Teaser 285: A Catholic Wedding?

It was going to be a Catholic wedding without a Catholic priest presiding so I suppose it wouldn't truly be a Catholic wedding. There would be a priest attending, and it took an enormous amount of persuasion, mostly through Esperanza's efforts, and the priest would conduct readings and songs, because there would also be a church chorale for those songs, and it would all take place in a real Catholic church, which also took enormous persuasion. Serena and Esperanza, though, wouldn't take no for an answer, and many of this particular Catholic congregation were not exactly happy with the whole arrangement, since they knew the Catholic bride would be marrying a non-Catholic already married to two other women. How the two of them managed to pull it off I never learned, except they constantly advised me they would not stop persuading until they got the answer they wanted. I always assumed they wore them out, the priest, the elect, the more loud and influential of the congregation. These two women wore them all out. Serena's family was reluctant, too. Serena wore her family out. I was certainly very happy this woman was soon to become my partner, my equal. While all this was going on I was truly considering Serena Dominguez had no equal.

Where it all diverged, during the ceremony, we had no one to preside. We could pick anyone and Serena was unconcerned about it. With no legality wrapped in it—and she had already produced the legal document to keep her stuff from becoming mine and I had signed it, though I made changes because she actually had the attorney add a settlement amount should there be a divorce and I refused it so she had it removed—Serena honestly had no objection if we simply picked anyone off the street. She didn't care. I did. I didn't want it to be just anyone. The one person who I knew could perform it flawlessly and reverentially wasn't available, I thought.

“So you're finally marrying that woman you should have married years ago?” was how Kitana greeted me through my phone when I answered. “It's about time, Al-Barrak!”

“Does your daughter consider Alfred her mother yet? You know your roles are reversed.”

“Very funny,” Kitana stated. She wasn't laughing through the phone. “I think when you lose your twisted sense of humor, that's the day the world will stop rotating and we'll all be cast off into the void, though it would be nice if you were actually funny.”

“How are your mother and father, young woman? I haven't spoken with them in a while.”

“Which is why I called you, Al. Father was speaking with me the other day about what he heard concerning your wedding. He was wondering who you could possibly get to preside at a Catholic wedding without a Catholic priest presiding. He thought it would be difficult.”

“He wouldn't happen to have some free time available, would he, Kitana?”

“On a purely coincidental basis, he mentioned he probably could find the free time, Al-Barrak.”

“There's no such thing as a coincidence, Kitana.”

“You and I both know it, so should I expect an invitation to this wedding of yours, extending to all in my immediate family or do I have to ask in a more deliberate manner?”

“Shall I arrange for your travel and accommodations or would you wish to do it yourself?”

“We may be doing quite well here at the garden but I don't think we're in your league, yet.”

“Tell me all you want to bring with you. They're all invited, especially when I get to set my weary eyes on the beauty of my Kitana.”

“And I get to see my Gregory, who changed his name and just about everything else once he underwent a very radical, and necessary, change himself.”

“I love you dearly, young woman.”

“I shall always love you, Al-Barrak, and I miss you, too. Let me watch you marry the woman who I know has meant so much to you for so many years. It will please me greatly.”

With renovations underway at Shanti Apartments of Jalandhar, Heinz, Serena, Sofia, Lena and I moving into the duplex, having helped Arjuna move his mother to the estate—a very humorous affair since I wore my traveling clothes and told many of the neighbors who asked, all from the Paras family, that I only help those dear friends of mine and would immediately excuse myself since we were extremely busy, leaving the implication hanging heavily in the air—I had completed the screenplay. Serena set the date for the wedding on the last Friday in November with over a thousand attending, the reception in a swanky hotel in Beverly Hills, the wedding party and cherished guests reserving half of the hotel's rooms. Serena and Sofia had flown back to California to work closely with Esperanza and her wedding planner on further details, including her dress, which would be spectacular as you would expect, though quite reserved in the front, which Serena and I both agreed would be most appropriate. The Catholic church in Palos Verdes would host the ceremony since it had one of the largest cathedrals in the Los Angeles area and they had succumbed to the relentless assault from the two indomitable Latinas.

- Just Desserts, Segment Thirty-FivePainting an Alternate Hollywood Portrait” by Gregory R. Schussele, © 2021 contact me, as always: schussprose@gmail.com