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
(I’ve skipped on through the text a little to this next section. It the morning of the wedding and Simi has overslept.)
Simi, pleased with her choice of pancakes and bacon, sat down opposite Jen.
“So glad you overslept too. They’re not going to turn the bride-to-be away, even if she is dripping wet.”
“Ha, ha,” said Jen, twisting water out of her hair. “At least the swim woke me up. I should dry off quickly out here. This verandah …”
“Jen … Jen, I need to talk to you. Been looking for you everywhere.”
Simi recognised the voice instantly. Jen looked up, one hand trying to block the sun.
“Oh. Why?” she asked.
Katania swept around the table, heels clacking on the stone, eyes focused on her daughter. She slipped on to the bench beside her.
“Do you want me to leave?” asked Simi.
“No, no.” Katania shook her head. “You carry on. I can see you’re a breakfaster. I couldn’t eat a thing. Such a stressful morning, and this young lady slept through it all. As usual.”
Katania pursed her lips, body turned accusingly towards Jen.
“Why stressful?” Jen asked.
Simi studied the pair, unsure as to whether she should eat, or go, or stay. She decided to stay, to listen, but not listen. Plus it was her holiday, and she did want breakast. She pulled her plate towards her, wondering. Jen soft as a pillow, she thought, the other like a knife. A masked knife with those dark glasses.
“Your uncle Mick can’t join us. Held up by some storm. He sent half a message this morning. I’m furious. He knows this is your big day …”
“He can’t come? But why? Is he okay?”
Simi, fork in hand, looked up, unsettled by Jen’s alarm.
“Oh, he’s fine. Don’t look so worried Jen. He’s not ill or anything serious. Nothing like that.”
“That’s such a relief.”
“Selfish if you ask me. Just didn’t want to get stuck in Zim. Some storm. Needs to be with colleagues in Mozambique. So annoying.”
“A storm? What storm?”
“No idea. What storm? Exactly!”
“I haven’t heard anything about a storm … have you?” Jen asked, wide eyes on Simi.
“Well,” Simi hesitated, not sure if she had heard right, “the pilot on my flight said something … about a a cyclone? I was half asleep and, I wasn’t sure where …”
Katania cut in.
“Oh Jen, since when does a storm stop Mick? Anyway, I’ve found a solution? Not to the storm, but …”
“Just as long as he’s okay …”
“He’ll be fine.”
Simi said nothing.
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023