The Padre wore a dark suit with a white dog collar. He was a tall man and his dark form loomed large over the door of the terraced house in Southsea. He offered me his hand and held onto my palm for so long I felt trapped by his grasp. But he continued gazing into my eyes and smiling until I pulled my hand away.
‘We don’t have six weeks.’
I moved my leg away from his grasp in time.
He coughed. ‘What you could do is to have a civil ceremony here in England, at a Registry Office, ‘ he pronounced the last two words carefully as if I was half-witted, ‘and then have a blessing in the church abroad. The wording of the ceremony is almost the same, and in the eyes of God you’ll still be married in the church in…hmm…your country.’ The Padre gave me another of his half-cocked smiles. ‘I have the telephone number here somewhere.’ He rummaged in his worn out-looking leather satchel.
I felt so cold.
He’d been late at the train station when I arrived in England. He’d been posted abroad as soon as I arrived in Southsea. Now he’d not bothered to get the certificate. Was he, possibly unconsciously, trying to stop the wedding from going ahead?
‘Yes, it will. And,’ the Englishman put his lips very close to the receiver. I knew he was trying to say something without being overheard.
‘I love you, don’t ever forget it. And I can’t wait to be married to you. The sooner the better.’
Kittie Howard says
I loved your narrative, felt your anguish and anger. Chuckled over the Padre's inability to remember you were from Finland. Of course he knew as I've known Brits who've called me Yank, colonist, whatever to stall recognition outside the Commonwealth. And my hub's a retired U.S. military man, so, trust me, I felt your frustration at how duty interferred with life's progress. Am going to scroll to back posts, loved this so much. Thanks!
Never trusted Padres of any type or kind,,, get your hand off me knee sir now !!!!
So lovey ( not for the victims) that all the abuse is coming to light now, my mother who is catholic thinks in the case of the catholic church, should they allow them to marry it would stop them fiddling with little boys… amazing !
Yes my man sounds similar you yours, the only think I know is in both cases it was a recipe for a great marriage, should they be perfect, we would have got bored. Another lovely post Helena xxx
PS can you tell when I comment without my glasses …commas instead of full stops and I have to rely totally on spell check so I hope it makes sense LOL
Havent read this post as am still catching up with your story – but just to say there is a shoe award (surprise surprise!) for you over at mine! x