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On Her Wedding Day, Bride Is Terrified When Her Supposedly Dead Fiancé Appears among the Guests

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Sarah looked into the mirror and tucked the fine gold chain she always wore out of sight. This was supposed to be the happiest day of her life, but she was on the verge of tears.

“Now, don’t you cry!” said the makeup artist pouting, and quickly dusting a sheer veil of face powder under Sarah’s eyes, “You’ll spoil my work!”

Across the room, Sarah’s mother smiled thinly. “Tears of joy,” she said, but she knew they were tears of grief.

Sarah adjusted her wedding dress and felt the comforting weight of the engagement ring against her chest. A delicate ring with a tiny diamond, so different from the 15-carat monstrosity now weighing down her left hand.

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“This is your choice,” Sarah told herself softly. “And now that David is gone, it doesn’t really matter who you marry…” The man she was marrying was pleasant enough and kind, but he was her father’s choice.

Frank Melville was the son of Sarah’s father’s partner, and their marriage would consolidate a business relationship that had lasted for decades and had made both men millionaires many times over.

Her true love was dead, dead three years ago in a horrific car accident, her love, David O’Reilly. David had been her driver when Sarah was a young celebrity chased by the paparazzi who lived on recording the misdeeds of the young and rich.

Sarah had noticed David watching her through the rearview mirror sometimes and turned her face away in disdain. Then one night, at a club, she had drunk too much, or someone had slipped her something.

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Happiness is worth more than all the luxuries and jewels in the world.
She felt ill and helpless, and she called David. Within minutes he was there to pick her up at the door of the club. He jumped out of the car and helped her walk to the curb, where her legs had folded.

To Sarah’s shame, she vomited, and David held her head and rubbed her back, murmuring senseless comforting words. He carried her into the car, cleaned her face, took care of her.

From then on, it had been Sarah watching David, and before long she’d convinced him to go out with her on a date. Before long they were in love, and one day David presented her with a delicate circle of gold and its tiny crumb of a diamond.

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Sarah said yes, of course, and had been naive enough to believe that her parents would be equally happy to see their only child marry a driver without a cent to his name.

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“But daddy,” Sarah cried. “You always said all that mattered was that I was happy!”

“You can be just as happy with a rich man,” her father told her. “Forget O’Reilly, he’s a loser.” But Sarah loved David and she fought for their love. She knew that she’d eventually wear her parents down, that they would accept David.

That happy day she dreamed of never came. Instead, there was a phone call from the police while she was with her family in the Hamptons, and Sarah saw her father’s face pale.

He turned to her with a tender expression she hadn’t seen since she was a tiny girl. “Sarah,” he’d said gently, “Sarah, be brave my love, it’s David, the police says there was an accident, a terrible accident…”

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Sarah remembered that she started screaming and that her father held her in his arms, rocking her like a baby, while her mother sat across the room twisting her elegant hands together and biting her perfectly tinted lips.

That had been the last day of her old life, a life in which she still believed in love that lasted forever and happy endings. To her parents’ chagrin, Sarah announced her pregnancy two months later.

They wanted her to end it, but she refused. “This is all I have of David, this is all that is left of David in the world, and I’m having this baby!”

They had to yield before her ferocious determination, and besides, she had her grandmother on her side, and Gran was the one with the real power in the family. So Sarah’s dad reluctantly accepted the pregnancy, and they spread the rumor that it was the child of a playboy billionaire.

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Sarah’s little girl was born, and for once, the family didn’t make a press production out of the event. The existence of little Rachel was a closely guarded secret. And shortly after Rachel’s birth, Sarah’s father started pushing her towards Frank Melville.

Sarah sighed and lowered the delicate lace veil over her face. “I’m ready,” she said. She picked up the bouquet and allowed her mother and her bevy of bridesmaids to lead her downstairs to the waiting limousine.

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A man in a wheelchair was one of the first to arrive at the church. He wore a dark suit and carried in his lap a riotous bouquet of wildflowers. When the usher asked him what party he belonged to, he told him, “The bride’s.”

He hadn’t seen Sarah in nearly two years, but yesterday he’d turned on the TV and there she was. “Socialite Sarah Farmin, who has been MIA from the city’s social scene for the last two years, is about to tie the knot!

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“Sarah, who was once known as the city’s most beautiful ‘bad girl’ is marrying Frank Melville III, the son of the electronics millionaire, Frank Melville II.”

“Not if I can help it!” David cried, and turned off the TV. His mind went back to that terrible day two years ago when he’d woken up in a hospital bed, his legs dead and useless.

His mother, who suffered from emphysema, had been at his bedside, crying. Then Sarah’s father, the great Greg Farmin walked in. “You’re crippled,” he’d said bluntly. “What kind of a life is that for Sarah? You know what she’s like. She’ll stand by you, marry you — marry half a man.”

What do you want?” David had asked hoarsely.

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“I want you to stay away from Sarah. Let her believe you are dead, let her live a normal happy life,” Farmin said. “And in return, both you and your mother will receive the best care money can buy, as long as you live.”

So David agreed, and Farmin kept his promise. David’s condition improved slowly, and the doctors believed he was on his way to a full recovery but his mother succumbed to her illness.

“I can’t let her do this,” David said to himself. “I have to tell her I’m alive, tell her she has a choice.” And so when Sarah walked slowly down the aisle on her father’s arm, David was sitting in the church waiting for his moment.

When Sarah reached Frank and his best man, her father tenderly raised her veil and kissed her forehead. Farmin was about to hand her love to Frank when a voice interrupted the solemn moment.

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“Sarah,” said a voice Sarah heard only in her dreams. “Sarah, please don’t do this.”

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Sarah turned around and saw David sitting in a wheelchair in the middle of the aisle, a bunch of wildflowers in his lap.

“David?” she whispered. “Oh my God, David?” She raised a trembling hand to her throat. “I’m mad…I must be mad…” Was this a ghost? A hallucination?

“It’s me,” David said, wheeling his chair towards her. “I’m alive Sarah, but I thought… I was crippled and I thought you’d be better off without me.”

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Without you?” Sarah gasped. “I’ve been DEAD without you! The only thing that’s kept me alive was our baby, our little Rachel.

Baby?” asked David. “We had a baby?” he turned his burning eyes onto Greg Farmin. “You never told me there was a baby!”

Daddy!” cried Sarah. “You knew that David was alive and you didn’t tell me?”

“I wanted to protect you,” Greg Farmin cried defensively. He turned to David. “You gave me your word and you took my money…”

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You paid him to stay away?” Sarah screamed. “You broke my heart!” Sarah turned to Frank and said with a sad smile, “I’m sorry Frank, I can’t marry you, I’m going to marry the father of my child.”

Sarah walked back down the aisle towards David and threw her arms around him. “You marry that man, and you’ll be left with nothing,” screamed Greg Farmin. “You won’t get a cent.”

Sarah’s grandmother stood up and looked at her son with icy eyes. “Shut up, Greg, you’re a fool, and it’s not your money to dispose of. It’s mine, and after this, I think your share will go straight to Sarah and her young man!”

Sarah and David were married and lived with their little daughter in a small house they bought with their own money even though Gran had wanted to buy them a luxury apartment. They knew that they didn’t need luxury now that they had each other.

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What can we learn from this story?

Love can’t be bought, it is priceless. Sarah’s father did all he could to separate Sarah and David but their love was stronger.

Happiness is worth more than all the luxuries and jewels in the world. All that David and Sarah needed was each other and their baby.

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