The congregation whispers, fidgets, and breathes like bellows. The wedding party are running behind schedule. Tension mounts as the ceremonial time passes by. The bald pastor rearranges his papers. Checks his watch, the lines visible on his face.
Her wedding party fixes, adjusts, makes last minute preparations. She can’t seem to get her ringlets to behave, to twist in the manner they did at her run-through. “Do something,” she pleads with her maid of honor. Her frustration mounts. She grabs the curling iron, snaps, “You’re just making it worse!”
To calm her, Dad takes her aside, into the narrow hallway. He wants to savor this last minute with his sole daughter. He thinks of his own failed marriage when he asks, “You’re sure you wanna’ do this?”
It knocks the wind out of her. The one question she wishes he might have avoided. She glances outside to steel herself, into the churchyard. The sun gleams on the gravestones. It feels like she’s wearing ankle weights as the organ begins the wedding march.