The World is a Wedding

The World is a Wedding by Wendy Jones

Book: The World is a Wedding by Wendy Jones Read Free Book Online
Authors: Wendy Jones
shy—she wasn’t—but because Wilfred and his da wouldn’t have known what to say or do if they had walked in and encroached on her privacy. They lived in the house, the three of them, but they didn’t yet know how to live together.
    Wilfred stood in the Mozart Bakery waiting to be served, savouring the warmth and the fresh smell of bread. He gazed at the lumps of dough on the shelf behind the counter, like a row of bald, unmarked heads waiting to expand. Wilfred had always been captivated by the Mozart Bakery, especially when he was a boy and had often missed having a mother, and when the bakery had seemed to him like the land of milk and honey.
    This morning, customers were crowding around the counter waiting for loaves, hot from the oven. And there was a glass shelf laden with rock cakes, lardy cakes, Chester cakes and custard slices. And pastel-coloured cream cakes, some with glacé cherries on the top, for very special occasions. His wedding had been a very special occasion though they hadn’t celebrated with cream cakes. Instead they had had a block of boiled fruitcake that his Auntie Blodwen had insisted on cooking, though each slice lay in one’s stomach like a brick.
    Thoughts of wedding cake unexpectedly reminded him of Grace. He hoped she was well and wondered where she was. She must have caught the train to Swansea, but not Cardiff, that was too far away and almost outside Wales. He hoped she was eating well and in good health. He had spotted that dreadful brother of hers, Madoc, in the Post Office the other day, back on leave.
    â€˜Morning, Wilfred,’ said Mrs. Willie the Post.
    â€˜Morning,’ Wilfred replied, lifting his hat.
    â€˜I’ve come for an iced bun,’ Mrs. Willie the Post confided in a whisper. ‘I’ve been on forty-five diets and none of them have worked.’
    â€˜After you, Mrs. Probert,’ Wilfred offered, seeing Mrs. Probert and letting her stand in front of him in the queue.
    â€˜Thank you,’ Mrs. Probert replied in barely a whisper, keeping her head down, looking at the slate floor. She’s a bag of nerves, Wilfred thought to himself. He noticed the dark arc around her eye, the bleary puffiness underneath it, and the scabs of dead black blood.
    â€˜I walked into the table,’ Mrs. Probert mumbled.
    â€˜Oh! There’s nasty,’ replied Wilfred. ‘Have you seen Nurse Henton?’
    â€˜No, it’s—’
    â€˜What can I do for you, Mrs. Probert?’ Mrs. Cadwallader the baker called musically from behind the counter.
    â€˜Small cob loaf, please.’
    Mrs. Cadwallader had appeared not to notice Mrs. Probert’s eye; she diplomatically served her in the usual matter-of-fact way. Mrs. Cadwallader was a capable woman: she pounded the dough and sliced the bread with strength and confidence, all the while singing arias from operas. She was unlike Mrs. Probert, who was slight, trembling, delicate, almost like a fragile bird whose bones could shatter. But women were like that. Wilfred had thought about this: men were like vegetables—big, strong, usually green—and by green he meant they were all the same colour, all quite similar. There wasn’t much difference between men. But women were like fruit and came in all different and surprising sizes and shapes: soft fragrant strawberries, dark velvety figs, squishy little blackberries, or strong round apples. Some were juicy plums, others big bright oranges. Flora was like a beautiful ripe peach. The most delicious and . . . Wilfred struggled for words . . . the most beautifulest peach in Narberth, the First Prize-winner of the fruit and vegetable competition in the Bethesda Chapel summer fête
Now, Mrs. Cadwallader was like a conference pear—full and curvaceous. But with men, if one was like a potato, his brother would be like a turnip and the other brother like a swede. There wasn’t much

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