“You wouldn’t hurt your only sister.” I scrolled through my phone. Twenty texts in the past hour from her… mostly composed of angry frowny faces. Not good.
“You mean I wouldn’t hurt my veil,” she said.
We weren’t reliving the cross-stitched rose fiasco too. “What’s up, Linds?”
“Do you have the invitations?”
Eek. I covered the box with work files and took a breath. “Um…”
Lindsey shrieked. “I tracked the package! They said it was delivered and signed for. What if someone destroyed them?” Her voice shrilled. “What if someone stole them?”
“No one is stealing your invitations.”
“What use would they have for a piece of paper with your names, church address, and date on it?”
“You work with Photoshop. Who knows what people will do for a wedding!”
Well, that was true. I was living through that madness first hand. Invitations were easy compared to the bridesmaids’ war that was strappy sandals versus slip-ons.
“I have the box right here,” I said.
“I expected you to be on top of this, Mandy. You were supposed to call the instant they arrived.”
“I know. I’m sorry, but listen. There’s a slight problem.” I tried to keep my voice light and bouncy. “Nothing I can’t handle, okay? The invitations are the wrong color. They’re indigo. But we can order new ones—”
Lindsey wailed. Great, now my sister made an enemy out of another section of the rainbow. After the sage/forest/mint green bridal shower crisis, I was running out of acceptable color pallets to use for the event.
My sister dropped the phone. I called her name. Lindsey didn’t answer.
What was the only thing worse than confronting a raging bride on the phone?
Mom picked up instead.
“Mandy? What are you doing to your sister?” My mother’s fake falsetto posed the question like I deliberately meant to cause another rampage.
“She’s okay, Mom. I can handle it.”
“She’s stressed enough as it is, the poor thing. She doesn’t need you causing problems.”
It was easier to apologize than argue with Mom. “Sorry. Let me talk to Lindsey. I’ll take care of everything.”
“You need to stop being so insensitive!” Mom muttered to me as she helped Lindsey to her feet, offering to fetch her some lemonade. “Honestly, Mandy. This might be the only wedding this family has. Lord knows you have no one and no plans.”
I didn’t have the patience for Mom to list all my faults next to the wedding day to-do list, but off she went.
No boyfriend. Working as an assistant to Dad. Making the wedding more difficult on my sister.
My hair was too long, my dress size too big, and, my favorite, somehow I lost the TV remote when I helped with the centerpiece planning last night.
Then, we went full circle.
“At least you’re saving us fifty dollars on the reception dinner. I won’t plan for you to bring a plus one to the wedding.”
She wanted a plus one to rsvp?
I had a pretty special guest who was coming with me, whether he or she wanted it or not. Obviously, I had someone. I mean…that someone might have been a one night mistake. Still, I wasn’t about to blab the baby to Mom to prove I wasn’t forever alone.
Fortunately, Lindsey grabbed the phone from Mom before I revealed the scandal of all scandals to rock our family.
“We can’t wait for these idiot printers,” Lindsey said. “I want you to come home now.”
“Yeah, for Dad.”
I crumbled a saltine cracker in my hand. “This is my job. He’s paying me.”
Lindsey’s huff mirrored Mom’s. “He owes us a lot more than whatever he’s paying you. Come home. We have to fix this.”
The call ended.
Dad snuck out of his office. He offered me a bite of his cheeseburger. Just the sight of the oily, greasy, limp meat patty turned my stomach. I shook my head and pretended like I was texting her back. He slid a napkin loaded with fries on my desk.
Not the best for morning sickness, but I faked eating one so he wouldn’t suspect anything.
Dad ran a hand over his shaved head—dark, shiny, and absolutely a style Mom never would have allowed if he still lived at home. The goatee was new too, grown after I accidentally mentioned Mom talking at church with Mr. Calvin…who happened to have a beard. Dad probably thought it’d give him a chance.
“So…” He crossed his arms. His copper eyes still sparkled, though maybe not as bright as they once did. Dad and I always did look the most alike—a more delicate dark with high cheek bones and almond eyes. Maybe that’s why Mom favored Lindsey? “You should probably go.”