Dolly Garland is studying for MA in English Literature. She is a freelance writer, a soon-to-be published short story author, a poet and an aspiring novelist. She is the founder of Kaizen Journaling, where she teaches people how to use journaling for personal development. You can follow her on Twitter here (@DollyGarland) and her work can be found on her website here: www.kaizenjournaling.com.
Dolly shares her piece of flash fiction, ‘Regret’, with CUB here:
Regret lurked at the door of their marriage, even before the wedding vows were exchanged. It hid in the nooks, crannies and dark alleys of her mind. Hidden behind the joy of blossoming love and a thrill of a new beginning, it waited.
The grinning bride and groom were showered with confetti of roses and sunflower petals, and heartily congratulated by the registry office staff. If the staff wondered why the bride wasn’t blushing modestly as newlywed girls were supposed to, they didn’t mention it. After all, registry office wedding without family present was hardly the kind of thing an ordinary, cultured Indian girl would do.
It was just as well that they didn’t say so, for the bride would only have shocked them with her reply. Being ordinary wasn’t something she had ever aspired to. The couple stepped out of the registry office, immodestly holding hands, daring to show their love to the world. They posed for a photograph – the bride, radiant in her red wedding sari and the groom, handsome in his black suit.
Regret saw the emptiness around them where the loved ones should have been, and knew it had found its mark. It saw the bride’s happy face as she looked up to her much taller husband with adoring eyes.
Regret wrapped itself, stealthily and smoothly, around the moments that should have been memories to cherish, but were instead laced with shadows.
Though the bride didn’t notice, Regret was already strengthening its hold.