She woke up excited at the prospect of the day - brilliant sunshine peeping through the side of the drawn curtains. Untangling herself from the sheets she sat up and took off the furry cat eye mask, surprised it had even stayed on all night. Adie’s mind was bursting at the seams thinking about what she had to do this morning before the big occasion.
Desperate to see the girls were in the other room she threw her legs over the side of the bed and walked towards the door. She could hear laughter from the other bedroom and couldn’t wait to see her sister and two best friends.
They had insisted she have the bedroom with the big king-size bed in it, after all she was the one getting married.
“Good morning” she sang out pushing open the door.
“Well hello ‘bride to be’” they greeted her jumping out of their beds to come over and hug Adie. Jean and Leonie were her closest friends and she had known them since primary school.
“Where’s Ginger?” Adie asked looking around the large room where three cream bridesmaids’ dresses hung from the curtain rail above the empty bottles and chip packets littering the floor from the giggly and fun previous night.
“Well, if you must know Adie, she’s not feeling one hundred percent, just a bit queasy in the stomach, probably from too many bubbles, but she’ll be alright I’m sure”
“What do you mean queasy? Has she been vomiting?” Adie asked in a worried tone, knowing her sister had a cast iron stomach!
On hearing this news, she rushed out of the bedroom and into the adjoining bathroom where she found her sister sitting on the lid of the toilet, looking pale and tired.
“What’s wrong Ginger?” she asked with a slight agitated tone to her voice.
“I’m not sure. I feel a bit off”.
“What like a bug, or something you’ve eaten?” Adie asked, wondering ‘why today of all days?’
“Ok, let’s get you sorted” and then she muttered “Panadol, anti-nausea tablet and a cup of tea, and maybe a dry piece of toast” and she rushed off to the kitchen to put the kettle on.
She took it all in to her listless sister, rubbed her back, patted her head lovingly and then told her “Please get better Ginger, you know what day it is?
The other two had wandered into the kitchen to put the croissants in the oven and get out the orange juice and champagne.
“Come on Adie, the croissants are almost ready and we’ve popped the cork!”
“Ooh lovely, just coming”.
As she walked into the spacious kitchen, Jean said something to Adie that sent her blood pressure rocketing….” You know you have a massive pimple on your nose”.
“What? I have not, and that isn’t even funny!” She yelled, running into the bedroom to look in the mirror. “Oh, bloody hell “she wailed.
“Do NOT squeeze it Adie, the last thing you want is a massive red lump on the end of your conk….on your wedding day!”
She was tempted to squeeze it, she really was, but knew what would happen, so instead drank a glass of champers and orange and then poured another one.
Leonie was the photographer for the early part of the morning. Adie hadn’t wanted anyone taking photos of them half-dressed, no matter how many of her friends told her it was ‘something everyone does now for their wedding’…
“While you’re jumping around taking photos of us all Leonie, DO NOT, and I mean it, take any photos of me where you can see the big red pimple!”
“I won’t, I promise but hurry and cover it up then!”
Ginger knew she had to feel better for her sister’s wedding. Not only was she chief bridesmaid but she had written a well-rehearsed speech to read out at the reception. The Panadol tablets had been washed down with a cup of tea and some dry toast but she needed the anti-nausea pills desperately, so took them too.
The four girls sat at the kitchen table eating their breakfast. There was still an air of excitement floating around the room, despite Ginger not feeling well, and they all knew that after cancelling the wedding twice because of covid, this had to be a really special day. ‘
“Let’s drink to no hiccups today, just smooth sailing” called out Jean and the three of them raised their glasses, ‘chinking’ in unison. Ginger raised her cup of tea saying “I’m starting to feel a bit better, honestly”.
“Oh good” said Leonie “Let’s take a selfie”.
They were all still in matching pj’s and Leonie took photos while they waited for the hairdresser to arrive.
“Burr, burr, pulsated the door buzzer, halting the chatter and laughter that filled the unit.
Leonie jumped off the stool “Must be her, I’ll let her in”
“Oh Mr. Marsh, you’re early. We thought you were the hairdresser”. “I can do your hair if you really want me to” he laughed.
“Hello girls” he jauntily called out as he walked into the loungeroom stepping over some shoes and bags.
“Hi Dad” said Adie hugging her father, “You weren’t due until ten o’clock”.
“Yes, I know” he said a little sheepishly “Umm, it’s not a problem but….”
“WHAT dad?” Adie almost screamed at him, suddenly noticing that he wasn’t carrying any boxes.
“Now, the florist said to tell you that there are replacements that look equally as lovely, or beautiful or whatever” he stammered “And” …
“They must have the flowers, please don’t tell me they don’t have the flowers, they were ordered months ago, please dad, don’t tell me that!”
“No love, just calm down, the flowers are all ready, but the corsages need a little ‘tweak’ that’s all”.
“What do you mean a ‘tweak’?” Adie asked knowing she would be using some of the Panadol herself soon.
“Well overnight, one of the cool rooms broke down and the carnations got spoiled, but the florist” … he didn’t get to finish his sentence, again, as a disbelieving Adie yelled out ‘But we need lemon, we actually need lemon flowers, they match, and I can’t have any other colour…WE NEED LEMON” she now yelled very loudly.
“It’s ok love, they have lemon roses, exactly the same shade as the carnations would have been. So calm down, you’ll have a heart attack” he said laughing and giving her a hug. “I just came over to explain the situation and I will be back at the right time, later on, with all of the bouquets, ok?” said Adie’s dad almost running through the door to get back to his car.
“Ginger, you look terrible” one of the girls said to her “Have you actually vomited?”
“Just feels like I should, but after it’s risen up to my throat, it slowly subsides, but don’t worry I’ll feel alright soon and I will definitely look so much better after my hair is done and makeup is on”. ‘Maybe’ she thought to herself.
‘I just need five minutes out in the garden, fresh air and deep breaths’ Adie thought as the back door closed behind her and she sat on the wooden bench surrounded by soft ferns and colourful bushes.
Her mind drifted to the fabulous man she was marrying and how it had taken so long and much frustration to get to this day. She adored James and he her. She knew that they would look back on this day and it would be one of the best memories of their lives. All of these little problems that were happening this morning would seem so trivial and silly.
“Right then Adie, remember just how lucky you are and put that trademark smile on your dial!” she said aloud, walking back into the kitchen……just in time to see Ginger vomit on the lino floor and at the same time, hear hers, and two other mobiles ringing!
The others were staring in disbelief at the floor….“Don’t worry about me” said Ginger wiping her mouth with a handful of tissues “I feel so much better after getting THAT up”…..
‘Can you pose Ginger, as if you’re still vomiting”……”Just joking” Leonie quickly added.
“I can’t believe this” mumbled Adie, picking up her phone from the bench.” Hello, I’m sorry to hear that, is she ok? Oh, it will be just fine honestly. Give her our best please”.
Adie walked over to the big couch, sat down, put her hands into her face and began to cry.
“Adie, what’s wrong, who was that? The other three all asked.
Through big tears running down her face she blubbered “The make up lady was in a car accident and won’t be coming”…..
The room was silent. Adie still had her head bowed and the other three looked at each other, hardly believing what they had heard.
“Oh hell” was all Ginger said “I really need make up today!”
Jean put a comforting arm around her best friend. “Don’t cry Adie. We’ll sort it. Is there anyone else we can get to come over and do our makeup?”
“Jean, you know the trouble we had getting anyone at all to come over. There were three that cancelled because of covid. I’m going to look ugly on my wedding day” she exaggerated.
“I’ll just have to do it” offered Jean looking and listening for reactions to her suggestion.
“Oh yes, you can do it Jean, I remember Louise looked amazing for her thirtieth birthday bash and that was thanks to you. But we haven’t got that much make up here”.
“I am like the mechanic with his tool box and the doctor with his brown leather bag and stethoscope…I never go anywhere without my makeup ‘trunk’. What do you think was in the huge bag in the boot of the car!
It was all sorted and Adie felt quite relieved!
Gillian the hairdresser, or coiffure specialist, as she liked to call herself on her Facebook page, turned up right on time. Behind her and dragging in three big baskets filled with ‘equipment’ was Jessie, her apprentice, puffing and panting with the exertion of the weight of it all.
The wheels had been set in motion in the make shift salon. Jessica washed the hair and then sent them over to the ‘artiste’…
While one head of hair was being styled, Jessica was blow drying another. With the engine like noise of the dryer it was difficult to hear anything else, so the voices of everyone escalated to a ‘just below shouting’ level.
“I might not want to vomit again” said Ginger to Adie but I need something for this headache, which is getting worse with all this clatter going on. “Maybe eat something” her sister told her, afterwards wondering if that was good advice!
“Isn’t this fun” yelled Jean across to the other girls who all nodded (easier than trying to be heard).
Adie was on the last leg of the ‘hair do’ and was doing a mental check of all that had yet to be done, when suddenly a thought hit her.
“Is Dad here yet Ginger with the flowers? He’s supposed to be here by now. Can you ring him and check please. I hope he got the roses in place of the carnations. What if there aren’t any roses and all the bouquets are awful?” she babbled sounding stressed.
“Adie, stop!” the voice of reason interrupted “Your dad would have gotten them, he’ll be here soon and they will look gorgeous. You my girl will have an ulcer!” and then Leonie sat down in the chair in front of the sink for a hair wash.
Mr Marsh hadn’t forgotten them; he just couldn’t get anyone to hear the door buzzing! At the time he thought that perhaps he should phone, but then decided it would be alright to leave all the bouquets on the front porch….and ring when he got back home.
Adie couldn’t wait any longer, she was getting quite impatient so rang her father. “What? You left them on the step? Dad! It’s getting warm out there! How dumb” and then she hung up on him.
The hairdresser was putting the finishing touches to the bride’s hair, and to Adie’s relief she liked the look of it, but Impatient to bring the flowers in from outside, she said through the haze of hair spray “Just beautiful” quickly getting out of the chair.
“Not quite finished yet” said Gillian “A little more spray at the back”.
When Gillian gave the ‘go ahead’ Adie sprang from the seat and out through the front door. To her utter relief the flowers were still in the shade, in boxes, and on inspection, looked fine. She brought them all in and put them in the cool of the laundry still muttering ‘how stupid of him’!
The room was quite thick with the spray that Gillian had used and there weren’t any open windows so it hung in the air like a low-lying cloud in a storm, slowly inching its way down towards the ground.
Jean had started to cough, loud and deep, almost as if she was choking. “Are you ok” Adie asked her walking over to where she was having the final pin or two put into her hair.
“I’m ok” she wheezed trying to catch her breath. “I think it’s all the spray” she said in-between the coughing. Her face was pale and waxy and Adie was beginning to feel concerned.
Suddenly Jean jumped out of the seat and in a high-pitched whistle called out “Puffer, I need my puffer” and then she sat down on the floor, looking distressed and frightened.
“Where’s Jean’s bag?” Adie called out. Leonie ran into the bedroom and grabbed the brown leather bag off the bed, and back out to where Jean was slumped. The noise she was making now was low and growly, and sounded like a purring cat.
The contents of the bag were emptied onto the floor as Leonie turned it upside down. “There, over there” said someone grabbing the puffer and giving it to Jean who quickly put it into her mouth and pushed the pump, gulping it backward and swallowing.
Everyone watched on, waiting for her to start breathing normally again. And after a few puffs of the Ventolin, she took a deep breath and lay on the carpet, on her newly coiffured hair!
“Oh Jean, poor love” said Adie as Jean burst into tears.
The windows and doors were all thrown open to let out the hairspray. “I’ll have my hair sprayed outside” offered Leonie.
“Please let that be all the dramas for today” Adie said out loud.... “I don’t think I can take any more!”
Gillian, Jessie and the asthma inducing hairspray had all left the premises. Everyone seemed happy with their hair, but more than happy that Jean was fully recovered.
“I’m really glad we didn’t have to ship you off to emergency Jean – my main concern was who would have done our makeup?” Leonie said, tongue in cheek. “Very funny” came the reply “Did you say you wanted your eyebrows shaved?”
There was a bit of spare time and after all the dramas of the morning so Adie thought that they should all sit down, have a bite to eat and a cuppa.
“What a morning!” someone said, but as soon as they sat around the table, the usual laughter and chatting began. The air was once again a buzz with excitement and expectation of the wedding ahead.
The hair was done, the makeup applied and the dresses were being put on.
“Imagine if I caught my dress with my heels and ripped it?” said Ginger laughing. “After everything else that’s happened so far, if you did that Ginger, life wouldn’t be worth living!”
They were all ready. Adie was feeling more relaxed now that it was almost time for her father to arrive with the car to pick her up.
A car horn sounded and Adie looked out of the window at the shiny black car. “Off you go you three” said Adie to her bridesmaids “You all look amazing, and thank you so much for just being you. See you in church!”
She was left alone to wait for her father to arrive.
“You look stunning” Adie’s father said to her when she opened the front door to him.
“Dad I’m sorry I hung up on you and got angry. So many things seemed to go wrong this morning – it was as if the universe was against me!”
“I understand and you are forgiven” he told her as he kissed her forehead.
“I am just so excited to see James. I can’t believe I will soon be Mrs. Lindon!”
The drive to the church was smooth, they didn’t get a flat tyre or run out of petrol, even after circling the block a few times to be the traditional ‘late bride’.
The music started and as father and daughter walked down the long aisle towards the waiting and nervous groom, all heads turned to get a look at Adie.
Up at the front with James stood his three groomsmen and on the other side, waiting for Adie to finally turn up was Ginger, Jean and Leonie. They all smiled at seeing her.
Two more steps and Adie was standing next to James. Her father walked back to his seat and she turned her husband to be.
Adie looked lovingly at him before noticing….a huge cold sore on his top lip!
“Sorry” he mouthed at her!
‘Are you joking?’ she thought ‘why would you do this to me universe – I really don’t deserve it’.