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WOMAN - UK|September 21, 2021
Lucy had accepted the wedding invite, but would she regret it?
Christine Pinfold

Holding the large bouquet of vibrant flowers to her face, Lucy breathed in their exquisite fragrance. Red roses were a popular choice among her customers, her shop smelt of a sweet cologne. She looked around, colours of every hue bounced off the window panes of the small florist’s shop.

Life would be good for Lucy – if only she could stop worrying about James and Charlotte.

James was Lucy’s brother and she loved him dearly. She wanted to help him, but how could she, when he refused to be helped? He thought of nothing but work, drowning himself in toil, never coming up for air to enjoy the pleasures that life could bring.

He was no nearer to moving on with his life than he had been three years ago, since losing his wife in a tragic accident. They’d lived in America for a number of years, running a successful business, when their lives had been torn apart. James moved back to the UK not long after the accident, bought a farm, and had worked himself into the ground ever since. Refusing any semblance of social life.

And soon Lucy would have Charlotte to contend with, a prospect which had given her a few sleepless nights of late.

It had all started a couple of months ago when Sarah, who owned the Tea Shop next door, breezed in, excited and flushed while waving wedding invitations in the air.

‘It made sense to deliver them by hand,’ she said, handing two gold-embossed envelopes to Lucy. ‘One for you and your lovely hubby, and one for James. Oh, and we must talk about my bouquets…’

Sarah’s excitement was becoming infectious, putting Lucy in mind of her own lovely wedding all those years ago. A time when she had just bought her beloved floristry business.

But she wasn’t prepared for Sarah’s bombshell...

‘I haven’t said anything before now, but I shall be putting the Tea Shop up for sale shortly, we’ll be moving away. It’s all been a bit hush, hush, sorry!’

‘Oh no! Where are you going?’

Lucy would miss her delightful neighbor terribly and, besides, who would she get next, she thought uneasily. Good neighbors were hard to find.

‘We’re taking on a bed and breakfast in Cornwall.’

‘Wow, exciting times! Tell me everything and then we can talk about wedding bouquets!’

‘Oh, by the way, I’ve included a plus-one for James. Does he have a plus-one?’

‘If only, I do worry that he seems to prefer to be alone.’

‘Well, plus-one or not, he’ll know plenty of people at the wedding,’ Sarah continued, still glowing with excitement.

Only, then came Sarah’s second bombshell, which hit Lucy like a bolt from the blue...

‘Even Aunt Charlotte has accepted an invitation, which was a bit of a surprise, I can tell you. Though she hasn’t said whether she will be bringing anyone.’

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