Are You Still Single? Episode 1 Always the Bridesmaid Never the Bride Part III
A sniff penetrated the air and I watched as cousin Charlotte (also bridesmaid) swept away a tear. On the periphery, I could sense Aunty Mildred standing as still as a statue glassy eyed and stony faced. The Woman in Black letting go of The Woman in White.
It felt like an eternity before Anna said, “I do,” or I should say sobbed.
Ever the amateur dramatic. I remember her taking Drama Studies for her options. She’d always come bounding up to me after auditions beaming that she’d been given the role of whatever leading lady our eccentric Drama teacher Ms Campbell had chosen to be the ‘play of the term.’
I think she was The Virgin Mary in the nativity play once. I got the role of one of the shepherds I think.
A ‘silent part’ I was told.
“No lines. It’s all in the stance,” Anna had said.
“Always the bridesmaid never the bride,” said a faint whisper in my ear.
Andrew-the-Arsehole, who for the first time in his life could call himself the, ‘best man’ and for it to actually be true!
He delighted in a lingering look and satisfied smirk before turning his head back to the action.
The organ began to play consummating the vows like a death certificate. Always something so sinister about the organ- not at my wedding thank you I thought as the cute couple kissed passionately in front of me.
“You look beautiful,” cried my old school friend as we walked back down the aisle.
“Thanks,” I blushed.
He was the one that got away.
Later I stood awkwardly at the bar trying to discreetly catch a glimpse of my old school friend when I heard a voice.
“Did you know Adam’s initials and Anna’s new initials both spell AW?” he said pleased with his joke.
It was him. Stephen. I hadn’t seen him for years. He was my very first love: tall, dark, rugged and handsome and every inch a man.
“Stephen!” I said trying not to sound too surprised, “how are you? It must have been at least 12 years!”
“You haven’t changed a bit,” he said.
“What twelve years, five break ups, three near death experiences and a recent bout of food poisoning?” Oops too much information but it was too late.
He just stared at me unfazed.
“You always were a quirky one,” he laughed.
Quirky? Out of all the adjectives he could have used, ‘gorgeous’ ‘funny’ ‘intelligent’ ‘effervescent’ or ‘elegant’ even. But no ‘quirky’ is what I get. If I got a pound for every time I’d been described as ‘quirky’ I’d be a millionaire by now.
“So what’s new with you?”
“Well I’ve finally written that book I started twelve years ago. I’ve recently had an agent sign me up. Dream job now coming to fruition at last,” he smiled.
“Yeah I remember you always wanted to be a writer. I still remember
Ms Koswaski asking us in Year 6 what we all wanted to do. I remember learning the word ‘author’ that day. I thought you were so smart.”
“Yeah until I got a G in Biology GCSE. I remember your face. You were such a little Scientist.”
“Funny you should say that, I’m a Science teacher now.”
“A Science teacher eh? That’s fantastic. I still remember the Periodic table.”
I giggled girlishly at that.
“You may laugh,” he said tapping me on the arm, “I’ve got a memory like an elephant.”
I looked down at the ground; a sudden wave of embarrassment swept over me. Or was it vulnerability?
“So what else is new with you?” I said quickly.
I felt his eyes bore into me.
“Hey darling,” she said arms entwining around my beloved.
“Oh hey Dana. This is my old school friend Vanessa. Vanessa this is Dana. Vanessa’s a Science teacher.”
She looked at me impressively. She was thin and pretty. Her honey coloured hair hung down to her shoulders stroking her neck seductively. Her green eyes shone as she observed the, ‘old school friend’ in front of her.
“Science teacher. That’s impressive. What age range?”
Her voice was sweet and sugary belonging to that of one who would shatter into a million pieces if I began telling her about my five break ups, three near death experiences and recent bout of food poisoning.
“11-18,” I said conscious of my gravelly voice.
I knocked back my wine as I faux delighted in her memories of learning the Periodic table in school and her views on the educational system in England. Of course something a columnist from Canada knows all about! Roll on wedding feast!