Gloria and Paul decided to get married right away and John found himself wishing he hadn’t agreed to attend the wedding. He had met Paul and liked him well enough but considered him an interloper. And didn’t think he would be comfortable at the wedding.
John knew it was silly to feel this way but couldn’t seem to help it. He very rarely saw Gloria anymore except occasionally at the Laundromat, and then she usually rushed off after her laundry was done not wanting to go for coffee as they usually did.
So when the wedding day came along, it was with misgivings that John got dressed in his Sunday finest and made his way to the church. After arriving early, he was pacing nervously in the vestibule when a pretty blond woman came up to him and asked if he belonged to the groom or the bride’s party.
He replied that he was Gloria’s friend John. The woman identified herself as Gloria’s mother and he was a little taken aback. The woman was young or so she seemed and very good looking.
“My name is Alice,” she said. John was struck by her resemblance to Gloria.
“John, Gloria has told me so much about you,” she said.
“Really?” He was surprised.
“Yes. She said you have been a good friend and a great handyman,” she bubbled.
“Well it is nice to be appreciated. I was glad to help her out. She is a great girl.”
“Well I hope she will be happy. They haven’t known each other for very long.” She seemed a little concerned.
John found himself trying to comfort her and assure her that knowing each other a long time didn’t mean that it would be a happy marriage.
John found himself wondering where Gloria’s father was, but he was too polite to ask. Gloria never talked about her family. Then as other relatives and friends started arriving, Alice was swept away in a maze of chiffon and chatter.
As the ceremony began, John felt a lump in his throat as he watched Gloria. She was radiant. The lilac lace dress she wore clung tenderly to her slim figure. He noticed tears in Alice’s eyes and could hardly hold them back himself.
The wedding ceremony seemed to move along at a fast pace and John found himself at the reception surrounded by the friends and family of Gloria and Paul.
Alice appeared out of nowhere and handed him a glass of red wine.
“Here,” she said. This will do you good. You look like you lost your best friend.”
“Oh sorry,” he mumbled.
“Oh, don’t be sorry. It happens to the best of us. The unrequited love thing I mean. You wear your heart on your sleeve you know.”
“I am sorry,” John couldn’t seem to get his thoughts in order and was beginning to feel like a fool.
Alice sensing that he was pretty uncomfortable and probably didn’t know anyone at the reception, took him in charge and started to introduce him around and then led him to the food table. After making sure that he eating, drinking, talking to one of her brothers and starting to enjoy himself, Alice mingled with the other guests.
When it came time for Gloria and Paul to leave, Gloria came up to John and gave him a hug and a peck on the cheek.
“Thanks for coming John. Hopefully, we can have you over for dinner after we return from our honeymoon. And maybe also have my Mom over too. You two seemed to hit it off I noticed.
John wondered how Gloria noticed him at all with all the activity swirling around her and Paul. But the more he thought about it the more he liked the idea of going to dinner especially if Alice was going to be there.
So after Gloria and Paul left, he boldly marched over and asked Alice to dance.
(To be continued.) Stay tuned.