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May 05, 2023 11:30AM
"Resolution," solving or ending a difficulty (Cambridge Dictionary).

It was a very short engagement, far shorter than Sra. Lola Aguirre could have wished. She was not completely unprepared, of course, having long kept an eye out for a suitable wedding ensemble of her own. "But it is far too fast! We ought to have a few months, at least enough time for proper bridesmaid's dresses to be ordered. What theme can we pull off so quickly?"

Sra. Moreno was not disposed to delay. "It will be perfectly fine: everyone will look their best and be present, that is the most important thing. Catalina needs to leave before the University semester begins."

"I suppose, though I think they could grant her an extension, a girl should have time to celebrate properly."

"There will be plenty of time to celebrate in the future." Sra. Moreno had herself married with only a new Sunday dress and a honeymoon of one night, so she could be forgiven for not understanding the intricate needs of a lavish ceremony. Instead, she put her usual practicality to bear on the problem, and took it as an opportunity to train her other daughters on what they should consider at the proper time. It never hurt to be prepared.

As for the couple themselves, they were barely parted before exchanging their vows. Enrique did have to get off the bus soon after proposing, and then take another to return for his car in Buenos Aires. But he spoke on the phone nearly the entire trip back to Fortuna, soon to be her home no longer.

It turned out that Sr. Tilve had gradually begun reconsidering his stance due to the steady insistence of first Elena and then, more importantly, Sr. José Perez, advisor to a cabinet secretary. This man's government position made his opinion of extreme value, while his family had nothing but good to say about the young people they credited with saving a life. More time immersed in the capital's cultural scene, and a few private words with a provincial tax assessor regarding the potential value of an Aguirre bequest, persuaded the retired general to shuffle his cards again. It took very little effort to call in some debts, investigate the claims of a certain suspended student, and then smooth out things with his old friend Dr. Figueroa.

He preferred to reveal these machinations at a moment of his own choosing, meaning when it was most convenient to himself. However, a stray brag to his former colonel meant the news slipped to both José and Elena, who decided her brother had waited long enough. She spent the rest of that week in Buenos Aires prodding for firm evidence of these efforts to present as a not so subtle nudge. It took until the very last minute to not only get confirmation of a smooth University transfer agreement, but even the buyer of Javier's engagement ring. These revelations, delivered long past midnight to a very surprised Enrique, resulted in an impromptu race against time and a far more spectacular ending than anyone could have anticipated.

Once Catalina was safely enrolled in spring classes, it only made sense for her to move before they began, and so no time was to be lost getting married. Enrique was in Fortuna by late Thursday, after seeing as as many patients as possible and closing out the lease on his tiny bachelor apartment. The beach house would be ready and waiting for them to share as their first home together ("Temporarily!" Enrique insisted, already on the hunt for something less beholden to the Tilve patriarch).

The ceremony was held in the town's little church on a cool but sunny Friday afternoon, packed tight with nearly all of Catalina's large family. The bride wore her grandmother's wedding dress fitted with new trim. The only two people dissatisfied with her appearance sat on opposite pews. As Sra. Aguirre comforted herself by purchasing plenty of things for the wedding night, to be celebrated at a resort rental halfway back to the coast paid for by her husband, Sr. Tilve found himself alone in his feelings.

Food and music followed in the high school gymnasium, decorated tastefully in white and gray. Enrique danced the first set with his sister while Sr. Moreno swept his daughter around the floor. When the music changed, though, Elena pushed her brother toward the other couple, and Papá kissed Catalina with endearing sweetness before once again giving her away.

It was a whirlwind weekend, a prelude to an equally frenetic period of discovery and work, some frustration but far more joy. Their happiness was due in no small part to their not being as unprepared as their haste to marry might have otherwise indicated. If the time it took to switch from something old and borrowed to sparkling and new on Catalina's finger was fleeting, the relatively lengthy season before proved a good foundation for their life together.

They moved into a new-by-a-few-years house just before Christmas, but didn't get to actually live there before making a large circuit between Fortuna, Buenos Aires, and a perfunctory visit at Aldea Norteña carefully scheduled to be cut short by the end of their vacation. When they pulled into the driveway of their home, Catalina felt nothing could bring her greater satisfaction.

That was, until Enrique led her through the den full of boxes to be unpacked, past the kitchen waiting to be put in order, and out onto their tiny patio. There under the setting sun, two years to the day of their first meeting, they kicked off their shoes, joined hands, and danced to the rhythm of their hearts.


MichelleRWMay 05, 2023 11:30AM

Re: Resolución

AlidaMay 07, 2023 12:34AM

Re: Resolución

MichelleRWMay 08, 2023 01:03AM


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