Pete stood facing his bride, Margot. They held hands, stared into each other’s eyes as the ordained celebrant addressed those gathered in the church building.
Pete was brimming with love, pride and, if he were honest, a bit of impatience. Margot looked stunning in her white gown. Strapless, contoured, beaded. He appreciated the intricacies of the dress: there were beads and fine crystals sewn into the fabric, so she’d excitedly told him days before the wedding. But he thought it was going to look its best crumpled in a heap on the floor next to the bed. He could barely wait…
Oh God, Roger was stirring. Eggs, think about scrambled eggs. Anything to prevent his mate Rog standing to attention in front of the crowd. Now that would ruin a perfect moment.
‘Anyone gathered here today know of any reason why these two should not be joined in matrimony, speak now,’ called Dave, the minister.
Silence. Thank fuck. Pete had been worried one of his mates was going to shout out something at that moment. But they were all behaving themselves.
Time for their vows, written for each other. Margot had refused to let Pete see hers; she wanted them to be a surprise.
Pete repeated his vows, line by line, after Dave had read them out. Coherent, sensible, but personal. Margot had tears in her eyes. Bam! He’d nailed it. The night was shaping up to be a very positive experience. Images of Margot, naked, flashed before his eyes. He shifted his balance from one foot to the other and remembered the method for cooking poached eggs.
It was Margot’s turn. She was babbling, crying, racing through her words. She hated public speaking. He smiled, urging her, reassuring her.
‘…I waited but a prince never came.’
What? A rock settled itself somewhere inside Pete’s gut. No need to think about eggs anymore—Roger was well and truly shrivelled, lying still inside his undies.
Dave was saying something. Pete felt like his head was under water; he couldn’t hear over the rushing in his ears.
Margot was speaking, smiling. ‘…and then you came along. A frog…’
A fucken frog? What the hell was she saying?
‘…became my prince, my saviour.’
Wait. That was good, right? He heard that, not imagined it. He gazed at Margot, grinning widely.
Dave addressed the congregation. Music played. Pete and Margot and their party moved aside to sign the register.
‘You really had me there,’ whispered Pete, while Margot’s chief bridesmaid signed as a witness. ‘I was getting worried. What was all that about frogs?’
‘Honey, how can you not know about The Frog Prince?’ She leaned close, placed her arm around his waist, just as Dave motioned for the crowd to stand.
‘Pete,’ he called. ‘You may kiss the bride.’