Yet another nineties grunge song played out of Chris’ iPhone. Tony wished his brother would go through and update his iTunes, but knew that even if he did, all this crap would still be on it. Or worse. Perhaps he’d put on some doof. Tony sighed and tried to block it from his hearing.
It was putting him in a bad mood, and today was supposed to be a happy day. Finally, Chris was getting married. It was his day – well, his and Isabelle’s. Women always thought that weddings were for the bride, but Tony had been way more into both his weddings than either wife. He suddenly realised why he was so grumpy. Both his marriages had ended in divorce. Of course he was struggling to find the happy face that his brother deserved.
Chris pulled a half-empty hip-flask bottle of Jim Beam and a couple of plastic shot glasses. He poured two shots and pulled Tony to the table.
“Chris, shit, are you allowed to do this in the vestry?”
“No-one’s looking, you wuss.”
Tony pointed up.
“What about Him?”
Chris punched him and forced the shot glass into his hand.
“You know I don’t believe in all this bullshit. It’s for Belle and for Mum. Now, drink this. I reckon it’s the only way I’ll get that frown off your face. Three, two, one.”
They threw back the shots. Chris lined up two more in quick progression. Tony followed suit.
He poured the last dribble out into one glass and passed it to Tony. Tony shook his head. Chris laughed.
“You’ve got to, mate. It’s my fucking day!”
Chris shook his head but drank it.
Tony opened the door and threw the empty bottle and the glasses into a bush outside. He put his finger to his lips.
“Shh… don’t tell God!” He pulled out a roll of mints, took one and passed the pack to Chris. The minister opened the door.
“Tony, Chris, how are you?”
“Nervous. I mean, this is old hat for him,” Chris shoved Tony’s shoulder. “but it’s all new for me. I’m shitting myself.”
“Well, I’m, uh, certainly it is an exciting day, you have nothing to worry about.” Tony tuned out as the minister fumbled his way around Chris’s foul language and less-than-Christian comments. He picked up a bible from the sideboard. He wondered how different his life would have been had he not renounced God and the church when his son died. Three years old – God was a monster. Perhaps he and Mary would still be married. Perhaps there would be other kids. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
He took a deep breath and put the book back. The minister was leaving the room and Chris stared at him. He picked up the phone and turned it off. The room was silent a moment.
“Time to go, mate?”
Chris nodded. “Yup. Time to go.”