I can’t shut my mind off. I knew it was inevitable that I’d find myself unable to think of anything but him. This though, I think as I stare at the digital numbers on the clock reading 3:15, I didn’t expect. I didn’t expect to be broadsided by him so completely. I didn’t expect for all those emotions to just come rushing back. Those feelings of comfort and contentedness threw me in ways I can’t describe. Even with the anger and the pain in my mind, I can’t get past how easy dinner went, how quickly we fell into a rhythm again. Just as quickly though my mind flashes images of the gorgeous Oliver. His clear blue eyes, strong arms, and that chuckle give me those little butterflies in my stomach. Why did I do this to myself, I think. I knew the minute I invited him it was going to be hard, being there with Jack. It yesterday it was more about revenge and trying to let go of that but now as I replay everything that happened at rehearsal I’m wondering if I should just cut him loose. Do I let that potential opportunity go, or do I see where it takes me. Do I dare let someone else in, especially knowing what Jack is up too. The jaded part of me is fighting for Oliver as I must finally drift to sleep because in my dreams he’s there instead of jack.
Rolling over to slam the alarm off I groan at the time. I’ve only slept maybe two hours and it wasn’t good sleep. Fitful and hard to find I wish I would have gotten a little more rest with the day ahead. I have a little over an hour before I have to be at the salon for hair and makeup and I still have to find my shoes that somehow got misplaced in all the chaos of yesterday. Surely they have to be at the boat club with the rest of the boxes I dropped off but If I don’t find them it will only add fuel to Lacey’s fire. Searching through the house they are nowhere to be found and the cup of coffee I managed to gulp down in three swigs is just not enough. I dash outside in my pajamas and rip the car apart, still nothing.
“Logan when you get this I need you to run to the boat club and look for a purple box with my name on it. Call me when you get this!” I yell into the phone.
I just don’t have the time to run out there and not end up being late. I think as I don the faded button down and wriggle on some jeans. My phone chimes and when I see the name that’s popped up with the message box I can’t help but smile. One of those holy smokes, shit-eating grins.
Hey there girly, I figure you’re probably getting ready or something like that but I wanted to say good morning. I’ll see you tonight.
Oliver ends his message with a little winking smiley face and it makes me blush. Just the thought of him and something new is exciting and I stay giddy for longer than normal. It isn’t until Logan calls that I let the smile fall.
“Hey,” he says sleepily.
“Shouldn’t you’ve awake before now?” I ask, wondering why he sounds like he is still in bed.
“Just is picking me up in 15 minutes. Relax. I’ll swing by and look for your shoes when we drop the suits off. Then we are going golfing,” he adds.
“Please don’t forget. If I don’t have shoes she is going to kill me…” I say the irritation seeping from my voice.
“Do you want me to have Jack go right now? He’s not going golfing and he’s been up for a while now,” he says in between yawns.
“No! No that’s okay. He’s probably got other stuff to do…” I say mortified at the thought of my ex-husband coming to my rescue.
“He doesn’t. I’ll have him go look,” Logan says before he hangs up on me.
I smack my forehead with the palm of my hand and cringe at the insanity that is my life sometimes before I walk into the lion’s den, aka the swanky salon that my sister has chosen to have us all pay way too much money for hair and makeup and manicures.
“You look like you didn’t even go to bed, Lucy. I don’t know if they can fix haggard,” Lacey says with a shrill laugh.
“Oh well. Someone had to be uglier than the bride I guess,” flies from my mouth before I can stop myself and I instantly regret it.
The laugh stops and the look she’s giving me is intense, I break eye contact for a second to see if she’s gotten her nails done yet for fear of her clawing my eyes out. Sure enough, she’s standing there her fingers spread wide so I know I’m in the clear, for now. Her attention is quickly torn from me when the stylist starts asking her a question but I know I’m not going to get off that easy. I’m whisked away by another stylist to a nail station and the process begins putting at least a little distance between us.
I’m watching all these women and my sister, all of them in their element, I’m girly to an extent but not to this extreme. I get my hair cut and styled regularly, take care of myself as far as grooming goes but I could never feel comfortable being so primped every day. It’s just not me. I don’t mind the occasional pedi every now and then or the manicure that I end up with and how it makes my hands look so elegant but the upkeep and time it takes I’d rather spend doing something else. Anything else really. Does that make me any less feminine? No way, it just means my priorities in life are different than theirs and there is nothing wrong with that. I don’t view them any differently but at the same time I wonder what else they could be doing with their time, or spending their money on. My manicure is complete and I’ve been moved to the stylist’s chair as far from Lacey as they could manage, obviously they sensed the tension.
“Miss Lacey, up or down?” the stylist yells to my sister.
“Updo please,” Lacey answers cooly not even bothering to look in our direction.
I’m drifting off as this young stylist with a purpley gray pixie cut is going to town on my head, hey it feels good to have someone messing with your hair, I’m not immune. The lack of sleep is really showing and a few times before she’s finished she prods me awake. I chuckle at her exasperated expression, wondering silently how many times she has been in this exact situation. Just as she’s spinning me around I catch a glare from near the door and when I turn to save my eyes I see Lacey with a face-splitting grin looking right at it. I turn to see Jack, a purple box, my purple shoe box to be exact setting on his lap, a shy smirk on his face. If I didn’t know any better I would say that her and Logan are in this together, creating opportunities to shove the two of us together. I want to scream, I want to crawl into the corner and hide behind anything that would conceal me but it’s too late, he’s giving me a small wave. Busted. Mentally I’m cringing, how is this my life I wonder as hold up a finger as if to say one second. I whip my head in Lacey’s direction and steel my face, I don’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing this bothers me and instead I offer my best Cheshire cat smile.
“Hey. Uh, Logan said you needed these…” he says as I approach, holding out the box to me.
“Yeah, I asked him to get them, you didn’t have to do this, Jack. You didn’t have to go all the way out there and then bring them to me…” I say wondering how he even knew where we were.
“It’s no big deal. The other guys are golfing and well, it’s not really my thing… I was glad I could help,” he says.
“Well, thank you. I could have stopped and picked them up,” I offer as I watch his face lose some of its happiness.
I turn to find Lacey behind me, her grin still big as ever, “Oh isn’t that sweet? Look, ladies, the best man brought the Maid of Honor her shoes…”
After a few ooh’s and ahhh’s and even an “I didn’t know they were back together” I turn around completely and give Lacey a look that says back off, now. Her smile falters a little, she’s probably scared that I’ll ruin her makeup but she doesn’t completely back off.
“Lucy, aren’t you going to thank him properly?” she glares.
“She did before you got over here, you didn’t see it?” he says matter of fact.
Lacey goes from snarky to angry in less time than it takes Jack to finish his thought, “I warned you, Jack…”
I look between them, wondering just what this is about. What did she threaten him with, and why is he allowing her to manipulate him at all. I’m dumbfounded, standing there like an idiot while they have a stare down. Finally, she turns and goes back to her gaggle of ladies, leaving us.
“What did she mean, she warned you, Jack?” I ask.
“It’s nothing Luce, er, Lucy. Really I’ve got it under control,” he says, but his voice wavers leaving me unconvinced.
“I don’t believe you, Jack,” I say, not sure I want to know.
“Trust me… well, try to trust me when I tell you it’s more about me and less about you. She’s out for me this time,” he says warily and for the first time since he came in, I see the struggle in his eyes.
“I’ll have to take your word for it, Jack. I know her though and she’s up to something. Just steer clear of her as much as you can today, okay?” I warn.
“I can hold my own…” he says with a lackluster smile.
I wonder what is going through his mind right that moment because many different emotions flicker across his face before he turns and wordlessly disappears, leaving me to stand there watching as he goes. I place the purple box next to my bag before I storm over to Lacey.
Grabbing her by her upper arm I yank her away from Sarah, “We need to have a discussion.” I say through gritted teeth.
She doesn’t cry out, even though I know my freshly manicured nails are digging into her flesh and she doesn’t say a word. She follows me outside into the back of the building before she pulls away.
“Listen to me Lacey, I warned you. I begged you not to make me do this and I’ve done most of it. Hell, I’ve done more than my fair share with your gaggle of maids in there. You do not get to play with peoples lives like this, you do not get to play with my life like this. So help me god, if you do anything to embarrass me or hurt either myself or Jack I will make you regret it for the rest of your life. Do you understand? Because I’m more than willing to play this game with you now…” I say vehemently.
“I don’t know…” she starts and stops as I move closer.
“Think very carefully about what you say next, you know I can stop this wedding with one phone call,” I threaten.
With that, she cowers back inside but not before I watched the color drain from her spray-tanned face.