“Hurry inside, he’s having second thoughts!”
” Second thoughts” thought Ella, “he’s having second thoughts,” hearing those words she felt flash of something somewhere between fear and anger before realizing the vicar was trying to be funny. ” Good grief, what do they teach these people in divinity school? ” she thought to herself. Ella tried to muster a smile for the vicar who according to tradition had come out to meet the bride before preceding her down the aisle. Back home in America, the minister always waited down at the front near the altar with the groom, usually stepping out from an inside door a few minutes before the bride came into the church. Here everything was different. Not hugely different, but just different enough to keep her slightly off balance.
Nigel was waiting for her inside now and she thought for a minute about how they’d gotten to this day. Six months ago Ella had been cycling through the village stopping at the only pub she seen for miles when Nigel had walked in with his arms full of loaded egg cartons. She’d watched him as he spoke hearing him say what sounded to her like, ” Yer aright ? ” which she now knew was the regular greeting for folks in these parts. This Cornish way of saying hello was different from her standard, ” Hi, how are you? ” even though it meant about the same thing.
She’d been tucked out of sight or so she thought, as she sat in a corner of the pub drinking a diet lemonade when Nigel began talking with the men near the bar. Tall and thin with a head full of prematurely silver hair reaching past his shoulders, he was wearing an old leather cowboy hat that seemed so much a part of him even then that it looked as if it might as well been permanently attached. Looking more like a musician than a chicken farmer that first time, he’d had a rock and roll air about him despite holding a handful of egg cartons instead of a bass guitar in his grip.
Ella had eavesdropped on the conversation so openly trying to pick out snatches of phrasing that she might understand from the mix of British accents, that after a few minutes Nigel had turned to her and invited her to join them. Staying longer than she anticipated, it was dark before she realized it and the idea of riding her bike the six miles needed to reach her hotel on the dark and tiny lanes made her more anxious than she normally was when riding her bike around the rural countryside. Nigel had offered to give her a ride back to her hotel over near Lanhydrock. Lifting her bike into the back of his truck before opening the door for her to jump into the red cab, she thought how his truck seemed much larger than the vehicles she normally saw driving the hedge lined lanes in Cornwall. Hedges so tall and thick in many places that she was reminded of the scary maze of hedges in Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. She found the lanes spooky enough late at night in a car and the idea of riding alone on her bike had made it easy to quiet the voices in her head that reminded her that this man was practically a stranger. Ella had been grateful for the offer and after hanging out with Nigel and his friends at what was clearly his local hangout, she felt more like she was accepting a lift from a friend than someone she’d just met a few hours earlier.
By then she’d found herself terribly attracted to him and when he asked if she minded stopping by his place so he could put his chickens in for the night, she said, “Sure..no problem ” and meant it thinking she wasn’t ready to say goodnight yet or even worse, possibly goodbye. Ella listened as he told her why he needed to tuck his chickens in before it got too late. He explained that his “girls” would not be safe from prowling animals if they were left on their own and that he’d try to be quick, but he needed to check for eggs before locking them in for the evening. She fallen in love with him that very night listening to him as he talked to his hens, coaxing them into the henhouse and caressing them with his words in a way she’d decided very quickly that she wanted him to do with her.
Ella had no doubts about marrying the local ” Egg man.” She couldn’t help but smile thinking how the vicar had responded when she’d said she wanted to enter the church to an instrumental version of the Beatles, ” I Am The Walrus.” Born in the late fifties, the vicar had been old enough to remember the lyric, ” I am the egg man,” on the Beatles nonsensical hit, ” I Am The Walrus” and she let Ella know very quickly and quite firmly that despite wanting to stay open and progressive, the Church of England was not ready to shift so completely down the ” goo goo g’joob ” path.
“Just as well,” thought Ella touching the small round bulge of a belly that for now, was hidden behind her flowers. They could save the “goo goo g’joob ” for later, she thought…knowing without a doubt that it was too late now for second thoughts.
Whew! This one was tough for some reason even for practice writing and it took a bit to finish it properly. Thanks again to Judy Harper for her suggestion that I used for this week’s TMAST. Judy’s link to TMAST and her story can be found on her blog here. Please take a look at the pictures for next week’s TMAST and offer up suggestions for topic sentences based on the photographs.