Cheryl was thirty-three, successful and single. Dustin was a dreamer. They caught up weekly to talk about love and shopping. Their friend, Jordy, was about to marry the rich and boring Lillian. ‘If we can’t get a date at a do like that,’ Dustin laughed, ‘we’re not trying.’

‘Speak for yourself,’ said Lillian. ‘I’ll be trying alright.’

Dustin said the best man looked like a bear in a suit. Cheryl said he looked like a catch, and asked around.

‘Brandon Parkes,’ said Mara. ‘He owns three factories. He’s just through an ugly divorce. Says he’s over romance.’

‘He hasn’t met me yet,’ said Cheryl. ‘By the time I’ve finished with him he’ll be ——

Dustin mouthed something and made little chopping motions. A voice at Cheryl’s shoulder said, ‘Hi guys. Can I introduce Brandon.’

Cheryl turned ruby red. Brandon shook her hand. ‘You were saying?’

For the next few hours Dustin saw only distant glimpses of her, trailing behind Brandon who’d taken a fancy to the caterers.

After a beautiful ceremony the best man rose to speak, fell sideways into a floral arch and was carted to the house. The bride’s mother motioned for the band to play.

‘Oh, God,’ mumbled Cheryl. ‘I can sure pick them.’

Dustin rose, offering his hand. ‘You’re too hard on yourself. Care for this dance?’

2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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