This is the nineteenth part of a fiction serial, in 760 words.
Things moved fast after Christmas. During the celebrations, we told both sets of parents of our intention to buy a small house in Colindale, and get married next year, probably in May. Becky’s mum doubted we could book anywhere with such short notice, but she hadn’t reckoned with the fact that Becky had already placed a provisional booking at a hotel in Hertford, and also reserved a reception suite and some rooms at the same place. My mum went on about who should be invited, and even my dad seemed sold on the idea. He did moan a bit about the distance from Gidea Park to Colindale, so I joked about him not being asked to come over anyway.
Nodody was surprised, and they all seemed happy about it.
Becky was still adding things to her blog, so naturally wrote something about the forthcoming wedding, and the fact that the offer we had made on the Colindale house had been accepted. Working for the bank, I could get a reduced-rate mortgage as a staff perk, with no fear of having it declined. When she was at work one night, I sat in my house and read her blog on my phone. I didn’t normally bother, but I wanted to know what she had written about the wedding, and her plans, see if it was any different to what we had discussed.
I was really shocked to discover it was all incredibly romantic and touching. She referred to me as ‘my wonderful boyfriend’ on the one about Barcelona, and on the wedding plans page she had added a good photo of me and called me ‘The gorgeous man who will become my husband, the love of my life’. I was rather taken aback. We didn’t go in for a lot of that kind of talk. She had even once said to me, “I don’t do lovey-dovey chat, so you will just have to take it as read”. On her blog, she was writing like someone besotted with me, as if I could do no wrong. I was definitely pleased, if a little confused. There were other blog pages too. On one about the trip to the Zoo, followed by Tapas, she had noted, “I knew as I watched him drive away that he was the one I wanted to be with always”. She had even had a little go at herself on a page about staying at my house. “He even forgives me for being untidy, and messing up his smart little house. How brilliant is that?”
I read all of it that night, and learned something completely new about someone I thought I knew well.
After that, it all seemed to happen very quickly, and I had little to do with any of it. The two-bed semi in Colindale went through smoothly, and my place sold at the asking price on just one Saturday afternoon. It all seemed too good to be true. And it was.
The arguments had started about wedding guests, with both lots of parents getting involved. Becky had said a maximum of sixty, including Fliss and Jackie, and one of her best friends who was going to be the only bridesmaid. Her name was Fiona, and she was a nurse too, except she lived in Scotland now, and worked at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. So I had never met her, which wasn’t a problem. Luke was to be my best man, as long as he wore shoes and a suit. Other than that, I didn’t care who came, but our parents did.
The deal was that Becky’s parents would put in her share of the deposit on the house. I was using the capital from selling the Beckton place as well as some savings, and they were matching that so we went in equally. My parents said they would pay for the wedding instead of giving us money, and it had been agreed. Unfortunately, my mum took that to mean that she could invite whoever she wanted, including some distant relatives I couldn’t even remember meeting. During a very fractious Sunday afternoon in Gidea Park, tempers flared when mum suggested that my parents were actually spending a great deal more than Becky’s so should be allowed to invite whoever they liked. Becky retaliated by saying she was prepared to scrap the whole wedding plan and just get married in a Registry Office with two witnesses.
On the silent drive home, I developed a pounding headache that I still had the next morning when I woke up.