Several hours later, Caitlyn awoke to her mom standing in the doorway with a tray in her hands. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you. I wanted to leave you a little something to eat.” She placed the tray on the nightstand next to the bed.
Caitlyn wiped at her swollen eyes and sat up. She cleared her throat, “I’m not hungry.”
“How are you feeling?”
“I’m so, so sorry, sweetheart.”
Caitlyn nodded. She toppled back down on her bed and her mother snuggled up next to her.
“I can’t believe he dumped me for another girl. Why didn’t he tell me he didn’t want to get married?”
“Maybe he was afraid.”
“He fell in love with a girl on his mission. Who does that?”
“I don’t know.” Her mom brushed her hand against Caitlyn’s cheek.
“What will I do now?”
“Go back to BYU.”
“I can’t. I told everyone about the wedding. Every time I have to answer why I’m not married, I’ll have to relive the pain all over again. I can’t do that. My heart hurts too much.”
“People will understand.”
“Will they? I don’t even understand it.” Tears snaked down her cheeks.
“In time you’ll find someone else.”
“No way. I never want to be hurt like this again. I’m done with marriage. Forever.” She used her sleeve to wipe her eyes.
“I trusted him. I believed him when he said we’d get married. Even though we couldn’t see much of each other because I was at school when he got home from his mission, we talked on the phone and texted each other. He never said a word. When I came home to see him in October, he acted like we were still a couple. How could he change his mind like that? I don’t understand.”
“I don’t know, honey, but you life will go on. I promise.” Her mom stroked Caitlyn’s hair. “I called your apartment office and your contract hasn’t sold so you still have a place there.”
“Mom, I can’t go back. Not like this.”
“You can, Cait. You can pick yourself up and go back.”
“No. I can’t.”
“Even though this is something none of us expected, it will be a blessing.”
“Really. You’ll see. Heavenly Father knows better than we do. It’s far better that this happened now instead of after the marriage.”
Caitlyn said nothing.
“You still have more than a week before school starts again. Your dad said he’d take some time off work. We can all go to Provo and spend time together as a family before we drop you off.”
Caitlyn closed her eyes. She desperately wished she’d wake up in the Bahamas enjoying her honeymoon.
I hope you've enjoyed reading the first chapter of Altared Plans. I had a lot of fun writing it. If you're interested in reading the rest of the novel you can purchase it at Amazon, Seagull Books, and independent LDS bookstores. Thanks for your support!
P.S. I love the last line of the book.
P.S.S. I included some real events that happened when I met my husband at BYU. We met in the FHE group where I was serving as the "mom" and he was serving as the "dad." He tried to feed me one of his steers named Frank which completely freaked me out since I'm a certified city-girl (and he's a country boy). I met my future mother-in-law for the first time while I was dressed as a clown because I'd been volunteering at Special Olympics. I won't tell you any more secrets--you'll have to read the book :).