It was two weeks before the wedding and Nuala was a mess.
It was the cake.
"It was supposed to be the blue with purple flowers not purple with blue flowers" she sobbed into my arms.
"It's ok, really it's ok" I said comforting her. "I will call the bakery right now and get it sorted out. Don't worry, you WILL have the cake you want on your wedding day!"
But no sooner had I got my phone out to make the call it rang.
"It's Hiro. Can you meet me at the beach?"
"Sure, if you want. I just need to make a phone call and then I will be there"
"I really need you here now, it's important."
"OK, if it's important?"
"It is. See you soon. Bye"
"Who was it?" Nuala asked trying, unsuccessfully, to dry her eyes.
"It was Hiro. He wants me to meet him at the beach right now, he says it's important."
That perked her right up. "Oh well of course you must go! Don't worry about me. You're right I will call the bakery and this whole mess will go away."
"You're sure?" Something wasn't right here.
"Positive! Go if Hiro needs you there then that's where you should be."
I left, confused and feeling strangely apprehensive. What was going on that Hiro needed me for so suddenly. And why was Nuala so eager to get me to go?
I felt like there was something there, some thought on the edge of my consciousness that would make sense of all this, but it was driven out of my head as I arrived at the beach on say Hiro sitting there waiting for me.
"Rosé," he gushed, smiling and grabbing my hands.
"Rosé," he said again sighing.
"You must know that I adore you."
"You are the bright little berry in my life."
"Will you marry me?"
"I'm sorry Hiro I didn't mean to be so forceful. You are a wonderful guy, very sweet and attentive but I can't marry you."
"But I thought you loved me?"
"I care for you Hiro, very much. Perhaps I do even love you but not in the right way. I'm sorry. I don't mean to be cruel but I just can't marry you." I didn't realise until that moment that I couldn't have a life without passion, I couldn't settle. I hated to do it but I had to leave him there. I didn't want to break his heart but as I walked away I knew I had made the right decision.
I was in a daze. How could I not have seen this coming? The secretive phone calls Nuala had lately. The weird call to the beach, how Nuala perked up when she heard Hiro wanted me to meet him there. It made sense now. But why, WHY couldn't I have seen it earlier.
When I arrived at home the whole family was there waiting for me. Even my mum was back in town to greet me at the door. Nuala rushed out to meet me grinning from ear to ear.
"So?" she asked with an expectant smile.
"He asked me to marry him," I said woodenly.
"And?" she said grabbing my hand and not sensing my mood.
"I said no."
Everyone in the room exchanged a glance.
They ALL knew?? How could I have been so blind not to have noticed! And how could they honestly think, after all those years of seeing the passion, the spark between my mum and dad, that I could settle for anything less!
They all moved on to other things and left me alone and in shock.
At least there was the wedding to distract me and the two weeks past in a blur. There were millions of last minute details and dress fittings to occupy more hours than there were in a day. Before we knew it the big day was here.
So here I am, in a bridesmaids dress, waiting for my sister to get married. And I'm still alone.
Wait. Who's THAT?