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"Charlie-girl?" he began, sheepishly.

"No! No! Adam!" cried Charlie, recognizing that tone of voice. "Don't tell me you're going to be late for the wedding!"

"I won't be," he assured her, "but it's taking a little longer than we expected to wrap up the tour, so I'll be flying in tomorrow afternoon, instead of tonight. I'll be there in plenty of time for the wedding, so don't worry."

"Seems to me, the last time you promised to be on time, you showed up late," recalled Charlie, referring to Thanksgiving at Shirley's house. "You're not trying to get out of the wedding, are you?"

"Of course not," affirmed Adam. "I WILL be there."

"You'd better be," sighed Charlie. "Every person we've ever met will be attending our wedding. I'm going to look pretty silly standing up there all by myself."

"I know what it's like to be left waiting at the altar," said Adam, "and I would never put you through that."

"Be at the church by four," she admonished, with a wavering voice. "I don't care if you haven't time to get into your tuxedo, or not. Just show up."

"Charlie?" asked Adam.

"What?" she sighed.

"I love you," he answered in a tender voice.

"I love you too," said Charlie.

When the couple hung up, Shirley entered the room with a woman who Charlie did not know, but had been invited.

"Is your Dad going to give you away, tomorrow?" asked the unidentified woman.

"No," replied Charlie, sadly. "I wish he could, but it just isn't possible. Daddy's staying at the nursing home right now, and isn't in any condition to attend the wedding. Grandma talked Uncle Jerome into walking me down the aisle, instead."

Then Charlie told Shirley of Adam's change of plan. With the news that he wasn't coming in that evening after all, the anticipation died down a little, making it possible for Charlie to relax a little. After she finished dinner, Charlie changed into her nightgown and returned to bed. It was early for bedtime, but like a child waiting for Christmas morning, she knew that the sooner she fell asleep, the sooner morning would come.

To Charlie's surprise, she not only fell asleep at the early hour, but she also slept in-- much later than she had thought possible. When she opened her eyes on the day of the wedding, Charlie discovered that it was lunchtime.

"I didn't want to wake you up," said Vera, checking Charlie's thermometer. "Well, you still have a mild fever. How do you feel, Pumpkin?"

"Better, now that I'm rested," yawned Charlie, getting out of bed. "I'm glad the wedding is taking place during the second part of the day. It gives everyone a chance to recuperate from all the waiting."

Just then, Shirley entered the room and urgently whispered something to Vera.

"Oh no!" gasped Vera, covering her mouth in shock.

"What is it, Grandma?" asked Charlie, coming to where the two women stood.

"Eliza has the measles!" exclaimed Vera, looking at her granddaughter with uncertainty. "They've taken her to the hospital!"

"I can't have the measles," replied Charlie, shaken by the news. "I've already had them when I was little, so this has to be a cold. You can't get it twice!"

"Thank God for that!" cried Shirley, fanning herself with the wedding itinerary in relief.
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