The Wedding Secret
by Kelly F. Barr
Kalliope smoothed the front of her white lace wedding dress and reached for her bouquet of lavender roses and white carnations with shaking hands.
She placed a hand on her stomach and looked at Riah, her bridesmaid. “I don’t know if I can go through with this.”
Riah stepped toward her and took her free hand. “You do love him, don’t you?”
Kalliope nodded. “Of course I do, but what will happen if his family finds out? I feel like we should have told them.”
“You know what would’ve happened if they knew, right?”
“They would’ve found a way to prevent us from marrying.” Tears welled in Kalliope’s eyes.
“Don’t let those tears fall. You’ll ruin your makeup.” Riah smiled. “You’re doing the right thing. You and Jerry belong together. You can’t let someone else’s prejudices prevent that.” She squeezed Kalliope’s hand.
“But they’re his family.”
“And he made his choice and his decision. This way, if they find out, it will be too late, and the two of you will deal with it together.”
Organ music drifted into the room. Riah gathered the train of Kalliope’s dress and pointed to the door. “It’s time to go.”
Kalliope gave Riah a wobbly smile and moved to the door. Riah arranged Kalliope’s train then stepped around Kalliope with care. They watched Gretchen, Kalliope’s sister, walk down the aisle, then Riah gave Kalliope a thumbs-up before walking down the aisle.
When Riah reached the front of the church auditorium, the organist began the “Wedding March”. Kalliope took a deep breath, released it, and gained some courage as her father smiled at her and she took his arm.
As she and her father walked down the aisle, Kalliope looked around at all the faces. They were all smiling at her. She wondered how many on Jerry’s side would be smiling if they knew. Then she fixed her eyes on Jerry, who was standing at the front, his eyes glued to her, a smile on his face. She found strength in his presence and her doubts melted away at the love she saw shining through his eyes.
Her eyes locked with Jerry’s when her father placed her hand in Jerry’s. The two of them turned to face the pastor. The ceremony moved along smoothly until the pastor asked if there was anyone present who could give reason that this man and woman should not be joined together.
Kalliope’s heart thudded and every muscle in her body grew tense as she held her breath silently urging the pastor to continue. Someone cleared their throat and the lights flickered three times before blinking off completely.
It took a couple minutes for everyone’s eyes to adjust to the pale light that peeked through the draped windows. Then the organ began playing and the organist stood up and backed away from the instrument. The organist’s eyes and mouth opened wide as the organ played without anyone touching it. Several gasps came from the right side of the room, the side where Jerry’s friends and family sat.
Kalliope looked at Jerry, who quirked an eyebrow at her. She shrugged her shoulders as she tried to quell her elevated emotions. She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and released the breath through slow puffs of air. The organ music stopped, and when Kalliope opened her eyes, the lights had come back on and the pastor finished the ceremonial words before anyone else could find their voice, further easing Kalliope’s emotions.
When the pastor told Jerry to kiss his bride, he took her in his arms, dipped her as if they were dancing the tango, kissed her passionately, and as he returned her to her feet, whispered in her ear, “The lights and organ … that was you, wasn’t it?”
“I still struggle to control my magic abilities when my emotions are running high.”
Jerry grinned at her. “Marriage to you will certainly not be dull.”
As Kalliope savored the wedding meal, enjoyed cutting the cake and feeding a bit to Jerry and him feeding her, she began to relax. The dancing began and she took her place in Jerry’s arms.
He looked into her eyes. “You are beautiful and I am the luckiest man alive.”
She couldn’t help but wonder if he would still feel that way when his parents discovered her secret. His family wanted nothing to do with those who practiced magic—they said they were the reason the world was filled with hate, but Kalliope didn’t know any people with magic abilities that hated those who had none. It was always those without abilities spewing hate and being cruel toward those with magic abilities.
The dancing ended and Jerry’s parents loaded the gifts into their van to take to Jerry and Kalliope’s house while the newlyweds drove to the airport to fly to Missouri where they would spend their two week honeymoon in the Ozarks.
When they were seated on the plane, Jerry took her hand in his and rubbed his thumb over the back of it. Then he leaned over and spoke to Kalliope just above a whisper. “I’m looking forward to seeing what magic might happen tonight on our wedding night.” He winked at her and chuckled.
Kalliope’s face warmed and she knew she was blushing.