“Cake” by Sweetman

Cake

The groom was a wonderful groom. Standing straight and tall next to his lovely bride, he was masculinity personified. He declared his vows, repeating clearly in a strong, deep voice that he would love, honor and cherish her all the days of his life, until death they do part.

The bride was a vision of loveliness. Her gown sparkled in the afternoon sun that streamed through the stained-glass windows, her face dewy and slightly flushed with the excitement of her day, or this very moment. She stated her vows in her clear, crisp practiced voice,

“Until death do we part.”

That final statement was his signal to gently lift her veil and kiss his brand new wife before God and all witnesses. It was to be a soft kiss, nothing too garish or showy, certainly nothing that would embarrass the conservative congregation. He hesitated as they faced each other. She was trembling just enough to make her bouquet quiver prettily, her chin raised to meet her husband’s first kiss.

The pause lengthened as the groom stood beaming before his new wife. He missed his cue. The minister gently cleared his throat. The Best Man sniffed archly at the groom’s shoulder. Thank heavens they were able to make the last minute switch of that honor from his brother to her brother! The groom really had no choice when his fiancé caught wind of pre-wedding shenanigans that included strippers which were most likely hookers and her fiancé’s old group of friends that had the dubious honor of being referred to as the “forbidden crowd”. In her rapturous state, the bride could still see that lout do something like clap the groom on the back and shouted something like, “Hey, Dopey! Ain’t ya gonna kiss her!”

Frantic waving of the wedding planner, hovering just behind the video photographer, caught his eye. She mouthed the words “Kiss-her!” then pantomimed a face-puckering kiss. The groom appeared to understand. With a delighted smile, he gently raised the filmy bridal veil, flipped it back with a flick of his fingertips, and softly bestowed the first wedded kiss on charming, peach-colored lips. The congregation sighed.

All through the post-ceremony photo session, the groom smiled. He was easily directed to stand here, look there, hold her arm, turn this way and that. Now stand with the wedding party, then over with her parents, one more with his parents, move to the front of the church, stand with the minister…. It seemed unending, but he complied with each command, never a protest, a frown, or a groan. The bride was absolutely delighted.

In the limousine his new wife leaned back carefully and sighed. It was just a quick ride to the posh country club where he played golf for the first time in his life at his hastily arranged bachelor party. Last minute changes for his chosen best man were in order when the bride-to-be caught wind of a stripper-enhanced keg party hosted by his moron of a brother. None of that would be in keeping with her vision of perfection surrounding her wedding day. The groom’s protests about having a say in what was his day as well were met with wails, tears, a new best man and golf party. Nothing was going to ruin the most important day of her life. As far as she was concerned, he didn’t have anything to say about this wedding except “I do”, and he wasn’t going to say it with a hangover!

“That went well, except for you standing like a statue when it was time to kiss me. What on earth had gotten into you?”

He was thinking of his moment. He beamed at her with the smile that never left his face.

“I was thinking I’m a lucky guy, and this is only going to get better.” He leaned forward to kiss her possessively. They were finally alone, away from all the excitement and activity buzzing around him.

“Not now! You’ll ruin my make up and we have more pictures at the country club! Oh, darling, this is so perfect. I can’t wait to see how the ballroom looks all decorated for us. I want to make every second last forever!”

He had heard all about the ballroom. Chip, her brother and appointed best man, went on about it after their miserably awkward round of golf. It was the only thing Chip spoke to him about, other than his awful game.

“I say, Mulligan, you’ll love the way the evening sunset makes the room glow. You couldn’t have a nicer place for your reception. Tweedy and I were so pleased with it for our wedding.” Chipper was waxing poetic on his second Long Island Iced Tea.

Upon their arrival, there were more photos, a flurry of greetings and exclamations from gushing guests, then onto the ballroom. It was gorgeous! The evening sun gave the walls an enchanting radiance. The chandeliers twinkled with an extra sparkle and the grand room had a magical feeling for this glorious day. A string quartet played softly in the background. The wedding planner had chosen perfect flowers and accents for the tables to add to the dreamy effect.

During dinner, a parade of well-wishers came by to fawn over them and congratulate their every happiness. His parents stopped briefly. His mother, miles out of her league, clutched her wine glass in an agony of not knowing what to say or where to stand. His father, looking belligerent and stuffed into his tuxedo, quickly clapped his son on his brawny back and the pair scurried out of the limelight. Between the salad and the main course, his moron of a brother hunkered down beside him, slapped his leg and wished him luck. Clearly tipsy and starting to become maudlin at his expulsion as his only brother’s wedding, he kept repeating that he hoped the groom was happy. The bride, always on the alert for this type of behavior, caught the wedding planner’s eye and with a quick snap of the bride’s head, the oaf was instantly ushered to his seat in the back of the ballroom.

Chip’s toast was faultless. One would never have guessed he barely knew his new brother-in-law. The groom stood and thanked one and all as his bride smiled up at him adoringly. A more raucous table near the kitchen began to tap their glasses with their silverware. The wedding planner looked stricken and rushed over to the offenders (his friends and their boozy dates) to stop the vulgarities, but both bride and groom gave into the moment and obliged the rabble-rousers with a three second smooch. The room erupted in applause and cheers.

At that moment, the silent, efficient wait staff wheeled the wedding cake out of the kitchen. It was fantastic! Three tiers high, festooned with flowers, set atop a linen covered cart with beribboned silver servers waiting at its side. The guests let forth with a collective “Aaaaah!” as it was wheeled to the center of the ballroom floor. The newly weds joined hands and positioned themselves at their designated spots for the video camera and the photographer

Their slices of cake were already prepared and placed in tissue paper so the bride would avoid getting frosting in her manicured fingernails. Still, she made the show of slicing the first piece, pulled it out and gently broke off the front corner to feed to her new husband. It was carefully orchestrated that she would smudge his top lip with frosting and kiss it clean. A little racy for this crowd, but she wanted to show how she, Miss High Society, tamed and reigned in this hulking brute of a he-man. She pulled it off without a hitch and the guests “ooohhhh-ed” and softly clapped their approval.

The groom took the silver server and pulled out his paper-tissued piece. With his beaming smile he broke off an infinitesimal bit of the front corner. His new wife leaned her head to the side with swan-like gracefulness, her diamond earrings flashing in the glimmering light. The flashbulbs flashed as he mashed the entire piece, minus the tiny front corner into her face. Her squeals were muffled by his hand and the piece of cake he crammed into her mouth. It was smashed up both her nostrils and into her eyes. He smeared frosting and mushed cake all over her perfectly made-up face and into her perfectly coiffed hair. She flailed her arms, flapped her hands, arched back but could not escape his huge palm that covered her entire face. The guests were flabbergasted. The grand ballroom was silent save for the stifled shrieks and grunts of the choking bride. The moment seemed to last forever

When he finally removed his hand, her screams galvanized the wedding planner and her bridesmaids into action. They surrounded the violated bride in full force and whisked her away to the powder room. Her bawling could be heard throughout the entire building.

“What…have…you…DONE!!!” shouted the mortified mother-of-the-bride.

“Yaaaaaaaagggghhhhhh!” came a drunken cry from the back of the room. The groom’s brother came to life, which in turn, electrified the guests. A horrified moan ran throughout the room. The groom stood there smiling his smile. This was his moment.

The bride needed toothpicks to remove the mushy cake from her nose and would require a visit to the ophthalmologist to treat her severely scratched cornea. The marriage was declared null and void, as it was not consummated after the vows had been made.

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About EF Sweetman

bees, baseball, beverly, ma, culture, manners, society, writing
This entry was posted in cautionary tales, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Cake” by Sweetman

  1. poettraveler says:

    I love it! The sting is in the ending. Up to that moment I had no certain idea of how things would end. You maybe dropped one hint but so cleverly did you put this story together it didn’t give any revelation until bride was rammed in the face with cake. I’ll try to stop telling you what a great writer you are but now that I’m a fan of your writing that’s not going to be easy. 🙂

    Regards, and thanks for sharing another great piece of writing.

    – John

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