Chapter tune: KISS – Every time I look at you
Three months had passed. It was late spring and the weather was starting to get warmer. That day was particularly pleasant; it was also the day that Connor and Emma would finally tie the knot.
Emma had insisted that her two bridesmaids, Madison and Rose, wore black – her favorite color – much to their dismay. “But, but black isn’t a happy colour Emma. What about pink? More festive!” Madison had whined as she heard that decision. But, the bride had requested it, so here they were in their little puffy black dresses.
“Girl, why are you crying? You’re gonna ruin your beautiful makeup and we’ll stay here forever trying to fix it. You know, that stylist I hired isn’t the quickest on the market, as it turns out” Emma said to Rose, part joking, part worried that her makeup would, indeed, be ruined. But Rose’s hopeless romantic and over-emotional side had emerged in full force.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I can’t help it, you’re so pretty! Connor is one lucky man!”
“I know, right? He should thank his lucky stars!” Emma laughed.
Rose could tell they were very happy. Emma was always a blast to be around and Connor, although not particularly social, was the kindest and most polite person she had ever known – almost the exact opposite of his brother.
“You’re making that face again” Emma distracted Rose from her thoughts “Connor still believes he’s gonna show up but I’m not so sure. I mean, he hasn’t called for three months! But I guess hope is the last to die”. They both knew who Emma was talking about.
“And I know you’re secretly hoping he’ll show up too” Emma added, and her face got all serious.
Rose had learned the truth about what had happened, both from Connor and miss Myrtle. But she was still a little scared of him and his unpredictable reactions. Plus, he was gone for these last months without once contacting anyone, so she wasn’t sure if he’d ever come back. Not that it should matter, she thought. Unfortunately for her, it did.
“Earth calling Rose again!” Madison was the one to interrupt her thoughts this time.
“What? Oh no, I’m not hoping anything” Rose lied “He just should be here, for Connor. But enough with that, this is your day Emma and I’m so happy for you! Look at you, you’re getting married! I’d wish you all the best, but with Connor I’m sure you’ll both have everything you ever dreamed for and more” she said and her voice started to tremble again.
All three got emotional.
“Now girls, I think I mentioned the stylist is slower than a dead snail. I don’t want to have to sit here for two more hours because my mascara melted, ok?” Emma joked as always, but she was clearly very touched.
“Emma!!” Madison suddenly squealed “I wanted to ask you, is it ok that I invited two people instead of only my plus one? I couldn’t decide which one of my roommates I like best!”
“Sure girl, no problem!” Emma said “but may I point out that this is so typical of you!” she joked. It was a good thing Madison had these sudden outbursts of excitement, because otherwise the girls wouldn’t be able to hold their tears of joy for much longer.
“Honey, do you think we could wait just five minutes longer? I’m sure he’ll be here, he wouldn’t miss my own wedding…” Connor muttered to Emma when almost everyone invited had arrived.
“We can wait ten if you want to. But I can’t delay it any longer, our guests will leave if we go on like that.”
When a little more than ten minutes passed, Connor, disappointed, nodded to Emma that they could start.
Strangely, his nod synchronized perfectly with the sound of a motorcycle engine and screeching tires on the sand. “Whoa, were you seriously gonna start without me?”
Connor’s face lit up almost at the same second. “Where have you been? Not only were you about to miss my wedding, I’ve been worried sick!”
“Sorry little brother, but I just couldn’t find a decent place to change into my formal clothes” Jared said with a huge grin as he hugged Connor.
“You always like to make a dramatic appearance, don’t you?” Connor smiled.
Everything – and everyone – was ready for the wedding.
The wedding party started soon after Connor and Emma exchanged their vows.
Unfortunately, Molly was there too since she was Emma’s boss. She threw some deadly glances as soon as she found the opportunity to be near Rose alone.
“Thank god you’re a bridesmaid and not responsible for the food dear, or this wedding would be a disaster” she hissed. It was clear that she enjoyed insulting Rose.
But Rose wasn’t in the mood to be stepped on this time. “Come on Molly, just leave it. I don’t want to have to deal with you. After all, I have other responsibilities, as you said. Disasters seem to be your area of expertise.” she replied, pretty amazed at herself for her retort.
Molly grumbled something in french and left.
Christopher was not having a great time. He had decided that he should search for love elsewhere – after Rose declined his advances for the hundrenth time -, and decided to have a chat with one of Madison’s roommates, Tori.
She was quite attractive and polite, but didn’t get any of his jokes and, on top of that, she seemed obsessed with her job. The point where the conversation turned really sour was when Christopher attempted a joke about politicians – her career field. Things were not looking up, until Madison called him to introduce him to her other roommate, Monika.
Christopher was charmed immediately. Monika was beautiful and very down-to-earth. He also found out that she was an avid angler like him. After very little talking, they scheduled a fishing session for the next day.
Rose, as a bridesmaid, had her hands full most of the evening, but as soon as she started to relax, Jared took the opportunity and approached her.
“Hey Rose… Shit, you’re beautiful.”
“Hey…thanks.” she replied politely. The truth is she once again did not know where they stood, and this time it was more confusing than ever. She was not only unsure of his feelings for her, but most of all of her own. She still felt the same spark whenever she looked at him but was it enough? He had put her through too much already.
“So…how was your trip?” she asked. “Everyone thought you wouldn’t come back.”
“It was…interesting. Look Rose, I have something I need to tell you. But first, I want you to know that I can’t even begin to describe how sorry I am. For everything. I don’t deserve a girl like you. But I love you, I really do. And I – ”
“You.. you love me?” She couldn’t believe she was hearing what she dreamed for all the time before he broke her heart. But even now, she was so hurt by him that she found it difficult to believe him.
“I do. I know I fucked everything up and I will leave again if you want me to. But I came to say one thing. The reason I was gone for so long was because I was searching for your family. And I believe – I’m sure actually – that I found it.”