The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth
I always cry at weddings. Nothing original there, I know – except, perhaps, the reason. Most people cry out of joy, apparently, or because they’ve been catapulted back to their own wedding day and are overwhelmed by the emotion of it all. I cry because I am sad. Sad for me, sad for the bride, sad for the institution of marriage. Sad enough that it makes me cry. I’m especially sad at this wedding. When I arrived, half an hour early, the surrounding streets were already jam-packed with shiny black Range Rovers, Mercedes and Porsches. I suppose Stephen Aston’s wedding was always going to be a fancy affair. It’s a warm day and I’m sandwiched into a pew in the non-denominational chapel, surrounded by bunches of freesias, hyacinth and snapdragons. The venue is entirely too small for the number of guests. The altar barely has space for the groom and celebrant! Lord knows where the bride will stand when she decides to show up.