The Bride

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“Don’t take me! Please, I’m begging you!” Ross was screaming as we slept. She had been having nightmares two weeks before our wedding day. I had never seen her struggling with her sleep before and overcome with fear. Everything seemed normal to me but Ross had been acting strange since she started having nightmares. She said that she was cursed and couldn’t get married. Ross actually came from a village with many superstitions. She handed me a piece of cloth a year ago and told me it would serve as my protection from evil spirits. I laughed at her and didn’t believe her. But saw no harm in it. So I took it with me everywhere I went until now.

I wanted to bring her to a psychologist for some tests but she refused and said that nobody could help her. I asked her to explain to me what’s bothering her and she told me about a nightmare. She mentioned a guy with vague details as in the dream. She didn’t recognize him but the message was clear. She was not allowed to get married because the guy in her nightmare had already claimed her. She had the same dream when she turned 18 but had ignored it. What’s more concerning is that she had repetitive dreams over and over as our wedding day drew near. I seriously didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to think that my future wife is crazy.

Ross’ parents and sister all died from nightmares. It’s surreal to think about it but it was the cause of their deaths, not a stroke or anything. They all died in their sleep. Ross feared meeting the same fate. A week before our wedding, Ross brought live chickens and butchered them inside the house. She said that they were offerings and that she needed to do it everyday. She performed a ritual with it that would supposedly drive the spirit away. Her ritual included a speaking an incoherent dialect, then she sang, and covered the bowl of chicken blood with a black towel. It is supposed to have trapped the evil spirit and isolated it. At that point, I didn’t know what to believe anymore. I wanted to help Ross but I didn’t know where to start. She refused to go to a doctor and didn’t want to discuss it with other people. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions that she was going crazy at first but it became too overwhelming.

One day as I came home from work, I found Ross lying on the floor. I panicked and carried her up. I wanted to bring her to the hospital but she refused it again and said, “it was over”. I wondered what was over and she told me the spirit is gone. She was finally relaxed throughout the night and slept good. She didn’t have anymore nightmares and woke up happy the next morning. She spent the whole day finalizing our wedding preparations and I didn’t see anything strange with her again.

As Ross was slowly walking down the aisle, I noticed an unfamiliar guy entering the church door staring at me. I ignored him and concentrated on my soon to be bride. Ross looked very beautiful in her wedding dress. I couldn’t imagine what’s my life going to be like without her. Tears were falling from my eyes as she walked closer. It was the best day of my life, of course. She was officially becoming Mrs. Dale and nothing was more important in this world than her. Our wedding went as planned and I thanked Ross for making my dreams come true.

We had  a long day. We had the reception at my parent’s farm and everything went great. But the stranger I saw from the church was at the reception too. I was sure he wasn’t on our guest list as I know everybody who was invited. I wanted to talk to him and ask him who he was but as soon as I was walked up to him, Ross grabbed my attention. The man suddenly disappeared and I couldn’t see him anywhere. I had goosebumps and felt discomfort. Ross didn’t see him either, not even in the church. I asked my parents but they didn’t notice him either.

On our first night of being married, Ross was busy opening gifts from our wedding then prepared our luggage for the honeymoon. I just stared at her all night. Her bright face brought me happiness, her love kept me alive, and everything about her inspired me to keep going.

I got up early the next morning  to surprise Ross with breakfast in bed. I made her my special pancakes and coffee. I waited for a couple minutes and stood in front of the bed holding her food. The wind blew the curtain down and made a loud noise as the curtain rod hit the floor but it didn’t even wake her up. So I decided to wake her up because we’re suppose to go to our honeymoon in 2 hours. Ross wasn’t breathing! She was pronounced deceased the same day.  She had been so excited about our honeymoon the night before and I wish  we had experienced it. I blamed myself for not believing in Ross’ nightmares and could have done more to persuade her to talk about it with a professional. She should be still alive if I didn’t marry her. I should have listened to her. It’s all my fault. Everything started to make sense when she passed away. The guy from Ross’ nightmares and the stranger at our wedding was not a coincidence. It was the same man.

Ross’ last words to me were, “I love you and always remember that. When I’m gone, promise me you will go on with your life and will stay strong. Find a woman who can bring you happiness, take good care of you, and love you as much as I do.  And when I leave, don’t be sad… because my love for you is eternal. I will still love you, even on the other side.”

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