Everything Falls to Pieces
I wore my hair up, with white flowers twisted in at the back and a slender ivory column of a dress for which I had eschewed chocolate and red wine for 8 months so that it hung in just the right way from my hipbones.
My mum, in a pastel blue skirt suit and a questionable hat, which had cost her a fortune, stood with my little sisters who were waving to me as I made my way up the aisle on my dad’s arm. Everything looked perfect.
I’d wanted to have my wedding in a vineyard since I was little girl and we’d visited Italy to see my aunt marry on a Tuscan hillside, under a canopy of vines. Finding an equivalent in England was not so easy, especially with the lack of Tuscan weather, but in the end we found a New Forest winery with a huge greenhouse.
“It’s not too late,” my Dad whispered to me in the vintage Rolls as we pulled up at the vineyard. I pretended that I hadn’t heard.
I must have said my vows but I don’t remember. When I think of my wedding it’s all smiling faces, trailing veil, confetti and champagne. I should have been paying more attention to the groom.
I went back to the vineyard to pay the balance the next day. I couldn’t stop myself straying into the greenhouse. Everything had gone, the white drapes, the candles and the Bacchanalian bunches of grapes. It looked like the place had been abandoned for years, a carpet of overgrown grass where the aisle had been, the grapes withered on the vine, a stack of tatty, broken chairs piled up in the middle. A wedding turned to dust.