SECOND TIME AROUND • by Martha Conte

The invitation to Melissa’s wedding — her second — came from my mother over the phone.

“Well, Patty, are you coming?” Mom asked.

“Coming  to what?”  I tried not to sound impatient, but I was on my cell while driving to work.

“Melissa’s wedding.  She says you didn’t RSVP to the invitation.”

“Melissa’s getting married again? Wonderful!  I didn’t get any invitation.”

“Well, I thought I gave her your new address.  So if you didn’t get the invitation, then you don’t know who she’s marrying this time.”

“Is he someone I know?”

“Yes.  You won’t believe this.  I won’t tell you, so you’ll have to come and see for yourself.”

I flew back home, and arrived in time for Mom and me to attend the small gathering Melissa had for friends and family after the wedding rehearsal.

I got my first glimpse of her soon-to-be husband.  His name was Joseph Morgan Senior and he was her former father-in-law.

“Oh my God!” I whispered to my mother.  “Isn’t this incest or something?”

“Not that I know of.  A lot of the single ladies my age are upset, though.  Joe Sr. was considered quite a catch.  Melissa was a great comfort to him when Anne died.”

“Apparently so,” I replied.  Melissa saw me and waved.

I crossed the room to where the happy couple was mingling.  I hugged Melissa and offered my congratulations to her fiance, who used to play golf with my dad.

“Joe, Patty and I haven’t seen each other for ages.”  Melissa said.  “Would you mind if she and I chatted for a bit?”

With Joe’s blessing, we found an empty table and sat down.

“So, Patty, what do you really think?”

“Well, you won’t have to get new monogrammed towels.”

Melissa smiled.  “About the age difference, Patty!  Think Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford.”

“But Harrison isn’t Calista’s ex-father-in-law,” I replied.

“Patty, Joe is everything Joey wasn’t.”

Joey spent his life trying to be everything his father wasn’t.  Everyone knew that but Melissa.

“Speaking of Joey, is your ex in attendance this weekend?” Somehow I doubted he would be best man.

“No.   He’s very angry about this.” Melissa’s eyes filled with tears.

I placed my hands on hers.  “You know I wish you all the happiness in the world.  I always have.  Let’s get back to your party.”

During the ceremony the next day, I wondered where Joey was. He probably could use some comfort now.

Martha Conte writes in Florida.

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