Category Archives: Fiction

The bouquet I held was all flowers from our own little garden: the window box which overhung our sea view – the sludgy waters of the industrial canal. We plucked that poor struggling flowerbed bare of treasures, and there was one pansy on every table, and a mishmash of coloured trinkets in my palms. The grey-white dress I wore had been bleached in the kitchen sink, and even weeks later, that faint chlorinated smell prevailed.
My mother cooked, and though that meant she was forever dashing off during the ceremony, still she was there, all pink and jittery and floury about the edges.
The cake was seven inches square, made in an excited buzz one September evening when x got in, his arms all full of wild cherries he’d found along the canal bank during his walk home. We soaked the cake so full of brandy to make it last, that by the end of the dinner everybody was sozzled, and nobody cared how small their slice was, or how little wine they’d been accompanying it.
~~~
The next morning, I woke to the same greasy-grey light, dappled with reflections from off the water below; the same coarse, stained quilts emblanketed me, and the same ruffled head looked up sleepily at me from the adjacent pillow.
“Come on, lazy face. Time to get up and go to work.”
“Work!” he laughed.
He sat up suddenly, scooped me into his arms. “My wife,” he said. “Lilian, my wife.”
He kissed me, then he dragged me to my feet, and we danced. We danced on the badly-sprung mattress in the dingy half-light of the early March morning. And the beginning of the rest of our lives had begun.

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So that’s it.

The date of our wedding has been and gone. But the wedding only the latter.

“Jeremy,” I say, and he knows what I’m thinking about.

He says, “Cara, Cara.” But he doesn’t offer anything else.

“Will it ever happen?” I ask him. But I know it won’t. Jeremy is not the kind of man to go back to failure. And we can’t do it now, of course, because of the money.

And all he says is, “Cara, you said it yourself: family should come first. Family should always come first.”

And I am no family of his.