SUNDAY WAS supposed to be the happiest day in the life of a 26-year-old bride but it turned into one of her saddest days when her husband-to-be failed to show up for their wedding ceremony in Ratchaburi province.
The bride, who was identified only as Manao, bravely took the stage in full bridal gown to thank the guests and to inform them that the groom, Pakin Junjerm, 18, had disappeared.
She apologised in tears, saying the groom’s absence was unexpected. She thanked her parents as well as others who had helped organise the event.
A party guest broadcast her speech live via his Facebook page, which was watched more than two million times and shared across platforms.
Most people praised her for being brave and accepting the reality of her predicament, while condemning the groom for running away. Many wondered what happened between July 7 when both had smiled for cameras shooting their pre-wedding photos, and July 22 when the wedding was supposed to take place.
The matter became the talk of the town and the bride filed a complaint with police.
Manao told reporters that they had met each other in a chat room in April and decided to tell their friends that they were a couple. Both upgraded their relationship status on their Facebook accounts and posted their photos together.
They had sexual relations and she was nine weeks pregnant. Pakin wanted to tell Manao’s family about the pregnancy out of fear that she would have an abortion. She said that Pakin had at first insisted that he would tell her |parents and that he would take responsibility by marrying her.
However, two weeks passed and Pakin claimed he was too busy to meet Manao’s |parents, so she went to his house and met his father who knew nothing about her and her pregnancy.
His father agreed to meet her parents, Manao said. She asked him not to tell her father, who has heart disease, about her |pregnancy. They agreed on a dowry price and Pakin’s father said he would bring it on the wedding day.
That account by the bride has been shared on social network platforms since Sunday. The Hon Krasae television programme yesterday managed to get the couple to appear on air.
Pakin covered his face with a cap and black eyeglasses, while Manao wore a black T-shirt.
Asked by the host about the possibility of his return to Manao, Pakin apologised, but said that he could not force his heart to return to her.
Referring to the pre-wedding photo shoot, Pakin said that he may have loved her at the beginning, but as time passed he was not sure.
“Before the photo shoot, Manao called me to meet her at a shop to do some make-up. I did not know that it would be a pre-wedding shoot. Manao told me that she had already paid the fee, so I went as told,” he said.
Manao told the host that they argued after agreeing to marry, because Pakin has another woman and had posted their photos on his Facebook page. Pakin said he has had another girlfriend for a long time.
Manao said that she learnt about Pakin’s no-show just 15 minutes before the wedding party was to start, when her parents told her that they could not contact him.
Pakin told the programme that he did not go to the wedding because he was not sure that the baby was his. “We had sex just one time and I used a condom,” he insisted.
Manao rejected his claim, saying that she was ready to have a DNA test to prove parenthood.
Pakin also claimed that he had problems raising the dowry. “Manao promised me that she would take care of the dowry but at the end, she told me to find it by myself. So I ran away,” he said.
He loved his baby, said Manao, but he no longer loved her.
Manao suddenly said she did not love him either but she wanted him to take responsibility for her family’s expenses in preparing the event, which was around Bt600,000. She also said she would apply for sole custody of the baby.
Pankin lied about his age when they first met, telling her he was 22 years old.