Fiction · Flash Fiction · How to be British · Language

Motorway

Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.

Motorway:

Noun

BRITISH for an expressway; a highway; a freeway.

*The end of the Seth and Lou trilogy, my friends! Check out Zip if you're new to the loop.

"Lou prides herself on loads of things about her strength of character; perhaps namely and most highly on keeping a level head in torrential circumstances. Currently, though? Well, Lou is bloody well freaking out- surpassed stroppy an hour and a half ago and beyond going spare within the last five minutes- because it's her wedding day and her husband-to-be is stuck on the motorway.

There's less than an hour until she's scheduled to walk down the aisle.

Okay. So she is crying hysterically, her makeup is ruined, and she hasn't even contemplated wearing her dress. It is her wedding day: wasn't she allowed to wallow and be a manic, bridezilla? Or is that designated to birthdays only? Of course, it's around this time her father opens his mouth and sends Lou from raging lunatic to sobbing sod.

'Maybe he's lying about the traffic and he's too afraid to say he's got cold feet?' He quips.

Three of her bridesmaids laugh. Her mother gasps "Richard!" hard enough to be heard two rooms down in the chapel and gets the hiccoughs. Lou stares hard, not noticing until after the arrival of the waterworks her lower lip trembles and her face steadily goes from ruddy to puce. Has she mentioned she's an ugly crier?

Her parents begin bickering and there's a teeny, tiny little thought that crosses her mind how weird would it be if her parents took the first step toward their separation on her wedding day. The thought makes her cry harder. Of course, she doesn't share this reaction, so her mum glares and dismisses her father while tugging Lou into her arms. For the next twenty minutes, her mum soothes her.

She's finally calming down. But she still refuses to put on the dress- no point until she hears from Seth again. Then, he's calling her and she sags against her mother upon hearing his voice. It doesn't last long.

Lou apparently ends the phone call wordlessly.

'What'd he say?' Her father probes haltingly, still lingering in a forgotten corner and out of his wife's striking range.

Lou stares down at her mobile in horror. 'His phone died,' she states.

'What?!' Echoes around the dressing room.

'There's fifteen minutes left!'

'We're gonna have to inform the guests that the time's been pushed back.'

Lou freezes. Her phone plops to the (thankfully carpeted) floor with a heavy thud. She's trying to imagine the best course of action on how to respond: raging bridezilla or sobbing sod? She's leaning toward the former option when she becomes aware of the stifling silence descending like humidity in August.

'What?' She snaps self-consciously and looks up.

To find Seth loitering in the doorway.

Her sob is one of relief now and she flings herself at him. He takes three steps to meet and embrace her snugly.

'Oh, Seth!' She whispers in his ear and squeezes the air out of him by clinging on his neck.

Blessedly, the audience allows them several moments to calm and reassure. Of course, the courtesy extends only so far before someone squawks out:

'Oi! What about tradition?'

Lou spins out of her husband-to-be's arms and jeers, 'Are you for real right now? Your bleeding traditions can kiss my– '

Seth's hand covers up the colourful ending of her sentence (which, okay, probably could have ended worse than she anticipated once the steam let loose, she admits). 'We've never been one for traditions. She's a pink dress, yeah?'

'It's called dusty rose, you ignorant tosser.' Her chief bridesmaid corrects.

It startles Lou into giggles and thankfully breaks the tension.

But Lou's mum does separate them and presses Seth to get ready. Then she turns stern, a real drill-sergeant, and commands everyone present to right Lou's makeup (loads of makeup remover and face washing required) before wrangling her into the dress. It does have a zip in the back, but thank God it's out of Lou's reach.

She'd probably never be caught dead in a million years confessing this out loud: but Lou giggles about the drama once her nerves calm and everything appears to be coming together. Also, for all the ways the wedding will be memorable, Lou's convinced she'll be regaling Seth's traffic drama as the main piece."

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