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A Perfect Catch

Page 4

Elizabeth Terry

In desperation and mopping both her own and Laura’s copious tears, Audrey hauled her severely stressed daughter to Sydney Road where Laura tried on nearly every style dress in every boutique. Those that were vaguely close to fitting could not be altered in time, as Laura had an unusual shape. Any that were of the quality of Noreen’s were well in excess of $8,000. Laura was so distressed she demanded Audrey call everything off and refused the offer of wearing her mother’s old wedding gown.

At 8.55 the next morning, just as Audrey was about to cancel the wedding, the reception, and contact the 184 guests, Noreen rang. She stated that Laura’s dress would be ready and perfect at 3pm.

‘It’s very beautiful,’ she added. ‘Collect it at my place on the dot of three and bring $3,500 cash, or else I’ll rip it up in front of you.’ She hung up.

Thomas’s suit had not arrived despite numerous calls to Bali, the post office and all the courier companies he could think of. It was 4.05pm on the Friday. Distressed, Thomas dashed to the closest hire shop and rented a suit, the only one available as it was a busy weekend for weddings. The jacket was crumpled and the trousers too big and too long. There was no time for professional alterations. He did an admirable job taking up the hem when he got home. During the ironing process he noted a dubious stain on the back of the trousers, clearly missed by the dry-cleaner, or perhaps the suit never got there. He attempted to sponge out the stain. The smell was organic, no doubt as to its origin. He cried, also saddened by his parents not attending the wedding. His father had promised Sally-Anne’s parents that Thomas would marry her. Thomas also assumed his parents were uncomfortable with their own social status compared with Laura’s family. He sniffed, sighed and ironed the white shirt with precision.

Laura’s dress was exquisite perfection at a cost of $6,500 which included the extortion money. She floated down the aisle, not once looking at her engagement ring, even when the photographer made her display her hand.

After a couple of hours, significant alcohol had been consumed at the reception. It was apparent that the head waiter was drinking more than he was serving, spilling expensive red wine not just on his own apron, he had also ruined Audrey’s beautiful new gold-threaded mother-of-the-bride dress and jacket which cost $2,350.

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