White Lilies

“I wanted WHITE lilies. That’s what I asked for, they promised me white. These are cream, don’t you see, these are cream and that’s no good, it’s all gone wrong, it’s a disaster, I can’t get married with cream lilies, nothing is going right.”

“OK Polly, calm down, I’m ringing the florist now.”

“There’s no point, I’ve rung them, don’t you see, aren’t you listening, listen to me Clara, there’s no point, there are no white lilies in Hampshire, there were no white lilies at the florists’ market this week, there is nothing they can do, they can’t get white lilies, they can’t do anything about it, they promised me white lilies but they have sent cream ones, it’s all gone wrong, this isn’t how I wanted it to be, it’s a disaster, I can’t get married, nothing is going right.”

And all the while this conversation went on, ending with Clara resigning as chief bridesmaid, then more tears and tantrums, and finally reconciliation, what Polly really should have been saying, and what Clara should have been hearing, but which didn’t happen because they were young and naïve and ill-equipped to deal with the situation, was:

“Clara, I’m scared. This doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel loved. It isn’t just that the lilies are cream not white. It’s that he picks me up and puts me down. I don’t feel loved or special anymore. He’s started telling me how to spend my own money and what clothes to wear, and he upset the neighbours with his far-too-loud stag do, and he let a strip-o-gram into our flat and let her put his face into her naked bosom. I don’t want to marry someone who would do that, and who would then say it was wrong but would blame his friends for arranging it and tell me that it would have been rude not to have gone along with it. I would rather marry someone who either said no I don’t like that and won’t do it, or yeah it was great and I did it, I don’t want to marry someone who pretends to hate it but blames his friends for making him do it and I only found out because my brother was there and he couldn’t, no way, not tell me because he knew I would hate it, but it’s too late now because the flowers are here and people are waiting at the church. Help me please. Why do I feel like this? What is happening to me? Tell me Clara. Am I about to marry someone who doesn’t love me?”

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