An Ideal Husband – by Juma (Senior)

Cora took a deep breath and opened the door.  She had not been in this room since the morning of what should have been Liza’s wedding day. No one had been allowed to enter since that day. All these months, the room and its memories had remained untouched, attracting cobwebs and grief.
Liza was gone now, and with her, Cora’s dreams of an ideal husband. Mark Montgomery had dark good looks, integrity, humor and gentleness to match his strength. He was everything Cora’s late husband had never been. Her daughter deserved the best. Cora herself had picked Mark, making sure that he and Liza were thrown together at every opportunity.  He was a bit older, mature and full of depth. He would appeal to Liza’s youthful exuberance.  Best of all, he would be part of their family, once the marriage vows were spoken.
Everything changed on the morning of the wedding. Cora could only imagine the drama that must have taken place behind closed doors. All she had now were remnants of that day three months ago.
There on the floor was an orchid corsage, flung aside in haste, now gathering dust. It would have perfectly complemented the lavender bridesmaid dresses.  Beside it was the bridal bouquet.  The flowers were now desiccated and colorless, but the ribbons still retained a bit of creamy elegance.  The corsage and bouquet were reminders of the bride and her bridesmaid, Mark’s sister Kim.  The two women had only known each other a few months, but Mark insisted that Kim be the maid of honor.
Cora picked up the note from where she had dropped it that far away April day.
“Dear Mom.  Change of plans.  I was destined to be with a Montgomery, just as you said, but I almost picked the wrong one!   Don’t try to find us. – Love from Liza and Kim.”
Spring had had her chance. Now it was summer’s turn.  Cora felt a warm July sun glowing within her. Love is love, regardless of gender, regardless of age differences.  She dialed the memorized number.  “Mark?” Her heart beat wildly.
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Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-02
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