Black Swan Affair

By: K.L. Kreig

Preface





The Black Swan Theory is a metaphor describing an event that comes as a surprise, results in major impact to the environment or our personal lives, and tends to be rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. Because we’re humans, we try to invent explanations for an occurrence that doesn’t necessarily have one, so it makes sense to our small brains. We try to use that event and those explanations to predict future events like it. To learn from them. Deal with them better, maybe. Stop them from happening again, I suppose.



* * *



In the sixteenth century, when the phrase itself was coined, the black swan was presumed an impossibility, assumed not to exist. Therefore the Black Swan Theory in and of itself has no merit.



* * *



But impossibilities do exist. I am living proof of the Black Swan Theory and that sometimes there is no rationalizing events away. There is no simplifying the complex. Some things happen simply because they happen. And in the end knowing why doesn’t change a damn thing anyway. The damage is already done.



* * *



~ Maverick DeSoto Shepard, 2016





My gown sells false truths. Makeup covers the lies. Fake smiles and soft words divert and deceive. Three carats on my left hand blind all, except me.

I know the truth.

I take myself in, from the perfectly coifed hair to the French-manicured toes peeking out from my sling-back shoes. I stare at myself in the full-length mirror, not recognizing the superficial woman staring back.

A frown turns down the corner of her mouth. Condemnation clouds her unusual green eyes. Sorrow plays in the thin lines on her face and in the slight slump of her bare shoulders.

She’s judging me.

She should.

I’m a horrible, awful person.

In less than ten minutes, I will let my father walk me down an aisle lined with fresh flowers and silk bows tacked onto the corners of every other pew.

I will reach the end, let Daddy kiss my cheek with tears blurring his vision, and give me away to another man.

I will take my fiancé’s hand in mine, gaze into his puppy dog eyes overflowing with joy, and betroth myself for life to someone who is noble and loyal and kind.

I will promise to love, honor, and cherish him all the days of my life.

I will exchange in-sickness-and-in-health-forever vows in front of God, our family, and friends to a great man out of spite and revenge. A ploy. As a giant fuck-you to the man I really love but can’t have.

I will marry a man I genuinely respect the hell out of and love…but just as my very best friend.

Who does that?

A destructive, selfish bitch. That’s who.

I let my gaze fall down the length of my body, trailing over the hand-beaded lace wedding dress that hugs my rounded curves. The same dress my best friend sobbed over the second I walked out of the dressing room, telling me “that’s the one.”

I didn’t pick blush or ivory or cream or even something unconventional like gray.

Oh no. I went with stark white.

The symbol of purity.

A satirical laugh escapes my scarlet-painted lips.

I’m anything but innocent. My soul is lost. My heart cold. I’m a devil in angel’s skin, trapping a man for life who could have any woman he wants but for some reason wants me.

And why?

Because I’m a masochist, I guess. Though I should be running as far away as possible, I can’t seem to do anything but run in the direction of the one man I’ve loved my entire life: his brother.

The only man I truly want even though he betrayed me in the worst possible way.

There’s still time, Maverick. Do the right thing.

I should call it off. Tell Kael this was all just a big mistake. Confess I’m not in love with him the way a wife should be. Tell him the entire time I’ll be saying my vows, I’ll be picturing his brother standing in front of me instead. Let him find true love because he’ll never be that for me.

Fuck me.

I might as well write my own ticket to hell. If I go through with this, that’s exactly where I’ll burn for eternity. I already feel the flames of deceit licking the soles of my feet.

Do the right thing for once in your godforsaken life, Mavs.

I find my eyes in the mirror once again. I already know I won’t listen to that small part of me that begs to be righteous. I can’t. The bigger part of me is contaminated with retribution and anger and the need to hurt him just a little. The only way I’d call this off is if—

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