The Wedding Secret
Amir Robertson sat on the front pew of Mount Olive Methodist Church, phone in hand. Around him, the sanctuary buzzed with activity as about twenty people, both children and adults, waited for things to kick off.
It was Friday, the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. The rehearsal for the wedding of his cousin Nona to architect Ken Yamada was due to begin at 11:00 a.m. He’d been honored they’d asked him to be a groomsman. Neither he nor Nona had any siblings, so they’d been close growing up.
A cheer went up, drawing Amir’s attention to the church doors. Seeing Ken and Nona enter, Amir smiled and tucked away his phone. The glow of love was all over the couple, and Amir enjoyed seeing his cousin so happy. Making his way through the gaggle of people standing in the aisle, he took a moment to greet them. After shaking hands with Ken, Amir drew Nona in for a hug. “It’s good to see you, cuz.”
“Thanks so much for coming, Amir.” Nona’s voice held a tinge of emotion.
“You know I wouldn’t miss it, Big Head.” He released her from his embrace and stepped back to allow the couple to proceed to the front.
He stood in the aisle for a few moments more, taking in the scene, until the wedding coordinator gestured for him to come to the front. Once there, he lined up with the other groomsmen so the rehearsal could commence.
From where he stood at the altar, he had a full view of the sanctuary. Nona, in accordance with tradition, sat in the front pew and watched, while one of her bridesmaids stood in her place. As Amir’s eyes swept the room, he saw a petite, curvaceous woman near the rear of the sanctuary. Clad in dark denim jeans and a close-fitting white top, she was leaning over a pew. He couldn’t see what she was doing, but he could tell she wasn’t part of the wedding party.
Using his elbow, he nudged Rashad, one of the other groomsmen. “Yo. Who’s that in the back?”
Rashad looked in that direction. “Oh, that’s Renata. The florist.”
He continued to watch her, and saw her taking floral arrangements out of a box and go about affixing them to the pews. The
tight set of her lovely face indicated either concentration or anger, perhaps a mixture of both. Despite her expression, she was a beautiful woman, so much so that Amir found it difficult to look away from her.
“Rashad, I’ll be right back.” Before the sentence was fully out of his mouth, Amir walked away from the altar and started toward the beautiful florist. When he reached her, he said, “Excuse me. It’s Renata, right?”
She looked up, her eyes indicating her confusion. “Do I know you?”
“Not yet. Have you ever been on a carriage tour of the Fourth Ward?”
“No.” Her brow furrowed.
He smiled. “Then let’s fix that.”