Donna had planned to marry the wealthy Brian no matter what it took, but when she arrived at the church, she saw him marrying another woman.
Donna hated her cousin Gwen. Donna was the prettiest of the two by far, but while her mother had married a poor man, Gwen’s mom had married a rich lawyer so their lives were very different.
Gwen went to a fancy college, had the finest clothes, had her first convertible on her 16th birthday, while Donna had nothing! Yes, Donna hated Gwen, but she never let her know because Gwen was generous and kind.
Thanks to Gwen, Donna went to the best parties, got to wear her cousin’s new dresses (sometimes first), and enjoyed expensive vacations. The truth is that Gwen thought Donna was her best friend — until she stole the man she loved.
Gwen had known Brian Finley all her life and that was how long she’d been in love with him. He was the son of her father’s best friend, and he’d spent the last seven years studying medicine in Europe.
“Donna!” Gwen gasped. “Brian is back and he’s going to be at the dance at the country club tonight!”
“Who’s Brian?” asked Donna, looking through her cousin’s dresses, deciding what she was going to wear.
Gwen blushed. “Brian and I…He was my first boyfriend when I was 16…Then he went overseas to study, and we’ve been writing to each other. I love him, and he loves me!”
“How come you’ve never told me about him before?” asked Donna suspiciously.
Gwen looked embarrassed. “I thought you’d laugh at me, holding a torch for this guy for seven years…”
“I think it’s sweet!” Donna said. “Tell me all about him!” Donna listened attentively as Gwen talked about Brian, his parents, how clever he was, and how he was going to be one of the best surgeons in the country.
He sounded perfect to Donna, exactly what she’d been looking for herself! A rich, handsome man with rich parents! She smiled sweetly at her cousin. “Oh, you must introduce me tonight!”
Donna planned her entrance into the dance with an eye for maximum impact. She always arrived late, of course, it was her trademark. She liked walking in and having everyone looking at her — there was so much to admire!
She was wearing a stunning red dress (Gwen’s dress) which clung to every curve of her voluptuous body and left a lot of cleavage on display. Her long dark hair tumbled down her back and her dark eyes sparkled with promise.
She walked in and the room literally stopped. In the middle of the crowd, she saw Gwen looking pretty in a pink taffeta gown standing next to a tall, handsome man, and she smiled.
She ran over and kissed Gwen on the cheek affectionately. “Gwen! You look so pretty!” Then she turned her sultry gaze on the man she knew was Brian Finley.
“Aren’t you going to introduce me?” she asked, but before Gwen could say a word, Donna had already taken Brian’s hand and was drawing him onto the dance floor where a slow romantic song was playing.
Gwen stood there watching as her cousin wound her arms around Brian’s neck and pressed her body to his. She never saw them again that evening. They simply vanished and she went home and cried herself to sleep.
Deceivers always get paid back in the same coin.
The next day Donna phoned, apologized, and said, “I’m so sorry, Gwen, but Brian was so irresistible! I tried to tell him that I couldn’t come between you, and he said…He said it was a kid’s thing, a schoolgirl crush…”
Gwen was devastated, but she smiled bravely and wished Donna and Brian well. That summer, Brian and Donna were the hottest of couples, and three months later, they announced their engagement.
“Engaged?” asked Gwen, stunned, “But Brian, you’ve barely known her three months!”
“I know,” Brian said. “But she just swept me off my feet, Gwenny, I’m in love and she’s having my baby…”
“BABY?” Gwen was astonished. “DONNA? Donna hates children!”
“You’re being very unfair to your cousin,” Brian said. “She’s a wonderful girl and she’ll be a wonderful mother. I hope now that we’ll be family you’ll give up on that little fantasy you had…”
“I HAD?” asked Gwen. “I thought you cared about me too!”
Brian looked embarrassed. “I did, I do…But Donna’s made me see there’s so much more between a man and a woman!”
It was a done deal, so Gwen decided to do the best she could with a bad situation and even offered to buy her cousin a wedding dress. Donna was sweetly grateful and asked Gwen to be her bridesmaid. “I want you by my side when I marry Brian,” she said and smiled. “It’s only right!”
It broke Gwen’s heart but she agreed. Donna picked the most expensive dress in the shop, even though Gwen preferred a delicate, simple sheath in satin and lace.
“I want to make an entrance Gwen,” she said, “You know how important that is to me.” And so was Brian’s money, because Donna had a plan and a man waiting in the wings, a long-time lover who was unfortunately as poor as she was.
The weeks before the wedding rushed by, and before they knew it, it was the rehearsal dinner. Of course, Donna was late as usual, and Brian, who was impatient to see his bride, went outside to wait for her.
He was by the restaurant’s door when he heard a familiar voice: “Baby, this is my golden ticket. The guy hasn’t even asked me to sign a prenup! He thinks I’m pregnant, so in a few weeks, I’ll fake a miscarriage…
“And then it’s you and me on a tropical beach with a fat settlement!”
Brian turned around and his breath caught. It was Donna, standing in the shadows, talking to someone else, planning to cheat on him even before their wedding!
Brian’s first impulse was to call her out, cancel the wedding, then he had a better idea. He went back to the party and pretended everything was just fine. He touched Gwen on the shoulder.
“You were right about everything,” he said quietly. “She’s a liar. She made me believe what I felt for you was childish, but right now all I feel is relief that I’m not marrying her.”
“You’re not marrying her?” asked Gwen.
“No,” said Brian quietly. “I’m marrying you because you know it’s always been you. I let her blind me, seduce me…I’m sorry Gwen.”
“But the rehearsal dinner, the wedding…” Gwen said. “What are you going to do?”
“I have this idea, and I hope you agree,” Brian whispered. “Listen…”
The next morning Donna put on her lavish wedding gown and her cathedral veil with her mother and her sister’s help. “I don’t like the hair,” she told the hairdresser. “Do it again!”
“Donna, you are already half an hour late…” gasped her sister.
“I don’t care,” Donna said. “I’m the bride, they will wait!”
An hour and a half later Donna was at the cathedral doors, waiting to make her grand entrance. “Open the door,” she hissed at the usher. “Can’t you see I’ve finally arrived?”
The man looked confused, but he obeyed. The huge doors swung inwards, and Donna heard the words: “You may kiss the bride!”
There, at the altar, was Brian, and opposite him, looking radiant in a wedding dress was GWEN! Brian was marrying GWEN? Donna screamed and threw down her bouquet, but nobody even noticed her or looked her way. Everyone was cheering Gwen and Brian.
Donna had played a dirty game and she lost. And she didn’t just lose her bridegroom, she lost her cousin’s friendship and access to all that money. Donna discovered that if she wanted things, she had to work — and work hard — for it all.
What can we learn from this story?
Deceivers always get paid back in the same coin. Donna backstabbed her cousin and ended up losing everything she’d hoped to gain.
You can’t build a marriage on a lie. Donna was lying to Brian not only about the pregnancy but about who she was and it all backfired on her.