A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

Look: it's the last chapter. Okay?


The wedding and reception went splendidly as weddings and receptions invariably do, and as soon as the groom and his lovely bride had made their getaway for a secret honeymoon (it was to be on the campsite where the two lads had first seen the girl in Taylor’s photograph, though Ricky had borrowed a caravan for their accommodation this time: he’d had enough of tents) Taylor took Louella to seats outside to where the evening sky was rosy red and cast a really appropriate hue on everything and everyone.

I wonder how long it will take them to start a family?” wondered Louella as she held Taylor by the hand and stared across the adjacent field to where a stallion was making eyes at his filly.

Knowing Ricky he’ll have to read up on how it’s done,” joked Taylor.

You mean he doesn’t know? I thought such information was hard wired into you blokes,” she teased in reply.

There’s information and there’s information,” murmured Taylor obliquely.

I meant the first kind,” she whispered directly into his ear so that it tickled as it went in.

Oh that? I don't know anything about that,” he breathed, “I’m a specialist on the second kind,”

Which is?”

Before you even think of trying the first kind you find a woman who you want to spend the rest of your life with, no ifs or buts, just certainty,” he told her.

Is that information?”

Of course it is! It’s more important than what you do together because it means that what you do together has got to last for the rest of your lives together, and that’s more important that a moment’s … what shall I call it? Passion.”

And the girl in your photograph?”

Ah, her...” he sighed, “we met her a couple of days ago, the two of us, for the first time.”

But you took the photo.”

I admit I was smitten. I was fifteen, and smitten and it’s a darned good job that was all that happened. I mean, think of what my life would have been like if I’d done with her what some lad from her club did last Christmas, and put her in the family way like he did. I’d have to marry her and live with her, and can you imagine what a nightmare that would have been…?”

She’s very pretty.”

That’s the trouble with her. She’s more than pretty, on the surface she’s beautiful. Everything the eyes can see about her is attractive in the superficial way that beauty can be, but true beauty is a great deal more than skin deep.”

And you wouldn’t have to read up on how to do it with her?”

Do what?”

You know. What we were talking about.”

Louella, there are some things I reckon come naturally without studying the hows and wherefores before hand. I think I would have known what to do and only hope I had the strength of will not to do it!”

Because she was a mistake?”

You met her. You heard her. She’s the girl in a photograph, that’s all.”

And the photograph?

What of it?”

Are you going to keep it? As a reminder of what might have been had you played your cards right?”

Cheeky, and I can’t keep it. It was in that tennis racquet case along with the racquet. I don’t want it any more. If I did, I would have slipped it out.”

And you didn’t?”

You know that I didn’t.”

So she’s gone for good? Her photo and the dream that one day you might meet her again in the flesh, get to know her, have a life that includes her, maybe babies with her, then grow old and crusty along with her?”

Louella, she’s gone for good. I’ve got a girl friend who’s much more beautiful.”

You have? Have I met her?”

Have you got a mirror?”

I’ve got a few.”

Then look in one of them. And the lass you see looking back at you is that much more beautiful girl friend.”

That’s so sweet!”

And … let me see, how shall I put this? She’s the girl who, if she thinks me even a little bit good enough for her, is going to say yes when I ask her...”

Ask her what?”

Louella, will you marry me?”

What? Little me?”

Marvellous and lovely and wonderful, yes you.”


What do you mean, maybe?”

When I’m sure you’ve got tennis-knickers out of your system… then.”


What do you mean by oh?”

I thought I said she was completely out of my system.”

Because you gave her your photograph?”

No. Because I thought she was the most beautiful girl anyone could ever meet until I met you.”

But that’s not true is it, Taylor? I’m not beautiful. I don’t want to be beautiful. I want to be a good and decent hard working woman with, hopefully in the future, a husband who loves me, not because I’m spectacularly physically perfect but because I’m me, warts and all!”

Have you got warts, then?”

Maybe. I’m not saying. Have you?”

This is silly, Louella! Will you marry me, or won’t you?”


© Peter Rogerson 20.08.19

© 2019 Peter Rogerson

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Added on August 20, 2019
Last Updated on August 20, 2019
Tags: wedding, reception, proposal


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..