I had already called Charles, who happened to be in China again. That man has impeccable timing. Although, to his credit, he was in China this week so he could be home next week, right before the big wedding, only that wasn't happening and I wanted him home now. I told him everything that was going on with Sally and what had to be done now. He talked me down off the edge, again.
I cleaned the entire house, the kitchen and even the stove in the three hours Sally had been gone and now I had to wait. I was not sure how much longer I could take this. I turned on the TV. I didn't watch anything but the noise was comforting. While I waited, I made a list of what we could cancel and what could not be cancelled and a list of everything we were going to end up with, like 12 dozen cream puffs. What were we going to do with 12 dozen cream puffs?
Finally, the door opened and in came Sally. She had Peter with her. I didn't know what to do so I stayed at the kitchen table but I made sure to turn over my list. I did not want my list to break the news to Peter in case Sally had not done the deed yet.
"Hello kids," I said.
"Hi Mom," said Sally.
"Hi Mrs. Anderson," said Peter.
Sally took hold of Peter's hand. "Mom, I told Peter."
"Great," I said but I was unsure what she had told him because it didn't look like he had just had his wedding called off. Sally was still wearing the ring. "What exactly did you tell him?" I asked. I wanted to be sure because things did not look right to me.
Peter jumped in, "She told me she's calling off the wedding and explained to me that she feels she isn't ready to make that kind of commitment to anyone. We know we still love each other so we are going to see where our relationship can go in the meantime. She's going to go back to college in the fall and I'll keep up my studies here. I have one more year to finish and we'll call each other, text each other and see each other as much as we can. When the year is up, we'll reassess."
I looked at Peter and Sally. He is taking this much better than I expected, much better than I would have taken it. I am glad. Sally seems happy again. I hadn't realized how wilted she had looked the last few weeks. I guess that stomach of hers was really giving her trouble.
"Oh!" said Sally. "I forgot to give you the ring back." She started to take the ring off.
"Sally, you don't have to do that," said Peter.
It was the right thing to say but Sally really did need to give it back. Sally struggled a little with the ring and gave me a questioning look. I shook my head, no. She could not keep the ring. If they were taking their relationship back to the dating stage, that ring needed to go back to Peter. Sally pushed her shoulders back and tugged on the ring and once it was off, she handed it to Peter. He paled noticeably and it actually made me feel better to see that this whole ordeal was not so easy for him. He was struggling with it too, but striving to make the best of the situation he had been dealt. That is an admirable quality to look for in a husband. If these two ever did make it down the aisle, I think Peter would make a wonderful husband.
"Well, Mom. Peter and I were talking about the wedding. I know everything has been arranged and paid for so we thought instead of a wedding, we could turn it into a big party. We, of course, would have to let everyone know that the wedding was off but that we would like them all to come and celebrate. We thought it could be a big celebration of life in general. No gifts and no cake. What do you think?" Sally asked.
I thought it was the craziest most awkward idea ever but I said, "Don't you think that might be a bit awkward for you and Peter, let alone the family and guests? Some of them will have traveled long distances to come for your 'wedding'."
"Mom, that's exactly why we think we should still have the party. These are the people who care about both of us enough to come see us get married. Why can't we have a party instead where we all get together and enjoy one another's company even if there is no marriage? Besides, Peter and I talked about it and we think we should tell everyone but you, Dad and Charlene that it was a mutual decision. That we decided we wanted more time before we made such a big commitment," said Sally.
Sally made it seem simple. "Peter, have you even told your mother the wedding is off, let alone asked her if she would be willing to attend such a party?"
"No, we thought we would see if you were agreeable to the idea before we break the news to my mom. We wanted to know if we should bring up the idea of the party or not," said Peter.
We, are they going together to tell Charlene. I would not want any part of that if I was Sally. "Peter, Sally, are you guys going together to tell Charlene?" I asked.
"NO!" said Sally while Peter said, "Yes."
"Uh, Peter, I don't think I want to be there when you tell your mother," said Sally.
"But I think it would be so much better if you were there to explain to her what you were feeling and why you feel we need to call off the wedding," said Peter.
I was totally keeping quiet on this one.
"But I don't think it will go over well. I can talk to you and explain to you and you get me but your mother, she scares me when she's in a good mood. How am I going to explain the pit of despair in my stomach so that your mother can understand? So that she doesn't think worse of me?" asked Sally.
I am glad she told Peter about her pit since it will be a part of their lives.
"But she loves you Sally. She'll understand."
"She loved me when she thought I was marrying you but once I tell her I want to call it off, I'm not sure what she may think of me or what she might say to me. I think you'd better tell her yourself."
I cut in. "Sorry to have brought it up. You guys can figure out how you are going to tell Charlene after I leave the room, but I think the party is fine, if it's what you want to do and Charlene agrees to it. It would be fun to hang out with the family and friends that were planning on being here for the wedding and besides, it means I won't need to figure out what to do with 12 dozen cream puffs. However, you two need to make sure your story is the same as to why you called off the wedding and you are both responsible for making sure every single guest gets contacted personally this week and told exactly what is happening."
"We can do that Mrs. Anderson," said Peter.
He really is a nice boy.
"Okay, I guess we're having a celebration of life party next week. I'm not even sure what that means but I'm sure if we can get past all the awkwardness of the situation, it will be fun. Sally, I'll let your father know and Peter, tell your Mom to call me tomorrow and we'll work out the details."
"Thanks Mrs. Anderson!"
And with that, I made my grand exit to let them figure out who was going to tell Charlene. I was glad it was not me.
Check back tomorrow to see how the party goes!