Its 8am. I have had only the first of my three vital morning coffees when the woman approaches me.
'I believe you have a table reserved for me?' I instantly dislike her, she's combative and angry and about my age. I see she has a camera and behind her stand a couple in their late twenties. I know they are a couple because they're holding hands and wearing eerily similar outfits.
'I'm not aware of a reservation but the dining area is pretty much empty at the moment so please take your pick.' I smile from the teeth out.
'But we had a table put aside for us especially,' she insists.
It only takes a moment to gauge that she is the wedding photographer and these people will be getting married at the hotel in the near future. They often book in a morning to come and have 'anticipatory' pictures taken. She clearly wants to impress them and I'm not that much of an arsehole to ruin it for her.
'Of course,' I say. 'You must be the wedding photographer. This table has the best light.'
She nods curtly. She enjoys having permanently ruffled feathers.
'Would you like some tea or coffee before you order?'
'Coffee. Latte. Skimmed Milk.' Dismissed. Bite me.
Its quiet, and as I make her flat white with full fat milk I listen to their conversation.
The girl is a little shy, demure almost. She has nice hair and a nice face, nice clothes and nice jewellery on her nice small hands. He is generically attractive with a big smile and a can do attitude.
'Wow this breakfast looks amazing,' he grins.
'Enjoy it,' I smile.
'Doesn't it look amazing babes!'
'Yes, yes it looks great, thanks so much.'
We all smile.
I make my second coffee and stand folding napkins whilst they chat.
'So how did you guys meet?' Jenny, the photographer asks as she snaps away. The bride to be is terrified of putting anything in her mouth mid flash.
The groom gives Jenny his best 'being natural' smile.
'Well, actually, we went to school together didn't we babes?'
'Yes,' babes mumbles through a mouthful of hastily shovelled egg.
'Yeah, we actually went out for a bit when we were thirteen. Then we broke up and never really spoke to each other again. You know how it is at that age.'
Jenny looks confused, her head tilted to one side like a dog waiting for a ball to be thrown.
'But then, and this is the great bit, we reconnected through Facebook. I Facebook stalked you didn't I Babes?'
Ha. Ha. Ha.
'Wow,' Jenny smiles for the first time. 'That is SO weird. I reconnected with my first love on Facebook two weeks ago!'
'No!' Groom is really very surprised.
'Yes!' Jenny squeals.
Babes eats her eggs.
'Yeah,' Jenny continues. 'We met up last week and I was so nervous, like it was a first date or something, but then as soon as we sat down in the pub it was like no time had passed at all y'know? Like, we had so much shared history and so much to catch up on and so many memories and it was just like so easy. Y'know?'
'Totally!' Groom is really delighted. I'm wondering whether these two shouldn't marry. They could raise cheerleaders together.
Its early and I am vile, and this isn't going to get any better.
'So you were like childhood sweethearts?' Jenny coos.
'Yeah I guess we were,' Groom looks fondly at Babes.
'Well,' Babes finally finds her voice. 'We only went out for a month or so.'
'But still....' Jenny insists thinking entirely of her own possible happy ending.
'Its funny,' Groom says thoughtfully. Probably not, I think.
'I reckon if I were to go to a school reunion now I would still like all the same people I liked then.'
They all think about this for a minute. I myself am trying to find his point.
'I mean,' he barrels on. 'We don't change much do we. I think I'd like the same people for the same reasons and find the same people irritating or whatever for the same reasons. Does that make sense?'
Jenny nods enthusiastically. 'Yeah, its like when I met up with Simon – last week - '
'Your first love?'
'Uhuh. I remember thinking, he hasn't changed really. Not in twenty years. And it was nice. I'm seeing him again next week.'
She's making their wedding about her and I find it both hilarious and fascinating.
Babes smiles shyly. 'Maybe you'll marry him'
Jenny laughs. Loudly, and for far too long. She already has the dress picked out and the kids named.
'If I could get you both to sit a bit closer together.'
Babes blushes and I feel for her. Its all so fake.
'So tell me how you proposed. And look at each other whilst you're telling me.'
Groom is a natural. He's looking deeply in to her eyes as he speaks for both of them.
The camera clicks continually throughout.
'It was on valentines day. I booked us a nice restaurant. You weren't expecting it were you?'
I look up to see her reaction and they are smiling at each other. Really smiling, and I see they're very in love. Very excited and very happy.
'I was completely shocked,' she whispers. 'I mean we'd only been dating for four months.'
Oh shit, I think.
'But when you know, you know. Y'know?' Groom looks to Jenny for confirmation.
Jenny nods and smiles and snaps away.
'Did you get down on one knee?'
'No I didn't as it goes. I'd planned to, but in the moment, well I forgot. I got the kitchen to hide the ring in her chocolate fondant.'
How fucking original, I think. And then I catch myself in the reflection of the coffee machine. Come on, don't be such a bitch. Worse, don't be such a snob.
'Can you scootch a bit closer?'
They do so and now their foreheads are actually touching.
'We have the same values,' Groom says apropos of nothing.
'That's nice,' Jenny says.
'We believe in the same things. That's important.' He says, for once not smiling like a catalogue model.
'It is,' his bride to be says. 'We want to have a family, make a home. A nice life.'
'That's right babes,' Groom says and squeezes her hand.
'You two are going to make it,' Jenny smiles. 'I do a lot of weddings and I can tell. You've got what it takes.'
'Do you want to go halves on a croissant with me babes?' Groom asks as he reaches across the table.
There's a small pause.
'I don't actually like croissants,' the bride to be says and laughs nervously. 'I guess you didn't know that about me.'
'Huh,' Groom says. 'Well I do now!'
They all laugh.