Talking when we could be walking

“Oh no! Is it really eleven already?”

“You’ve got plenty of time.”

“Dad, I’m supposed to be there at midday.”

“And only it’s a ten-minute drive. Fifty minutes easily.”

“I don’t want to be there on the dot! I want to be a bit early.”

29 bride 182383“Brides aren’t supposed to be early. It’s tradition.”

“Well, I certainly don’t want to be late. What time is the car booked for?”

“Eleven. You know that. It’s downstairs but we have it until it drops you and Alex at the reception.”

“Have you spoken to Alex today?”

“No, Suzie. Why would I?”

“Just to check that everything’s OK.”

“It’ll be fine. Stop panicking.”

“Something’s going to go wrong. I can feel it.”

“Nothing’s going to go wrong. You’re a secretary. Everything’s precision-timed.”

“But I should have been ready by now.”

“You look ready to me and you look gorgeous. Your mother would have-”

“Dad, don’t! You’ll set me off and Tracey’s done my make up.”

“Is there anything else to do?”

“Erm… no, I don’t think so.”

“OK. So you’re ready. The bridesmaids are ready.”

“The bridesmaids! How are they getting there?”

“Uncle Nick’s taking them. Don’t panic!”

“Oh, yes. Sorry. I know. I’m making-”

“A mountain out of a proverbial molehill. It’s your prerogative but just enjoy the day.”

“OK. Thanks, Dad.”

*

“What was that noise?”

“Just a bad gear change, I think. Nothing to worry about. The driver knows what he’s doing.”

“I knew we should have left earlier.”

“But then we’d be too early and we’d be driving round in circles.”

“You’re right as alw- What was that?”

“It didn’t sound good.”

“We’re slowing down! There’s smoke!”

“Oh dear. Never mind, we’ll get a lift with Uncle Terry and the bridesmaids.”

“Everyone else has left already.”

“So he’ll be available to come and get you. Ring him on your mobile.”

“I don’t have my mobile, Dad. Wedding dresses don’t come with pockets.”

“But you’ve got a bag.”

“Horseshoe, flowers. Two hands so no, no bag. I told you you should get a phone.”

“Never needed one. You only live round the corner.”

“Oh, Dad. What are we going to do?”

“Maybe the driver’s… no? That’s ridic- You’d think he’d have some way of communicating with his company. How is he supposed to tell them… We’ll have to walk. We’ve got time.”

“It’s at least a mile.”

“We’ve got half an hour. Twenty minutes a mile.”

“Maybe we can find a phone box.”

“Have you got change?”

“No. I told you, no pockets. Don’t tell me you don’t have any.”

“I’ve only brought my wallet. It doesn’t have a change”

“So you’ve got money.”

“While we’re sitting here talking when we could be walking.”

“I’m going to cry.”

“Don’t. Tracey’s done your make up. Come on. If we chat while we’re walking we’ll be there in no time.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“That’s what I’m here for. It’s alright, Frank. Not your fault. We’ll make our own way but please be there when we come out. OK? Thanks.”

“Oh, God.”

“What?”

“I didn’t think about getting to the reception.”

“Don’t worry, Suzie. We can take Uncle Terry’s car. There’ll be plenty of other people who can take the bridesmaids.”

“This is not how I had it planned.”

“I know but as long as you get there.”

“These shoes are killing me already. I only needed to walk-”

“What?”

“The police car’s stopping. You don’t think…”

“You never know.”

“He’s getting out, opening the back door. Yes, Dad!”

“Hello, Officer. St Barnaby. The car broke… It’s very kind of you.”

“Yes. Thank you!”

*

“Thank you again, Officer.”

“Thank you so much.”

“Hurry, Dad!”

“It’s five to. We’re fine. Slow down. Breathe.”

“Yes, Dad. OK. Calm, Suzie… calm.”

“Step… step… three… four… There’s the music. We’re here. We’ve arrived. You’re going to get married.”

“Look! There’s Alex. Doesn’t she look lovely?”

“Yes, Suzie. Suit and all, but yes, she looks lovely.”

***

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