All three of the kids were deep into grief. They went off to work each day, did the best they could, but morose still clung over them like a black rain cloud. One evening a friend of Janeille’s called and invited her out to the club for a dance party. Hanging onto her cell phone, she hollered at Marc, Megan, and Karly to see if they wanted to come. All three agreed it would be good to get out and at least try to have some fun. The evening was well spent.
“She’s a really nice girl, Marc. Don’t let that one get away.”
After about three months of mourning, Erik Cantrell told his great-grandson that it was time for a wedding. He spoke to both the bride and the groom and they agreed. Once again, the patio was adorned with a wedding arch, flowers, runners and some really pretty lights that looked like potted plants. Gowns were returned from the Willow Creek Dry Cleaners as well as tuxedos. The wedding invitations went out, once again, and the same caterer and staff were hired anew.
At last, she was ready, taking that one final glance at herself in the mirror. Marc was waiting for her at the base of the stairs. They walked outside into the cool night air and stood before the wedding arch. Classical music wafted on the slight evening breeze. Everything was so beautiful she nearly wept. Catching a quick glimpse at Marc, she thought she saw tears in his eyes, too. Hopefully, it was for joy and not more anguish he was feeling. Losing both his father and his uncle within days of each other had taken a toll on him. He just wasn’t his jovial self, of late.
Finally, the moment arrived. The traditional Wedding March played in the background.The two exchanged their vows and Karly slipped a ring on Marc’s hand. The patio was full of friends, family and good wishes. Marc hugged his bride and made his way over to the wedding cake to take a slice for them, which he shared with his bride.
Pretty soon, the gathering moved inside. The one thing Marc forgot when planning the event was outside tables for their guest. Most crammed into the kitchen sitting around the small table.
“Maddie,” he said, “are you all right?” Not having a thermometer on hand, he reached to touch her face, to check if she was hot. His patients often commented he had a gentle touch, so he was unaware that he had stumbled in any way. What he managed to do was caress Madeline’s cheek. One look at Karly, let him know his method wasn’t just a little wrong, it was quite wrong. He caught that flicker of anger in her eyes and withdrew his hand immediately.
To top it all off, suddenly, Madeline jumped into his arms, as if invited to do so. There he was standing in his kitchen, on his wedding day, with the wrong woman in his arms. How? He looked around, increasingly uncomfortable. Feeling sweaty and awkward.
Karly, in the meantime, flirted openly with Forest, another guest. Forest grinned, enjoying the attention and flirted back. Marc at once bristled. Who was this guy, how did he get in, and why was he dishonoring his hosts like this? Just how long had this been going on behind his back! “Hey, hey, hey, the woman is spoken for, or were you so late to the event you didn’t see what was going on at the wedding arch. The woman is my wife. Your attentions are unwanted and way out of line, bud.”
“You’re one to talk,” Forest shot back. “Weren’t you just flirting with another guest, yourself? Open marriage, maybe?”
“Hardly.” Marc had a drink in his hand but although he seriously contemplated throwing it at the guy, he didn’t wish to douse the other guests next to him. Instead, he invited the guy into the hallway. Forest got up and reluctantly followed Marc out of the kitchen and into the wide corridor.
Marc wasted little time. “Just what did you think you were doing, coming onto my bride like that, eh?”
“I came onto her — she came onto me!”
“Get out of my house. Now.”
After this rather heated exchange, Marc was surprised to find Forest upstairs. Hadn’t he just thrown the guy out? That cut it. Marc went right up to the guy and a fight ensued. Marc wasn’t really one to fight, and had never struck a soul, but this guy had spawned anger in him. Deep, blood-boiling anger. He balled up his fist and landed one right to the guy’s jaw. Marc was under the sad impression that was all he need do to restore his bride’s honor. If so, Forest never got the memo, because the guy fought back. Boy, did he ever fight back. Finally, the two pulled apart. Marc was dazed but firm, as he insisted Forest leave the residence.
Before anyone realized it, dawn broke. Marc was exhausted having never gotten to bed. Never had his wedding night. He was sore, miffed and shaken by the whole thing. Was he just the unlucky type? Karly, paid him little heed as she rushed out the door to work. She was an Intern at the medical clinic and didn’t have enough time on the books for a vacation. Begrudgingly, Marc watched her go. He wished now, he had simply grabbed up his wife and headed into the closet in the spare downstairs room for some much desired woohoo. As it was, she wouldn’t be back home again until after three. He busied himself cleaning up after last night’s affair.