They gathered at the gate, waiting for her to arrive.
“She wouldn’t dare wear white,” said Silvia, “not with her reputation!”
“How many is this?” asked Joan.
“Uummm...must be the fifth and children to three of them” said Edna, the lady from the post office.
“Well, three that we know about” laughed Silvia sarcastically.
“You think there’s more?” asked someone, astonished.
“It wouldn’t surprise me, she was away for a few years, somewhere down south I think” said Edna.
“But why get married this time? She’s never bothered before” pondered Joan.
“She found religion.” said Silvia, "Hypocritical if you ask me. It’s people like her that put us good Christians to shame”
“Must be something in it for her. Is he a rich bishop or something?” laughed Edna.
Joan paused, “I’ve absolutely no idea who the poor man is!”
“I wonder how long this will last” pondered Edna, laughing, “I don’t think the previous ones lasted much more than a year or two apiece.”
Everyone laughed except one young man who had stood quietly at the back while the women gossiped; no-one had noticed him until then. Looking sad and angry he turned to walk away, the movement alerting the ladies to his presence.
“Who are you?” asked Edna rudely. “And do you always eavesdrop? You might hear something you don’t like!” she laughed.
“I’ve heard plenty I don’t like,” sighed the young man.
“And what’s it to do with you?” demanded Joan, colouring up slightly.
“It’s everything to do with me.” said the stranger, “ That’s my daughter you are talking about”
“Don’t be daft” spat Edna, “She’s twice your age. How can you be her father?”
The young man smiled, “All things are possible. When she became my daughter her past was forgiven. She will wear white today. I know because I bought her clothes”
He turned and walked into the church leaving the gossips silenced for once.
The wedding car pulled up, taking them by surprise. A middle-aged woman was helped out by a young girl in a bridesmaid’s dress. Arm in arm they walked towards the church, resplendent in the purest white the ladies had ever seen.
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