The evening concluded on a high note as bride and groom took to the stage and thanked everyone for being a part of this magical evening. There was a humorous moment when Charles wanted to show his gratitude to Grandma Lucas, and did so by including a sweet message to her in his speech, which he delivered in her native tongue. Mother leaned over towards me and said he had massacred the message, picking on his pronunciation and incorrect stresses, but looking at Grandma with the widest smile on her face and happy tears brimming in her eyes, I disagreed with Mother.
‘Charlotte, I think I left my mobile phone in the bathroom, could you be a dear and go fetch it for me? I want to take a photograph with the couple before we leave.’
I did my own version of her, one hand on my hip and reminded her not to leave her valuables in public places. As she waved me away, I made my way to the bathroom, as quickly as my high-heeled feet could take me, without falling down.
Thankfully it was where she said it was, its bejeweled protective cover sparkling next to one of the sinks in the bathroom. That was probably part of the reason why it was still in the bathroom and not stolen. No one would be caught dead with it.
I had to hold it in my hands and I cursed that the dress had no pockets. It felt like a much longer walk back to the dining hall. I examined the phone cover as I made the long journey back, and I made a mental note to buy her a new and more tasteful one for Christmas.
‘Nice phone cover.’
I looked up and it was Darcy, also making the trip back from the bathroom. I felt my cheeks get warm. I awkwardly swung the phone out of sight and behind my back.
“It belongs to my mother. She left it in the bathroom.” I looked away and felt like I was a kid again, trying to make excuses for something I wasn’t even guilty of.
‘Ah. Well, I can see why it was still there.’
“Exactly.” I brought the glittering monstrosity out from behind my back. “Maybe I should just remove the cover and throw it away. We’ll be doing everyone a favour. Win-win.”
We looked at each other and laughed. We shared an awkward silence for a few palpable seconds as Etta James’ At Last tinkled in the background.
My lonely days are over…
We both wanted to speak at the same time but he went first, ‘I did not get a chance to speak with you earlier this evening when I was interrupted by Leon…’
And life is like a song…
“Oh that’s right. At the reception table.”
At last. Well well well…
‘Yes. I… wanted to tell you that you look really nice this evening.’ I saw his face go a shade pinker.
My heart was wrapped up in clover, the night I looked at you…
“Oh. Thank you…. You also look really nice in your suit this evening.” I struggled in response, wondering if my blushing face could rival a stoplight.
I found a dream, that I could speak to…
A dream that I can call my own…
‘Well, I guess I’d better head back in. It was lovely to see you, Charlotte.’
I found a thrill to press my cheek to…
I smiled and nodded in response.
A thrill that I have never known…
“Y..yes. It was also lovely to see you. Thank you for being here tonight.”
You smiled, you smiled, oh and then the spell was cast…
He turned away, hands in his pockets and started walking back toward the dining hall.
It’s now or never, Charlotte.
“W..wait! Darcy, wait!”
And here we are, in heaven…
He stopped, very awkwardly, in his tracks and turned around.
‘Miss Charlotte?’ He walked back towards me, stopping just inches away, a concerned look across his face.
I looked up at him. It was like my heart wanted to leap up and out through my throat.
I cleared my throat.
For you are mine…
“……Would you like to go out to dinner sometime?”
My words sounded muffled against the deafening heartbeats coming right off my chest.
I met his intense gaze, which seemed to have lasted a lifetime.