Short Story: The Hard, Cold Truth

Author’s Note: This short story was originally written for a weekly writing contest on

     Amongst fragrant bloom and the delicate lace of the wedding location, the atmosphere was alive with whispered promises and the sincere vows of two souls entwined in deepest love. Sydney and Jimmy stood before the gathered guests, their eyes shining with adoration as they were pledging devotion to one another in holy matrimony. The ceremony was proceeding smoothly, as the sun cast a golden glow over the perfect outdoor setting that early morning by coast. That was until a hushed murmur rippled through the attendees.

     A tall figure emerged from the back of the crowd, his expression grave and determined. All eyes turned to him as he came forward, ignoring the gasps and shocked whispers that followed in his wake. It was Devon, Jimmy’s best friend since childhood, who had been surprisingly absent from the all the pre-wedding festivities. As Devon reached the front a tense silence settled over the guests, and anticipation thick in the air. Devon cleared his throat, as his gaze fixed on Jimmy and Sydney, who exchanged puzzled looks, as their happiness was momentarily forgotten.

     “Please forgive the interruption,” Devon began, his voice steady but clearly nervous to be addressing a decent sized crowd. “There’s something that needs to be addressed before this union is sealed.”

     Sydney’s heart pounded in her chest, her mind racing with a thousand fears and uncertainties for she had no idea what he was talking about. Jimmy’s expression had darkened, as a frown marred his handsome features with a mixture of surprise and apprehension in his eyes.

     “What is it, Devon?” Jimmy could barely call out, as he was clearly nervous.

     Devon took a deep breath, as he knew his next word would echo like thunder in the stunned silence.

     “Jimmy, Sydney… I can’t let this go on,” Devon replied, “Not without revealing the truth.”

     Sydney felt a chill run down her spine as Devon’s ominous words hung in the air. The silent guests leaned forward, their curiosity piqued, as Devon continued.

     “I’ve known both of you for years,” Devon continued, “And I’ve stood by silently, but I can’t do it any longer. You are not the perfect couple everyone thinks you are!”

     Gasps and murmurs erupted from the crowd, as the crowd began to speculate what he meant by that. Sydney felt the world tilt on its axis, as her gaze locked with Jimmy, searching for answers in the depths of his faint blue eyes.

     “What the hell are you doing?” Jimmy demanded, his voice rising with a mix of anger and confusion.

     Devon stepped forward with an unwavering gaze.

     “Jimmy, you’ve been hiding something from your fiancé,” Devon answered, “Something that I know would shatter her trust in you.”

     Sydney’s breath caught in her throat as Devon’s words sank in, as her heart began to break at the realization that their fairy-tale romance might have been constructed on a foundation of lies. Jimmy on the other hand had a clenched jaw and hands curled into fists of rage.

    “What are you talking about, Devon?” Jimmy asked, “This is our wedding day!”

     Devon’s expression softened briefly before hardening again with resolve.

    “I’m sorry, Jimmy, but Sydney deserves to know the truth,” Devon replied, “That Jimmy has always been a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

     A collective gasp swept through the crowd, and Sydney’s eyes widening in disbelief. She turned to Jimmy, searching for a denial, a shred of explanation that could salvage the shattered pieces of her trust. Jimmy’s silence spoke volumes, as his guilt written plain as day on his face. Sydney’s world crumbled around her as the truth sank in, the illusion of a perfect love shattered beyond repair. Chaos erupted as Sydney’s emotions overflowed, tears streaming down her cheeks as she turned away from her groom. The guests murmured and shifted uncomfortably, the once-celebratory atmosphere now heavy with tension and sorrow for Sydney’s family loyally supported the Canadiens of Montreal.

     Jimmy stood frozen, the weight of his betrayal settling on his shoulders like a leaden cloak. Devon watched him with a mix of pity and disappointment before turning to the bewildered guests.

     “I’m sorry for this disruption,” Devon called out as he turned to face the guests, his voice tinged with regret. “But some things can’t be hidden forever, especially when they threaten to destroy the happiness of this great sport we care about!”

     With that, Devon tore open his dress shirt to reveal the blue and white hockey jersey that was underneath it. He refused to be ashamed of the team he had love since birth and refused to stop supporting no matter now long it had been since they hoisted the Stanley Cup… which was over a decade before his birth.

     “Go Leafs, Go!” Devon shouted without a care what anyone else thought.

     “Is this true?” Sydney demanded, as she could hardly believe it. “You told me that you didn’t follow hockey!”

     “I’m so sorry,” Jimmy said, as a tear rolled down his cheek, “But I’ve been a fan of the buds since the day I got my first jersey at the Gardens… Lanny MacDonald’s number nine.”

     The audience watched with shocked faces as Sydney slapped her fiancé across the face with an open hand, clearly offended by the words he had just spoken.

     “Don’t be ashamed, Jimmy!” Devon called out, “We have playoff games to watch, and while our team’s chances of getting out of the first round are slim as always… at least our team make the friggin’ playoffs!”

     “Screw you, Devon!” Sydney called out, leaving the altar in tears as her inferior hockey team had already been eliminated from playoff contention.

     While it was a shocking scene, most of the people in attendance understood what was going on as that Devon was right. You cannot get married without letting your love know what hockey team you support. It would never work out, especially if you’re a fan of the greatest team on earth… the Maple Leafs of Toronto.

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March 31, 2024

That was AWESOME!!! But ya know, the Habs are better. 😛