by gavin mccall
Itâ€™d been only six months ago that heâ€™d had his stroke, but Anthonyâ€™s dad still insisted on standing for the picture â€“ not to be outdone by Juliaâ€™s father, five years older than him. But Dadâ€™s knees werenâ€™t the only unsteady pair, as beneath Anthonyâ€™s dry-pressed slacks, his own seemed about ready to start trembling.
â€œOk, ok. Good, everybody,â€ came the voice from behind the telephoto lens. Pop.
Anthony blinked, blinded. He felt a slight squeeze from Juliaâ€™s hand, wrapped around his bicep, no doubt meant to be warm, reassuring. Anthony looked away from the lens and its flashbulb and turned his face down to Julia. A bright yellow dot obscured the center of his vision, making her seem nothing more than a glowing halo of black hair set on a pillar of white lace.
â€œOk, and now just the brideâ€™s family,â€ said the cameraâ€™s $4,000-a-day voice, waiting for Anthonyâ€™s relatives to be replaced by the remainder of Juliaâ€™s. As Anthony helped his father take a seat on the first pew, it was all he could do to remind himself that this was the last price heâ€™d have to pay to get rich.