A Romantic Island Wedding.
“Wow! What a beautiful girl!” Philip exclaimed to himself and fell head over heels in love with her.
Philip remembered vividly, the first time he set sight on the long blond hair Kelly in the lunch bar. She was a sweet looking seventeen year old who had come up from the country to work in the big city. She worked in a made-to-order sandwich bar. Philip was in his forties and had divorced his wife a couple of years. He had been busy working since he had to support his three children who were living with his wife and had not another relationship. As he entered the lunch bar, he saw this new bubbly young girl.
"Hi, how can I help you this morning?"
"A ham and cheese sandwich, please."
Kelly gave him a generous double portion of ham and cheese on his rye bread.
"Here you are, enjoy your meal, and do come again."
That was how Philip met Kelly, and he continued to buy a sandwich whenever he was in town. It was love at first sight for Philip. Kelly was about the age of his daughter Maureen, but she was so different from her. The two girls were like chalk and cheese. It was something about the country upbringing of Kelly that attracted him.
The small country town Kelly was impressed by Philip’s elegant speech and pleasant mannerism. She liked him in his smart clothing. Soon she was attracted to him. She enjoyed flirting with him when she served him his coffee latte and sandwich.
"You like a drink with me after work at the bar?" Philip asked two weeks after meeting Kelly.
"I thought you will never ask," The delighted Kelly replied, "Will you drive me home to get change before we go?"
"No problem, I will pick you up at 6pm."
Kelly packed dinner, "It's all the stuff that we couldn’t sell, they would go to the bin otherwise, and what a waste it is."
Kelly was sharing a bed sitter with another girl from the country. There was only a small table. Philip and Kelly sat down on the bed eating the left over chicken salad. Then they got ready to go to the pub.
In no time, Philip and Kelly became an item. Philip was very proud of himself with young gorgeous Kelly as his girl. In the pub, some of the patron gave him sniggering looks, and a drunk once rudely accused him that he was a cradle snatcher. They felt uncomfortable and had to change pubs often. Eventually, they didn't bother to go out in the winter but sat watching television and eating leftover sandwich bar food, and drinking beer they bought from the bottle shop.
One day, Kelly said her flat mate had gone and left her the bed-sitter all to themselves. So Philip didn't have to go back to his house that night. After a drop too much, Kelly said it was stifling hot, she wanted to change into something more comfortable.
Kelly went to the bathroom and came out in a crimson red negligee. Philip could see her sexy body through the silhouette. She walked provocatively towards him like a super model.
Philip could resist no longer. All the previous months, he had been acting as a perfect gentleman and knowing that she was under aged, he kept his hands to himself. He was worried that he would be sued for having sex with a minor. Tonight, all inhibitions were thrown out of the window. He knew Kelly wanted him just as much as he wanted her. Their relationship blossomed into a physical one.
To avoid the plying eye of Kelly’s flat mate when they were in Kelly’s bed-sitter, they started to go to Philip’s house. Soon Kelly was spending more and more time at Philip’s house.
Since Kelly was at Philip’s house most of the time, it didn't make sense for Kelly to continue paying rent for the bed-sitter she wasn’t using. Kelly moved in to Philip's house and they were happy in their de facto relationship.
It was fashionable to introduce each other, "my partner." No one bet an eye though everyone knew that Kelly was only seventeen. When her parents and family came to the city to visit, she would introduce him as "my landlord."
Such deceit didn’t fool her experienced mother.
“Are you shacking up with him?”
“No, Mum, he is my landlord.”
“You can’t fool me, if he is a good man, he would make an honest woman out of you, and marry you.”
“You know back in the country, people say city people are fornicators.”
Kelly felt troubled, she didn’t dare to botch the question. She loved Philip, he was her first serious lover. But he never mentioned about getting married.
One day, when Philip picked Kelly up, he was beaming with exciting news.
"I won the sales man of the year, and I have two tickets and all expense paid for to Fiji. We can have a Fijian beach wedding."
Kelly felt she was at cloud nine. She was basically a small town girl in heart, and was always hoping to have a wedding. Her mum’s words were always at the back of her mind.
Kelly kissed Philip, “That’s the best news I have heard since I met you.”
“You will love it, a very romantic wedding on the beach.”
“It is a pity that mum and dad, my brothers and sisters and my girlfriends can’t be there for my wedding.”
Kelly felt very excited in the plane, she had never been in the plane before. She clung on to Philip during the flight. She was so in love with Philip.
When they arrived at the Castaway Island Resort Hotel, a young girl in traditional Fijian dress gave Kelly and Philip a lei of white frangipani flowers. A PR lady met them at the lobby.
“My name is Hibiscus, the PR manager of this hotel and the wedding co-ordinator. I am in charged of our romantic weddings.”
Hibiscus suggested that they freshened up after their long flight, “Please ring for me to discuss the wedding plan and for Kelly to have her wedding dress fitting.”
Philip and Kelly were impressed at the luxurious wedding suite. There was a double bathtub which was a Jacuzzi as well. There was a welcome basket of fresh fruit of mango, paw paw, bananas, and oranges.
Kelly jumped on the king size bed. Turned the cover over and saw the crimson satin sheets.
"I don't want to leave this place, I want to stay here for ever. Come Philip, let's go to bed."
"Kelly, that can wait, we need to talk to Hibiscus for the wedding."
"No! Philip, I want you right now." And Kelly started stripping herself, and was about to strip Philip."
"OK, we have to make this fast, the PR lady can wait, but the sunshine can't, we need to go to the beach"
After they were spent, Kelly wanted to use the jaccuzi.
"Come on, we can do this after dinner." They got dressed and went downstairs to the lobby.
Hibiscus was waiting for them at her desk. “People think that on the islands, time is of no essence and we are very laidback. This is not true with us, we have a very strict schedule to follow because we have many weddings in a day. We are very full-on and I request that you stick strictly to our timetable.”
The floor manager got a waiter to bring them their welcome courtesy drink and Hibiscus started talking about the wedding. The wedding was scheduled at eleven am and at the beach. They went to the beach where there was an archway of vibrant tropical flowers and palm leaf.
"This is where you will stand under the arch during the wedding ceremony. Our chief will perform the ceremony and there will be two of our staff who will be your witness. After the ceremony, you will choose a coconut and plant it in our vast garden. There will be a plague which says ‘Kelly and Philip’ so you will know that it is your tree."
Kelly giggled, "How romantic!"
They went back to their room after their briefing. Hibiscus rang for Kelly to come down to the bridal salon to have her wedding gown fitted. There was only a limited choice of gowns available. Kelly could only fit in a laced long sleeved gown. It required some alternation to fit her probably.
The seamstress assured, “I will make sure I get the gown ready for you tomorrow.”
"It's not the same when you don't have friends and relatives at your wedding." Kelly complained to Philip.
"We can't have everything, can we?"
They enjoyed a delicious candle lit dinner and Kelly wanted to go back to the room to use the Jaccuzi. She took a few bottles of spirits from the mini bar and slipped off her clothes and ordered Philip to come in the Jaccuzi. In the heat of the hot bottles, and the influence of the brandy, they felt very sensual and they made love again. They luxuriated in the hot bubbly Jaccuzi, a life style of the rich and famous.
"Better hit the sack, we got to wait up early if we want to tour around the country and come back in time for the wedding ceremony."
"I don't care for the wedding ceremony, I just want to stay in bed with you."
Kelly didn't want to wake up in the morning. Philip was like a grumpy old man.
"Wake up, we are running late, the time for breakfast will be over."
"Nag! Nag! Nag! A girl is supposed to be a princess on her wedding day. Can't she stay in bed a little longer?"
By the time, she was ready, the time for the courtesy breakfast was over. Kelly wanted to call for room service.
"Kelly, room service is not part of the package, it costs too much money."
"Is this the way to treat your bride?"
Philip gave in, and let her ring for room service. It took so long to come and it was almost time to go for the ceremony.
The make up artist rang couple of times if she could come up to do the make up for Kelly. After a long delay by Kelly, the make up artist came with the wedding gown and a bridal bouquet of exotic orchids and tropical flowers. Kelly was in a foul mood and wouldn't co-operate with the makeup artist.
Hibiscus rang their room on their room to remind them that it was past eleven and they had to run everything on schedule like clockwork because they had arranged weddings back to back.
Kelly didn't feel very romantic after that, she always dreamt of having her best friend as her bridesmaid, and her nieces and nephews as flower girls and page boys.
"What is a wedding without family and friends?" muttered Kelly.
She regretted coming to Fiji. She was jealous that some bridal couples had entourage of parents, brothers and sisters and friends. And she had no body and she blamed Philip for his stinginess. She also found out that most of the other brides brought their own wedding gown.
One of the brides was very insensitive and made a cruel remark, "Who wants to wear a wedding gown that has been worn by many. Who knows, it might be a jinx gown, and people wearing them might have ended in divorce."
The wedding ceremony went on like clockwork, the brides and grooms were ushered to many stations like a conveyor belt. The hotel was experienced and they have couples all over the world to capture the romance of a beach wedding.
Throughout the ceremony, a video camera photographer filmed their marriage so they could take the video home for their friends and family to watch.
Philip and Kelly stood under the tropical flowers and palm leaf arch. In the heat, the flowers were no longer vibrant but drooping. They stood in front of the village chief dress in his traditional Sulu, a skirt instead of a pair of pants. He blessed them and the band played their ukulele and a female singer sang "Love is in the air."
"You may kiss the bride," Smiled the village head.
Two little girls sprinkled tropical orchids over Kelly and Philip for confetti. The beautiful scent of the orchids cheered Kelly up after her disastrous beginning on the island. Hibiscus led them to white cloth table where a male and a female hotel staff witnessed their signing of their marriage certificate.
Kelly saw the big seven tiers wedding cake, white and decked with frangipani flowers. The girls at home will be green with envy when they see my video. But her happiness was short lived. The cake was a fake cake, there was a slit at the bottom tier for them to put the knife into. Kelly felt like crying and could stop her tears from dropping.
Hibiscus gave her some tissue and whispered, "Be careful with your tears. Your make up may stain our wedding gown, and you will have to pay for the dry cleaning."
By the time when it came to planting their coconut tree, it was noon. It was the hottest time on the tropical island. Kelly was too vain to take off her three inch stiletto high heel shoes. The insensitive Hibiscus was hurrying them to the hole the gardener had dug. Everyone wanted to return to the restaurant for lunch and their afternoon siesta. At the hole, the camera man made a fuss about the two of them holding the spade together while they covered up the hole with the hot scorching sand. There was not a breeze any where and Kelly felt extremely uncomfortable in the long sleeved wedding gown.
The cool water with tiny ripples of waves looks very inviting. Kelly wanted to get out of her hot stuffy gown and dive into the water. But she couldn't. There was the wedding breakfast next on the schedule.
Kelly did not feel special during the wedding breakfast. All five couples of newly weds had their wedding breakfast together. It was a mass wedding that Philip was not informed. Some couples were very boisterous and dominated the show. Kelly wanted to go up to their hotel room and sleep. She drank too much of the Fijian Kava Kava and was coming down with a big headache.
Poor Philip, his bride slept their wedding night sleeping. He didn't dare to wake her up, nor did he dare to go for a walk on the beach in case she woke up and found out that he had gone without her. He knew she would kick a big fuss.
The next day, Kelly woke up with a big hang over. She only wanted to spend the day sun bathing and swimming. Philip wanted to tour the villages. As usual, Kelly got her way. Philip went by himself reluctantly. Kelly met some young tourists at the beach.
“Hi, are you holidaying with your dad?” The young punks asked Kelly.
Kelly didn’t tell the young men that Philip was her husband. She enjoyed flirting with them and let them apply sun block on her.
After lunch, it was too hot under the tropical sun, Philip went to visit the village, he told Kelly that she could stay in the hot air conditioned hotel if she liked. He didn’t want her to suffer a sun stroke. This arrangement suited Kelly just fine. She and the young men spent the rest of the day in the hotel bar.
In the evening, they drank at the bar when the young men joined them.
At ten pm, Philip told Kelly, “Time to go to bed, tomorrow we have to wake up early to attend a Fijian wedding.”
Kelly yelled to him like a spoilt child, “Don’t be such a fuddy-duddy! The band has just started to play and I want to dance.”
During the rest of their three days, in the day time, Philip visited the villages and got to know how the Fijians lived. Kelly flirted with her new boyfriends. Kelly visited their cheap cabins and she became unfaithful to her new husband. At night, she stayed long after closing the bar’s closing time with her new friends. Philip did not suspect anything, he thought it was good for Kelly to have friends her own age. When she fiended a headache when she didn’t want to sleep with him, he just thought she had too much tropical sun.
They flew home in the plane. Kelly was sullen and pretended to sleep. Philip thought she was tired. It was as if the bubble of excitement had burst and reality had sunk in. It could have been a beautiful and enchanting wedding in a romantic tropical island. But it was tainted with a sour taste. They did not feel ecstatic at all. In their luggage was a set of His & Hers Fijian Sulu Gift. Kelly swore that she won't be seen dead in it. Kelly was in a foul mood. She knew she would never see her new boy friends again and she was stuck with a husband old enough to be her father.
Back at work, Kelly showed her wedding photos to the girls at work. She lied to them that she had the most wonderful fairy wedding in Fiji. She wanted to make them gloat with envy.