At my own wedding, after speaking with the groom’s mother, whose plan was almost perfect, I said, “I don’t!”

Ryan and Hanna are about to tie the knot and make their commitment to one another following years of courtship that began with a fortuitous meeting. Hanna, however, is devastated when Ryan’s mother shows her an embarrassing video of Ryan with a different woman. Later on, though, Hanna discovers more duplicity than she could have imagined coupled with the video’s reality.

Do parents just like revealing shocking information before to weddings? When I say before, do I mean half an hour beforehand?

For that’s precisely what Ryan’s mom did.

When Ryan and I first crossed paths two years ago, it was kind of by accident. Because one of my friends, Mila, was directing her first local musical, I was at the community theater.

And there I was, post-show, standing outside with a bunch of flowers for Mila. Ryan left, walking straight into me and smashing the flowers due of the throng.

Grabbing the bouquet, he exclaimed, “I am so sorry.”

I declared, “I detest crowds.”

With a laugh, he motioned for us to step back from the door.

He said, “I’m not a fan either.” “My name is Ryan.”

I said, introducing myself as Hanna.

Ryan proposed to me in a bar three months into our relationship over crispy potato skins and Guinness.

We ought to have cemented that pledge with our wedding vows last week. However, our wedding took a very different turn than it should have.

At first, my family embraced Ryan wholeheartedly. My parents were overjoyed that I had found someone who truly made me happy, especially since I was their only daughter.

One evening when we brought Ryan around for family supper, my mother commented, “This is a different side to you, Hanna.”

With a smile, my father remarked, “He makes her happy.” “A father could only want that.”

Ryan had a sense of belonging and warmth from them, which strengthened our bond as a pair.

It was much the same on his end. The Coles welcomed me into their house and hearts, and their only goal was to host us as much as they could. Audrey, Mrs. Cole, had also developed a manicure and coffee date routine with me.

Up until that particular instant, everything seemed to be in order.

I had been as composed as possible before our wedding. Ryan and I had meticulously planned the small-scale church wedding, down to the last detail. We were well-aware of our preferences and how to customize everything for our special day.

However, my soon-to-be mother-in-law called me aside right before the ceremony on what was supposed to be the greatest day of my life.

“My dear,” she said. “May we just talk for a minute?”

I gave her a nod and instructed her to hold off until my makeup and hair artists finished.

Her mannerisms caused me to feel uneasy and apprehensive. I observed her motions while I looked at my image in the mirror.

Her gaze darted swiftly across the room, frequently resting on my wedding garment that hung on its hanger.

I turned to Audrey when I was ready and my mom was buttoning my dress.

I smiled at her and replied, “I’m ready when you are.”

When she saw me wearing the clothing, her eyes become glassy. Audrey and my mother had attended my previous fittings, but this was the first time they would witness the whole impact of my bridal gown.

“Hanna,” murmured Audrey. “It’s difficult for me to say this.”

My chest was thumping with my heart. I knew our talk would not result in anything positive when I sat observing her while my hair was done.

I told him to just say it. “Explain to me.”

Audrey reached into her handbag and produced her phone to show me.

“This phone has movies that walk you through everything. Hanna, I really apologize, but Ryan has to be exposed.

My thoughts were racing. When her phone was unlocked, I had no idea what I was going to witness.

A woman’s voice resounded across the room as she handed me her phone and said, “This here.”

The recordings on Audrey’s phone showed Ryan secretly in love with another woman—a clear betrayal.

“Are you certain?” I enquired. “Is he here?”

Audrey closed her eyes, inhaled deeply.

She answered, “Well, have a look at the jacket on the bed.” “Is that the one you acquired him for?”

I glanced at the jacket after pressing play once again. The hotel room likewise had a familiar appearance; I was certain we had visited there previously.

I said, “But Ryan’s face isn’t in the frame.”

I was having trouble. My almost mother-in-law was there in front of me with a tape that revealed her son’s adultery, and I couldn’t believe it.

“Hanna,” she said gradually. It is just before you. You can choose to ignore it, but if you do, consider the man you would be getting married to. Knowing that, could you live with yourself? Could you coexist with him?

I gave a headshake. I was so overwhelmed that I wanted to weep.

“All right,” I said.

“You’re going to call off the wedding?” Audrey enquired, her voice laced with optimism.

“No,” I said. “I intend to proceed down that aisle. I intend to go towards the man who has betrayed me. And I’ll end it then, when it’s time for our vows.

Audrey put her phone back in her purse and murmured, “Okay, darling.” “Anyway, it’s almost time now.”

When it was time for me to marry Ryan, I settled down on the chaise and waited for my father to come fetch me. All I wanted was to hop in a car and head somewhere where I could eat a mound of fries and forget about my feelings.

When I walked up to the altar on my father’s arm, my heart was pounding so hard with rage. Ryan gave me a kind grin, sensing the fury that was building beneath my skin. Squeezing my hand, he took it.

If only he hadn’t been with someone else, it would have been dream come true.

Our priest continued by quoting passages from the Bible that discuss marriage and love. And my heart eventually calmed down as it came time for our vows, finally recognizing what was about to happen.

I mutely muttered, more to the earth than to Ryan, “I don’t.”

The priest urged Hanna to speak up more.

“I’m not!” Speaking with greater assurance, my comments echoed like a loud shockwave.

I spoke those two words again, and Ryan’s surprise turned to perplexity.

“Hannah? How come? With a tone full of hurt and betrayal, he questioned.

My words were, “Ask your mom,” gesturing to Audrey. “Mrs. Cole, please share with everyone what you previously told me.”

At once the church fell silent, like though everyone was holding their breath. She pulled her phone out of her bag with trembling hands. She held it out to me like she had previously.

“Observe,” I told Ryan.

Ryan retreated a step and nearly tumbled over the wedding arch.

“Hanna, that’s not who I am!” He spoke up. “You know it’s not me, Hanna!”

I averted my gaze from him.

He then went up against his mother.

“Mum, what’s going on here? What is that? How did you obtain the video?

With a shake of her head, Audrey turned to leave the church and disappeared down the aisle.

I had to endure Ryan’s excuses for too long.

“Please, Hanna,” he said. “I need your faith in me.”

And I desired to. I wanted to believe the man I loved, of course. However, it was evident—in the video, the jacket I got him was lying across the bed. He was with another person.

And how would he explain the footage if it became out that he wasn’t with someone else? And the girl who had very little on? What about the audio effects?

I said, “I can’t do this.” “I refuse to.”

Leaving the side door behind me, my parents trailed closely behind me.

For the remainder of the day, Ryan kept contacting me, so when night fell, I blocked his number.

However, two days later, Ryan turned up at my parents’ place with takeout and flowers, when I was curled up under a blanket, wondering where it had all gone wrong.

“You think this will solve every problem?” I enquired.

He stated simply, “I need to talk.”

I listened in spite of my better judgment.

Ryan’s next revelation pushed me into yet another tailspin.

He’d approached Audrey following the nuptials.

He answered, “I went straight to her house.” “As if she hadn’t just ruined our wedding, she was sitting there, in her kitchen, eating toast and listening to old records.”

I yelled out, “I think you did that.”

“Hanna,” he issued a warning. “That video was masterminded by my mother. Her pupils are the ones that are in it. And the reason behind it all was her dislike of our marriage.

My mouth dropped to the floor.

Audrey was an English tutor for first-year college students in addition to being a high school teacher. She became really anxious when she realized that Ryan and I were about to tie the knot. Too keen to earn a little more cash, she recruited two of her college students for the role.

I responded, tucking into the lunch Ryan had brought over, “I thought she liked me.” “She obviously doesn’t, considering that she assembled a whole video.”

Ryan laughed tensely, “She did say that the sounds were edited.” “But I have to give it to her—it was a nice touch to include my jacket.”

I was unaware of my feelings. Since leaving my own wedding two days ago, I’ve persuaded myself that Ryan was the villain in my tale. that his mother revealed him for what he was, and that he was the monster who crushed my heart.

But the truth was far worse than that.

This was a mother who had broken my heart to marry her son before claiming me as the daughter she never had.

She thought Ryan wasn’t worthy of me.

I accused Ryan of cheating on me in front of our visitors, but he instantly forgave me, and I did the same in return.

Although we’re still together, I have no idea what the future may bring. I feel misled and saddened by Audrey for the time being. Furthermore, I am aware that she will find it difficult to forgive.

How would you respond?

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