The best man gets hugged; the bride gets kissed

Pete Chen was holding court at the bar of the Downtown Club, as waiters circled with chicken satay and stuffed mushrooms on trays, and the pasta bar in the corner of the paneled room did a brisk business.

Aaron edged his way through the cluster of people. He took the free arm that wasn’t clutching the hand of his wife of 30 minutes and crooked it around his best man’s neck.

Part 10 of 10

6:30 p.m. Dec. 27

The Story So Far:  As it turned, every guest got to SEE the wedding of Aaron O’Meara and Rachel Levy on Christmas blizzard weekend, even if not every one got to GO to it.  Bumbling best man Pete Chen managed to redeem himself by turning to “The Cloud” to enable the stranded guests totune in.

Pete Chen was holding court at the bar of the Downtown Club, as waiters circled with chicken satay and stuffed mushrooms on trays, and the pasta bar in the corner of the paneled room did a brisk business.

Aaron edged his way through the cluster of people. He took the free arm that wasn’t clutching the hand of his wife of 30 minutes and crooked it around his best man’s neck.

“Chen! What the hell?” he shouted, grinning.

“Pretty cool, huh?” Pete’s iPhone buzzed repeatedly; he held the screen up to Aaron’s gaze. “The texts are pouring in.   People saw you guys up there pretty good on Skype. They loved it.   The main verdict is: Way cool. And: Way to go Aaron and Rach!”

“MacBook Airs, man. That’s off the hook. How, dude, how? In the middle of a blizzard!”

“I work for Apple now, dude. Didn’t I tell you? Jeez, I thought I had.”

“No, you did not freaking tell me! Apple! Since when?”

“Since Jobs went on sick leave. Some people moved up and around, and something good opened up, so I took it.”

“How good, Pete?” Rachel asked as Aaron stared at his best friend in wonder.

“Pretty good, pretty good. Let’s just say, this afternoon, when I call Cupertino, they call up the Philly store manager and tell him to come open up and give me whatever I need. I cleaned out the store, dude. “

Molly approves

Molly O’Meara surged into the circle and enveloped Pete in a bear hug.

She leaned back and held his face in her hands.

“Peter! Have I told you yet today that I adore you?”

“Coupla times, Mrs. O., coupla times. Never hurts to hear it again.”

“Your best man is a genius, Aaron.   He made those laptops just materialize, like that!” She snapped her fingers. “Then he got on the phone with every last one of the stranded guests and talked them through setting up that Snipe thing …”

“Skype, Mom.”

“Whatever,” Molly said. “Anyway, it was genius. Pure genius.” And she hugged Pete again, then stepped aside to let Rachel do the same.

“I just talked to my Bubbe Peskin,” Rachel told Pete. “She wants one of those MacBooks. She says she’s into playing Scrabble online with some friends in Israel, and she could use a faster, lighter computer.”

“She’s got it, Rach. I don’t know what else to do with all of them now. Got enough back at my place in Cali. Hey, what about one for everybody in the wedding party?”

“Sounds like an excellent plan, Chen.” Trip chimed in, grinning. “Merry Christmas, wedding party!”

“OK, OK, OK. This can happen. I can make this happen. … Hey, so does this mean I’m forgiven for that thing with the rings?”

“What thing with the rings?” Rachel and Molly asked in unison.

“Never you mind, Mom. Never you mind, Rach.”

With that, Aaron O’Meara seized the moment to favor his wife of 32 minutes with a long, lingering and utterly blissful kiss.

Radio play: Listen to a dramatization of “Whiteout Christmas” on WHYY-FM this holiday weekend. The radio play, with Tony Auth, Chris Satullo and WHYY staffers acting up a storm, will air on 90.9 FM at 8 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Christmas Day. To see earlier parts, go to the Whiteout Christmas archive page.

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