Birds on the nearby trees took off at the loud shrieks of the women below.
“You mean you got married without telling anyone?”
Lancie, the first of the five women squad to find her voice, asked with a wail in her voice.
Finnie raised her hand,
“Wait. Are you pregnant? Because that is usually why most people like you would elope”
Nola the accused bristled,
“What do you mean by people like me?”
“Oh I don’t know Nola” Finnie said drily.
“People like you who have great plans and then suddenly settle for less.”
“Fiona Douglas. I did not settle for less and I’m not pregnant! What is wrong with you?”
Before Finnie could reply, Abby the peace maker, put in,
“Well you have to admit that your … news, has shocked us all and put us off balance. We were apparently not expecting your nuptials to happen in this manner.”
“Considering we didn’t even know she was seeing someone….” Faith threw her hands up in exasperation.
“Girls, don’t take it personal, but my family didn’t know either”
Another resounding “What?!” pierced the air.
“My, my. I may be young but this news — as Abby chose to term it — is certainly not good for my dear heart” Lancie placed her French manicured hand on her chest for emphasis.
“I think it’s my turn to ask: What. Is. Wrong. With. You?” Finnie rounded on Nola in indignation with concern written on her face.
Everyone rounded on Nola, as they all had the same question in their eyes, pinning her in place.
Nola fidgeted wondering how she was going to explain herself, which became clear she had to do.
“Again I repeat: nothing is wrong with me. It was spur of the moment that felt right. I just wanted to have a cozy private wedding — just the two of us.”
“Really.” Faith drawled, “With a man unknown to family and friends?”
“Actually, it’s someone you know.”
“Really?” Lancie arched her brow.
“Who is he?” Abby queried.
“What?”, came the tired exclamation from women with jaws unhinged.
” This is serious.”
“Why are you doing this, Nola?”
“Now I get why she eloped. We would have protested”
“As we are now.”
“Yeah well. What difference does it make? The deed has been done.”
“Which was probably why the deed was done in secret.”
“This isn’t getting us any where”
“I don’t like this at all. I don’t like it one bit.”
As the ladies went back and forth, Nola thought back on why she eloped.
Sean was not her type. He wasn’t a deep Christian. He was more comfortable in the world than in the church.
Her friends and family knew that about Sean. They would have discouraged her from being with him.
But he was a good man and she loved him and the feeling was mutual. She didn’t want to loose him. So the moment he proposed she agreed and here she was. Married…
“Guess you’re Nola O’Hara now.”
“Are you happy?”
“I was. Up until you guys reacted the way you have. Now I’m afraid and a bit upset.”
“Well what were you expecting?”
“You denied us a chance to have a bridal shower in your honour. And denied us a chance of being your bridesmaids. All because you didn’t want us to help you look before leaping. You don’t expect us to be happy about that!”, Finnie railed.
“How did the family take it?” Abby tried to change the subject.
“More or less the same as you all.”
“I can imagine” Lancie sighed as she shook her head.
As they got to the brook that cascaded over rocks like tapestry on staircase in the groove-like trees, they sat as close to the stream as possible. The sun shining through the trees made the creek look like emerald crystal.
“So what do we do now?”, Finnie asked.
” We pray”,
Faith replied in resigned faith that all has to be well with her friend. Regardless of how unwise her marital decision to be unequally yoked was.
“I really appreciate this, Girls”
The Girls looked at her with tired smiles while shaking their heads.
“Lord have mercy on you, Nola”
“You’re going to need it”
Lancie said, as the other ladies got up, laid their hands on the new bride as they began to pray God’s blessings upon their friend’s new home.
“Jehovah our Father, in the name of Jesus Christ. We thank You for the life and union of Nola and Sean O’Hara……”