The congregation whispers, fidgets, and breathes like bellows. The wedding party are running way behind schedule. Tensions mount as the ceremonial time passes. The bald pastor rearranges his papers. Checks his watch, the lines deepening on his face.
Her wedding party fixes, adjusts, makes last minute preparations. She can’t seem to get her ringlets to behave, to twist in the manner they did at her run-through. “Do something,” she pleads with her maid of honor. Her panic mounts. She grabs the curling iron, snaps, “You’re just making it worse!”
To calm her, dad leads her aside, into the narrow hallway. He wants to savor these last moments with his sole daughter. His pride and joy. He takes her hand, opens it face up in both of his. Says, “When I was your age, we could fit everything we owned right here.” Traces a circle in her hand with his finger. “We had nothing.” He sighs, thinks of his own failed marriage. He asks her, “You’re sure you wanna do this?”
It takes her by complete surprise. The one question she wishes he might have avoided. She glances outside to steel herself, into the churchyard. The sun gleams on the gravestones. It feels like she’s wearing ankle weights as the organ barks the wedding march.