It was always going to be a special day, from before she opened her eyes the excitement was fizzing in her blood. The night before hadn’t gone quite according to plan but she would shelve it for now, although she would ring Pete before she left home just to clear the air and make sure he wasn’t still cross.
She couldn’t let anything spoil today, she would meet her mum and they would go together to pick up her wedding dress. The alterations should be finished and for the first time she would try the whole lot on and see how it was going to look on the big day. She giggled, she knew Mum would insist that she left one shoe off, that silly old wives tale, It’s bad luck to see yourself in the mirror in the whole outfit before your wedding day. God, where did this stuff come from? Still she would do it, she would do it to please her mum.
She breathed out a great sigh, that brought last night flooding back again. Why couldn’t Pete understand? Okay his family weren’t as close as hers but surely he knew that on a day like today a girl would want to be with her mum.
It was lovely that he wanted to take her into town and then meet her, to treat her to lunch but just today, just this one time he had to give her space. She replayed the argument in her head. Well not really an argument but a disagreement for sure.
“So, I’ll drop you at the dress shop, pop for a couple of things I need and then we’ll go for lunch, Yeah?” He’d just assumed that it would be that way.
“Well, Mum and I were going to go, course you can come if you like but we already planned it.”
“Oh, oh right. Yeah well I shoulda known.”
“What, what do you mean, you shoulda known?”
“Well, you know she has had a bit of a strangle hold in all this hasn’t she?”
“No, no she hasn’t. At least she’s shown some interest.”
“What’s that supposed to mean, is that a dig at me?”
“No, you daft thing. But, I did ask your mum if she wanted to come but she said she couldn’t take time away from work.”
“Well, she can’t it’s a responsible job she has you know that. If she didn’t turn up for surgery who’d do her shift?”
“Yeah, well anyway let’s not fight about it. Let’s not spoil this eh.”
But he still hadn’t been pleased. She knew it irked him that her parents still wanted to have so much contact and they called her every day. He didn’t understand why she went and ate with them at least once a week, but she was with him every other night and after all it was her mum and dad.
She hit speed dial but his phone went straight to voice mail. No matter, It wouldn’t spoil the day, she wouldn’t let it and then tonight she’d make a special effort with dinner and it’d all be okay.
She had her shower and creamed and perfumed her skin, she put on new underwear, of course it wasn’t the special underwear that would be worn on her wedding day but she still wanted to feel that everything was new when she slid the gown on over her shoulders. Every time she thought about it a quiver of excitement turned her stomach over but it was lovely, a lovely warm luscious thrill.
Three years in the planning and now it was nearly here. It was going to be a wonderful, wonderful wedding. When she walked down the aisle with her dad, Pete would be standing waiting at the altar and she would be the happiest, proudest bride there could ever be.
She called her mum’s landline.
“Hi, mum, it’s me. Are you running on schedule?”
“Hello love, yes all on time, Now, you are still coming on the bus aren’t you. Dad is going to pick us up after we’ve got the dress and then drop us off at the hotel for lunch. That way neither of us will have to drive.
“Yep, listen I’ll see you by the church in about an hour okay. Bye mum, I love you.”
“I love you too sweety, see you soon.”
She tried Pete’s phone again, still no answer. She thought of leaving a voice mail but she really needed to hear his voice, to make sure he was okay with her, that he’d got over his funk.
Just in case he came back at lunch time she scribbled a quick note.
I’m sorry about last night. I hope you’re not cross with me. Please try and understand, this is the last chance Mum and Dad will have to organise anything for me. After Saturday it’ll be just us and we’ll make all the decisions together.
See you tonight
She slammed the door and walked to the bus stop, it wasn’t far. She could get either the number 7 or the 26 whichever came first. She glanced at her watch. Oh well, she’d missed the 26, but only just. She glanced behind her, oh wow was she in luck it was running a bit late and she could see it coming just round the corner. She picked up speed and half running she scuttled to the stop just in time to hop on board.
She walked down the aisle to the rear seat, she liked to sit in the middle with nothing in front of her, the other seats were too close together and she felt confined, not exactly trapped but squeezed in.
In the event the dress was a triumph, the folds and layers of heavy cream satin fell perfectly, the crystal head-dress reflected the light back in a million starbursts and the veil, well in the end it was decided that it would be worn in the traditional way covering her face. Her mum gave her a kiss and then pulled it down. The flowers were glorious just as she had known they would be and everything was totally coordinated.
It was tricky to close the lid on the coffin with such a great deal of fabric inside but the funeral director was careful and considerate. Pete had at last taken charge, he had insisted that everyone come in their wedding finery and the reception afterwards would serve as a wake. If she had been sitting in one of the forward seats or even in the corner at the back she might not have been catapulted forward with such force, might not have broken her neck as she collided with the solid metal of the bus frontage but then if she had let him take her the way that he had wanted to this would be her wedding day and not her funeral.