Photo credits: Valeria Bolteneva- Pexel images.

“Loves me, loves me not.
He loves me, he loves me not.”

As a little girl, I would pluck one red rose petal after another by the river until there was nothing left.  A simple way to tell if the teenage boy completely out of my league and the one I was head over heels crushing on felt the same way about me. Naive and innocent, I trusted the rose’s judgement and went by it. In cases where my heart was scared of facing the rose petals’ decisions, I would let the river be the judge.
I’d stick my feet in its clear waters and let the coolness of the flowing river fill me from within. I loved the movement of sand beneath my feet, it always made me feel like I was moving or maybe the earth was moving with me. Normally I would wait around for a petal to get stuck on a weed or a rock or something solid like my feet as a sign of positivity. However, what are the chances?
I thought so too.
All this was before I discovered my love for Juliet roses and decided they were better off either in my little garden or in the flower jar on the table next to my bed where I can get lost in their beauty, adoring their elegance and magnificently rich colour as I slowly fill my nostrils with their sweet scent.

Am not a little girl anymore, am a big girl now. I don’t turn to roses to decide my fate in relationships, instead, I clear my head and listen to my heart. I let it guide my decisions without clouding my judgement.

As I sit over the make-up table in the dressing room staring at my image in the mirror, I look ravishing. Stunning. Elegant. I feel beautiful. I take a glance at the Juliet roses in my hands and smile. Our journey didn’t just begin when I started planning my wedding, it began many years before and hopefully, it will continue for many to come.
I brush through my wedding gown with my beautifully manicured nails, admiring its beauty and soft texture. The dress itself is flawless, from the silhouette to the plunging neckline to the pearls embroidered on the dress. It may not have been an Anna Campbell original design, but it felt like it. It was everything I ever wanted.
My thoughts are distracted by a soft knock on the door.
“Come in,” I respond in approval.
I can hear the squeaking sound of the door as someone tries to slowly but carefully make their way in. I turn around just in time to see my elder sister walk in.
She wore this beautiful long purple dress with a cleavage that neither showed too much nor too little but instead gave out enough details to make the sons of Eve turn their heads around. She had this long slit from the midsection of her thighs that gave a glimpse of her chocolate long legs. Her look was complimented by silver jewellery and a tiny little black purse.
She had that ear-to-ear grin she only has when someone sends her a good amount of money unexpectedly.
“Did you win a lottery this time round?” I asked.
” Oh! Funny. You wish. Good thing I got something better,”
“Really, and what might that be?”
She suddenly walks towards me in silence and a certain glow in her eyes, one I  haven’t seen before.
” You are the reason, am happy, am just glad I got to see this day for you. I mean look at you, you look…….beautiful. You make a beautiful bride Sasha.”
She leaned in to hug me. I could literally feel her heart beat against her chest cavity. Her embrace was warm and friendly, perhaps too tight. It was almost as though she didn’t want to let go.
“I know I was against this marriage because I thought it was rushed and too soon, but I want you to know that you have my full support in this. I want nothing but to see you happy and if Blake makes you happy, then am for it because that is all that matters,” she whispered in my ears before breaking her embrace.
My sister was all I had after my parents died in a car crash while I was ten years old. Since then she had done everything possible to ensure I never lacked or felt alone. So when Blake came along, I had one more person to count on.
I could see she was battling tears so I  handed her a tissue.
“We don’t wanna ruin your two-hour make-up now, do we?”
She giggle in response and sighed soon after.
She handed me an envelope from her little bag.
“Blake asked me to give you this,”
It was a little envelope with the words ‘my little tortoise’ encrypted on it. 
I felt a wave of happiness cut across me and I smiled in response.
I walked towards the window and opened it up to find a note and a necklace in the shape of a cherry.

Dear tortoise,
         Maybe we are supposed to meet the wrong people before we meet the right one so when they finally arrive we are truly grateful for the gift we have been given.
Maybe it’s true that we don’t know what we have lost until we lose it but it is also true that we don’t know what we’re missing until it arrives.

Maybe the happiest of people don’t have the best of everything, but make the best of everything that comes their way.

Maybe the best kind of love is the kind where you sit on the sofa together, not saying a word, and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever had.

Maybe once in a lifetime, you find someone who not only your heart but also your soul, someone who loves you for who you are and not what you could be.

Maybe the art of true love is not about finding the perfect person, but about seeing an imperfect person perfectly

  I know how much these words mean to you. I hope they can remind you of the love we’ve shared. I would love to see the cherry necklace on you. It reminds me of our first encounter and I hope it eventually puts a smile on your pretty face.
                       With love

He remembered my favourite poem. The timing couldn’t be any better. I could feel the river of emotions build up inside me. He was perfect. He was everything I ever dreamed of having in a man. He was funny and sweet, charming and brilliant, kind and one with a peal of weird laughter but it couldn’t be any better.
He is the kind of man that sees you off to your doorstep after dinner but still calls you when he gets home to find out if everything is okay. He is the kind of man that takes a moment on the street to help the old lady with her chubby cat cross the street. The kind of man that enjoys dinner with your family. He is a charmer and one that is loved by everyone.
I still remember when we first met. The way he approached me with a quirky smile and took a turn at my packet of cherries ( never forgotten that look).
“I’ve always wanted to do that,” he’d said in between savouring the sweetness of his cherry and trying to charm me.
Blake and I worked in the same organisation. For months I had admired him, stalked him and wished he could talk to me. Something about him, fascinated me, could be it was his British accent.
Finally, he walked up to me and started a conversation by helping himself to my pack of cherries. Soon after, we would steal glances and smile whenever our eyes met building what no one thought could have been.
We spent days by the river and evenings by the mountain watching sunsets. We had explored and toured every little hidden gem there was to tour. Every adventure that we went on only brought us closer.  Eight months down the line and I was about to walk down the aisle and say yes to a forever with him.
But something inside me ached for something else. I knew I loved him, deeply, and more than anything else, I wanted to be with him.
But maybe this was too soon.
I knew I longed for more days of stolen kisses and secret little glances. My heart ached for the little tiny notes he would leave at my work desk every morning trying to get me to fall in love with him again every single morning.
I wanted a life with him, but maybe my sister was right this is too soon.
I instantly knew what I needed. A taste of fresh air. A familiar environmental to help me think.
I plucked a piece of paper from my notebook and left him a note.

I love you, and I want each day to be special with you by my side but am afraid this feels rushed. I know this is unexpected and heartbreaking but if you are willing to start tomorrow with me as your girlfriend then I will be waiting for you at our favourite spot where the taste of fresh air, smells like the earth itself.
                               With love

I grabbed the necklace from the table and detached the extra skater layer of my dress before taking to my heels.

I’d been waiting for hours and hours on end with no sight of him.
How could he have come when I barely made it to the alter?
I had tried to pass time by pretending I could talk to birds but I never really got around to mastering their language let alone understanding it. I probably plucked out all the flowers within my reach playing loves me, loves me not in a bid to remain hopeful. I’d gone for a walk by the stream and cried my heart out for the decisions I had made wondering if this was the end.

Evening was fast approaching and my hope was fading. I had given up. I knew I had lost him. The only person that had fulfilled me in ways I could never comprehend.
As the darkness wooed in, I noticed the figure of a man approaching from a distance. Deep down I knew it was him. I could have recognised those abs from any direction but I still closed my eyes and crossed my fingers with hopes that it was Blake.

“A sexy girl like yourself never leaves her Juliet roses behind,”


Maybe it’s true that true love is about seeing an imperfect person perfectly.


I recently came home to spend a few weeks with my family. My sisters and I had an idea of doing an outdoor photo shoot and creating a few family portraits from the pictures. As we searched for photographers on Instagram, we noticed how every photographer we came across had done a wedding shoot. We would then stare at the beautiful pictures throwing random comments here and there. That was when my sister dared me to do a love story with a wedding day setting up. She insisted it had to be nothing we see from day to day. Something with a twist. So I gave it a shot. I hope you loved the above read. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think. And if you love it enough to share it, I would appreciate that.

22 responses to “BEFORE I WAS A BRIDE”

  1. Niceness…”we would steal glances and smile whenever our eyes met building what no one thought could have been”,,,,,lovely.

  2. I just kept reading, picturing and wanting to know more. You have great storytelling skills.

  3. Carol, you such a wonderful writer. Your skill are just wonderful. It is a MUST read story. I enjoyed every bit.

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