‘Now now, be modest June’, came a voice.
June caught her best friend’s eye in the mirror and grinned.
‘Were my thoughts that transparent, Sophie ?’
‘Well, yes. But I have to agree, that wedding dress is perfect for you. Mark is one lucky guy.’
‘I have been telling him that ever since we got engaged. He better believe it.’, laughed June.
‘How are the wedding plans coming along? It’s not long now’, asked Sophie.
‘Everything is going great. Too great, in fact. It un-nerves me sometimes.’, said June.
Sophie laughed at the dissapointed expression on June’s face. They had been best friends ever since they had been kids and for just as long Sophie had known of June’s hatred for perfection. She had been known to have a spotless house but a vase of dried-up flowers in a corner. She called it, ‘The Human Touch’.
She had met Mark a little over 3 years ago at a friend’s farewell party. Like a fairytale romance, their eyes had met across the room and they had ended up spending the rest of the night ignoring everyone else. It was love at first sight, though June had insisted that she had not truly loved Mark until a month later. There was no such thing as fairytale romances, she argued.
Sophie watched June spinning around, trying to get a look at the back of the wedding dress. Gosh, This wedding must be driving June mad, thought Sophie. All the arrangements were on schedule. The caterers had arrived from London to set up camp in the little town of Stirling for the week. June had gotten exactly the band she had wanted. All her friends and family had accepted the invitation and were arriving on time. She had even been able to find the exact design for the wedding dress that she had wanted ever since she was 12. To top it all off, Mark was being a perfect gentleman. He was helping out as much as he could and had agreed with almost all of June’s choices.
Sophie chuckled to herself. Yes, June was definitely the only person she knew of, who would have loved a healthy disaster at her wedding.
June looked at her reflection. She looked perfect. There was that damned word again. Why couldn’t there be a little moderation in life ?
If things kept turning out this flawless, she will probably end up divorced in two years. That would never do, thought June, with mounting panic. She will have to do something. It was true what her father had always told her. Too much happiness brought with it just as much misfortune.
Why, Dad had always said that when she and her brother had been having fun and laughing uncontrollably. He had said, don’t laugh so much. You will have to cry just as much later. And sure enough, they would have a fight and go off to one parent each and cry for the next hour.
She had talked this over with Mark but he had only laughed and told her that he loved her and would do anything to see a smile on his sweetheart’s face.
So she decided to discuss her concerns with Sophie. Sophie was her best friend after all and knew her inside out. June sought out Sophie the very next day and told of her problem. Sophie looked at her friend with a worried look in her eye.
‘June’, she said. ‘I understand your anxiety but if you keep looking for trouble like this, you might end up divorced anyway.’
June stared at Sophie in disbelief. Her last hope of comfort had deserted her. Right then, she thought. If she wanted this wedding to look less like something out of Mills and Boons and more like real life, she will just have to take matters into her own hands, even if it meant sabotaging her own wedding. With a mischevious glint in her eye, June set about planning a disaster for her wedding.
The day before the wedding, June stole into the hotel room where everybody’s clothes including her wedding dress was being kept in readiness for the big day. Quietly she shut the door behind her and tip-toed over to the wardrobe where she knew the clothes of the main wedding party were. Opening the door, she couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of her wedding dress. Then, without a sound she took the dress off its hanger and stole out of the room. Once out, she went over to a broom cupboard and hid the dress behind a pile of old pails, taking care of wrapping it up in some old newspapers first.
The big day dawned bright and sunny. June woke up with an excited feeling in the pit of her stomach. She wondered what she was so excited about for a full minute, before she remembered that it was the day of her wedding.
‘I am getting married today’, she chirped with happiness and to no one in particular.
‘I couldn’t be happier for you’, smiled Sophie as she walked in with June’s wedding dress in her arms.
June stared at Sophie in horror. ‘Tha .. That dress. Where did you find it?’ she stammered. ‘Umm, I mean that it wasn’t in the wardrobe last night. She added hurriedly, ‘I thought someone had taken it to iron.’
‘A cleaning lady found it in a broom cupboard downstairs when she began her shift this morning.’, said Sophie. ‘I have no idea how it ended up there. I am just glad it was found when it was or we would have had a major disaster on our hands.’
June hid her bitter dissapointment and with a voice that she hoped was calm said,’Oh, that’s horrible! Thank God you found it. I don’t know what I would do without you darling.’
‘But isn’t this ideal for you sweetheart ? If you had your way, you would get married in your jeans’, laughed Sophie.
June smiled. Yes, that would indeed be ideal. She never did understand why the world had to have all these rules and regulations stating that everyone has to dress up. It was her wedding after all. She could get married in pyjamas if she liked.
I would probably have to tie Sophie up to a chair until it is all over though, thought June with a smile as she got up to go join Sophie in the dressing room.
An hour later, she picked up her mobile phone and dialled the number for Star Cars, the limousine service that was due to pick up Mark and take him to the chapel.
‘Hi! This is June Evans. I would like to cancel the limousine I booked for today please.’
When she hung up, the mischevious glint in her eye was back. There, she thought. With the limousine service cancelled, Mark wont be able to get to the chapel on time. The perfect stint in the wedding.
A few hours later she stood arm in arm with her father at the door of the chapel waiting, with a beating heart, for the ceremony to begin.
‘I love you sweetheart’, whispered her father.
‘Dad, I am scared’, admitted June suddenly. ‘What if my relationship with Mark is not strong enough?’
‘Mark is a fine young man June. I am sure the two of you will be very happy together.’, said her father.
‘Yes, but ..’, began June when the organ started playing the wedding march and Sophie nudged them in.
Walking down the aisle though, she forgot all her concerns. Mark looked handsome as ever and she knew that she could not wait to start their lives together. She did not even care that he had had to take a cab and then a bus when the cab had broken down, all the way across town and had still managed to make it to the wedding in time, thus foiling her plans.
As she stepped up to the altar and took Mark’s arm, he smiled down at her and whispered, ‘You look beautiful darling. I am a very lucky man.’ She smiled and was about to reply, when the priest said, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here, to join this man and this woman, in holy matrimony.’ With a beating heart, she turned around to face the priest. ‘This is it’, she thought.
‘Do you, June Evans, take Mark Anderson ….?’ In the front row, Sophie was sobbing quietly into her lace handkerchief. A sound like a trumpet from the back of the chapel announced that June’s old uncle Bill had followed suit.
‘Can we then have the rings please?’, the priest asked Steve, Mark’s brother and best man.
June looked at Steve with trepidation. Unknown to either him or Mark, earlier that day she had stolen into Steve’s room and hidden the rings. Now she watched the growing confusion on his face as he dipped his hand into first one coat pocket, then another. She smiled with satisfaction. Her plan had worked. She was about to open her mouth and suggest that someone go look for the rings in Steve’s room, when Steve produced the rings from his wallet.
‘Sorry mate’, he said to Mark, ‘This morning i could not find the rings. I must have put them in my bathroom cabinet by mistake and forgotten having done so. So for safekeeping, i put them in my wallet.’
‘Don’t worry about it Steve.’, said Mark as he took the rings from him.
June was crestfallen. All her plans had failed. She will now have a perfect wedding, just as she had had a perfect engagement to Mark who was the perfect guy. His family even loved her as much as her own parents did. Nothing seemed wrong at all, but so much happiness was too good to be true. Something was bound to go wrong at some point. The thought frightened her.
‘June… June…. JUNE.’
Startled, June was shaken out of her reverie. She was in the chapel gardens where a white marquee had been erected for the occasion. Right in the middle of it, was the dance floor with white tables and chairs set all around it. The marquee was decorated with lilies, tulips and roses as were all the tables. With the sun shining through the windows, everything looked heavenly. June looked up at Mark who was peering at her with a worried expression on his face.
‘Are you all right sweetheart ?’
‘Yes. Yes, I am fine. I am sorry. What was it that you were asking me ?’, said June.
‘Well, I have been asking you to dance with me for about half an hour.’, grinned Mark.
June looked up at Mark with a sense of triumph. Their first dance as a newly wed couple. Her mother had always told her the story of how she had had very slippery shoes and had not been able to dance at her own wedding. June knew how dissapointed her mother had always been and how she always said that it was really unlucky not to have that first dance. June had always pooh-poohed the notion as she knew how happy her parents were together. But here was a ready made excuse. A tiny little thing as small as not having the first dance with Mark will be enough to make this wedding what she wanted it to be. More Human.
So June explained to Mark how her shoes were too slippery and the heels to high for her to dance.
‘Not a problem June. Wear mine, we are the same size and my heels are not as high as yours’, came Sophie’s voice.
June looked around at her with exasperation. Damn Sophie. Why did she always have to be around to save the day ?
Feeling defeated, June took Sophie’s shoes from her and stood up to go dance. It was a slow dance to a Beachboys song. One of her favorites. Mark held her close as they danced. She quite enjoyed herself too but was so busy with her own thoughts that she hardly even noticed!
Suddenly there was a lot of commotion. June looked around and saw a few of the guests gathered around 2 teenage boys. She looked up at Mark, who smiled and said, ‘I think you are going to enjoy this my darling.’
June’s eyes began to sparkle. She gave Mark a quick kiss and went to see who the gate-crashers were.
‘Thank you Mark. With everything else that I needed to do, I don’t think I could have managed to keep an eye on her any longer.’ said Sophie with a smile as she drew level with him, all the while watching June walk towards the source of the commotion with, what could only be, a skip in her step.
Mark grinned. ‘It wasn’t easy to get those two kids to agree to gate crash a wedding. When I told them that they had to keep my involvment in this a secret, they got scared. But I managed to talk them out of it. She has been trying so hard after all. I just had to let June have her perfect wedding.’