Old folks are habitual early birds especially the seasoned country people. Ray’s grandmother Ermine was no different. She was a determined and strong-willed old woman who practically raised him single-handedly. Her daughter had died during child’s birth and back then unfortunately baby fathers were usually absent.
Ray had grown up to be a sound minded and ambitious country bumpkin that did well at fulfilling his dreams of growing up fast, leaving the dull country and becoming a police detective in the big bright city. He landed an uptown office job with the Special Branch Police Department, working on top cases and mingling with the rich and the famous.
Ray was basking in his dream life, had a nice house, a nice car and great friends. Later he met and proposed to the sophisticated and educated Pamela who was a teller at the uptown commercial bank. Things were going fine and Ray visited his old granny often in the country, making sure she was taken care of and contented.
Ermine adored her beautiful grand-daughter in-law and was bursting with pride and joy over the wedding. She was very proud of her grandson and she often reflected back on how they had nothing and had endured a life of hardship and what they had now, was a blessing from God. Her previous little shack was now a decent house in the little district of Red Ground and the residents loved and respected her for her strength and Godliness.
A month before the big day Ray sent her an official wedding invitation. The event would be held in an upscale community at the luxurious top-of-the-line Golden Dragon Restaurant which was catering for sixty guests.The kind of wedding Pamela wanted was costly and almost consumed all Ray’s saving, nevertheless he was contented with his decisions and wouldn’t want things any other way.
Half hour before the nuptials Ray, his best man and groomsmen were immaculately dressed and chilling in a private lounge at the restaurant when he got a phone call that immediately changed his mood. He felt a burden and his chest tightened. He was agitated and tried to hide his shock. Nonetheless his best friend since police training school and now best man knew something was wrong. Ray immediately
excused himself from the group and hurried outside with Kirk behind in his wake. On their short walk out to the parking lot, Ray was almost speechless and could barely stutter out what had happened. It just didn’t make sense and he was appalled.
Ray’s granny had turned up at his wedding with a bus load of uninvited country folks, most of who knew him since he was a boy in Red Ground. Apparently with one invitation Ermine rounded up the entire district, hired a bus and brought them all to his private wedding. How could she do such a thing and what was he going to do now? The wedding was a catered affair. He could strangle the daylight out of his old granny for being so thoughtless. He was weak to the knees from disbelief and felt like collapsing to the ground. Ray’s mind went blank by anger and confusion and he gasped at the sight of the old dented country bus, lopsided and hideous as it stood in the parking lot against a line of the most posh vehicles in the city.
Ray’s brows tightened, God his biggest day was going to be his worst embarrassment. His heart raced with confusion and distress as he walked up to them. The bus was ugly and dusty from the journey and the tires had dark red dirt set in their grooves. Ray shook his head and felt insulted by it all. Probably it was raining in Red Ground when they had left this morning. The journey into the city was usually
over two hours.
He made a good face greeting and hugging back as his country folks filed out one by one bursting with happiness, as they congratulated and hugged him. They were dressed in all sorts of colors that didn’t blend in with the wedding coordinates. They were the grossest fashion one could imagine, directly taken from a magazine of the fifteen century. Ray was uncomfortable and Pamela was going to have an ulcer he decided silently going on a verge of insanity.
The old women of Red Ground pride themselves in wig wearing and God knows he wasn’t being callous or critical but the ones he noticed could do well with some oil sheen, scissors trimming and proper grooming. They were definitely going to attract all the attention at the wedding. Wrinkled old faces sported heavy Angel Face powder makeup that made them appeared ghostlike. Ray stood in a daze as he mechanically hugged and fixed a smile while the ecstatic group cramped and stifled him with their unsettling presence and mixed fragrances.
Several minutes later Ray’s mind snapped back to reality. His chest was pounding hard, he had to do something fast so he told them to sit tight back in the bus. He would send an usher to get them assigned to their seats as soon as possible and he rushed to rectify the growing chaos. It was an impossible task but he had to do something to save face. Country folks don’t blend in well with city people and he was in great anticipation about the inevitable. This was going to cost him both money he didn’t have and embarrassment to make such a drastic change at such short notice. Kirk offered to help with a loan which he unwillingly accepted. “Thank God they were half hour early.” Ray breathe a sigh of relief after his brain racking consultation with the wedding caterers ad planners. The price and pressure to facilitate the adjustment almost gave him a heart attack and he was going to be broke and mad with his old granny for a very long time.