Hi guys, I thought I’d give you a preview of ‘Perfect Weddings’
Here is Chapter One.
Don’t you just hate wedding jitters? Maybe you don’t. Perhaps your big day hasn’t come yet but trust me, it will. If I, Amy Fisher, can get married then anyone can. I’ve waited one year, three months and twelve days for my big day; that’s one year, three months and twelve days from the moment Greg proposed to me in the Little Chef. Yes I know, it isn’t the most romantic of places, but it was Valentine’s Day, so that makes everything all right. Although, to be strictly honest, it was me that proposed to him, but I am sure Greg would have done if I hadn’t got in first. You know what men are like, they just need a little push sometimes don’t they? We’d been on our way back from a Tottenham Hotspur match and stopped at the Little Chef. Did I mention that Greg likes football? Does the pope pray? Well, that’s how obsessed Greg is with football. It’s not just a game for him, it’s a religion. I think if Greg could marry Tottenham Hotspur instead of me, he would. So, there we were, tucking into our All Day Breakfast when Greg looked over his grilled tomato, gazed into my eyes, and said,
‘You’re the perfect girl for me.’
His words had sent a tingle down my spine. We’d been together for nine months and I just knew Greg was my Mr Right. I loved everything about him from his receding hairline to his bouncy walk. So, while still buzzing from our Tottenham Hotspur win, I asked him, right there, right then, in the Little Chef, to marry me. He looked so handsome in his Tottenham shirt that I just couldn’t help myself. There was a heart stopping moment when he hesitated, but then he said yes. That was one year, three months and twelve days ago. The time has flown by in a flurry of wedding magazines, dress fittings, reception venues, guest lists, seating plans, wedding cakes and of course football. And now the day is here. My stomach gurgles with excitement and mum fumbles in her bag for the Windeze.
‘Maybe pop a couple.’ she suggests. ‘Better safe than sorry, after all, we want a packed church don’t we?’
I glance at a box of Thorntons chocolates that sit on the dressing table. One white chocolate truffle won’t do any harm will it?
‘I’m hungry,’ I say. ‘I didn’t have breakfast.’
‘How can you think about food today of all days?’ scolds mum.
I’m not thinking about food, I’m just thinking about chocolate. I’ve never been so nervous in my life and chocolate is the answer to all ills isn’t it?
‘Just one,’ I say. ‘One won’t hurt, will it?’
She sighs and opens the box. I devour the white chocolate truffle and then feel myself drawn to the Hazelnut Heaven, but mum slams the lid down and puts the box back on the dressing table.
‘I’ll straighten your veil,’ she says nervously.
I look at my reflection in the wardrobe mirror. I can’t believe I’m standing in my wedding dress. My hair hangs in a perfect short bob with a pretty slide clipping back one side so my diamante earrings can be seen. I’d gone for the natural look. There is nothing worse than an over made up bride is there? I’d applied a small amount of blusher to my cheeks and a pink tint onto my lips with just a light brush of mascara to my lashes. I’m blessed with a clear, fair complexion and natural brown wavy hair. I’m not beautiful or anything but I think I’m reasonably attractive.
‘You look stunning,’ says mum.
‘You don’t think I look a bit chubby?’ I ask, swallowing the white chocolate truffle.
‘Chubby?’ says mum, just a little too loudly. ‘Of course not, you’ve lost loads of weight.’
That’s true. I did lose a lot of weight. The only problem is I put it on again at the food tasting for the reception. At least that was the start, the diet went pear shaped after that. Still, I can lose it again after the honeymoon can’t I? After all, Greg loves me for who I am. Mum adjusts the veil while I fiddle with the pearls around my neck. The dress looks terrific. It had cost a fortune but it was worth every penny. I’d been dreaming of this since I was a child. It is the happiest day of my life and I want to savour every moment. I embrace a bouquet of lilies and sigh contentedly.
‘You look like a princess,’ says mum.
‘Not like Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids?’ I ask worriedly.
‘Don’t be silly. Anyway she was the bridesmaid, not the bride, so you can’t look like her.’
‘You know what I mean.’
I reach for the Hazelnut Heaven before she can stop me. The chocolate hits my blood stream sending a wave of temporary euphoria through me. I tick off an imaginary list in my head. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe. The slide in my hair is the something old, borrowed from my grandmother. That’s if borrowing something from someone dead actually counts, but I’m sure it does. She would have lent it to me had she been alive. The something new is the wedding dress. No way was I having a second-hand dress. I’ve got a garter which belongs to my mother, just in case borrowing from my grandmother doesn’t count, and the something blue is the ribbon tied around my bouquet. The silver sixpence is pressed tightly against my little toe. I had forgotten nothing. There will be no bad luck on my special day. I’m marrying my Prince Charming, Greg Martin. Just the thought of him makes me quiver inside. Life is going to be magical from this day forth.
I walk carefully into the living room where dad is waiting.
‘Aw, you look a picture,’ he says proudly.
‘I’ll see you at the church. Don’t be on time,’ laughs mum. ‘And don’t get too nervous, you don’t want to stutter through your vows.’
I’m going to be exactly three minutes late, no longer. I read in Bride magazine that it is unfair to make the groom stand at the altar for too long. I fidget as the garter cuts into my thigh. Those extra three minutes may be the difference between life and death the way this garter is constricting my blood flow.
‘Ready?’ asks dad.
I nod. I’d better go before my leg turns purple. The neighbours stand at their gates and ‘ooh and ah’ at me.
‘Doesn’t she look lovely,’ says one as I climb into the Rolls Royce.
There’s nothing like a wedding is there, to cheer everyone up?’
‘Bring us back some cake,’ shouts another.
We’ve got a three tier wedding cake in blue and white icing. Blue and white are Tottenham’s colours and Greg was insistent they should be the colours of the cake. Not my choice but you’ve got to have a bit of give and take haven’t you? The photographer flashes pictures of me in the car making me feel like a celebrity, and then we’re off. I wave in manner of Kate Middleton, and feel very regal, aside from my numb leg. It takes ten minutes to reach the church. I glance at my wedding finger and tremble with excitement. Soon I will be travelling back as Mrs Greg Martin. It’s better than winning the lottery.
‘We should go in,’ dad says anxiously.
‘Once more around the block,’ I say, ‘it’s not time yet.’
I seriously can’t feel my foot. After one more drive around the block we finally stop at the church and I can’t say I’m not relieved. This garter is worse than a tourniquet. I’ll have deep vein thrombosis if we wait any longer. So, here we are, or at least here I am, about to get married and I couldn’t be happier. I limp from the car and dad fiddles with the dress while managing to stand on my veil.
‘Oh damn, I’m sorry love.’
‘Not to worry, it could be worse.’
I’m more concerned about the pins and needles in my leg. At this rate I will be limping down the aisle like a zombie bride. It’s then I see Rosie wiping tears from her eyes. At first I presume them to be tears of happiness but then I see my mother crying too and my stomach tenses. Then Jack, the best man, begins talking earnestly to my dad who this time steps on my wedding train. My stomach churns the half box of Thornton’s chocolates that I had eaten this morning and for one awful moment I think I’m going to be sick down my three thousand pound dress. That would be the pits wouldn’t it? First my dad’s foot and then my vomit. Not the best start to marital bliss. But something tells me that this wedding isn’t going to start at all, that something had happened, something awful. Oh God, Greg has been fatally injured in a pile up or at the very least broken both legs.
‘Greg isn’t coming. I’m so sorry,’ says Jack.
‘Is he sick?’ I ask stupidly.
‘He said he can’t go through with it. I’m so sorry.’
It takes me a few seconds to understand what he’s saying. Obviously, I’m relieved that they haven’t dragged Greg’s battered body from a mangled car or amputated both his legs, but my relief turns to disappointment and then anger, and then I want to stab him to death myself.
‘He’s not coming?’ I stutter, knowing I’m stating the bloody obvious.
Jack doesn’t speak. My world reels around me. I try to cling onto dad but I can’t see him through my tears.
‘Oh don’t cry Amy, please don’t cry.’
Everyone looks at me, watching my humiliation. The man I love is not coming. I suddenly feel fat, vulnerable and stupid.
‘What a sod,’ says mum.
I couldn’t have put it better myself, although I can think of more appropriate words for him. I, Amy Fisher, have been jilted by Greg Martin, and if there is anything worse than your dad standing on your veil, this has to be it.
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