“I will kill my cousin.”
Lisa Miller looked up from attaching silk streamers to church pews. Her friend and mother of the groom, Theresa Morrison looked frazzled and losing her last nerve. She held a cardboard box, her tears falling into the contents.
She rushed to Theresa’s side and glanced down at a box full of wilted flowers. The poor white roses looked like they had been cut a week ago.
“This is what I get. My cousin, Liza said she could do this. I trusted her. I thought I could save a few dollars.” Theresa dropped the box, fell to the pew, and put her face in her hands. Sobs racked her body. “Everyone is doing something, I just wanted to feel like I was helping. The ex and she-who-will-not-be-named were doing big stuff like the rehearsal dinner and some expensive surprise. I saw the designs for the reception and it is going to be gorgeous. I just wanted to do my part. I said I could decorate the church and look what happens.”
Lisa sat beside her friend and rubbed her back. “We’ll figure out something, Theresa.”
She placed the box between them on the pew. Pulling out the flowers, she arranged them all around. “Look, they aren’t all bad. Just the roses. You take out the roses and anything else you find wilted and I’ll go get the bouquets from the bridesmaids.”
Theresa sat and yanked dying flowers out of the arrangements. Yank! “I love my cousin,” muttered under her breath because she was in church.
Lisa made her way to the bride’s room. She tugged her dress down but it didn’t help. Didn’t you get this dress one size too big? Chastising herself didn’t help. The dress wasn’t getting any roomier over her hips. Tears blurred her vision. Her husband’s comment this morning about the dress hadn’t helped. Boy, Lisa, hope you don’t pop any buttons. His remarks always came with a laugh and a tickle, like that make it okay. But the comments were razor-sharp, designed to slice her self-confidence to shreds.
She knocked on the bride’s room door and went in. She wished she could tell the bride it wasn’t all white lace and roses. She sighed. On this day, it seemed that way. And she would make sure it stayed that way for the happy bride-to-be. At least for today.
Grabbing the bridesmaid’s flowers, she promised to have them back as soon as possible. She rushed back to her friend’s side and noted the other flowers didn’t look so bad without the wilted roses among the other greenery and foliage. “How many flower holders do we have to fill,” she asked.
Theresa moved to the aisle and counted. “Ten and the arrangements for the sides of the microphone for the minister. Wait!” She rushed to the altar and pointed out a fern on either side. “We can move these, add some of the silk streamers, and the filler from the arrangements Liza did.”
Lisa nodded and pulled out her phone. “Todd, we need four dozen white roses. If you can’t find white, bring pink or Sterling. No, they are not silver. They are purple, like we had for our wedding.” She pushed the off button on the phone and went to help her friend.
“Okay,” Lisa said as she joined Theresa at the front of the church. “Let’s take the white roses from the girls’ bouquets and add them and the streamers to the ferns up front.”
They arranged the ferns quickly, adding roses, and pale pink silk. Lisa and Theresa stepped back and high-fived each other. They used some of the filler flowers and greenery to the flower holders on the sides of the pews.
Todd Miller strode down the aisle, his arms full of Sterling roses and his tuxedo fitting just right. Lisa sighed. Sometimes her husband did everything perfect. He bowed before her, with that bright smile that lit up a room. “Will these do, my Lisa?”
She grabbed them with a smile, a kiss on his cheek, and kneeled down to add the purple roses to the bridesmaids’ bouquets and one each for the holders on the pews. “Sometimes simple is better, Theresa. It looks just like you planned it this way.”
Theresa smiled at her, gave her a hug, and rushed the redone bouquets back to the bride’s room.
Todd squatted down beside her to help. “Let me do that, you bend anymore and you’ll split a seam.” He gave her a laugh and a quick tickle. She turned away to hide the tear running down her cheek.
Why did no one tell you on your wedding day that there’d be days like this?
She sighed, “Because then, no one would get married in the first place.” She muttered under her breath and worked on a smile for her returning friend and for Samantha and Greg’s happy day.
“Thank you, Lisa.” Theresa hugged her. “You know how to fix everything.”
Jill James, author of contemporary and paranormal romance
coming soon, Love in the Time of Zombies
*Decaying Roses photo credited to Victor Habbick via freedigitalphotos.net
*Wedding Flowers credited to MS Word images.