Status: Active, updates may be very slow though, but bare with me

Shoulder to Shoulder

Twenty Nine

The next few weeks passed quickly, and in no time the day of Frank and Christine’s wedding arrived.

Although the days leading up to their nuptials weren’t as relaxed as Elena would have hoped, as three days before the wedding Christine phoned her sounding completely out of breath.

‘Christine, what’s wrong?’ Elena had asked.

A heavy sigh was heard on the other end of the line; the woman’s usually soft accent now had a harder edge. ‘I just found out that the printers have completely messed up my order and the name cards that sit on each table and the table chart that’s going to sit in the lobby haven’t been printed.’

Without a second thought, Elena said, ‘I’ll do it. I’ll write them by hand.’

‘Elena, you can’t – there’s almost 300 people coming to the wedding!’ Christine said.

‘What am I doing that I wouldn’t have time? I’m sitting here in the flat alone, bored out of my mind – it would be my pleasure Christine.’

So after Christine thanked Elena profusely, an hour or so later, the older woman arrived at the flat with a box full of blank cards and another box with some writing pens.

Two days and 8 solid hours of cursive later, Elena had finished. Her calligraphy phase in secondary school had finally come in useful. She had been alone at the flat, as Juan had flown to Asturias for two days to see his family and tell them about the baby. Elena would have, and wanted to go with him, but she didn’t feel comfortable flying when she was almost in the middle of her pregnancy.

The day before the wedding, he flew back to London.

“How are my two favourite people?” He asked, pressing a kiss to Elena’s lips and then one on her stomach.

Elena combed her fingers through his curls and sighed. “We’re fine thank you – we missed you though. Last night when I was asleep, the little one was kicking non-stop.” Juan smiled. “I guess they could tell you weren’t there.” The pair, despite attending regular appointments with the doctor, had decided that they didn’t want to know the sex of the baby before the birth. They said it didn’t matter whether they had a boy or a girl, so they’d rather get a surprise.


On the day of Frank and Christine’s wedding, the pair woke early to drive down to Somerset where the ceremony was to take place. Luckily, the weather was on their side - the sun shone brightly, hanging high up in the sky. Coupled with a light breeze, it really was the perfect summer’s day.

The venue itself was gorgeous, a grand stately home, with large grounds, plush lawns and beautiful blossom trees dotted around. In the near distance, just past the house was a lake, into which hung a willow tree; it’s branches dipping lazily into the water.

When Juan and Elena arrived, there were already a few people milling around outside. There was only an hour or so until the ceremony, so Elena voiced her worries as to where everyone was. But once they walked through the house, collecting a champagne flute of fruit juice on their way, they walked into the back garden of the house, where the ceremony was taking place. Two sets of seats were placed either side of the wide aisle, which had a pristine white runner going from the back right up to the altar.

They stood by the door for a second, taking in their picturesque surroundings, when Elena noticed someone clap Juan on the shoulder.

“Petr!” Juan exclaimed, bringing the goalkeeper into a hug.

“This is my wife, Martina,” he said, introducing the statuesque blonde who stood to his right, her arm interlocked with his.

“It’s so nice to meet you,” Juan kissed her on both cheeks. “This is my girlfriend, Elena.” Elena had only met Petr briefly a few times after matches – which was the same for most of Juan’s teammates (besides Oriol, and Fernando), and had never met his wife.

“John, his wife and kids are over there,” the tall man pointed over his shoulder. “And Ash is around here somewhere, I saw him a few minutes ago.”

Just as the four of them began talking, Martina pointed out that it was almost 2pm, which meant that the wedding was going to start soon. As they walked over to the seats, they parted with the Czech couple. Seeing as Petr, John and Ashley were all Frank’s guests, they sat on the right side. But Elena and Juan were Christine’s guests, so they had to sit on the left hand side.

The ceremony started a few minutes later, a string quartet who sat just behind the altar began playing and behind them, arms linked with her father, Christine appeared. Her dress was beautiful, Christine looked truly stunning. The gown fitted her perfectly and she looked majestic as she walked down the aisle.

The pair had opted to write their own vows in addition to saying the traditional words. Their words were meaningful and heartfelt; Elena couldn’t help but shed a tear. Although she was prepared, in her bag she had a travel pack of tissues. She had been known to cry at ads on the TV, so she came to the wedding prepared for her inevitable tears.
The rest of the day was spent eating a delicious meal, and then everyone danced the night away. During the dinner, a swing band performed some songs, creating a nice background noise while everyone chatted over their food. But when the sun began to fade from the sky, a DJ took over, playing club classics, getting everyone on the dancefloor.

Throughout the night, Elena lost count of the amount of people that she danced with. She began dancing with Juan, then she danced with Petr, before Ashley Cole came out of nowhere and they also took a whirl around the dancefloor. She was also lucky enough to snag a dance with Frank – he was a genuinely nice man and he made Christine so happy.

Many people commented on her now expanding bump. Her dress wasn’t overly tight, though it was figure hugging, so the protrusion in her lower abdomen was much more obvious. All of Juan’s teammates who were there congratulated the pair, as did many people who they’d never met before.

When they arrived home, it was close to 3am. Barely managing to change her clothes and take her make-up off, Elena fell into bed, resting her head on Juan’s bare chest.

He traced patterns on her back with his fingers, almost lulling her off into a sleep when she heard him speak. “El, I forgot to tell you, my Mamá is coming to stay when I get back from preseason, to help us prepare for the baby.” There was only a week or so until Juan and the rest of the Chelsea team were off to Asia for their Pre-Season tour.

His subdued tone struck Elena as odd. “Are you not excited?”

Juan shifted slightly. “Of course, I love my Mamá so much. But she can be a little…overbearing at times.”

Elena patted him on the stomach. “I’m sure it’ll be fine. I’d love to get to know her – seeing as she’s my child’s grandmother!” she chuckled, her eyelids flickering shut.
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Hm, so Juan's mum is coming to stay....