The Big Day Approaches
We decided on a spring wedding and set a date for the end of March. It was towards the middle of January that I suddenly got a call from Mary. As we talked I remembered that she had been away for Christmas, and I said I’d call her early in the New Year, but had never done so. We talked pleasantries for a few minutes, and then she said, “The main reason I’m calling is to tell you I’m engaged. You remember that farmer guy Pete? Well, his dad passed away at the end of last year, and he’s inherited the farm. He wants me to share it with him and make it a go together, so I said yes. Sorry to tell you this over the phone, but you’ve not been in contact for ages.”
I said it was okay and then told her to Ruby and me. “I remember you talking about Ruby I think,” She said. “An old crush from school is that right? Well, I wish you well. And I hope we can still be friends too, we had some great times together, didn’t we?” We talked some more about the things we had done together, and then she said “actually, you might be interested in some of the stuff on the farm. His dad had a whole workshop full of old cars and car parts, Jaguars mostly, that he used to tinker with. Spent most of his spare time in that shed actually. Anyway, Pete likes cars too, but he’s not as obsessed like his dad was. He’s thinking of selling some of them, didn’t know if you might be interested in having a look?”
A sudden thought occurred to me. “Was his Dad’s name Ian?” I asked. “Yes, it was” She replied, “How on earth did you know?” I explained about meeting Ian when I worked on the food truck, and how I’d helped in his workshop. “Small world!” she said, “So, are you interested?” I told her I was and arranged to go and visit the workshop, with Pete and Mary, at the weekend.
I considered what to tell Ruby. I did want, to be open and honest with her, but I didn’t mean to hurt her, or make her suspicions, either. I decided it was safest to say that it had been Pete that had phoned me. I told her he had inherited the farm, was selling off the old cars, and, oh, by the way, he is engaged to a girl I knew from the Walpole Arms.
Ruby thought it was a very good idea for me to see what there was there. “That convertible of yours is pretty, but it does get a bit cold in the winter!” she said.
“Ian used to have an old Rolls Royce in the workshop,” I said. “If it’s still there, maybe we could borrow that for the wedding?” She thought that was a terrific idea, and I earned an extra kiss for thinking of it.
I met Pete on Saturday at the barn, and we looked through the contents as I told him about how I’d spent many hours with his father working on the cars there. Pete had been to agricultural college and had great ideas about the farm, but had less interest in this “sideline” as he called it. After a while Mary joined us, and rather than being awkward, as I thought it might be, it just seemed perfectly natural.
The Rolls was still there, and I talked about my idea of renting it for my wedding. “That would be an excellent idea,” Pete said. “We’d thought about using it for us too, but it’s not in running order right now, and I don’t really have enough money to get it fixed.” I offered to have a look to see if I could get it going, and Pete jumped at the offer. “If you get it running I will let you use it for free, of course,” He said, and so we shock on it. When I told Peggy about the arrangement, she was super excited, and so our planning went ahead apace. It only took me a couple of visits to the barn to get the old motor running smoothly, and after a through detailing, it looked, and sounded, superb.
Ruby and I spent the night before the wedding in our separate homes. I invited a few old friends out for drinks in town; not a stag do, exactly, just people hanging out in a pub. I even asked Pete to join us, and we had a great time acting stupid and drinking too much. Towards the end of the evening, Pete and I were sitting at one of the tables, and he started to talk to me about his relationship with Mary. He said he’d loved her for years, but she’d always been distant. Even after they’d slept together, he didn’t always feel she was wholeheartedly committed to him. He knew I’d helped with the promotion of the hotel when it had started up, so he asked me if I’d ever been aware of anyone else in the background. I was able to honestly tell him that I hadn’t heard her talk about anyone except him. Of course, the times she’d mentioned him we’d been in bed together, but I didn’t think Pete needed to know that.