Picking up the pieces

Katerina soaked in the atmosphere of the hot springs. She sank under the steaming water and allowed it to penetrate her pores. Despite the chatter of the people around her, she was suspended in her own thoughts for a few moments under the water. Moments later, she emerged and began to float on her back, gently sculling the water with her palms.

Last year had been a particularly tumultuous one. Katerina and Troy, her fiance of 5 years, had finally been able to place a down payment on a beautiful 2 bedroom home in Cherry Gardens. Then in August, a month before their wedding, Troy informed her that he didn’t really want to get married. At least, not to her. Two days later, he moved back in with his parents, despite Katerina’s pleas for them to go to couples’ counselling. But he did not relent.

The job of recalling 150 wedding invitations, cancelling caterers, photographers, flowers, and a banquet hall fell squarely into her lap. Thankfully, Kat’s best friend, Yasmin, was there to help her pick up the pieces of her life and help with all the work in undoing what would have surely been a most elegant and memorable wedding. They did their best to mitigate the losses from non-refundable deposits to the DJ, the caterers, and the reception hall.

But even more difficult to withstand than the expenses she would suffer, was having to explain to everyone that the long-time love of her life had left her. Kat wasn’t the crying type, but every now and then she had to stop and take a deep breath whenever she became awash with emotion and memories of her life with Troy.

She couldn’t bear hearing another “Poor thing!” or “So what did you do?” If she had to hear her mother say “Well you must have done something wrong!” one more time, she knew she’d have to kill someone.

“But a five-year relationship couldn’t just dissolve away like that!” her mother would remark. “You must have seen or known something was wrong!” Over and over and on and on she went…

Katerina had no answers and she had received none from her ex-fiance either. All she had was the emptiness she felt after being jilted and the sideways glances of friends and family who were aware of her misfortune.

“Perhaps it was better it happened now and not on the wedding day at the altar,” Yasmin reasoned. “That would have been even more embarrassing.”

One real problem that Katerina had was what to do about the honeymoon? Two non-refundable airline tickets and accommodations to Blue Lagoon, Iceland.

“An oasis of calm, relaxation, and healing,” the website read, displaying several photos of in-water massages, spa treatments, and promoting wellness and energy.

It was Yasmin who came up with the obvious solution. “Just go,” she suggested to Katerina. “You have the tickets, you can’t get your money back, so go and have a great time anyway. It’ll be a great relaxing vacation.”

Katerina considered the possibility for a moment. If she didn’t use the tickets, she’d have lost more money on this cancelled wedding and honeymoon and lost out on an unforgettable opportunity.

“Sounds like a plan,” she finally decided. “Want to come? All expenses paid…”

Now, as she floated in the energizing water, she decided that it wasn’t quite the trip she had planned but at least she was here with her best friend. Yasmin had gone off to receive her daily pampering of beauty treatments, and was having the time of her life.

It had been a brilliant idea to take advantage of the trip to Iceland and by day three, Katerina could already feel all the painful moments of the past year drifting away. Now it almost felt like the remnants of a bad dream. Maybe the lagoon really did have all kinds of healing properties after all.

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