The Wedding, Chapter 2: Best Man

The second chapter in Voices’ sophomore serial, following the best man on the day of his best friend's wedding.

Illustrated by Rachel Lee.

A wedding is a time for family, levity and love. But what craziness ensues when an unwanted guest, the groom’s ex to be exact, shows up out of the blue? Find out over the course of four installments in season two of the UTA Voices serial!

Written by four authors and released in weekly installments with custom illustrations throughout the month of November.

Wowie I was excited. It was the best day of my life. My best best best friend was getting married. He deserved the best and nothing but the best, and he sure was getting it tonight with his beautiful bride Monica. Gee whiz, today was a good day to be alive. 

As I stood up at the altar with my best friend I looked out over the pews of the majestic, neo-gothic cathedral filled with everyone who mattered to my best friend, most of whom mattered to me too. My eyes landed on James’ ex Dianne in the crowd and I remembered the shock I’d felt when I saw her arrive an hour or so before. Whatever happened to her? What was she doing here? James hadn’t cheated on her with Monica exactly, they’d just decided to be modern about things and not put an official label on the relationship. This certainly hadn’t prevented hurt feelings when things had gotten serious with Monica. But you know what? Good for them. It was so like James to be able to make amends with someone like that; he really was the best guy I know, and I was so thrilled to be able to play a role in his special day! 

She was looking better than I remembered⁠ — a lot better ⁠— surely if they had never really dated and James was now getting married it wouldn’t be too wrong for me to make some kind of move.

The organ was playing, and I was really jamming out. Dianne saw my moves, but she didn’t seem as impressed as I hoped she would have. “She should see me when I’m more free to move,” I thought. 

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I tried to recall what exactly we had said to each other when I saw her arrive an hour ago. I asked her if she’d had her daily cup of coffee. I remembered that about her. She always needed a cup of coffee. I remember waking up to find her in the apartment James and I shared in college, and when I told her good morning she would invariably whine and say she needed coffee. 

“Who the hell are you?” she responded harshly. I patted her on the back and told her how great it was to be with her on this glorious day.  She looked around as if she was looking for something or someone else to talk to, but she ultimately stayed put. Maybe we’re having a good time!

I told her how good it was to see her, and how thankful I was to have a chance to rekindle this relationship. Smooth, good job me. She coughed. I sneezed. Just like old times. 

The priest asking if anyone had any objections snapped me back to reality. I looked out over the pews and tried to give the crowd my most intimidating look: no one was going to object to my best friend’s wedding, not on my watch. Having stared down any possible ne’er-do-wells in the audience I turned my attention back to the ceremonies at hand. This really was the best day I had had since graduation. Well, I hadn’t graduated but watching everyone I loved graduate had been amazing and surely three-quarters of a degree was just almost as good as a full one? 

The rest of the wedding was beautiful, Monica really had gone above and beyond with the decorations every flower and ribbon were just where they were meant to be. It had looked like an honest-to-goodness fairy tale. Hell even though I hadn’t been happy about it when she first showed me I had to admit the white tie attire she had picked out for the groom’s party really did make us look like a million bucks I looked over at my friend’s ex-but-not-really-ex when the bride walked down the aisle. She wasn’t beaming as much as I was, but she’s one of those people who beams on the inside; one of those people who look angry on the outside, but on the inside are filled with joy, like Gerald. He looked angry as always but I just knew must have been overjoyed deep, deep down. After all, who wouldn’t be watching someone as great as James marry their daughter. 

As my bestie said his vows, I forgot my place and shouted: “LOVE YOU!” He looked at me. Me— looks at me. Everyone was looking at me. I was so honored to be part of this romantic ritual. 

They carried on with the vows, and the next thing I knew, they were married. As everyone exited, I shot Dianne a warm smile. That was when I decided that really, truthfully she wasn’t enough of an ex for anyone to be mad if I did decide to put the moves on her. She had already been checking out my constrained moves up at the altar so I figured asking her to dance would be a good start. And thinking about it honestly, hooking up with her really was the best friend move. After all, if I was hooking up with her, Monica would have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Email Jake at [email protected]

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