The organist played a drastically slowed down version of the Dixie Chicks “White Trash Wedding” as the wedding party lined up to leave the church. It took Hildreth a few minutes to recognize the song.
As soon as he recognized it, he nearly died from repressed laughter.
Yes! And I didn’t even have to request it.
Elsie took his hand.
He looked down at her.
“Was that song your idea?” she whispered.
Hildreth bit down on his lower lip and shook his head.
He didn’t trust himself to say a word.
Clarice watched them proceed down the aisle. At least, she tried to. But the light surrounding Elsie and Hildreth was too bright. She had to look away.
Elsie’s happy. No, judging by the glow around her, I’d say she’s a lot more than happy. She’s ecstatic and it’s easy to see why. Not only is Hildreth red hot licorice deliciousness, but he’s also madly in love with her. That’s enough to make anyone ecstatic.
Clarice grabbed Elsie’s bouquet, rose from her seat, and filed out with all of the guests and relatives.
Gerry, I wish you could have been here.
The organist finished her piece and left the church as well.
The church sat silent.
No voices and no sound.
The pews were completely empty.
No one had lingered behind.
The pew that Clarice had sat in suddenly creaked as if someone had sat back in it.
But no one was there.
In the hall outside the church, chaos utterly reigned. Everyone was all crowded together, talking and laughing and congratulating the newlyweds. Hildreth was in high spirits, laughing louder than everyone else.
Elsie tried her best to be patient and agreeable, but it was becoming increasingly difficult.
I just want to grab him and run. He would love it if I did that. I’m sure he would.
I know he would.
Hildreth laughed again. That brilliant, delighted laugh that made Elsie want to commit great acts of violence.
It was more than she could bear. She grabbed his hand and dragged him away from his conversation with Aunt Josephina. She plowed through the rest of the crowd.
Hildreth didn’t resist, which was a great relief to her. If he had pulled back even a little, she would have punched him.
She finally got him outside.
“You know,” He smirked and moved in closer to her. “people are going to say such salacious things about us fleeing the scene like that.” He put his hands on her hips.
She inhaled sharply. “I know and I don’t care. I didn’t want to be in there a second longer. I wanted to be with you.” She straightened his bow tie. “Just you.”
His expression softened. “My Elsie. By the way, it may not be a Xena-inspired wedding dress.” He clicked his tongue. “Can’t see your legs at all.”
“But I approve.” He kissed her, a teasing flirt of a kiss. “My warrior queen. You’re magnificent.”
Before Elsie could properly respond to such a compliment, the photographer showed up. “Ah! There you two are! Hoping to get away early, are you?”
“Yes.” Elsie said it so matter-of-factly Hildreth burst out laughing.
“Well, we aren’t done yet. You both need to come inside for some inside the church shots.”
“Fine. But then we are going to the reception and you will not stop either of us. Is that clear?”
The photographer backed away from her as if he were expecting Elsie to flat out punch him. “Very clear.”