The Breakup Girl

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Can a crazy caper lead to love? Sometimes you just have to take chances.

This story was contributed by Jane Peden 

"So what happened to eloping?"

"You know very well what happened to eloping," my cousin Jenny says, flopping back on her bed. "My mother is what happened to eloping."

"Maybe it's not too late?"

She sits up and gives me an evil eye. "You had to break up with Brad this week? Oh, Beanie," she sighs. This is so like you."

"You've been after me to break up with Brad for six months. He's such a loser. Why are you wasting your time with him? "

"Who breaks up with their boyfriend at the rehearsal dinner?"

"Your wedding is on Valentine's Day. Would you want to spend Valentine's Day with Brad?"

"You've got a point. Anyway, I fixed it."

"What do you mean, you fixed it?" I eye her with something between suspicion and horror.

"I got you a date for the wedding."

I groan. "Jenny . . . . "

"It's nothing like the other times. I promise."

"You mean like the time in high school when you fixed me up with that guy who was obsessed with Tolkien and kept calling me his precious?"

"Ok, that was a misfire. But you broke up with your boyfriend two days before prom. Desperate times."

She frowns at me. "I actually should have expected this. You always break up with guys before some big event."

"No I . . . hmm. Maybe. Anyway, Jen, just have one less bridesmaid. Since Brad won't be there as an usher, I'll just be a guest."

Jenny grins at me. "Are you kidding me? Terrence couldn't wait to give Brad the boot. We hate Brad, you know? But we love you, and you do not get to back out."

I start laughing. Then I stop. "Wait, so are telling me you subbed in an usher?"

She nods happily. "He's perfect for you, Bean. He's a lawyer in Terrence's office. Corporate tax division. His name's Jefferson."

"You set me up with a tax lawyer?"

"Terrence says he's interesting."

Right. He'll probably talk about obscure tax regulations the whole time.

"And he's not even obsessed with Lord of the Rings," she says virtuously. "I checked."

* * *

I met Brad when I took a marketing job in Atlanta after graduating college last year. In the elevator in the high rise office building where we both work. At the time it seemed romantic. But it turns out the elevator is probably the only place Brad would ever meet a girl because he does absolutely nothing but work.

We barely made it to Miami for the rehearsal dinner because, work emergency. And I totally missed the bachelorette party last weekend thanks to him.

Done, and done. Brad wasted no time catching the next flight back to Atlanta. I think he was actually relieved when I broke up with him because I was distracting him from work.

It's the day before the wedding and the five of us are at a hotel spa being pampered and polished. Right now we are wrapped in white towels with cucumber slices over our eyes and mud masks on our faces reclining on chaises next to a sparkling pool.

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