It’s been a hectic day, but here’s the Friday Freebie!!!! Tasha, Chama and Coco are at the start of Tasha’s walk down the aisle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the wedding is going to happen after all …..
From a distance? I guess it looks just the way it’s supposed to, if somebody was capturing it for the pages of ‘Modern Bride’ or something – a beautiful bride and two splendidly turned out attendants huddling in a tight circle on the top step of a series hewn into the side of a windswept cliff. Three girlfriends hugging in a last-minute show of solidarity before one of them steps out of singledom and into wedded bliss by the side of her intended, who’s nervously looking up at her from the front of the crowd of seated guests on the beach below.
But up close? Up close, what it is is chaos.
Up close, it’s one very nauseated bride, hunched over her bouquet of tiger lilies, threatening with each retching sound to bring back up her breakfast, while two very worried friends try to shield her from unwanted attention and our own dresses from the imminent vomit. Up close? It’s also clearer that the nausea has nothing to do with the bride’s bulbous belly and everything to do with her doubt.
“I can’t go through with it,” Tasha is sobbing, “I just can’t go through with it.”
I remember my own wedding. I remember the jitters I got in the bedroom of a neighbour’s house while I got dressed, the tears I allowed everyone to think were tears of joy, the feeling that maybe I was making the biggest mistake of my life. I remember thinking that, beautiful as he was as a person, Tola was all wrong for me. If I’m pressed? I can even admit to looking downstairs at the rented limousine Coco had rented to take us to the registry office and wondering whether I should’ve asked the driver to leave, without the bride. But I also remember looking at Tola when it was all over, when all our guests were wishing us well and realising that he was honourable, that he really wanted to love and take care of me. I remember wondering then how I could ever have doubted that I was doing the right thing.
“Of course you can,” I say soothingly, patting back into place the burnt-orange tiger lily that accentuates Tasha’s pinned-up locks. The lily was unceremoniously dislodged a moment ago by the bride’s violent gagging, “everybody gets wedding jitters, baby.”
But the frown creasing Tasha’s forehead shows that she still isn’t sure. Well, call me old-fashioned but since Tasha’s revelation that she’s pregnant with Kerin’s baby? There’s been no doubt in my mind as to what the next step should be. Far as I’m concerned? The biggest mistake has already been made. Period. Getting married to Kerin is, at worst, an invitation to God to be a part of the clean-up crew and that can never be wrong. So right after she told us? I invited Tasha and her no-good man to the counselling sessions for engaged couples at Blessed, never mind that neither of them actually showed up. The day after that? I ran out and bought me a bridesmaid’s dress, a metallic pewter sleeveless wrap number with huge roses in greys and bronzes pinned about the bust-line. As luck would have it, Tash told us her news right around the time of the Etam end-of-season sale. And today? I am wearing the hell out of this dress. Today, even Coco’s Vin Tam original can’t shine a light to my look, and she knows it. It took me a minute to feel comfortable in my four-inch platform pewter shoes, but there’s no question who’s in charge here today. Frankly, it’s my duty to see that everything goes smoothly until Tasha is Mrs. Davis, ‘cause we all know that Coco can’t be counted on to help her see this thing through. Besides the fact that Coco doesn’t give a damn about anybody other than Coco? I don’t think she’s thinking straight right now. Matter of fact? I would guess that her drinking didn’t stop when we left the bar last night. The grimace she wears every time somebody says anything above a whisper confirms that my Coco is suffering one hell of a hangover – and it serves her right. No, I’m the only friend able to bring the sanity to this situation. Trust me, in years to come? Tash and the baby will thank me.