GOOD HOPE CHURCH -
"I wonder what the delay is,"
Francis Callison sighed as she fanned herself in an attempt to brave the heat.
"I'm sure it's nothing." Mary
Albany reached over and patted her daughter's hand reassuringly.
"Weddings are a complicated thing to put together. Remember, when you
got married, we fought with the buttons on your dress for almost an hour."
"I hope that's all it is."
Francis looked down at her watch and noted the time. The wedding should
have started fifteen minutes ago. Despite her mother's assertions, Francis
couldn't avoid the gnawing feeling that something was going horribly wrong with
her son's wedding.
"I bet it's Stephanie,"
Callison grumbled. "She's probably got something to do with
this. Why Jillian even considered...."
"You don't think that Jillian's gotten cold feet, do
you?" Douglas Davis asked curiously. "I
honestly can't even
think of any other reason why this wedding hasn't started yet."
"I can," Lorraine Davis muttered.
"Stephanie. I knew that this was a bad idea as soon as Jillian told
me about it."
"Well, as strange as it sounds, I can see Jillian's point
"I can't!" She pulled her hand out of his and folded
her arms tightly across her chest. "I just don't know what she was
thinking. How could she do this? How could she support this? I
just don't understand."
"I'm starting to get worried," Leticia sighed
nervously. "What's taking so long?"
"Darling, there's nothing to worry about," Fred
smiled. "I'm sure that it's just a little technical problem, nothing
"Look!" Judith spoke up suddenly as she pointed
towards the front of the church. "There's Reginald, Trevor, and
Patterson. The ceremony must be about to start."
"Thank goodness!" Leticia let out a huge sigh of
"But...who's that with them?" Judith furrowed
her brow as she looked intently at the fourth man standing next to Patterson.
"I think that's Dane
commented. "He's a friend of Patterson's."
"But...isn't that the fellow that Reginald punched at the
engagement party?" Judith rubbed her chin as she tried to
remember. "What's he doing here?"
"Shhh," Leticia hushed as the first strains of music
began to start. "Thank heavens! The wedding's starting."
As the delicate melody filled the church, the bridal procession
began. First down the aisle was little Sally Fenton, the younger
sister of one of Jillian's sorority sisters, nervously scattering her rose petals.
Closely behind Sally was Todd Monroe who, despite not looking very comfortable
in his tuxedo, was doing a respectable job carrying the rings. The sight
of the two children in their formal dress inspired a small flurry of flashbulbs
as everyone raced to capture the precious moment on film.
to make their trip down the aisle was Janet
Stokes. Carrying a small
bouquet of white lilies, she carefully stepped towards her place at the altar,
pausing only long enough to smile warmly in Burt's direction. Burt
returned her smile with a loving nod and then awkwardly reached down to his
pocket. Yes, it was still there -- exactly where he put it. He
smiled slyly as she moved passed him and towards the altar. He had big
plans for later.
Janet had nearly reached her place at the altar, Sara Manchester began her walk
down the aisle. With butterflies flurrying inside her stomach, she
silently prayed that everything went off as planned. She kept her eyes
focused straight ahead, almost too nervous to look at anything or anyone
else. When she saw her husband Dane standing at the altar, she kept her
eyes locked on him, believing that the sight of him would soothe her
worries. Unfortunately, Sara saw an odd and curious expression on Dane's
face. Although she couldn't put her finger on exactly why, the sight of
Dane made her even more anxious. Pushing the troubled thoughts out of her
head, Sara continued on towards the altar.
Once Sara had taken her place next to Janet, it almost seemed as
if the entire congregation heaved a huge sigh of relief. And then, right
on cue, the grand bridal march began.
the first notes of the march, everyone stood and turned towards the back of the
church as Jillian made her grand entrance. Her sophisticated regal gown
inspired a series of ohs and ahs as she made her walk towards the altar on the
arm of her father-in-law to be, Charles
Callison. She was all
smiles. But then, why wouldn't she be? After all, it was the day
that she'd longed for -- the day that she would marry the man of her dreams.
she slowly walked towards the altar, she smiled lovingly at her family who
beamed with pride and then turned to warmly nod in the direction of Francis,
soon to be her mother-in-law. When she reached the altar, Charles guided
her to Reginald's side who took her arm and smiled.
I love you," he said softly.
"I love you, too."
it wasn't over. Once he'd given Jillian over to his son, Charles turned
around and hurried to make a quick dash up the aisle towards the back of the
church amid a series of warm laughs. As the doors to the vestibule closed
behind him, the guests erupted into the gentle buzz of anxious chatter.
Moments later, the bridal march began to play again.
the doors swung open, he appeared with Stephanie on his arm as he began to lead
her on her own walk down the aisle. You see, Charles had to pull
double duty as substitute 'father of the bride.' After all, it was a double