CHAPTER 4: WEDDING RECEPTION

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     Christopher was on time for the wedding. I did not know if being punctual was another one of his assets, or whether he was just trying to keep up with my oddities, but he had never stood me up.

Checking from the living room window, I saw him waiting for me standing next to his car, with his back against the passenger door. This had been another oddity of mine. Trying to avoid Kate's and Tony's inquisitive looks and teasing comments, I had asked him to wait for me outside instead of coming in.

'He's here!' Kate shouted from her room.

Next moment, she was standing next to me, staring at him too. 'Look at him!' she whispered, admiration unconcealed in her voice. 'He could be posing for a fashion magazine.'

'I know.' I smiled as I kept staring at him. The loose, off-white linen suit matched the color of his skin and the light blue shirt made his eyes look brighter.

I looked at her anxiously, waiting for a remark about my appearance.

'Well?'

She nodded approvingly. 'You look astounding. Hey, I want all the details tonight!' she said smiling, as she walked me to the door.

I took a deep breath before crossing the doorstep. Christopher was holding the passenger door open for me as usual.

'You look fabulous, Emma. I'm starting to think you deserve much more than a wedding reception tonight.' he said, grinning his approval of my appearance.

'Thanks. You look very handsome too.' I said, unable to take my eyes off him.

I was grateful to Kate for helping me overcome the total hysteria about finding the suitable dress for that night. On Friday morning she had insisted on a shopping trip to Athens for this purpose, to find the perfect dress for the wedding. Eventually, I'd chosen aNlight green, strapped dress that revealed the most of my back down to my waist. What had struck me about that dress, were the small Swarofski beads that decorated the delicate straps.

'Definitely this!' Kate had agreed. 'It totally accentuates your curves.' She had decided not to come to the wedding but spend the night with her sweetheart instead. She tried to arrange another romantic dinner, but this time Tony had insisted on ordering food from a nearby tavern.

We arrived at church soon enough to see the nervous groom standing in front of the entrance, holding clumsily a bunch of white orchids. He was among his friends who kept teasing him that the bride would keep him waiting, indicating the gaining of the upper hand in their marriage, a typical joke at Greek weddings. But this did not happen. Tina was the kind of girl who would rather rush an hour earlier to marry her sweetheart than even think of torturing him by making him wait.

Inside the church, we met Rose and Don, my godfather and professor at Brantel, who had flown here especially for the occasion. He and the groom's parents had been good friends for many years. I was really glad to see him and I introduced him to Christopher right away. I noticed Don was rather cold towards him, probably not approving of him as my date. Christopher, on the other hand, did not seem to notice.

Christopher was very interested in the wedding ceremony and the Greek marital customs. Rose and her Greek friend from the Language department, whose name I can't recall, were more than happy to help him pore over the subject.

After I had waited patiently in the queue for my turn to congratulate the newlyweds, Don approached me and whispered in my ear.

'I've just had a call from Colin. He's coming straight from the airport. I was thinking, Emma, that tonight it might be a good opportunity for the two of you to get over this misunderstanding.'

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