Prompt 24

“You are looking down through the skylight as chefs prepare dinner for your ex-fiancé’s wedding”

“Come on, you’re better than this,” Rita admonished herself. “You can still turn back. You don’t have to do this.”

While the rational voice in her head had a point, Rita knew that the anxiety she had around this day wouldn’t go away until she did this. So, she kept climbing the fire escape up the side of the building in which her ex-fiancé was about to get married.

Rita knew there was no logic behind what she was doing. She understood that she was being led by a deep seeded neurosis that wouldn’t relinquish its hold of her – or so Dr. Feinstein said – and she had accepted that fact.

Once she made it to the roof, she started looking for the various skylights that she could peek through.

Now, before you go thinking that she was bat-shit crazy, the only reason Rita knew about the skylights was because this was the exact venue that she and Jonathan (yes, that’s the pig’s name) had picked out for their wedding exactly two months before he had called the whole thing off. Apparently he had found the ‘actual’ love of his life, and he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity of spending his life with her…Sophie.

Ugh. Rita shuddered, trying to shake the memory off her.

“Ok, Rita, focus. You’ll just have a peek, make sure it’s nowhere near as good as yours would have been, and get out.”

Remembering the layout of the building, she first went to the ballroom to take a look at what Sophie (she couldn’t think of the name without rolling her eyes) had done. Rita inched her head over the skylight, and froze.

“What the hell?!” she shrieked. “That bitch stole my idea!”

The tables had been spread out in concentric circles, each with alternating table cloth colours of either teal or turquoise. The flowers were lilacs, hanging over the vase and meant to fill the room with their sweet fragrance. Even the place settings had little bird cages that had the person’s name on it, which Rita had chosen because both she and Jonathan had each had a canary when they were growing up. Rita was outraged. Every little detail that she had so carefully planned with Jonathan was executed to utter perfection right under her nose, and it wasn’t even her wedding!

How could this have happened? She must have left a copy of the wedding binder at his place and this Sophie (ugh) must have taken it! But why? What kind of lazy, crazy person wants to live through the wedding that someone else designed?

Rita couldn’t just leave it at that. She had to see what else the bridal thief had stolen. Completely ignoring the voice in her head telling her to just leave, she went on, this time stopping at the kitchen.

The chefs were hard at work pulling together the Caprese salads, preparing the mashed vegetables infused with truffle oil, searing the peppercorn beef and the maple-soy salmon, all of which Rita had painstakingly chosen. She couldn’t believe it. She was lucky none of the chefs looked up or they would have seen her faced pressed against the glass as it went through a transformation from shock to confusion to fury and then to even more fury. She could only just stop herself from banging against the glass.

“Ok, ok. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, no?”

“Screw that. That monster stole my wedding! She stole my designs, my food! I bet she even stole our song, and the band, and the…”

And then, mid rant, she saw it. The one thing that she would never be able to forget.

The cake.

Down to the ivy traipsing around it and the three crisp layers, Sophie had copied her cake to the very last detail. The cake itself she could one day forgive, but what broke Rita, and what made her realize that maybe this wasn’t so much Sophie’s fault as it was Jonathan’s, was the cake topper. It was the one that Rita had had made specially in the likeness of her and Jonathan. In fact, it was modelled after a photo of the two of them at his company Christmas party last year.

This made no sense. Sure, Rita and Sophie looked somewhat alike, at least when it came down to cake topper figurines, but…really? Did Jonathan really care so little for what they had had that he didn’t realize the sentiment attached to those two little dolls standing on top of the cake?

With that realization, Rita realized that she had found what she had actually come looking for on this roof. Closure. She was never going to have the wedding she had planned with Jonathan. In fact, someone else would. She was just going to have to move on.

“There, there,” the rational voice cooed. “You’ll be just fine. Let’s just get you off this roof now, shall we?”

So Rita went down.

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