The Wedding Date(10)

By: Jasmine Guillory

There was no point in telling the woman you were stuck in an elevator with for probably only a few minutes that you’d broken the heart of the nicest person in the world, the snowball that had started this whole avalanche, and you probably deserved all of the looks you’d get all weekend, right? It wasn’t like he’d lied to her; everything he said was the truth, just not the whole truth. It wasn’t like he’d made Josh or Molly out to be evil, had he?

Well, maybe a little bit, but it was only because this no-date-for-the-wedding thing had driven him out of his mind. He should have just bailed on the wedding and looked like even more of a bad guy.

But now he had Alexa Monroe to come along with him and play the adoring girlfriend. He’d forgotten to tell her that adoring part, but maybe he could help that along some by playing the adoring boyfriend and she would get a clue? Shit, he really was going to have to buy her a hospital wing or something.

“I can’t believe you, Alexa. Where are all your cute dresses?”

Alexa’s “meeting” was with Maddie—first at Alexa’s house so Maddie could inspect her closet, then at the closest mall when her closet was not miraculously stocked with black-tie-optional dresses. Alexa had opened her mouth to plead that she had too much work to do for a shopping excursion in the middle of the day, she could just wear her one little black dress that was sort of wedding appropriate, but when she saw the look on Maddie’s face, she closed it. There was no point in arguing with Maddie when she had that look.

“I have a million cute dresses!” Alexa said as she drove them out to the mall.

“Yes, yes, of course you do,” Maddie said. “Cute WORK dresses, but those don’t count right now. You need cocktail dresses. Don’t you ever go to weddings? I know you do, so where are all of your dresses from those?”

“I’ve been to ten weddings in the past three years,” Alexa said. “I’ve been a bridesmaid in seven of those. I never get to buy cute dresses for weddings; they are preselected for me. And when do I ever need a cute non-work dress except for weddings?”

“What about the other three weddings?”

“I wore that black halter dress that you vetoed to two of them, and to the third I wore a fantastic gold sequined dress that I rented for the weekend.”

Maddie sighed.

“I remember that dress. It looked incredible on you. Well, obviously this mysterious date happened at just the right time. We clearly need to build up your cocktail dress wardrobe. Okay. Now, who the hell is this guy you’re going to a wedding with?”

When she told the story without all the adrenaline and champagne, it sounded even more ridiculous. She finished just as she pulled into the packed mall parking lot. What were all of these people doing here in the middle of the afternoon? Shouldn’t they all be at work? Shouldn’t she be at work?

“This is crazy. Why am I doing this? I should not be dragging you all over town in the middle of the workday and spending money on dresses to go to a wedding with some dude I talked to for fifteen minutes in an elevator yesterday. What am I thinking?” She pulled into a parking space and reached for her phone.

Maddie took the phone away from her.

“Nope. You’re not allowed to cancel. I’m not letting you talk yourself out of this opportunity for a practice, no-stress date that just landed in your lap.”

Alexa sighed and opened her car door.

“The thing is, Mad . . . this guy is out of my league, okay? He’s hot, he’s funny, he’s flirty, and he’s a doctor. I’m your standard short black girl with big boobs and hips who can barely look him in the eye without looking away. I don’t even have the right clothes to wear on a date like this—this is how far out of my league this is!”

The problem with trying to talk about this with Maddie was that the words “out of my league” had never applied to Maddie. She was at least six inches taller than Alexa, with a body like a Barbie doll, light brown skin that always seemed to glow, and hair that looked perfect no matter if she left it curly or blow-dried it straight. Alexa, on the other hand, was short, what people who liked her called “curvy,” and had more than once turned down social invitations because she didn’t have the energy to deal with her hair.

Maddie steered her toward the entrance.

“That’s exactly why you have to go. Nothing is riding on this! Look: you don’t know this guy, he doesn’t live around here, none of this matters. Don’t overthink everything like you always do. You’ll just dress up, eat free food and drink free drinks, and look fucking hot the whole time if I have anything to do with it.”