Friday, April 16, 2021

Bride to Be by R.T. Hardwick

 I remember Tony saying ‘I’ve found you a wife.’  Across the disco floor was a girl with the smouldering good looks of a Greta Garbo and the figure of an Audrey Hepburn, that is to say like a stick insect in a dress.

‘Hello,’ I said.  ‘I’m Jonny.’

‘I’m not,’ she replied.

We danced the night away.  She danced a mean boogie whilst I did the Gay Gordons.

I walked her home afterwards.  She let me kiss her. It tasted like all the herbs and spices of the orient: Leyton Orient.  We dated regularly after that.  One day in early spring I went down on one knee and asked her to marry me.  I strained a knee ligament and had to be stretchered to hospital.  She felt sorry for me and said ‘yes’ through gritted teeth.

What a wedding reception!  There was Stuart, with his ill-fitting suit and ridiculous moustache.  You should have seen him.  A human dustbin when it came to scoffing food.  If you stood on his foot, his head would flip open.  There was Molly, skinny and prickly as a starved porcupine.  That red dress and those white tights – she looked like an upside down Swan Vesta.  Then there was my sister Connie, forever lighting up a Player’s Number Six and wearing a dress that looked like it had originally been issued to female ARP wardens.

It’s a pity my bride never showed up. She missed a smashing reception – foie gras, pheasant, lavender poached pear, gallons of Rustenberg Chardonnay.  That note she left – ‘I never could stand you, I was only ever interested in your money.  Pity you never had any.  I’ve found somebody a lot richer,’

That just about sums her up.  I always thought her eyes were too close together.

© R.T. Hardwick

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