Leo was pacing around the venue entrance. Most of the guests had already arrived, so there was no reason to wait with the ceremony. Well, no reason other than…
“Nervous?” Yenn asked him with a bright smile.
“Yes. No. It’s just… she’s taking a while, isn’t she? She hasn’t changed her mind, right?” He laughed uncomfortably.
“I was just with her, so not unless it happened in the last 3 minutes,” Yenn joked.
Leo’s worried expression told her that he wasn’t going to be appreciative of humour.
“Don’t worry Leo! Pauline’s crazy about you,” she said reassuringly. “It’s a big day for her, so she wants to look perfect. She’ll be up here soon.”
She hugged the antsy groom and went over to greet Paolo and Candy. Something told her it wasn’t going to be an easy day for them.
“Ok, breathe. Ok.” Pauline spun around for the millionth time. “You look good. Both Peyton and Aunt Yenn said so. You’ll be fine. You won’t trip over your dress. Ok.”
Maybe she should touch up her lipstick one last time. No. Time to go. She was just about to exit the room when the door opened.
“I really am ready this time, honest,” she called out to the hallway. “I was literally about to go upstairs…”
“You look stunning,” the echoey alien voice said.
Pauline turned abruptly.
“What are you doing here?” she said sharply.
“Is it so unusual for the mother of the bride to be present at the wedding?” Astrid attempted to smile.
Pauline was bemused. “How did you even know I’m getting married?”
“Yenn told me. You haven’t banned me from talking to her too, have you?”
“Aunt Yenn invited you?” Pauline asked incredulously.
“Not exactly,” Astrid said evasively. “She told me when and where the wedding was taking place and…”
“And you decided to invite yourself? Wow.”
“I’m sorry. I thought that maybe you’d want me here,” Astrid’s voice broke off.
“Great,” Pauline gritted through her teeth.
“Clearly I was wrong,” Astrid said finally. “I’ll just go.”
Pauline let out a deep sigh.
“You can stay if you want. I don’t care.”
Astrid felt as if her daughter plunged a knife in her. The only thing worse than Pauline not wanting her at the wedding was her not caring if she was there or not.
“I’m late,” Pauline stood up. “So if you want to watch the ceremony I suggest you come upstairs now.”
Astrid’s gaze followed her daughter to the doorway.
“I almost forgot,” Pauline stopped before exiting the room. Astrid looked up with a glimmer of hope.
“Dad and his wife are here. I’d try to avoid them if I were you. I doubt they’d want to reminisce about the good old times the three of you had… Oh yeah, that’s right. Peyton gave them their memories back, so they know who you are now.”
And with that, Pauline walked out the door.
Astrid was speechless. Paolo and Candy remembered her now? This was a mistake…
Leo only needed one look at his gorgeous bride.
“Something’s wrong,” his heart sunk.
“You wouldn’t believe…” Pauline stopped herself. “It doesn’t matter.”
Leo was there. He was holding her hand. They were about to get married. Nothing and no one was going to ruin this day for her.