Late afternoon Philip took a call from Anthea’s father. He informed Philip that Anthea had called off the wedding, apologised and rang off.
Philip stormed out, drove home and checked his cupboards. Almost all of Anthea’s things were gone. She had packed her big suitcase he remembered. So she had planned this. He was not going to stand for it.
He tried to phone her, but her phone was not available on the network.
He stormed out to the hotel where his family had been staying, to discover that only his mother was packed and ready waiting for him, the rest had taken the train to Anthea’s home city earlier in the day.
They left and drove to the city, arriving in the late evening. Philip realised he did not know the address of Anthea’s parents’ house, so he and his mother checked into the hotel. Then he started to investigate and eventually got the address from the phone book.
With directions from the hotel, he, his mother and brother drove to the house.
Her father answered the door, and invited them in. Philip demanded to see Anthea, but her father said, “we are not sure where she is, we simply received her message this afternoon”.
Philip replied, “this is all nonsense, once we have spoken the wedding will be back on, please do not cancel the arrangements”.
Anthea’s father said firmly “Anthea does not make decisions lightly, we will abide by her wishes”.
Philip just stood there. He said “But I love her and she loves me; that I am sure of. Is there someone interfering in this matter? Maybe the message was a joke, she hasn’t phoned me about it. Maybe she has been kidnapped. That’s it! she has been kidnapped by a jealous rival”.
Anthea’s mother offered gently “Philip, you are the only man she has been seeing regularly since her husband’s death. She took that very hard and afterwards flung herself into study and work to get over it. She doesn’t take love lightly. Have you two had a fight?”
“No said Philip, not a fight, she was being a bit stubborn. That’s all.”
Philip’s mother said “She was fine when she left this morning, she just needed to learn who is boss. She’ll come round if we can only talk to her”
Anthea’s parents looked at each other, concern passing between them.
“I think we need to let Anthea take her time over whatever this issue is”, said her father, “Marriage is not something to go into with any doubts. Far better to call a halt now, than to go on and end up with the sadness of a divorce”.
Philip tried to protest, and when he demanded to know where Anthea was, her parents simply repeated “We are not sure where she is”.
Philip, his mother and brother left after Anthea’s parents promised to tell Anthea that Philip needed to talk to her urgently, when she contacted them.