The Lucas cousins met over a weekend at our grandparents’ home.
It was a potluck and Grandma Lucas had prepared her signature deep fried chicken wings. Our tastebuds and stomachs could not be more delighted at this.
It was also at this gathering that I saw Charles again. He asked if I could make myself available to help out during the wedding. I told him that he could count on it.
Also, as agreed upon earlier, Charles explained himself for that evening. I told him about my awkward exchanges with Darcy. As expected, Charles was thoroughly amused, but apologetic.
‘I’m so sorry you had to put up with his behaviour for what should have been a good and happy part of the evening. He seems like a pretty okay guy. I didn’t realize that happened! You should have said something!’
“It doesn’t matter now. Besides, it was not all that bad. I was happy to see you all happy. But please do explain how and why you know this person. Is he really a part of your party of groomsmen? He doesn’t seem like someone you’ve known a long time or even talked about at all.”
‘No, he’s not. Darcy was there in place of Leon.’
“Oh, the one from your school who takes amazing photographs.”
‘Yes. Leon had an emergency to attend to that evening, but the thought of leaving an empty seat was so off-putting he decided to send a proxy.’
“So you also know this proxy?”
‘Not all that well. But he was there to help when I was trying to plan my proposal to Jane.’
“… so he will be there at the wedding?”
‘Yes, though I have not sent out the official invitation…. If he is.. Is that a bad thing?’
“He doesn’t eat dessert.”
Charles laughed. ‘The least of my worries, dear cousin! Will you be alright with this? I do feel pretty awful about that evening and I mean, family matters more to me than him so if you did not want him to be invited, that can be arranged too.’
“No don’t be silly! This is going to be yours and Jane’s big day. All the people you want there should be there. Nothing to do with how I feel.”
‘Alright then. Are you absolutely sure?’
“Just make sure that gloomy brewing storm is not seated near family. If he was anywhere near Mother, things could get ugly.”
Charles laughed again. ‘You got that right. It’s settled then.’
It was settled, and the thought of that brewing storm (and that smile) at the wedding, wasn’t that off-putting to me at all.