Chapter Two: Matrimony, pt. 3

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I pulled up to Corrina’s about five minutes later. There were as many cars as there were the day before, but I didn’t recognize many of them apart from Corrina’s parents’ cars. I took this to mean that none of the bridal party was here, and I wondered how they’d feel about that when we showed up together at hair and makeup. I didn’t care. Corrina had called me to save her, and that was all that mattered.

Corrina was already out the door. “You’re going to bring all the stuff, right, Mom?” she yelled to her mother, who was standing in the doorway as she came bounding down the walkway.

“We’ve got it. Have fun. And don’t see Felix, no matter what you do!” her mom warned. Corrina plopped down in my passenger seat, but her mom was still talking. I rolled down the window. “Hi Sadie!” she waved. “You take care of her!” she yelled as I started to back out, waving back at her.

“Oh, thank God,” Corrina said as we drove out of sight.

“That bad?” I laughed.

“Worse, probably. Literally my grandmother trying to talk to me about things to keep in mind now that we’ll be trying to get pregnant,” she laughed. My stomach tightened into knots. The idea of pregnancy—human or otherwise—terrified me more than any topic I could think of.

“Oh, man.” I forced out a laugh. “So where to?” I asked.

“Can we just go hide in your hotel?” she asked. “Unless you really want food, then we can go wherever. But if you aren’t hungry we can wait and get milkshakes at Finney’s later when we go get our hair done.”

“Sounds like a plan,” I said, and drove the few blocks back to my hotel. “I did warn Cole to warn Felix not to come near there if his life depended on it.”

“Did you say it just like that?” she asked, laughing.

“Scarier,” I said. She laughed again. I loved Corrina like this. She was so calm, so relaxed, and she was just so happy. It was easy to be around her.

“I bet you could be scary if you wanted to be,” she said, her face a little more serious now. I felt some odd sensations from her just then. Like she wanted to ask mesomething but was afraid to. I couldn’t tell what, just that she wanted answers. That was a vibe I had never gotten from Corrina before.

“How so?” I asked, taking the bait so I could have a little longer to get a read on her.

“I just bet, for all your meekness, you have a sharper edge to you,” she said. I replayed the last few seconds of the conversation in my head. Weren’t we just laughing?

“Oh, I bet not. It’s hard to be edgy when you’re so awkward. You can be creepy, yes, but not actually scary,” I said, now sidestepping whatever it was she had going through her mind. I wanted to get back to safer waters. She shrugged and appeared to let it go.

Corrina and I ended up spending an hour in my hotel room before we went to Finney’s. She had asked a lot of questions about Cole and me. I realized that she and Felix had wanted very badly for Cole and me to connect on a serious level. This wasn’t about this weekend; this was about getting us together for real. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but it didn’t matter because I had spent most of the sleepless night reminding myself of reasons I should be alone.

As predicted, when Corrina and I arrived together to get our hair and makeup done with the rest of the bridesmaids, we were greeted with a chorus of cross thoughts and jealousy. Why was I the special one? They had all known her for longer. They should have been the ones she spent her wedding day with. I was happy, for Corrina’s sake, that she couldn’t tell what the girls thought the way I could. It would have ruined her perfect mood.

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