Adele stretched, not wanting to wake up.
“If only it could be an ordinary day, not a day I have to get through,” she said aloud. She willed the weather to be kind and gentle, the one detail she had been unable to plan.
She could smell the sea through the open window. The sea was freedom. When this day was over, she would find her freedom.
Pangs of hunger cramped Adele's starved stomach. She put herself on a strict rotation diet to be willow-slim for today and the thought of the feast of food ahead made her dizzy with longing. It would be too embarrassing if she fainted in church. Fiona would be upset.
Adele was cushioned from any rawness of life in a comfortable pocket of Cornish affluence, wrapped in layers of good taste. She had put everything, spiritually and physically, into the organisation of Fiona's wedding.
All week the Cornish weather had been unreliable and Adele had despaired of the lawn drying off in time for the marquee to be erected. But now the huge tent swamped the grass like a slumbering white elephant, a canvas Gulliver shackled by an array of guy ropes and stakes. When Adele woke, a crystal clear sky heralded a dancing sun.
She had been imprisoned for long enough, she thought wryly, but soon she would be free. For months no one in the Kimberley family had thought or talked of anything else but Fiona's wedding. It was definitely the wedding of the year in Porthcudden; not exactly the entire county of Cornwall but important enough in this corner of the peninsula.
Adele lay back on the pillow for two more minutes of quiet, girding her strength. She knew that once the day began it was going to be tense and fraught, despite all her careful forward planning. So much was last minute, so much depended on other people doing their part. If no one let them down, the whole event should go like clockwork.