching the floor.

Each drop made the hair on my arms stand up and a cold shiver spread through my body. I heard every drop of water hit the floor and ride down the shower floor drain like a swirl of water. It doesn't matter how much shampoo or conditioner I use or how hard I scrub, I still feel ugly, disgusting and dirty and like I'll never ever get clean again. Desperate, I sink further and further down and finally I sit and hug my legs close to me in an embrace. Cold and frozen, I sit there on the floor with black mascara tears running down my cheeks. I try to push my thoughts away from what just happened and try to understand how my parents could do this to me. Force me to get married when I'm just an innocent 16-year-old girl who just started high school.

"HELLO. Why haven't you gotten up, you're going to be late for school,” I heard my mother say as she hobbled into my room.

"Oops, I forgot to set the clock" I answered with a yawn. I was so relieved that it was all just a nightmare and everything was back to normal.”

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