Preparations for the imagined wedding continue

Simi: a Londoner, who happens to be staying at the resort while the wedding is on

Rudd: the young manager of the resort

Katania: the mother of the bride

Jen and Hansie: the soon-to-be-married couple

Setting: Zimbabwe

Rudd remembered the priest saying he was from Southwark Cathedral in London. Out for a couple of months. Father … or was it Reverend Norman? He looked at Katania. Surely a London priest would do?

“There is a visiting priest who might be able to help,” he said slowly.

Her fingers stopped their drumming.

“A priest? They are already married you know. This is more celebration than service.”

“Well, he’s over from London,” he paused, “… unless you want Simi?

“Simi?” Katania spun the name around her tongue. “Simi. The lady in those kaftans? I do not want her. A kaftan? Leading the service? Can you imagine the photographs? No. Not her. Who is this priest?”

“He’s called Norman. I’ve only met him once. Not for long. Looks a tidy sort of guy. Long sleeves. In his sixties. ”

“Long sleeves? What do you mean?”

“Well he’s different. City type.”

“Hmm. Just as long as he doesn’t ruin the day. This is a wedding. Like launching a brand. You understand? Part of Jen’s forever portfolio. Any chance you can find this priest?”

“Well, I could try …”

“That’s good. Let’s do that,” said Katania standing up.

“Do what?” asked Rudd getting to his feet.

“Find this priest.”

“Now?”

“Yes. Where is he?”

“Right now?”

“Yes. I want to meet him.”

Rudd realised he was doomed, or, as his grandmother used to say, about to be the egg in somebody else’s pancake.

“Well, I saw him at the tea factory about this time of day, two days ago. I suppose he could be there again.”

“Oh that’s very close. Let’s go.”

“I don’t …I didn’t mean …”

“What?”

“Well … I just came to see the birdwalkers off. I’ve still got to …” He rubbed a hand across his unshaven chin, and then up through his hair.

“Oh. This won’t take long. You can sort yourself out later.”

“But…”

“No buts Rudd. We’re paying for this remember.” Katania began to walk away. “I’ll fetch my sunglasses, and be out front in two minutes.”

 “Sure …” said Rudd slowly, as she willowed into the distance.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

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