More Precious than a Crown(10)

By: Carol Marinelli


‘Actually, I don’t.’ Trinity could not believe that they’d ask this of her. ‘Mum, please, I don’t want to sing, I just want to...’

Hide.

‘When do you go back?’ Dianne asked.

‘Tomorrow afternoon.’

‘So it really is a flying visit, then.’

‘I’ve got an interview next week.’

‘If you’d let your father help, you wouldn’t be out of work.’

‘I’m not out of work,’ Trinity bristled, because she had a job at the beach bar and she certainly earned her money there, but Dianne pulled a face.

‘If anyone asks, say...’ Dianne thought for a moment. ‘Say you’re working in a museum.’

‘You want me to lie?’

‘Yes, please!’ Dianne said. ‘We didn’t put you through an art history degree to have you working in a bar.’

‘Ancient art,’ Trinity corrected, and then smirked at her mum. ‘What sort of museum exactly?’ She watched as her mother’s neck went red.

‘Okay, a library, then. The reference section. At one of the big colleges.’

Nothing changed.

They got to the hotel and the shoebox of a room that had been booked for Trinity. After a lightning-quick shower she sat as her hair was brushed and coiled and pinned by her tense mother while Trinity quickly did her make-up. Moods weren’t improved when her mother unzipped a bag and pulled out the most awful blue dress that Trinity had ever seen.

‘You are joking?’ Trinity said. ‘It’s so shiny I’m going to need sunglasses to wear it.’

‘Had you bothered to come to any of the fittings then you might have had a say in what you were wearing. As it is...’ She lifted up Trinity’s arm and attempted to pull up the concealed zip that was located at the side. ‘You’ve put on weight!’ Dianne accused.

‘No,’ Trinity said. ‘I gave you my measurements exactly.’

‘Then why can’t I do it up?’

Because you refused to believe I was ten pounds heavier than your goal weight for me, Trinity thought, but said nothing, just sucked in her stomach and chest as her mother tugged at the stupid zip until finally it was up.

‘Is breathing an optional extra?’ Trinity quipped.

‘Yes,’ Dianne snapped back. ‘But smiling isn’t. This is your brother’s day.’

‘Oh, funny, that, I thought it was Yvette’s.’

‘Trinity!’ Dianne was struggling to hold onto her temper. ‘Don’t start.’

‘I’m not starting anything, I was just saying...’

‘Well, don’t!’ Dianne warned. ‘You’ve already done your level best to ruin this day. All you have to do now is smile. Can you manage that?’’

‘Of course, but I’m not singing.’

‘And lose the smart mouth.’ Dianne secured her hat as she issued instructions. ‘Go now and apologise to Yvette. I’m going to make my way to the church. I’ll see you there and I’m warning you...’

‘Noted.’

‘I mean it, Trinity, I don’t want a scene from you today.’

She should say nothing, Trinity knew that. She should just nod and reassure her mum that she’d behave, but, hell, she had a voice and as much as her parents loathed that fact, Trinity was determined to find it.

‘Then just make sure I’m not put in any position where I might need to make a scene,’ Trinity said, and her mother’s silk-clad shoulders stiffened and Trinity watched as the feather sticking out of Dianne’s hat shivered in anger as Trinity refused to comply with orders.

‘Will you just...?’ Dianne hissed, and turned around. ‘Can you try and remember that this is your brother’s wedding and not spoil a family gathering for once.’ Her face was right up at Trinity’s. ‘For once can today not be about you?’

‘Of course.’ Trinity stared back coolly but her heart was hammering in her chest. ‘Just make sure that you keep that sleaze well away from me.’

‘Are you still going on about that? It was years ago...’ Two champagnes on an empty stomach that was fluttering with mother-of-the-groom nerves and Dianne would not be argued with, and certainly she wanted nothing to spoil what had to be a perfect day. ‘You will behave, Trinity, you will be polite and you will smile.’

It had been stupid to hope things might be different.

Nothing had changed, Trinity realised.

Nothing ever would.

‘What are you doing?’ Trinity asked, as she watched her mother’s painfully slow attempt to write a text. ‘I’ll do it.’