When Reyna experiences something horrifying, though common, in her early twenties, she wishes for nothing more than to disappear, to have never existed. But when help comes to her, and she realizes she can't let her experience hinder her from her life, she wishes for something even worse: the opportunity to enact revenge.
My mother once told me that if you close your eyes and count to fifty-five while having your hands clasped together, the wish you ask for previously will come true. She didn’t exactly mention that the wish could take twenty years to actually come true.
Of course, I couldn’t be angry with her. I’d made many out-of-the-world wishes and some wishes that made sense at the time – like world peace, or a pony – and expected the wishes to come true only seconds later.
I stopped believing in wishes at eleven when I wished that I’d make friends in sixth grade and ended up having this horrible moment where everyone in the school ended up laughing at me because of the large red spot on the crotch of my white shorts. Of course, I did make friends, but that was with the teachers, so I never acknowledged the fact that that wish did, in fact, come true. I stopped believing in wishes, though, at a young age.
Although, as my best friend stood at the alter dressed in her beautiful white dress that fanned out behind her and accentuated her bust, tiny waist, and wide hips, I started to believe again. I’d told her years ago about that stupid wishing thing my mother had gotten me into. She’d just smiled and put her hands together. I’d waited for about a minute before she’d told me, “I wished for something. Think it’ll come true?”
“Doubt it,” I’d said, then at age sixteen. “None of mine ever came true. What’d you wish for?”
“I can’t tell you, silly! I don’t think so anyway…”
“Oh, come on, it won’t come true anyway.”
The brunette had bit her lip and rubbed the back of her neck. “I wished that I could marry whomever I want. When I get older, you know? I wanna marry a beautiful woman… She could be blonde or ginger or Asian or Italian… I don’t care, you know? And she doesn’t have to be beautiful. Just someone I really like, you know?”
Of course, I’d laughed at her, told her the government would never allow for gay marriage to be possible, and she just sighed and agreed with me.
Well, fuck me.
And, damn, the woman she was marrying was beautiful. She was in a dress as well, but it was black, to resemble a groom. She had long, tan legs, a slender frame, and long black hair that reached her waist in ringlets. Her face was soft and she had eyes to match, a light green that seemed to search one’s soul. I could see why they were getting married.
“I do,” whispered Monica as she smiled and blinked away a few tears. I could see the struggle in her fiancée’s expression to keep herself from crying.
“And, do you, Jocelyn Anne Finik, take Monica Opal Kizeth to be your lovely wedded wife, in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, until death do you part?”
“Then I now pronounce you wife and wife.”
It was so weird hearing that. Gay marriage had only been allowed all over the country just two years ago. I’d never been to a wedding for two people of the same gender, so to hear “I now pronounce you wife and wife” was so different. Not bad, no, I accepted it completely, and I’d also played around with the prospect of being bi-sexual when I was in high school and college, but I knew I liked men more and couldn’t see myself with a girl, not really. I’d experimented with Monica, even, to see if it was right for me. Maybe it was because it was with my best friend, but it felt too weird, and I couldn’t get used to it. Monica understood and we remained friends, but it’d been fairly awkward while it was going on.
The two women kissed to the cheers of the people in the crowd, including me standing next to the couple with Monica’s sister, Emily. Emily hadn’t been very supportive of gay marriage, just because she thought the sanctity of marriage was only supposed to be between a man and woman. She was there, though, to support her sister, but the look on her face when the women kissed made me want to punch her. Although she didn’t voice it, there were plenty of people who could see how disgusted she was through her expression. It was sickening in itself for her to show such repulsion towards Monica, who she had claimed she was supporting in her wedding.
My prediction since a week ago was that she would stick around for maybe a month or two after Monica got married and then Emily would move away or never talk to her sister again.
Monica’s parents weren’t there. They’d completely disowned her when they found out she was gay, kicked her out of the house at seventeen, and told her to go to Hell after they’d tried to exorcise her. It’d been a messy experience and I’d let her stay at my house for the next year until we graduated together and went to UVA. During that time, she’d tried to get in contact with her parents, but they wanted nothing to do with her still, although her sister was willing to keep in contact through email. Monica had been through three girlfriends before she found Jocelyn two years ago. Two of the women had actually dated her shortly before they found out things about her no one but her and I knew about. Then they betrayed her and she’d almost killed herself. I’d been there through it all, offering my support and love. She thought she’d never love anyone again until Jocelyn, whom she met at a bar she got herself piss drunk at one night after finals. Monica’s phone had been stolen, and she was too drunk to remember her address or my number, so Jocelyn just allowed her to stay the night above the bar, where she lived.
The woman was kind, she fixed Monica’s breakfast, and they talked for a long time about their experiences with their families, how they disowned them both, and Jocelyn called me to pick Monica up. From then on, they just talked every now and then before getting together one day and deciding to just be together. I didn’t think it’d last long considering I’d learned not to trust Monica’s previous girlfriends, but Jocelyn was such a sweet person with a spotless reputation and caring friends. Her step-brother was so supportive of her, but I could also see the same look in his as was in Emily’s. He had the decency to keep it hidden, so I respected him for that. He didn’t understand the attraction, and he didn’t think it was natural, but Kai didn’t express that unlike Monica’s sister.
Our eyes met across from each other and he smiled at me. I returned it and then watched as Monica and Jocelyn walked down the red carpet set down on the grass outside of Jocelyn’s step-father’s mansion.