For five months I secretly struggled with my decision to marry my fiancé, Camden . Not because I didn't love him
or didn't want to be married, but because of the stunning revelation that he was previously involved in a
clandestine same-sex relationship with a member of our church.
When the big day came, I was a nervous wreck. I should have been admiring my dress, adjusting my veil, and
practicing my smile in the mirror because I was about to be a princess for a day. But instead of having joy in my
heart, I was on edge. It wasn't fair that I had to be concerned about my soon-to-be husband's ex-lover showing up at our
wedding. I imagined if he did, my handsome groom wouldn't be gazing into my eyes as I recited my vows to him, but instead he
would be looking over my shoulder and into the eyes of his former paramour—too much for any bride to worry about on her
I paced the floor, wearing a hole in the plush carpet. I clenched my hands and released them over and over again.
I started sweating profusely as nervousness engulfed me. The butterflies that vigorously swam in my stomach made
me want to vomit. I clutched my abdomen in an attempt to ease the nauseous feelings. It didn't work.
Tears gushed from my eyes and my body was trembling as I reflected upon the words in an anonymous letter sent
to me just days before. Please don't marry Camden , the letter stated. He's lying to you when he says he has
changed. Don't marry him or you will regret it.
I was flooded with an array of emotions and the pressure was way too much to endure. I flopped down on my
bed and massaged my temples. I closed my eyes in an attempt to erase all negative thoughts. No such luck. The
memories of Camden 's past cluttered my mind.
“Stormy, what's wrong?” my friend Leigh asked, rushing into my bedroom. She clutched my trembling shoulders.
“What's wrong with you? You're shaking all over. You look like you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”
Not realizing Leigh had entered the room, I quickly attempted to regain my composure. I couldn't let on that I was
nervous as hell about marrying Camden . My friends and family already doubted the marriage, and to find out I
doubted the marriage too would gleefully give them a reason to call off the wedding. I couldn't let that happen. I
had to put on my game face. I had to make everybody believe that I was secure with my decision.
“I'm fine, Leigh. I'm just suffering from wedding day jitters and need some time to clear my head before all the
“From the looks of things, I would say it's more than just wedding day jitters.” I chuckled.
“No, really . . . I'm good.”
“It's still not too late to change your mind, you know?” Leigh said, obviously not believing me.
“For the last time, Leigh, I'm fine!” I was getting a tad bit irritated. I was already edgy and didn't need anybody
adding to my stress.
“Well then, it's time for you to get dressed. Your mother said the makeup artist, photographer, and limousine will
be here shortly. So come on. We're all waiting for you to put on your gown.”
“I'll be there in a minute.”
When Leigh disappeared on the other side of the door, I attempted to get myself together mentally. I prayed and
asked God for strength. I asked him to stop allowing Satan to consume my thoughts.
“Camden has changed,” I spoke aloud. “He's no longer the same man who snatched my heart from my chest a
year ago.” He'd promised me that he'd changed. Reverend Brooks, Camden 's father and our pastor, had also
given me his word that Camden was no longer struggling with his desires for men. And if a man of God said it,
then I had to believe it.
I took a deep, intoxicating breath and then looked down at my diamond engagement ring. The sun shone through
the window so brightly that it seemed to make the diamonds on the ring glisten. I actually thought I saw the
diamonds smiling at me. Surprisingly, this gave me the boost I needed to get up and get moving.
As I headed down the hallway to my parents' bedroom to get dressed, I began to feel my confidence level
rise–just a bit. I'm making the right decision to marry Camden , I thought as I entered my mother's room.
“Girl, what took you so long? We've been waiting forever,” my feisty friend Nicole joked. She had never liked
Camden from day one—said it was something in his shifty eyes. But being a true friend, she promised to support
me in my decision to make him my lifelong partner.
“Sorry, y'all,” I responded. “Just needed some time alone.”
“No, problem,” Dominique, another good friend, said. “But now that you're here, let's get you into your wedding
I eyed my beautiful wedding dress hanging from the closet door. My heart thumped anxiously. There's no turning
back now , I thought as I walked over to the door and took the dress off the hanger. My mother and bridesmaids
assisted me as I slowly stepped into the gown. As I pulled the dress up over my breast, I began to feel as if I
owned the day. I looked in the mirror andadmired how stunning I looked in my white, strapless, satin gown with
side draping and beaded champagne lace appliqués. Cinderella ain't got nothin' on me! My confidence steadily
ascended although butterflies continued to do the backstroke in my stomach.
As my teary-eyed mother cautiously placed the tiara on my head, making certain not to mess up my long, flowing,
Shirley Temple curls, I convinced myself that I was making the right decision. Camden loves me , I repeated over
and over again in my head. He wouldn't have asked me to marry him if his heart truly wasn't in it.
After having my makeup applied and photographs taken, I was finally ready to become Mrs. Camden Brooks.
But before I stepped one foot out of the house, I made a pre-marriage vow to myself. If I find out that Camden
is not true to me and has reverted to his homosexual behaviors, he will live to regret it!
Copyright © 2007 by Latrese N. Carter