This is the twentieth part of a fiction serial, in 725 words.
Another thing I soon learned was that big dramas like the argument over the wedding guests can soon be forgotten by those involved. By the end of the week, both sets of parents had spoken on the phone, and each in turn to Becky. Unsurprisingly, I was left out of it except for being told of the outcome. Each family was to be allowed twenty-five guests, and there would be no extras coming just for the evening. Anyone invited would be there for the whole thing.
We had to move into the Colindale house before the wedding. For the time being, we used all the things from my place rather than buy anything new. My dad hired a big van, and we did the removal ourselves, cramming everything in so it took just one trip, with Becky following in my car filled with most of our clothes. That first night in our own place was a good feeling. My dad stayed around for fish and chips that Becky drove to get, and she thanked him warmly for all his help before he left. The new house seemed to suit us well, and having familiar things around definitely helped. We got most of it sorted on the Sunday, and went out to Pizza Hut to eat that night. As we both had to be at work the next day, we flopped into bed worn out before eleven.
Surprisingly, the new commute and returning to the house in the unfamiliar area didn’t take too long to start to feel very normal. We let the small garden go for now, and kept the car in the garage, out of the elements. The wedding date seemed to be approaching fast, and I was increasingly pleased that I had little or no say in any of the arrangements. We did have a conversation about names though. Becky’s nursing qualifications were in the name of Maclaren, and she asked if I would mind her not changing her surname to mine when we married. I hadn’t given that any thought, so just agreed.
My parents were less than happy when they found out though.
The actual day of the wedding was something of a blur, and it was only later that details popped into my head. Luke had done very well, which shocked us all. Not only did he wear a suit and real shoes, he gave an amazingly witty and affectionate speech which received cheers and applause. After some annoying Scottish music was played at the start of the disco, the DJ then got into the usual stuff guaranteed to fill the small dance floor, and a good time was had by all. The only weird thing about the whole day was Fiona. She arrived on the Thursday, and stayed with Becky’s parents. Then she turned up with them and Becky that morning, and hardly looked at me or spoke to me all day. The next morning she was off back to Scotland in her car, not even swinging by the hotel to say goodbye.
Athough I was desperate to ask what all that was about, I decided not to.
On the drive back to Colindale, the wedding ring felt strange on my finger. Becky couldn’t seem to stop grinning, and it was obvious that she was very happy to be married. We had agreed to skip a honeymoon, and go on holiday later that year instead. We wanted to go somewhere hot, and had settled on ten days near Bodrum in Turkey, in September. It was easy to get time off once the schools went back , and it was booked and paid for, with flights from Gatwick included.
At work the next day most of the team congratulated me, and Stella handed over a card with a voucher for John Lewis inside it. Considering none of them had been invited, a hundred quid was quite generous I thought. Then that was it. It was all over. We were a married couple, with a mortgage and a house. Two people who had already decided we didn’t want any children, and one person dead set on making a good career out of her job. On the Saturday morning, we got up early to go to the garden centre to buy some tubs and a bench.
I was feeling very grown up as we loaded the car.