I pulled up to the church in a red 1997 Ford Fiesta that was festooned with rust and ribbons. It wasn’t exactly the vintage car I had in mind for my wedding. It wasn’t a grand old church with huge hulking bricks and ornate architectural flair, instead it was small and modern, and had all the charm of a turn of the millennium community centre.

I still can’t believe I’m going through with this. Maybe I should have listened to mum…’ the doubts swirled around my mind like rain caught in the wind. I pushed them to one side, cold feet on your wedding day was par for the course. Right?

The sky was dishwater grey and a fine mizzle hung in the air like damp static. I closed my eyes and let out of a sigh. ‘This is your wedding day. It’s a happy day’. I forced the biggest, fakest smile that I could muster and walked into the church. It was depressingly unceremonious, made worse only by the fact that I was accompanied down the aisle to the wedding march playing from an ancient, portable CD player. There by the stage, with the Vicar, was my grinning, idiotic, soon to be, lawfully wedded husband.

As I walked down the aisle the CD skipped. I froze. ‘Jesus Christ!’ I thought, quickly followed by ‘Sorry, God’. The only way this could be more embarrassing was if there were actually guests here. The Vicar flashed me an embarrassed smile as way of apology and subtly kicked the CD player causing the tinny speakers to pump out the wedding march once more. I continued down the aisle, thankful that the only witnesses to this absurdity were my fiancée, the Vicar, and the Holy Ghost.

The next 15 minutes were an excruciating combination of regret and embarrassment. I wanted to kill the Vicar for the “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today” opening, it was like he was twisting the knife on purpose. Still, it wasn’t nearly as painful as the Elizabeth Duke gold-plated wedding ring Marcus forced onto my finger. A wedding ring bought with the voucher won from a charity pub quiz.

Even as I stood there, fighting back the tears, I couldn’t believe I was marrying him. It wasn’t his fault; he has a disease. He can’t control himself. Just like the drunks love the bottle, the gamblers love the bookies, the betting apps, and the casinos…I had to swallow my pride and do the right thing. It wasn’t his fault I had to pawn off my designer wedding dress, or cancel the reception venue, or lie to my friends and family and tell them we were postponing the wedding.

“…man and wife. You may kiss the bride.” The final word from the Vicar’s monologue pulled me back to reality.

I closed my eyes and surrendered myself to my husband’s embrace. That was it, we were now joined as one. In sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer.

Writing Prompt — 500 word scene based on a “quirky” news story which had been supplied to use. I chose this one