Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Wedding Guest

Why do people keep saying that the best place to meet a guy is at a wedding?   I have to wholeheartedly disagree with this:
  1. Because these people clearly never went to my friend, Grace's wedding...
  2. If they did they would know that the whole wedding only consisted of about three males and fifty hundred females...
  3. And because the three men that were there were, well, gay!
Grace and Bobby were only twenty when they got engaged, but it came as no surprise as they had been together since they were fourteen.  Despite my disapprovals of marrying so young, I was maid of honour and I have to say that I have never seen so excited in my entire life.
    The day of the wedding seemed to have come quickly.  Grace had made sure every single detail was perfect.  The flowers had to match the glorious, pink curtains of the historic building, and in turn the white window panes that were gently covered by the pink curtains of the historic building had to match the elegant piano.  Every single detail rain its chain until every inch matched so amazingly that it created the most fantastic ambiance for a wedding.

    "Stop tugging at my hair like that!" Grace yelled at me as the curling tongs I was holding released a perfect spiral of auburn hair.  
    "Wow, someone's nervous," I said and was greeted with Grace's angry glare through the mirror.  "Sorry," I apologised and noted in my head never to talk back to a bride.  
    "Just hurry up!"  she yelled once more, and in no time at all her hair was transformed into perfect curls.  Her eyes welled up as she looked at herself in the mirror and placed the tiara, the final touch.  
    "You look stunning," I tell her.  Suddenly her mood lifts when she looks at the clock.
    "We've finished early! Yay!" her smile beaming.
    I'm a little relieved - she had been snappy for a couple of days now; so snappy in fact that I was sure she was getting cold feet and contemplating jilting Bobby.
    We both sit down on the sofa and relax for a bit.  The other two bridesmaids are running in and out of the room informing us of the guests that have arrived.  
    "Another woman," Bridesmaid no. 1 says with a dissapointed look on her face.  A couple of minutes later Bridesmaid no. 2 comes into the room informing the same thing with the same look.  
    "Do you not know any men?" I ask Grace.  She's staring down at her engagement ring, telling herself how it won't look so lonely anymore.  
    "Of course I do," she drops her hand on her lap and turns to me, "Actually, I invited this one guy which I'm sure you're going to love!" she emphasises the last word.  
    Oh no!  I hate it when people do that - when they intertwine themselves into your love life because they think they can.  
    "I really do not want to be set up!" I argue back.   
    "I'm not setting you up.  I'm merely introducing," her tone is so high-pitched.  I can imagine what she would be like had she been born in the eighteenth century - setting her daughters up so they would have 'chance' encounters with lords and dukes.  
    Bridesmaid no. 2 enters again, "A man!" she yelps with excitement and heads for the window.  "Look," Grace and I follow her to peer out.  
    A tall man is just about to climb the stairs into the building.  A present under his arm he jumps them two by two, raking a hand through his dirty blond hair.  He is gorgeous.  There's no denying it.  
    "Oh, that's Justin," Grace jabs me on the arm and then points out of the window, miming 'that's him' to me.
    OK, maybe sometimes it is rather good when friends try to set you up with someone.  It looks like Grace had got it seriously right this time.  

The ceremony goes by beautifully with not a hiccup.  The guest accumulate to the gardens outside for pictures and after the photographer decides he has taken enough, I feel Grace's tight grip on my arm.  She is pulling me across the path to a group of guests near the fountain.  
    "Justin!" she yells out with a huge grin as she's dragging me along with her.
    He turns around, grey eyes sparkling in the Summer sun.  "So glad you made it.  I hope you've had a great time so far," and before he's allowed to respond, I've already been shoved right in front of him.  "This is my friend.  You know, the one I told you about," she says and I feel my cheeks go pink.
    She is officially embarrassing.  The one I told you about?  Why on earth has she been talking about me, and most importantly, what on earth has she been saying?
    Justin puts out his hand and I shake it, still a bit perplexed at what is happening.  "Lovely to meet you," I smile shyly.  
    Oh my, he really is gorgeous.  There is not a single flaw on this man - an amazing jaw structure, full lips and hair that is more glossy in the sun than mine.  He is outshining the bride.  
    "Oh, is that Bobby calling me?" Grace pretends to listen out for his voice, "I must dash and see to my husband," and like a flash she is gone.  
    "What just happened?" I joke.  
    "Would you like to go on a walk around the gardens?  They seem to be quite beautiful," he asks and I nod automatically.

The walk lasts about half an hour and we get to know each other well.  He is incredibly funny, and that smile - gosh, I had to stop looking directly at him in case I forgot how to walk or something.  
    "There you are!" the mother of the bride is marching towards me.  "We have to head off to the reception.  In the car NOW!" she yells at me and marches off.
    "Oh dear," I turn to Justin.  "I think I've just awoke the beast," and head for the car.
    "I'll see you there," he says and gently brushes his hand on my arm.  
    I walk away thanking Grace in my head.  

The reception is the opposite of the beautiful ceremony.  This is a proper party with a loud DJ, drunken dancers and creamy food all over the place.  I should really go and see how the bride is doing, since I'm the maid of honour, but my mind shifts to Justin, and I scan the room for him.  I spot him with a group of other guys, smiling.  Oh that smile!  Surely him and I would never work purely on the fact that he is prettier than me.  
    I haven't quite decided yet whether or not to go over, but it seems my legs have already decided for me.  He sees me and waves me over.  
    "This is my lovely new friend," he puts me in front of him and holds me by the shoulders introducing me to his friends.  "They all work with Grace as well," he tells me.  "Actually, it's rather loud in here.  You want to go outside?" he asks me.  The automatic nod surfaces again and I'm finding myself move outside.  My eyes shift to the two bridesmaids who are already whispering to one another.  
    When we're outside I breathe in the country air to calm myself.  I feel like it's been a year, not just a day. I tell Justin this and he agrees.  
    "I know what you mean.  I had to organise my sister's wedding last year," he tells me.  "I didn't leave my bed for a week afterwards- I was that exhausted,"
    I think how well Justin would look in my bed.  I immediately tell myself off as I've only just met the guy.  
    "Grace is an utter nightmare when it comes to organising.  Everything I thought I was helping with she decided that it was wrong, so it all had to be done again,"
    "Oh trust me, I know.  I work with her, remember?" he tells me, "She's terrible at work when it comes to the organisation stuff.  We're all too scared to talk to her," he lets out a childish laugh.  His attention turns to me.  "Now you, on the other hand, seem completely different to her.  How did you two become friends?" his eyes are burning into mine.  
    "Well, I asked her if I could borrow her skipping rope, and we've been friends every since," I smile at him suddenly feeling nervous. 
    "I see," he turns his head away.  "And does she not know many men?" he asks, one hand pointing to the building.
    I let out a laugh.  "I was thinking the same thing.  But I think it's because Bobby works as a primary school teacher and he's the only male there, and well, Grace has a family that only seems to produce females.  She only has female cousins, you know.  And there are a LOT of them," I hear him laugh, and wonder whether it would be too forward if I kiss him.  
    "Inside now!!  We're about to eat!!" the mother of the bride has poked her head out and is scowling at us.
    "I don't think you and Grace will be allowed to play with each other after this," he jokes.  "Was she like this when you were kids?" 
    I nod.  

At the table I'm about to sit down, when I feel Grace's forceful grip again.  "Up!" she orders.
    "You know, you and your mother aren't that different," I say but she doesn't seem to hear me.  
    "Over here," she plonks me on another seat which conveniently is right opposite Justin.  "And stop twiddling with your dress!" 
    I let go of the pink and white satin and lace, and gulp down some wine.  
    "Go easy girl," Justin says with a half smile.  
    The two bridesmaids are sitting on either side of me, looking as disappointed as ever with the sea of women all around them.  
    "Looks like you got the only good thing about this wedding," Bridesmaid no. 1 whispers to me.  I look at Justin who is talking to Bridesmaid no. 2.  "He's just so gorgeous.  You going on a date?" she asks so close that her hair clip is scratching my cheek.  
    "Umm, no," I tell her and let out a laugh as if she's being ridiculous.  
    Bridesmaid no 2's giggles attract my attention.  "Oh, you are a charmer," she tells Justin.  "So when are you taking this lovely girl out on a date?" she asks, holding my wrist.  With my free hand I lift my wine glass and take a gulp of it.
    "A date?" Justin sounds confused.  His eyes glance to mine and then flick away as if he doesn't know what to say.  
    "Yes, a date.  You two have been inseparable all day,"
    This is embarrassing.  Is she really still talking???
    "Oooohhh, are you two seeing each other?" Grace's mother has piped up, her mood lifted from earlier.       The entire table has hushed and is waiting for a response.  
    "Oh course we're not seeing each other," I laugh nervously.  
    Justin looks at his food.  "Actually, I'm seeing someone," he announces.  I almost choke.  "I have a boyfriend,"
    I try my hardest not to look shocked, but my cheeks have turned so crimson that it's obvious I had no idea.  I try to hide my face by having some more wine.  
    "Oh, I see," Grace's mother returns to her food.  Eventually everyone else follows suit.  
    
He's gay!!!  I am going to kill Grace.  I am never talking to her again.  
    I lift my eyes off my plate and move them straight to Grace.  
    "I'm so sorry," she mouths. "I had no idea,"
    "I'm going to kill you!" I mouth back.
    My eyes then flick to Justin who clearly is finding the chicken fascinating.  He hasn't raised his eyes once.  
    "I knew it," Bridesmaid no. 2 tells me.  "I just knew it!  He's far too well groomed.  He just wouldn't look right with you!" and she digs into her food.
    Choke, I think.  

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