By Vita Forest
Tina was there with her new partner Roman. He was older than Tina, grey-haired, sporting round red glasses and soft tan leather shoes with black laces. Tina was pregnant with her first and last child (her words – the pregnancy had not been easy). Pablo was there with Sharrda. They had had their second child ten months ago. Their two children were spending the weekend with their grandparents. Yes, they missed them, this was their first time leaving Savannah. They kept checking their mobiles, but all seemed to be going well! They showed Tina and Roman photos of their pair of plump, curly haired children, all doe-eyed and cherubic smiles. Tina rubbed her belly and smiled, Roman squeezed her hand and complimented the other couple on their good-looking children. This would be his fourth child.
They were sitting beside each other in white chairs in a field by a big spreading fig tree. It was winter and the sun was dipping down towards the distant hills. The groom (Victor) was there waiting but the bride (Soraya) had not yet arrived. Tina had gone to school with Soraya. They had played netball together, back in the day. Pablo had worked with Soraya. They started at the large financial institution in the same month, all those years ago. Tina and Pablo mentioned a few of Soraya’s old boyfriends. Remember Kai? Oh yeah. How about that Christophe? Christophe! What a jerk. But she’s got a good one now, Victor is so steady. Yes, good thing she waited. They all looked at Victor, hands clasped in front of him, looking over their heads and down the road.
The sun fell lower and they pulled their coats tighter, Roman attentively tucking Tina’s scarf into her collar. The lights from the lanterns along the pathway glowed brighter and Victor craned his neck. Then they all heard it and turned around. A white Rolls Royce turned into the drive and ambled up the hill. They all stood and smiled and watched as Soraya appeared on the arm of her beaming balding father. Her bridesmaids did a bit of last minute fussing, while Soraya looked steadily into Victor’s eyes. He was smiling now. Widely.
Who knew that two years later Soraya would give birth to Clementine who would never seem quite right and would eventually be diagnosed with Aspergers? Or that seven years later Pablo and Sharrda would be locked in battle in the courts over custody of their children and who should keep the biggest chunk of their bank balance? Or that Tina and Roman wouldn’t last either, Tina returning to live with her Mum while she tried to make ends meet. Roman clocking up another failed marriage on the verge of his retirement.
But for now, everything is good. Everyone is in love, everyone is healthy and the future holds only dreams of happiness. Let’s leave them there at this moment as they watch their friend walk down the aisle by lantern light, in a dress made by her mother and red roses in her hair.