“Just a little more, Holly. Come on.”
“I’m trying! It hurts!”
“Suck it in!”
“Well suck in more!”
Doing as Casey commanded, I took in more oxygen, sucking in my gut in as much as I could. Casey yanked on my zipper, trying to force it to the top. She let out a small, strained groan, pushing down on my shoulder. Finally I heard the sound of it zipping up.
“It worked!” Casey cried excitedly. “It fits!”
I let go of my breath and made a face. It was going to be difficult to breathe in this dress. “I should have just got a new dress…”
“Well you didn’t have time, so tough. Besides, this shade of lavender is so your color.”
Pursing my lips, I turned to give her a disapproving look. “I can barley breathe.”
“Come on,” Casey ordered, tugging on my elbow. “We were supposed to meet Mr. Heywood and Jeremy in the lobby fifteen minutes ago.”
“Hold on,” I demanded, pulling my arm out of Casey’s grasp. “Let me just check my makeup—”
“You look fine,” Casey responded, quickly snatching up my arm again. “Now let’s go.”
Warily, I allowed Casey to pull me out of our hotel room. Being the nice friend I was, I had allowed Casey to do my makeup for the wedding. Casey being Casey had decided not to let me see it before we left— for all I knew I could have clown makeup all over my face. To make things worse, I didn’t even know how I looked in this dress. It was obviously too small. Casey let me borrow hers, but hers was from a few years ago, so it didn’t fit so well.
“Come on, we’re late,” Casey urged, yanking me down the hallway.
I staggered unevenly through the hallway after her, trying to keep my balance on my high heels. “Slow down, Casey!”
Casey threw an impatient glance at me. “Do you really want to be late for the wedding?”
“We’re not going to be late.”
“What if Jeremy gets lost on the way?”
“He won’t get…” I trailed off, furrowing my eyebrows. Knowing Jeremy, he probably would actually get lost. “Maybe we should hurry.”
When we arrived in the lobby, Mr. Heywood and Jeremy were nowhere to be seen. It was completely empty aside from the receptionist, who was sitting at her desk half-asleep. Casey turned to me, the corners of her lips turning down.
“They wouldn’t leave without us, right?”
I shook my head. “Jeremy might, but Mr. Heywood wouldn’t let him…”
Suddenly Jeremy appeared from behind one of the pillars by the exit. He was readjusting his tie, looking down at it with an annoyed look. Moments later Mr. Heywood stepped out from the pillar too, also pulling at his tie.
My breath caught in my throat for a moment. Mr. Heywood couldn’t look bad in a suit even if he tried. His hair was damp, making it look darker and more messy than usual. Casey gave me a gentle push from behind and I stumbled forwards a few steps before walking on my own.