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Shawn and I agreed that we didn't want a big wedding. Part of it was the expense, but mainly it was because we wanted to get married quickly. There was no reason to have a long engagement since we wanted to start our lives together as a married couple.

We decided to get married at the Miller Lash House. It was located between Toronto and Ajax/Pickering, so it was very convenient. Because it was owned by the University of Toronto, we got a slight discount as alumni. The wedding would be outside on the lawn, and the reception would be inside the house and on the patio.

We were able to get the third Saturday in June by a huge stroke of luck. There had been a wedding booked for that day, but the couple had eloped. The time that opened up was for an early wedding, but that suited us fine. We didn't need a party that went into the night. A simple ceremony and lunch reception was ideal.

We invited a small group of friends plus our families. In the end, the number of guests was around 60.

Morgan (who was almost four months pregnant) and Bridget were my attendants. Shawn had Kurt and Jake standing up for him.

The wedding was set for 11:00 AM. The wedding party arrived hours earlier to get ready. The ladies had one room to prepare in, and the gentlemen had another, just down the hall. Shawn and the guys were wearing simple navy blue suits. My dress was white and strapless with a navy blue sash. The girls wore navy blue sleeveless gowns. Blue was still my favorite color, obviously.

Shawn had spent the night in our apartment and I had stayed in Ajax with my mom and Mike. I was really antsy as I got ready because I had not seen him at all. We'd texted and talked on the phone, but it wasn't quite the same. I missed him.

As Bridget was putting the finishing touches on my hair (which was in a loose up-do) there was a knock at the door.

"I bet that's Shawn," Morgan said

"God I hope so," I said as I hurried to the door. Bad luck be damned, I wanted to see him. I needed a hug and a kiss.

It was not Shawn. Instead, it was a courier. He held a large envelope in his hand.

"Delivery for Joslyn Acosta," he stated.

"That's me."

He handed it to me, turned, and left.

"It's probably a wedding card from someone who couldn't make it," my mother said.

It didn't feel like a card.

We had ten minutes before the wedding was to start, so I tore the tab and pulled out some papers. On the top paper, written in big black letters, was:


"Once Mike texts me that the guys are set up out front, we're going to head out to the entrance to start the processional," my mom said, not really paying attention to what I was doing.

I looked at the my mom, Bridget, and Morgan. "Can you excuse me for a moment?" I said, and I stepped out onto the patio adjacent to the room we were using. I think they assumed I needed a moment alone before the big event.

I moved the first sheet with the directions and looked at the second page.


I am sending you this information before it is too late for you. I saw your engagement announced in the paper and knew I had to say something.

The man you are marrying is not the person you think he is.

On June 24, 2015, it was not Adam Gifford who was driving the car that struck you. It was your fiancé, Shawn Mendes.

I suddenly felt nauseated. I swallowed, trying to push back the bile creeping up my throat. I kept reading.

Think about the circumstances. The car belonged to Mendes. Both teens had been drinking. Why would Gifford be driving his friend's car? Why did Mendes sell that car within weeks of the incident if he was only a passenger in the car?

More importantly, why did Mendes finally come forward only after Gifford was dead? He knew he could not turn himself earlier because Gifford would have told the truth. The truth that Mendes was the driver.

If you are wondering how I know this, it is because Adam Gifford confessed to several people in the years leading up to his death that he'd been a passenger in the car that night. Their sworn testimonies are on the following pages.

I flipped to the next two pages. There were two statements. Gifford's best friend and girlfriend had both written out the story that Adam had told them. It was nearly identical to what Shawn had told me, only this time, Shawn was the driver.

Bridget stuck her head out the door. "It's time!" she said cheerily.

My back was to her. "Go to the entrance. I need to use the restroom. I will be right behind you," I said as calmly as I could.

I turned and saw them leave. I read the last few sentences.

I have shared this with you so that you can decide whether you want to marry this man. You are free to do what you please. None of this will be turned over to the police because the family of Adam Gifford never want it brought up again. If you choose to stay with Mendes, it will be your secret.

The letter was unsigned.

I carefully put the papers back in the envelope and went back in the room

Setting the envelope on the table in the center of the room, I grabbed my purse, and walked out of the room. I walked past the reception area which looked out onto the area where the wedding ceremony was being held.

I could see through the large glass windows that Shawn and his two best men were standing in front of the floral archway that was serving as an altar. They had huge smiles on their faces. My mom, who was supposed to walk me down the aisle, Bridget, and Morgan, were outside the door opposite the one I was headed to. Waiting. Everyone was waiting for me.

I walked straight to the parking lot where my car was, climbed in, started the engine, and drove.

I told myself I could not break down now. I needed to maintain my composure until I was safe and away from Shawn, and when I was not operating a motor vehicle.

After the short drive, I got to the apartment and quickly removed my dress, leaving it in a pile on the floor. I changed into yoga pants and a t-shirt. I pulled all the pins out of my beautifully styled hair and brushed it out before putting it up in a pony tail. I removed all traces of the pretty make-up I'd applied with Bridget's help less than 90 minutes ago. I then grabbed a suitcase from the closet and packed everything I'd need for about a week. I took the suitcase and hurried out, knowing Shawn might not be far behind. I drove to a hotel in downtown Toronto and checked in.

Before long I was in the room. I set my suitcase down and fell onto the bed, crying like I had never cried before. My entire body was convulsing. The day Shawn told me he was in the car that hit me was terrible, but this was so much worse.

I was crying hard, but I could still feel my phone vibrating next to me in my purse. I couldn't deal with that at that moment. Eventually the nausea that I squelched earlier came back and I ran into the bathroom to vomit, hovering over the toilet until I was empty. I then curled up on the cool tile floor of the hotel bathroom and cried until I fell asleep from the sheer exhaustion of my hysteria.

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