Elaborate music danced off the piano, spiralling into the air; the music was not instantaniously recognisable, eventually I reconised it as a wedding march, surrounded by a flood of embelishments. I'm sure it pleased the rest of the crowd, but since the event months ago, I heard everything as a dull groan in the background; a lullaby to soothe my troubled mind; a lament to the good times that were left behind as they withered and died. My memories.
My mother walked gracefully down the isle with a gait that every dancer would envy. Tears streaked from my grey eyes; that was nothing new. The tear tracks were permenantly etched onto my pale face, a reminder to others of my troubles. Shaunee held my hand. She had been my best friend throughout the whole of this. My other friends sat clustered around me - they were the only ones aware of the grief I was in, although I only let Shaunee know my true pain. No-one else would understand, and even I, as selfish as I was, would not bring others into my suffering.
I was glad that I had not decided to be a bridesmaid in more ways than one. If I had followed my mother on the faded red carpet I would have felt inadequate - like a mongrel being seen standing next to the winner of Crufts. How would I have looked like I belonged there? My mother was gorgeous, with shoulder length layered brown hair and large, mousey eyes that betrayed her panic and stress in moments when she pretended to be calm.
I tugged absent-mindedly at the foul pink frills on my dress. When I realised my actions, I felt a sudden urge to rip the dress off in front of all the wedding-goers and stamp up and down on it. Only the thought of how much time Shaunee and I had spent in the shops looking at racks and racks of dresses, all in varying shades of 'foul' stopped me from putting my thoughts into action. I detested dress shopping for formal dresses, and I knew that if I destroyed this one, fate would send me another God-forsaken occasion to survive. I could not for the life of me find any type of formal attire that I could be proud of owning.
And as for my face, my hair was lank, and despite having countless showers and numerous visits to the hair-dressers I could not get my raven-coloured hair back to its former glory. My eyes were dull from crying and dark rings had formed under them. To anyone that didn't know me I might have been recovering from a broken nose. In truth, I had stayed awake so many nights until after midnight because of worry. Worry can consume the mind and can set all your sences on end, whilst other people can spend years without one care in their head. I had yet to discover the cure for my anguish; but at least I knew the reason for it.
I closed my stinging eyes, letting darkness wash over me. I knew my mother and "Rich" were close, but I was totally unprepared for the event that took place on that raining January morning last year. I liked them together, he was right for her, but it was just not our way. I thought it was just a crush, anyhow, nothing serious. I didn't like the thought of her being with anyone else but me, as deranged and deluded as that thought was. We were always together, you see, and when he came along, his... normality... drove the legend - the legend that is the basis of our reality - off the edge of her mind. He just dissmissed it, like it was nothing. Nothing - our family, our heritage, was nothing? The biggest day of our future was coming up in TWO weeks, but, of course, I was 'told to think of someone other than myself'.
Me and my mother were always together, spending time shopping, shopping.... um.... shopping? Always had been close, always would be. Or so I thought.
Inseperable. Right. So when, on that frosty morning, they announced to me, that after two years of knowing knowing each other (two years????? I can't even get a boyfriend to last that long so I can't say on experience, but even I know that two years is a short stretch for anyone, let alone my mum, to know someone before they get married) they had decided that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.
My shock caused me to go numb; I was paralysed as I digested the information. I was happy for them. Right? Wasn't I? I had to be. And that was why I was now trapped in a mental prison of darkness and deceit, with sanity as my jailor, because I wanted what was best for them, but I also wanted what was right for me. I didn't want them to split up their love, to cause them pain, because of what I wanted and what made me happy.
We were getting to the part of the ancient ceremony where the vicar asks if there are any objections. I was slowly creeping towards hysteria; my friends were clearly wondering what to do if I went hysterical and in a fit of madness protested against the marrage. The posabilities of what they would do brought a smile to my lips as I pondered each scenario. They could either do nothing, sit back and watch in horror; or they could rugby-tackle me as I stood up and then drag me outside before I could make a noise in a James Bond-like procedure, but instead I worked to calm my panic - I put my 'stone-face' on, a perfectly expressionless face that I have almost mastered. It soothes my frantic heart-beat in even the most drastic of cases and it also has the added bonus of persuading my companions that I am not going to do anything crazed.
I could not watch any more of the wedding. I settled down on the uncomfterble wooden bench and closed my eyes. My mind took me to forward to my seventeenth birthday. My party would be spent with my A-Level english class on our trip to Cornwall. That in its self I was looking forward to, but the actual notion that my knew 'parent' said that we - sorry, they - should celebrate their honeymoon directly after their wedding, missing my big day completely, was a necessity to them. I heard somewhere, in the midst of ballong, music, and a mound of icing only just resembling a cake (Shaunee's home baking, obviously), an odd, droning voice. "You may now kiss the bride."
A dark flash of fire brought me back to the real world. My mother and Rich were parading back down the isle, arm in arm, to their car festooned with ribbons the colours of fresh snow. They would drve to the airport to fly to their honeymoon on a sandy beach somewhere. I, however, was left to cope by myself (give or take thirty A-leveleres). Not that I minded, anything would be better than sweating in a boiling hot country far away plagued with mosquitoes. Urgh.
I hadf one advantage over them, though, even if it was only a small one. I was travelling to a part of England, to the heart of Arthurian legend, to a place steeped in mystery. I was travelling to the place of my ancestress. And if I was going to destroy Time to become her, it would save me the journey.