‘Oh yes.’ Grinning, Wendy shook her head. ‘Don’t look so worried. It’s lovely. It’s really lovely. Simon deserves to meet someone nice for a change.’
Jessie frowned and picked up her pen. ‘What do you mean?’
‘His ex, well, to be more precise, his last two ex-girlfriends haven’t been very nice people.’
‘In what way?’ Jessie looked across at Wendy. ‘You don’t have to tell me if you’d rather not. Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.’
Wendy shrugged. ‘It’s no secret. The whole bay knows how awful they were. His last one dumped him in the café next door.’
‘In public? What did she do, finish it with him over lunch or something?’
‘Oh no. I mean, she shouted across the café that he was dumped. They were her words, too. He’d arrived for breakfast late after a tricky night-shift, and as soon as he walked inside, she stood up and shouted it across the café to him.’ She shook her head. ‘The place was packed with early morning commuters ordering coffee and tourists having breakfast out, determined to have a full day at the beach. He was mortified.’
‘That sounds awful.’
‘The worst part of it was he’d been on the scene of a really awful car accident all night.’ She shifted in her chair. ‘I don’t know if he’s told you yet how his brother died?’
‘Yes, he said he was in a car accident with him. That’s where he got the scar on his cheek from.’
‘That’s right. Well, this one he’d spent all night at involved an artic lorry and a car too. Similar circumstances to how he lost his brother.’
Looking down at the pen, Jessie gripped it. Angry at this woman for Simon’s sake and sad that he hadn’t had someone to support him that morning. ‘That’s terrible.’ She shook her head. ‘I suppose she didn’t know he’d just finished at the scene, though.’
‘Oh, she did. She’d been messaging him the moment he was late, and he’d replied to explain. She had no heart. No empathy whatsoever.’ Wendy shook her head. ‘So, it’s good to see he’s found someone like you.’
‘Thanks.’ Sliding her mobile out from beneath the notebook, she traced the pad of her index finger over his latest message. How could someone have been so cruel? She hadn’t known him long, but they’d spoken for hours last night and the evening before and, as far as she could tell, he was one of the sweetest guys she’d ever met. He listened to her, he shared things with her, and they had fun together. He was one of the good ones. She was sure of that. He hadn’t deserved to be treated so badly.
‘I guess we all have past relationships that haven’t been great, though.’ Wendy sighed. ‘I know I have and I’m guessing you have too?’
‘Oh yes.’ Brad hadn’t been particularly unkind to her or anything. He hadn’t spent much time with her during their relationship. He’d been one to enjoy his friends’ company more than hers, but he hadn’t been unkind. Although maybe getting into a relationship with her sister a couple of months after they’d broken up would be enough for him to be described as unkind. Although if that was the case, then what did that make Kelly? A loud tapping on the office door pulled her from her thoughts and she hid her mobile beneath the notebook again. ‘Evelyn, Finley, good to see you both again.’
‘Morning, Jessie. Morning, Wendy. We’ve decided.’ Evelyn clasped her hands in front of her, excitement dancing across her face.
‘Ooh, have you? Which venue have you chosen?’ Wendy signalled to the chairs in front of them.
‘We want to have our reception at the restaurant, Baywater Delights!’ Evelyn perched on the chair. ‘It’s the only place of the three where we can see the ocean from the reception room.’
‘That’s exciting.’ Wendy grinned. ‘And where would you like to hold the ceremony?’
‘We’d like the ceremony to be in the church.’ Finley laced his fingers with Evelyn’s. ‘It’s important to both our sets of parents. Particularly my mum.’
‘That sounds lovely. Do you know the little church at the top of the hill here in the bay?’ Wendy pointed in the general direction of the hill.
‘Yes, that’s the one my mum attends, and she’d like us to marry there.’ Finley nodded.
‘Brilliant. I think that’s a fantastic idea. Friends of ours, Daisy and Ollie, who actually own Baywater Delights, got married there not long ago, and it was amazing. Really magical.’ Grinning, Wendy reached behind her and pulled a large photo album from the shelf. ‘I’ve got some photos here somewhere. Yes, here we go.’ Lying the album on the desk, she turned it to face the couple in front of them.
‘Oh, it looks beautiful.’ Evelyn pulled the album closer.
‘If you turn the page, you’ll see they had their reception at the restaurant, too. How lovely does it look?’
Evelyn turned the page and gasped. ‘It looks completely different.’
‘It does, doesn’t it? Of course, the restaurant was dressed to their theme, but it just goes to show how much a place can be transformed to fit to your ideal.’
‘I’m even more excited now! Can we move the wedding closer?’ Evelyn laughed as she pored over the pictures. ‘Looking at these has confirmed that we’ve made the right decision.’
‘Absolutely.’ Finley checked his watch. ‘I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to run. Is there anything else we need to do now? My mum is going to see if she can book the church for us.’