“So, want to confide in your best friend why the most relaxed bride in all of history has suddenly developed a case of jitters?”
“What?” Am I that obvious? Kate’s glare tells me I am. “Fine. I’m nervous. That’s normal.”
“But you’re not an average bride. What gives?”
“I just had this picture in my mind of how the day would go, you know? And it’s not about good weather, though that would be nice, or how extravagant my dress is, even though it’s really the most beautiful thing I’ve ever worn, or if my hair looks perfect, though a good hair day gives a girl confidence to take on the world—”
“It’s . . . I didn’t expect my sister to be sad on my wedding day. But now, with everything going on with Drew, I don’t see how this ends any differently.”
“Oh, Evie.” Kate frowns.
“I know. It’s completely selfish. But it’s an important day, and I wanted those celebrating around us to be happy. You have Jon. Carly has Derek. I’ve always thought my sister and Drew had the perfect marriage. They’re the example of what I’ve always wanted. And now . . .”
“See. This is why weddings are stupid,” Kate offers helpfully.
“What?” I straighten my spine.
“Evie. Your wedding day is just another day.”
It’s all I can do to not roll my eyes. “Tell me how you really feel.”
“I will. It’s a day. It’s an important moment, yes, but it’s only a moment. You and Tate have your entire lives ahead of you. Enjoy your wedding, sure, but don’t stack expectations all around it, because life is out of your control. What’s happening with your sister sucks, but we don’t know the entire story. And even if we never do, it’s out of your control.”
I pick at the edge of my paper napkin. “God, this is so stressful. We should’ve eloped.”
“Don’t you dare!” Kate glares. “I won’t miss my best friend’s wedding. Also, I have to witness you voluntarily wearing heels.”
“About that . . . I’m not.” I cringe because I know her too well.
“What?” she almost screams.
“I bought white Chucks. I’m good.” I shrug, hoping she’ll let my choice of footwear go.
She shakes her head but holds her tongue as Joe returns with a plate of fried appetizers and two giant glasses of soda. As soon as he leaves she pins me with a hard glare. “Now that’s the most upsetting thing you’ve said all night.”
I push the mozzarella closer to her, fried cheese a balm for all things upsetting.
“Kate, it’ll be fine.” I take a bite, chew, and swallow with a grin. “It’s out of your control.”
She picks up a fried zucchini slice and dips it in ranch dressing. “Remember that at your bachelorette party next week. You know what they say about payback.” Her eyes dance with amusement as she fills her mouth with food.
I smile sweetly and pull the plate of food closer to my side of the table. “Is it too late to pick a new maid of honor?” I joke, but I’m thankful to have a friend like Kate. Someone I’ve known more than half my life, and who gets me enough to know a night like this is just what I need. We spend the rest of dinner going through my to-do list. She puts most of my fears to rest, and volunteers to help assemble wedding favors the next day. But even her ever positive, no shit attitude can’t shake the ominous feeling toward my impending nuptials. I don’t have control over what happens with Melissa and Drew, but hell if I won’t do everything I can to uncover the mess of it all.