The Parting Of The Ways

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Nick and Izzy

Athene was sat up in her bedroom with Isabelle, Celia, Niki and Isabelle’s mother Madame Visage.

The newest Pennington baby, Timothy who was a week old was sleeping in his basket which was on Athene’s bed, along with a wedding dress, a bridesmaid dress, and a tiny flower girl outfit.

Celia and Madame Visage were helping with the hair and makeup, Madame Visage could do magic with a makeup brush.

Athene’s dress this time was a soft blue with a lighter blue floaty material which was almost see-through on top, which she was going to wear over her petticoat.

Niki’s dress was quite similar but with a lot more frill and bows, because as she was only two and a half the more bows the prettier, she felt.

They were trying to keep the hair and make-up quite simple. So Athene’s hair was pulled into a ponytail which was tied with a ribbon made from a similar material as her dress.

Niki’s blonde curls had now reached just below her shoulders, her hair ribbon was tied around her hair so that Niki had more than a slight resemblance to Alice in Wonderland.

“I look like Alice!” beamed Niki looking in the mirror.

Niki had been reading Alice in Wonderland with her parents. She liked Alice in Wonderland and Narnia, but she still preferred Tolkien.

“Can I take Alice and Athene to the wedding?” said Niki playing with her dolls as she waited for her turn for the makeup.

“I don’t think so darling,” said Celia, “they haven’t been invited.”

Niki looked outraged.

“Hang on a second darling,” said Athene, “they haven’t been invited, but I have made them bridesmaid dresses.”

She pulled out two doll-sized dresses, one was a version of Athene’s dress, and the other was like Niki’s.

Athene helped Niki dress the dolls whilst Celia and Madame Visage helped Isabelle with the make-up.

Athene’s make up was quite subtle, as she didn’t need much in the first place, only a bit of lipstick, and some silvery blue eyeshadow.

Niki was allowed the smallest amount of light pink lipstick, but Athene did let her use some of her perfume.

Athene was helping Niki get into her dress, as Mark and Anthony poked their heads around the door.

Celia and Izzy were still wearing their dressing gowns, but Athene was not, she was halfway through getting changed. All she had on was her petticoat and her bra.

Mark’s face lit up as he looked at the scene. This was the best thing he had seen in years!

“Haven’t you idiots ever heard of knocking?” snapped Celia as Athene tried to hide and Anthony looked mortified.

“They were wondering how much longer you’d be,” said Anthony shielding his view of his half-naked girlfriend with his hand.

“Ten minutes,” sighed Isabelle.

“Now get out,” said Madame Visage, “or we’ll make it twenty.”

“Get out!” agreed Niki nodding her head.

“The lady has spoken,” said Mark bowing to Niki deeply before leaving the room backwards.

“Espece de imbecile!” yelled Isabelle as Mark left.

“I’m afraid my French was never up to much,” said Celia.

“Stupid idiot,” said Athene as she finally got her dress on now the boys were gone.

Once the girls were finally ready, they head down the stairs.

“Is Nick already gone?” asked Celia nervously.

“At the church and waiting like everyone else,” said Mark offering his arm to Isabelle.

Mark led Isabelle out to the driveway, where Chloe and Nigel Mark and Anthony’s cars had been dressed up for the wedding. Chloe Mark’s two-seater was covered in ribbons and flowers and Nigel had been freshly polished and had a ribbon on the bonnet.

Mark helped Isabelle into the car, and the others along with Monsieur Visage got into Anthony’s car.

When the procession of cars got to the church five minutes away, the church car park was practically full, apart from the two spots reserved for the last two wedding cars.

Celia, Mark, Anthony and Madame Visage rushed into the church. Athene straightened Niki’s dress, as Monsieur Visage talked to Isabelle.

“You ready Ma Cherie?” asked Monsieur Visage.

“Oui papa,” nodded Isabelle giving her father a kiss on both cheeks.

Monsieur Visage gave a brief nod to the organist, and they started playing the processional march.

Niki went first and scattered the flowers down the aisle and stopped when she reached Celia who was crouching down at the end of the aisle waiting for her.

Athene went next, followed by the Visage’s.

Nick gave Anthony a nervous glance for a second, and Anthony gave him a double thumbs up and nodded encouragingly.

Simon and Athene stood on either side whilst the couple exchanged their vows.

As Athene stood at the front of the church, she could swear that Anthony winked at her from the front row. She had a feeling that they were thinking the same thing, in five years or so, it could be Anthony and her at the front of this church being joined forever.

The ceremony finished and the wedding party lined up for the wedding photos. In the family photographs, Athene was standing between Mark and Anthony.

“It’s funny isn’t it?” chuckled Mark.

“Even when you’re in heels, Tony is still over a foot taller than you.”

Celia walloped Mark with a good hit from her handbag, and Simon swiped at his head.

“Hey no fair!” shouted Mark, “two against one.”

“Behave the lot of you,” sighed Mr Pennington as the photographer got ready again.

After the photos, it was time for Izzy to throw the bouquet before they all went back to the house. But Athene, Mark and Anthony were ready, Athene had taken off her heels, and they were standing at the front of the crowd.

“Three two one!” called Isabelle as she threw it as high as she could

“Ready, ready up!” called Athene as the signal for the boys to lift in the air for what would normally be a line up for a rugby ball.

The flowers landed right in her hands before the boys brought her back down to the ground.

“Well played,” smirked Julie with her arms folded against her chest. She had wanted to catch the bouquet herself.

One of the most entertaining parts of the wedding reception was getting all the cars parked.

Mr Fforbes Hamilton with a pair of wellies on with his morning suit, along with one of his farmhands was directed all the cars onto a field opposite the Pennington’s. This was entertaining not just because of the traffic, but because another particularly dashing young farmhand called Roger was helping down from the cars and out of the muddy field, by carrying the ladies in their heels back out to the road.

Athene noticed that Roger, who didn’t look any more than about eighteen and must have looked quite dashing out of his overalls was flirting with Julie, and Julie wasn’t stopping him. Mark clearly either didn’t hear Roger or was just ignoring him.

Mark was throwing Julie around in the air and doing all the dips and tricks as usual, so people knew to make space for them.

Anthony and Athene danced in the outskirts of the crowd, much less energetically but with just as much enthusiasm. Besides this way, Athene wouldn’t have to go to the hospital in the morning with a broken leg from being dropped.

Simon was waltzing around the dance floor with Niki on his hip.

“And now!” called Mr Fforbes Hamilton down the microphone, “it’s time for the Ladies Excuse Me!”

Roger had gotten changed out of his overalls into his best suit and he tapped Mark on the shoulder and Mark graciously obliged and let Roger dance with Julie to Blue Moon.

At about seven o’clock when the reception had been going on for a few hours Nick and Isabelle came up to the microphone.

“I’m afraid it’s time for us to go, see you all the next month,” said Nick.

“So Arrivederci, Ciao.”

“Auvoir,” said Izzy.

“We’ll say hi to Europe for you,” chuckled Nick.

The guests waved goodbye to the happy couple, as they drove away. Even though Nick and Izzy had left the dancing which went until well gone midnight.

There weren’t any complaints from the neighbours about the loud music, because the few neighbours that the Pennington’s did have, had been invited to the reception.

Eventually, Anthony carried Athene up to her bedroom because her feet hurt so much from the dancing and the heels, at gone one o’clock.

“Goodnight sweetheart,” he whispered.

“See you in the morning,” she muttered drowsily.

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