Brandon’s wedding was supposed to be one of the happiest days of his life, but things take a bizarre turn when a long-buried family secret is revealed in plain sight. As the bride’s veil is tenderly lifted to reveal her face, he finds his father screaming and pleading to stop the wedding.
For Martha it all seemed like a dream. The shimmering 18-carat diamond on her ring finger, the love and warmth she felt every time her fiancé’s mother, Grace, gave her a hug, and the way life had made her choose her ways with to cross with a loving man.
Martha had been very nervous when she told Brandon that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. She was worried that his mother would not accept her. But things had changed quickly, and Grace had welcomed her with open arms, accepting her for who she was.
Martha and Brandon were very different in their backgrounds and even their religious beliefs.
Brandon was a 22-year-old devout Christian from a Protestant family, while Martha was someone indifferent to God or a higher power. She had never known what love was and came from a dysfunctional family with a deceased mother, a missing father, no money and no love or faith in God, while Brandon came from a wealthy family with a loving mother.
Martha was shocked at how quickly her life had changed. Grace welcomed her with love and blessed her and Brandon from the bottom of her heart after seeing how much her son fell in love with her.
You cannot escape the consequences of your actions.
Martha had been without faith all her life, but Grace’s love changed her. She even decided to worship Christ because she wanted to do it for the nice family she was going to marry into. But fate had bitter, devastating plans for all of them…
Brandon couldn’t get Martha’s words out of his head. “You know, sometimes I wish mom would have told me about dad. I wish he’d been there when I got married. I mean, every girl dreams of that. Doesn’t it?”
Martha’s mother died of cancer six years ago and left her an orphan. They had a few relatives scattered across the country, but they were as good as dead. As a result, Martha felt very lonely and sad that she had no one by her side that she could call family, or a father figure that would lead them to the altar.
Brandon decided to fulfill her dream and surprise her. After years of absolutely no contact with his father, he texted him.
“Hey Dad! I know I’m writing out of the blue but I was hoping you could do me a favor. I’m getting married and my fiancee wants her dad to walk her down the aisle. Could you please do that for her ?Her father and mother are gone. It would mean a lot to both of us!
I love you! brandon.”
Brandon wasn’t sure if his father would answer. It had been years since they last spoke to each other. But his father answered. The next morning, Brandon received a text from Kenneth, who was overjoyed to be at the wedding.
“Oh! Brandon! Congratulations!” Was his reply. “This is such wonderful news! I’m so happy for you both. I’d love to be there, son. But what about Grace? I bet she’d hate to see me there. She didn’t even tell me that you are getting married!”
Brandon assured his father that he would take care of everything and inform Grace later and that everything was fine. However, he only told his mother something on the day of the wedding.
The wedding was in full swing. All the guests had arrived, Martha was putting on the finishing touches in the makeup room, and Grace sat with her future daughter-in-law, admiring her pretty face in the mirror.
“My son chose the most beautiful girl in the world,” she exclaimed, wiping away a tear as Martha rose from her chair.
“I’m so blessed to be a part of this family,” she said while gently wrapping her arms around Grace. “Really. I couldn’t have asked for more!”
“Oh, I’m sure it’s the other way around!” Grace whispered, gently touching Martha’s face. Then she lowered the veil over her face and asked, “Shall we darling?”
Martha nodded and they were about to leave when she suddenly remembered that Brandon had asked her to wait until he texted her.
“Sorry mom,” she said to Grace. “I think Brandon wanted me to wait for something. I’ll be out in a minute. Would that be okay?”
“Sure, sweetheart,” Grace smiled. “Take your time. We will wait for you.”
“…I’m sorry the truth came out like that, Brandon,” Kenneth said, bowing his head. “I’m sorry.”
As Grace walked into the wedding hall, she saw a familiar face in the crowd. She saw him walk to the front row where the bride and groom’s families were to sit, and her blood began to boil.
“Get out of here, Kenneth!” she yelled, blocking her ex-husband’s way. “What makes you want to disrupt my son’s wedding like that? And you brought your second family with you?”
“I’m his father, Grace!” Kenneth said defensively. “And our son invited me here! If you don’t believe me, ask him!”
“What?” Grace was shocked. “I don’t buy that story! Go away and stop making a fuss in front of my guests!”
The guests began whispering among themselves, and Kenneth felt humiliated by Grace’s attempt to throw him out. He was about to leave when Brandon entered.
“Hey, dad! You’re here!” he smiled and hugged his father, which annoyed Grace. “Thanks for coming.”
“I hope you saw that!” Kenneth growled at Grace. “Please excuse us now! Get out of the way!”
Brandon explained to Grace that he did all this for Martha because he wanted to surprise her. Grace was still upset that he hadn’t told her about it, but she decided to put her anger and differences aside for the sake of her son.
It was supposed to be a perfect day for Brandon and Martha. Grace would do anything to make sure she wasn’t the reason he was ruined. So she sat down again in one of the chairs in the front row, two arm lengths away from Kenneth and his family.
When it came time to exchange vows, Brandon introduced Martha Kenneth. Her eyes welled up in tears when he told her that he invited his father because she wanted a father figure to walk her down the aisle.
“Oh! It’s… I’m at a loss for words. Thank you so much. Thank you for doing this for me,” she said to Kenneth.
Kenneth held her hand and smiled. “Dad,” he said. “Please call me dad. I know Brandon’s mom and I didn’t get along well, but we’re still family. And you’re about to become a part of that family! So please don’t mention it.”
Martha pressed her lips and nodded hastily. She choked back her tears to keep them from ruining her makeup. Then Kenneth gently lifted her veil and was about to put her hand in Brandon’s when he stopped.
Kenneth froze and stared into oblivion as if he had seen the devil. Everyone at the wedding started whispering. “What is he doing?” Grace scolded. “Has he lost his mind!?”
“What’s up, dad?” Brandon asked, looking from Martha to his dad. “Are you all right?”
“Oh, Brandon!” Kenneth said worriedly. “I can’t do this! Honey, what’s your name?” he asked Martha.
“Name? But… but why now? I mean, Martha,” she answered confused. “I’m Martha. What’s the matter?”
Kenneth shook his head and dropped his hands to his sides. “What a beautiful name! Is there a reason you got that name?” he asked.
Martha’s eyes widened. “There… there’s one!” she yelled. “I was named after my late mother because I was born in March, the same day as her! But why do you ask? I mean nobody thought about it that much… except Mom!”
Kenneth’s eyes bulged and he locked eyes with Brandon. “Stop this marriage!” he demanded. “You can’t marry her! She’s your sister!”
Twenty years ago, Kenneth had done something wrong, very wrong, and he never imagined that his single mistake would ruin his children’s lives forever…
At the time, Kenneth Grace had cheated with his secretary. He was “tired” of his marriage and dated Martha’s mother, his secretary, for “joke”. Things got out of hand when he found out she was pregnant. She was determined to keep the child, but Kenneth didn’t want to be responsible for an illegitimate child, so he withdrew from her life.
But the day Martha was born, her mother called Kenneth to break the news. Unfortunately for him, Grace picked up the phone, furious at the revelation. She asked Kenneth if he was having an affair behind her back and he confessed everything to her.
Grace was a religious woman, and for her there was no room for cheating in a marriage. So she threw Kenneth out of their home and just days later mailed him the divorce papers. She also made sure her son wasn’t growing up around him. She fought for custody of Brandon and wouldn’t let him see his dad!
However, Kenneth never accepted little Martha. When he found out her mother hadn’t terminated the pregnancy, he fled the city and started a new life. He married and started a family with another woman.
“I’m sorry the truth came out like that, Brandon,” Kenneth said, bowing his head. “I’m sorry. Martha is my biological daughter.”
A loud sigh of relief sounded in the wedding hall. Martha was shocked, as were all the other wedding guests. “I can’t believe this!” she sobbed. “You’re my biological father!? What the hell do you mean?”
Kenneth did his best to tell the story and Brandon was furious. Now he understood why his mother hated his father. Over the years, he’d assumed it was because their marriage hadn’t worked out the way she’d wanted it to. The truth completely unbalanced him internally.
He lunged at his father and grabbed his collar. “Why the hell did you come back and ruin our lives!” he yelled. “How are you going to make things right? How are you going to make up for the fact that Martha didn’t respect her and her mother and that Mom cheated on her? You ruined everything! You ruined our lives!” he yelled.
Kenneth didn’t expect the truth to come out in this way. Even his new wife and children knew nothing of his past. He lifted his head and turned to the guests to apologize to everyone as he noticed the disgust on the faces of his wife and children, who left the wedding without him.
“I’m sorry Grace and everyone else,” he said. “And I’m sorry, Martha. I wish I could go back in time and change everything, but I can’t!” Kenneth hurried out of the room to avoid further humiliation. He struggled to explain to his wife that he had no choice, that he was forced to hide the truth from her. But this time fate was not on his side.
She slapped him in the face in front of everyone.
“I’m divorcing a dirty man like you!” she screamed. “I don’t want my children growing up in your presence! Kenneth, you deserve to die alone! You do!” And she left his life forever.3
For the second time in her life, Grace had to be strong for her family. She walked up to Martha and Brandon and hugged them both. “I know what happened is devastating, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re still family. Honey,” she added while looking at Martha. “We’ll get through this. It’s all right. God has strange ways of testing us. And look how far we’ve come. We’re as strong as ever.”
Unfortunately, Martha and Brandon weren’t as strong as Grace. They couldn’t ignore the fact that they had been a couple for a long time, loved each other and shared dreams that only couples have…
One year later…
“So how’s life to you?” Brandon asked Martha on the phone. She had moved to a new city to start over and was seeing a therapist to process the trauma caused by the big wedding day reveal.
“I’m fine. How are you and mom? She’s not upset that I’m suddenly gone, is she?”
“Oh no, that’s not a problem for her. She was so glad she got to accept you as a daughter. I’m sure you knew I wasn’t happy with mom’s wish, but you did it for her sake. Thank you you, Martha.”
“Oh don’t be silly! Mom always loved me and you know I’ve considered her my mother since the day she adopted me. And what about you? Are you alright Brandon?”
“Good,” he said. “Some wounds take time to heal. But you know, I’m better. I’m seeing someone now.”