Story postcard – debating elegance (2)

Does not belong here? She seeing something I’m not seeing?

“Are you serious? Jen looks so happy to me.”

Katania, a pitying smile on her lips, leans back, stroking again the flat sheen of her hair. The silent caressing and the clinking of the gold bangles, irritate Simi. She is pondering her own hair options for the wedding when the coffees arrive. She tips in two sugars and stirs, then raises the cup. She holds it lightly between her fingertips, both elbows on the table.

Those nails, Simidele. Loving the colour. Bold is good. Need it to survive all this green … and white.

“Well,” Katania sighs, giving her hair a final pat, “Jen’ll be stuck here for a while at least. I made the same mistake I suppose. She’ll come to her senses. Now just have to calm her down about this priest.”

Simi blows across the surface of her coffee, her mind switching from her nails to the priest, and wondering how Katania has the right to pick him from the tea factory in the first place. She says nothing for a while, but then she decides to put her query out there. She begins, cautiously.

“Choosing the celebrant … it’s not really …” she puffs another breath across the hot liquid, “your problem?” The coffee ripples slightly. She lowers her cup back to its saucer and looks directly at Katania. “Surely the choice is up to Jen and Hansie?”

“Oh please! What do they know? They’ve never been married before. I’ve had two weddings and I know what matters. The photographs. The looking fantastic. The videos. It’s so important to do this stuff better than everyone else. You want people to talk about your wedding. The beautiful show. Have you ever been married?”

“No,” says Simi.

Never. Came close once. Think I’ll keep that to myself.

“No wonder you’ve no idea what I’m talking about. A wedding is a special part of any woman’s portfolio. It matters.” Katania, impatience jingling, picks up her teaspoon from her saucer.

Simi tries to look away, but her gaze is hooked by Katania’s sharp scooping of froth, and by the parade of little cream pouches towards her scarlet lips. Three abrupt mouthfuls later she is done. She returns the teaspoon to its saucer, and dabs at her mouth with a napkin, her eyes catching Simi’s.

“You’re not the only one who won’t see it like me. These farmers – no disrespect, I love them all – but all they do is crops, rain, cattle. They have no idea of what life is really about.” She leans towards Simi, and drops her voice. “Jen’s a bit mixed up in it, but it’s just a phase she’ll grow out of. Hansie is not her forever-man. There’ll be others, but the right sort of people want to know what they’re getting. Believe me, it’s a tough, glittery world out there if you want to be where the money is.”

You telling me about that?

Anger, a new anger, begins to drum through Simi.

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

Space for comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.