Friends on the Town
Wil A. Emerson
"I want a wedding gown that's as delicious as a pizza," Christie cooed and then took a big bite of the crusty sausage pizza Jared had ordered for them to share.
Jared gazed at the girl he'd fallen in love with on their first day as college freshmen. He'd held onto that initial image of Christie for all these years and it certainly didn't trigger a desire for pizza.
"It should cling, stick to my ribs. Have a lasting effect," she said and ran a finger across her lips to pick up a string of cheese. "This onetime event. A momentous occasion."
Jared's sky blue eyes flickered. If wedding dresses and food were synonymous, then Buffalo wings would be his choice. Finger licking good. A collection of hot spices, and tangy sauces. He wouldn't rip the meat off the bones. No, he'd let the tender meat and juices linger on his tongue.
It took more than discipline for Jared to remain calm and focused while Christie talked about the wedding. He pressed his feet firmly on the floor and fostered a warm smile.
"My mother wants me to restore her chiffon gown. She hasn't asked outright but it's on display, laying across her bed, every time I go home." Christie sighed, "Subtle, huh?"
Jared nudged closer in the booth. His thigh almost touching Christie's. "Are you asking for advice? Or should I just be surprised?"
He twisted the napkin in his hand. If she wanted advice, would he tell her the truth? Would he dare? They'd been friends long enough to not be afraid of a difference of opinion. Then again, he knew every nuance of Christie's sensitivities. Measured and weighed, Jared wanted to remain forever on Christie's good side.
"I need all the help I can get. Jared, enhance my thoughts. A man's point of view. Ah, but please don't butcher my concept." She laughed.
Jared took her soft, pale hand in his. Christie's brown eyes went wide in anticipation.
The moment stretched into the uncomfortable zone. Then Jared drew in a deep breath and said in a voice barely above a whisper, "Don't marry that asshole. He's not your type and never will be, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself."