From 'Confetti Confidential - They Do, I Don't'
Excerpt from CHAPTER 3
The Wedding of Cadence and Christian
“Where the hell are you, Viv? Everyone’s waiting.”
“Tom, I’m stuck on Direk Rd behind the slowest drivers in the world. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
“Jesus, the groom’s freaking out and his mother is having a fit.”
“Oh, bloody hell, hang on – Moooooooooove,” I shouted out the window, waving my fist.
“Why the hell are they all looking at me like I’m a crazy person? They are seriously going, like, ten kilometres an hour.”
Silence filled the phone line as my breathing increased to a pant.
“Viv? You there?”
“Oh no, oh my God, Tom, I’m going to hell.”
“What? What’s wrong? Don’t hyperventilate while you’re driving.”
“Oh Tom, I’m going to hell, those ‘idiots’ I’ve been swearing and waving my arms at…”
“What? Was there an accident?” The pitch of his voice had elevated.
“No, it’s a funeral procession, and I just cut off the hearse! That’s it, I’ve had it! Cancel the wedding. I’m not coming because I’m going to throw myself off the nearest bridge. Tell them I died.”
“Okay, deep breaths, calm down and just get here when you can,” he pleaded. “I’ll cover for you, I’ll make something up. Just relax, you’re heading for a nervous breakdown.” His tone was stern but gentle. “I’ll be right here with you. You’ll be fine, we’ll get through it.”
“Okay,” I grunted. Everything won’t be fine. I’m not fine.
“No stops on bridges,” he insisted “I’ll be here waiting for you.”
To my relief, the bride was running forty minutes late anyway. Tom had calmed the groom and his mother by explaining that I was merely in the carpark rehearsing my ceremony and awaiting the bride’s arrival. He calmed me with a swig from his hip flask.
“I love you,” I said, downing the amber liquid that soothed my tingling nerves.
When the pink and white Cinderella-inspired carriage drew to a halt at the top of the path, Cadence’s arrival was met with gasps from the gathered guests. Christian was already bawling his eyes out.
“She’s here,” I said with a little clap, trying to get him to pull himself together.
As the music began and the carriage doors opened, the gorgeous Cadence emerged smiling. The gasps, however, soon turned to shrieks of horror as she lost her footing on the carriage step and planted face first into the concrete. Christian, giddy with nerves and fright had to be seated on one of the chairs as everyone else rushed to poor Cadence’s aid. She bounced back to her feet and I clasped my hand over my mouth.
You’re awful, what an awful thing to do, to laugh at the poor girl falling. But I couldn’t contain myself. I’d always had trouble not giggling when someone fell over or banged into something. I patted Christian and then headed to the drinks table to get him some water.
My eyes immediately sought out Tom, who was helping the unfortunate girl’s father brush her off. Stunned and slightly bleeding from the bridge of her nose, Cadence took her position on her father’s arm. By the time she reached Christian she had composed herself and dabbed the blood from her grazed nose. I had to give her credit, she was one tough cookie. Christian on the other hand was a complete mess.
“Do you, Mr Chips …”
I couldn’t believe they were actually making me say that out loud.
“…Take Ms Chips to be your lawful wedded wife?”
“I do,” he sobbed.
“And do you Ms Chips, take Mr Chips to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
Cadence hesitated for longer than expected. As she looked into Christian’s eyes, her smile fading, I wondered if she was seeing the life that she would have with him. He hadn’t rushed to her aid when she fell from the carriage, he’d taken care of himself first. And there he stood, crying like a baby. I watched as the implications of what she was about to do seemed to consume her. Would he protect her? Would she end up just having to do everything for him like a mother instead of a partner? Was she remembering past loves, stronger men who had made her feel safe, and wondering if she had chosen wisely?
Cadence looked at all the loving friends and family that had gathered to support them today, and as she turned her attention back to Christian, her expression told me that she had made her decision.
“I do,” she beamed, squeezing Christian’s hands.
I let out the breath I had been unintentionally holding, feeling bad for secretly hoping she would walk away. I wondered where I’d be today if I’d walked away. I would have travelled, definitely, and probably gotten a degree. But I wouldn’t have the kids, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.
As the guests swarmed on the happy couple to offer their congratulations, Tom and I fell to the back and swigged from the flask.
“Did you see that face plant?” He laughed. “I nearly had a heart attack.”
“That poor girl.” I tried to maintain a serious face, but as Tom flicked through the photos on his digital screen, the images of poor Cadence’s contorted face as she lost her footing brought tears of laughter that refused to be stifled.
“No more, it’s so mean and I’m going to wet myself,” I warned Tom, which, of course, only made him laugh more. “I’m glad she was okay. She was so courageous, I really like her. Most would have cried and made a big scene, but she just got on with it.”
“I give it a year,” he waved, as he set off to take thousands of happy smiling pictures that would get stuffed in a drawer somewhere and never looked at. Mine were in a box in the shed. Fitting really.