Flowers

green and yellow plant on white car
Image from Unsplash, taken by Maurice Pehle

“The flowers are late!” I rushed into the kitchen, my wedding dress bunched around my waist and my veil askew. I looked at my husband-to-be. “I knew we shouldn’t have trusted that florist.” I took a deep breath. “And I knew we shouldn’t have got ready together. It’s supposed to be unlucky.”

Tim sighed. “It’s just nothing. It’s probably meant to allow the bride a little peace to get ready without the groom asking a lot of questions and causing fuss. We aren’t doing all the fuss.”

It made a sort of sense, but I was still frantic. “What about the flowers?”

“Can’t your little friends help out with that?” Tim asked.

“You know I don’t like you calling them that,” I said. I manouevred my skirt over a stool and sank down. “They’re the fair folk – if you have to talk about them at all.”

Tim walked over to me, put his hands on my shoulders and kissed me gently on the forehead. “Well, whoever they are took a lot of getting used to. I’m still not sure they approve of me. But I love you, friends and all, and don’t worry.” Tim grinned, that crooked grin that I loved so much. “Besides, they’re more like family, really, and we all have awkward family. I mean, you’ve met my Auntie Violet. She is far worse than misplaced car keys and iffy reception for the radio.”

I smiled back for a moment. “Lots of people call this house haunted, but it isn’t really. I just have friends.” My face fell. “But no flowers – and you know that the minister said he wouldn’t go ahead if we were late. We can’t wait around for the dratted florist. What are we going to do?”

Tim took my hands and gently squeezed them. “My darling, we agreed that this is about the marriage that we are going to have for the rest of our lives, not one day. We agreed that we would remember the things that went wrong as fun stories and not as awful events.” He grew serious. “I wish my mum was able to come, but we lost her last year. I wish your family was still here. I wish that your bridesmaid hadn’t eloped with my best man a week before it was all due to happen. I wish all sorts of things. The flowers, well, it’s just another story. As long as we get married, that’s all that matters. I love you.”

I smiled back. “I love you too.” I sighed. “I hope the fair ones are happy. They haven’t interfered so far, which is a good sign.” I disentangled my voluminous skirt from the stool and stood up. “They mean a lot to me.” I pulled myself up and settled my veil. “They’re the last of my family. Come on, we can’t be late. We can do without the flowers. Let’s go and get married.”

Tim led me outside ready to drive to the church, then stopped. I almost fell over as I bumped into him and then stared. A small bundle of wild flowers lay across the boot of the rental car.

Tim picked them up tenderly and looked around. “Thank you for this,” he said to the empty air. “An amazing gift on our wedding day.” He turned to me. “Your family have given their blessing. Let’s go and get married.” He looked around again. “And I’ll save you some cake!”

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