Best Man in Waiting

“Actually, never mind. I see the Best Man there now,” she says, ending the conversation with Thomas and walking away.

Thomas shrugs, looking around to see if anyone else witnessed this brief encounter. No one in the hotel foyer seems to be looking his way. Still, it irks Thomas. It plays on his mind as it has done in the run-up to this fine occasion. Today is the day of his best friend’s wedding and Thomas is a groomsman.

“I’m not the Best Man,” Thomas thinks to himself.

He must admit, there’s something about that title. The Best Man. Thomas wants it. He covets it. However, his best friend chose his brother to be best man. Fair enough, Thomas thought, no argument there, blood is thicker than water, after all. It’s an honour to be a groomsman, Thomas tells himself. But, the Best Man… Imagine, all day, referring to yourself as the Best Man and it being an objectively correct statement. Some men are company directors and CEOs and executives and leaders. Those titles mean nothing, really, not when you could be the Best Man. Even the groom, bride, maid of honour or celebrant don’t have as good a title on the day. The Best Man. The Best.

Thomas watches as the Best Man directs proceedings, advising guests to take a glass of champagne from the table in the foyer. He watches on in envy. Thomas wants to be the Best Man. He wants to be the man the newly-married couple look to when things need to be done on the day. Thomas wants to be the man who people speak to on the day when they’d rather not bother the bride and groom. He wants to deliver an unforgettable best man speech. Most of all, Thomas wants to be the best man because he thinks he could do an excellent job at it. Not today, but some day.

“If I got the chance,” Thomas mumbles into his glass of champagne. “If only I could get the chance.”