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Rayn's wedding dress. She walked out of the dressing room and every

Rayn's wedding dress. She walked out of the dressing room and every eye went to her. "Oh," an elderly woman sighed, "that's her dress, right?" Floyd looked at her with sparkling eyes. He imagined her walking down the aisle toward him. He was happy. "That's not the groom is it?" Another woman asked. "That would be unfortunate." Floyd snapped from his dream and beamed at his "friend." "You look amazing. He'll love it. You're beautiful." "Oh," the same woman said, "he must be the best friend." "Or ex-lover," the first replied. Rayn looked at Floyd. She had heard the women and stifles giggles. Floyd raised his hand, not turning to the women, and said, "Ex-lover!" Rayn stared at the women and she and Floyd burst into laughter. "You really like it?" She asked after a moment. "You're going to make a beautiful bride," he told her, smiling sadly. She suddenly realized how painful it all must have been for him. The women still watched and listened as she said, "I'm sorry." "EX-FIANCÉ!" One woman yelled out, covering her mouth quickly after. However, neither looked up, because they were too busy searching each other's eyes. "Floyd I just-" "Forget it, okay?" He said, rising. "No, I can't. You...you proposed. And I wasn't ready. I'm sorry." "Let's just buy the dress and go-" "No!" She demanded, making him sit on the couch once more. "We are going to talk about...this." "Okay." He said, wondering what she possibly had to say. "You want honesty? Well, here you go. The reason I said no to the sweetest proposal I had ever seen? I. Was. Scared. Scared, okay? I. Was. Scared. You don't know why though. You wanna know?" She didn't give him a chance to respond before she said, "my parents' marriage was failed from the start. They were in stupid love, blinding love! They couldn't possibly see that having no money or ambition would backfire. Because all they saw were roses. They were avoiding life. I live in the real world and in the real world love doesn't bring in the money. Eventually, we lost the house. That was when it fell apart," she said, her voice getting quieter. "Then, my dad blamed my mom for it. He came home one night drunk off his ass and I woke up to screams and shattering glass. When I walked into the living room of our crappy 1 bedroom apartment, I saw my mother crying into her own pool of blood on the ground as my father screamed at her. Do you know what it's like to see your own strong, invincible father break? Soon, it was a regular thing. He came home drunk and Mom had two black eyes the next day. And then came A night like all the others. Dad was drunk, mom was hit, and then I got out of bed and walked up to him. I asked him why he was hurting mommy. Then," Rayn began to cry, "he punched me in the face. Me! A six year old little girl! His own flesh and blood! I was the one-me!-I had to pull the gun out of his hand to keep him from murdering himself! Do you know what that's like?!" She was screaming and her voice was cracking. Rayn's tears flowed freely down her cheeks and onto the perfect wedding gown. Every person stopped and watched as her life story unfolded. "Rayn, I-" he reached out to touch her and she smacked his hand away. "DONT!" She screeched. "Shut up and let me speak!" Putting her hands over her face, she breathed a moment. "I...I had to steal food from the school cafeteria because he refused to give my mother money to buy some. I fed my family for months. Finally, my mother found a job as a bar tender. She left my father and we found an apartment here. In New York. She filed for divorce and was given full custody of me and she got all the money. Turns out, my dad was rich. He had more than two million dollars in the bank. He inherited it from his parents, who were good people." Again, she took a deep breath and stared into Floyd's eyes. "I was 10 by the time that happened. My mom wanted to save money so she just upgraded to a two bedroom apartment and then she was offered the job of a lifetime. She became an actress on Broadway. She got more and more money and it became an empire. She always made time for me, though. Made sure I was taken care of. Loved. Oh, she loved-and still loves-me. I went to college, culinary. And my father was never heard of again. And no one ever bothered to ask where he was." Floyd looked at her, waiting for approval to say something. "You can talk now," Rayn told him as of reading his mind. Even though all eyes were trained on them, Floyd felt as if they were the only two there. "So...you're basically terrified that I will be like you're father." Rayn nodded. Floyd stood and cupped her tear filled face in his hands. "It doesn't have to be this way!" He whispered. "I will not be like that! I love you too much! I love you more than I probably should! I've never stopped loving you!" She grabbed his wrist and set her forehead against his. "I can't. I'm engaged to a stable, kind man." "And I'm not?" "Love can make you do crazy things." Floyd pulled away and stared at her. Her eyes were trained to the floor. "So the reason you're marrying him," he paused, thinking of his words, "is the same reason you don't want to marry him? Because you don't love him?" "Love is destructive." "But we aren't!" He argued, holding her face again. "We are so passionately in love that we can control ourselves. There's the love that you can control and the love that you can't. We can control our love. We have so far. I have a career. You have a career. I hold myself back each time I'm with you. I know you are too. We can control it." She thought a moment, then said, "no. We can't." Turning to the sales consultant, she said, "I'll take this one. How long for alterations?" The consultant stared wide-eyed, then said, "oh, yes, um, well usually it's a few weeks..." Her voice faded as she walked with Rayn to the dressing rooms. Floyd stood where he was, slack-jawed and shocked. Suddenly, two shoes were blocking his vision to the floor. He looked up and saw the old woman who had been gossiping about him earlier. "Sweetie, she loves you. It's obvious. You know, this is similar to my husband's and my love story. There he is, over there," she said, pointing to an old man sitting in a high backed chair. "He stood up at my wedding and rejected the marriage of me and a different man. Jerry-my husband-and I ran off and drove to Vegas. We were married the next day. We've lasted 47 years so far. And for our next anniversary we are having the wedding we never had. You'll get your girl, she'll come to you. Just be patient. Jerry was and look where we are! If it comes down to it, do what my husband did and reject the marriage. Take a stand. If you love her, then fight." Floyd stared at the old woman. She was at least 70 and full of wisdom. "Okay," he finally spoke, "I'll fight for her. I don't care how long it takes, I will fight." "That's it. Oh, here she comes! Good luck!" She walked away without another word. Rayn exited the dressing rooms and said to Floyd, "I'm sorry, can we just go, please?" He looked at the old woman who nodded. Let her do what she needs to do. "Of course," he old Rayn. "I'll get a cab while you pay." They left without another word.Olive L

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