More Precious than a Crown(9)

By: Carol Marinelli

‘It’s okay.’ Trinity fought to quickly compose herself and smiled into his curious eyes as he patted her cheek. ‘I’m fine.’

Trinity had no choice but to be fine.

She just missed her baby so.

Ached for the time that her daughter had never had.

‘Thanks so much.’ Harry’s mum was back and Trinity handed him to her but the bubble of panic was rising inside her and Trinity truly did not know if she could get through today.

She pressed her bell.

‘Breakfast won’t be a moment.’ The steward smiled.

‘I’d like a bourbon, please,’ Trinity said. ‘A large one.’

A few minutes later the steward returned with two tiny bottles of bourbon and a pussycat smile that told Trinity she was a lush.

Trinity didn’t care.

At least it calmed her enough to get off the plane.

* * *

‘Where the hell is Trinity?’ Donald demanded, as he clicked off his phone. ‘Yvette’s in tears, there’s not a sign of her at the hotel...’

Here we go again! Zahid thought as he felt the pull of the mad Fosters’ vortex. A night out last night with Donald and co. and Zahid was remembering all too well why he chose only minimal contact. Gus had kept insisting that Zahid extend his visit, or come and stay later in the year, and Zahid had reluctantly explained that he would be marrying soon and his time was now to be spent in Ishla.

And now, it would seem, Trinity had gone missing in action again.

Nothing changed.

‘Why don’t I call Dianne and see if there’s an update?’ Zahid suggested, for it was the best man’s duty to keep the groom calm, but he had never seen Donald so tense. He made the call and then gave Donald the news. ‘Your mother’s at the airport and she says Trinity’s plane just landed. As soon as she is through customs, she will take her straight to the hotel and help her to get ready. Call Yvette and tell her that she can stop worrying.’

‘You can never stop worrying when Trinity’s around!’ Donald challenged. ‘I just hope she’s sober.’

It wasn’t Donald’s comment that had a certain disquiet stir in Zahid. It was his reaction to the news that Trinity had landed and that soon he would see her again.

Over the years there had been a few near misses. Zahid, when he had heard Trinity’s plane was delayed, had assumed that this would be another. But that she was in the same country now brought a strange sense of calm—the planets seemed more neatly aligned, the stars just a little less random. They were in the same country and finally, after all this time, they would see each other again.

He wondered if she would be bringing someone and briefly wrestled with the distaste of that thought but then dismissed its significance. It had nothing to do with feelings, Zahid quickly told himself. After all, it was possibly his last weekend in England as a single man and certainly there was unfinished business between them. It was natural to be hoping that she was attending the wedding alone.

* * *

Trinity didn’t have to wait for baggage and she raced out of customs, her heart aflutter. Despite everything, she was looking forward to seeing her mum. Maybe things would be different now, Trinity hoped as her eyes scanned the crowd for Dianne. Maybe her mum would realise just how difficult today was. Maybe...

Her heart lurched in hope as she saw her mum, dressed for the wedding, just minus a hat. Trinity raced over and gave her a hug. ‘I’m so sorry.’

‘Have you been drinking?’ was Dianne’s only response to her daughter’s kiss.

‘I had one bourbon on the plane.’

‘It’s whisky,’ Dianne hissed. ‘You’re in England now. Where the hell have you been?’

‘The plane was delayed.’

‘I don’t want to hear your excuses.’

Trinity could feel her mother’s fingers digging into her arms as they raced to get a taxi and Dianne didn’t let up as they sped to the hotel. ‘Yvette is in tears. She wanted her own sister to be bridesmaid and now you’ve made us look...’ Dianne struggled to contain her temper. It had taken many, many dinners to convince Yvette’s parents to choose Trinity for the role, but a generous helping hand towards the wedding bill had given them leverage and the Fosters had insisted that their voice be heard.

Oh, and so too would Trinity’s voice be heard, Dianne remembered. She just had to tell Trinity that! ‘I’ve told Yvette that you’re going to sing near the end of the night.’

‘Excuse me.’ Trinity’s mouth was agape. ‘I can’t sing.’

‘You’ve got a beautiful voice.’