I stepped off the train at Woolooware Station. A chill slithered down my spine. I reached across and gripped Geoff’s hand and gave it a slight squeeze. He looked over the top of his shoulder and smiled at me. We both passed through the gates and located Aaron and Penelope, fully decked out in blue, black and white gear, including shirts and scarves.
“Hi there,” Penelope greeted with a smile.
Her engagement ring glimmered in the sun.
“Thank you for coming.”
“Our pleasure, thank you for inviting us.”
Aaron and Penelope showed us to our seats. I surveyed the field. The players were warming up, slotting balls through the posts and into the swelling crowd.
“So, tell me everything. Where are you up to with the wedding planning?”
“You’re both invited, of course. We haven’t really done anything to sort out the invitations.”
“Thank you. Can I ask if you’ve set the date?”
“Not officially, no.”
Aaron applauded as the teams ran out officially, bursts of fire shooting into the air. The whistle blew, the game commenced. Penelope ran her hand over the back of Aaron’s head.
“Have you made any other breakthroughs with your dress since those screenshots you sent me?”
“No, no, I haven’t,” she answered, “but I might need to make an appointment at one of those dress shops, you know, have the full Say Yes to the Dress experience.”
The Canterbury players charged down the field. One of them finally crashed over the try-line, touching the ball on the grass. Aaron swore underneath his breath. I didn’t blame him, feeling a little dejected even though I had thought I wasn’t particularly invested.
“Literally don’t know why we bother, sometimes.”
Penelope squeezed her fiance’s shoulder lovingly. At halftime, I scrolled through Instagram. Aaron and Geoff made tracks to go to the bathroom and get us some food, even though it would have been the worst possible time to queue up. Penelope sidled closer to me.
“We can’t decide on the bridal party.”
“It’s bringing up a lot of feelings for Aaron.”
I breathed out. Penelope glanced at me, her honey blonde hair flickering in the wind.
“Of course it would. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
Aaron and Geoff returned and sat back down. He handed me a water bottle.
I unscrewed the lid and took a sip. There always seems to be a hint of sweetness to bottled water. I didn’t chastise him for his purchase of plastic.
“We haven’t worked out where we’re going to live, yet.”
“I would love to live close by here,” Aaron mentioned, “but we’ll figure it out.”
Penelope pecked him on the jaw.
“I really love this guy, but I’m not moving into the sharehouse, so we’ll have to find somewhere.”
“Yeah, you’ll probably want more space for when you have kids,” Geoff mentioned.
“Look, I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. We need to get through the wedding first.”
Penelope giggled. “I mean, we have talked about it. Hopefully that’s down the road.”
I yawned, just before the full-time whistle blew. Penelope rubbed a supportive circle in Aaron’s back.
“Well, there’s another game on Saturday.”
Abbey Sim is a candidate for Honours in Communications at the University of Technology Sydney. She lives on the lands of the Dharug people in Sydney, Australia. Having started Huldah Media in 2021, Abbey desires to explore themes of hope, love and longing through her storytelling. She is the author of 'Shadow' and 'From the Wild'.