The wedding was held late on the Saturday afternoon. The church bright from the low sun beating through the open west door, was a place of calm reflection as the guests waited for the bride’s arrival.

A wedding held after the bulk of the day has been spent by attendees swimming and sunbathing, followed by afternoon sex and a sleep has to accept that a certain torpor will befall the congregation, or at least two of the party.

Our heroic couple had flown in on separate flights the day before and had set about each other as lovers do: savouring the moment of rediscovery; the remembrance of each other’s scents; the refreshment of mutual tastes; the heaviness of shared sleep. By the time of the wedding, sitting beside each other on a solid well-polished pew holding hands, (of course), they needed to be still.

A friend of the bride and groom, flown over to the island to sing, sang beautifully. The priest spoke enthusiastically about marriage and the fruit of the loins. The vows were expressed sincerely and enunciated proudly before friends, relatives and plus ones. The open-top vintage Rolls Royce over-flowed with joy as it moved off toward the chosen hotel. The sun dipped toward the sea warming the backs of the cheering people.

Before the wedding reception dinner and dance under the stars across the harbour commenced, our unmarried couple slipped into the water of the town beach after another quickie to cool down in the slight ebbing tide.

Floating on his back, spread-eagled staring into the darkening blue of sky above, he thought of the afternoon’s ceremony, his own wife and why he had travelled to this island. In a moment of startling clarity he realised that he was out of his depth.


CLP 31/10/2021