Pieces of Me (A Pieces Novel)

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Chapter 35 - Danica

“Gram,” I say, completely exasperated. “We’ve seen every possible pattern in the store!”

“Danica Kensington!” she scolds, slapping me with her purse. “You should be ashamed of yourself! Complaining like a five year old at twenty-three!”

I roll my eyes and cross my arms over my chest. “Gram, I don’t care if I am acting childish. This is pathetic! What’s wrong with the wallpaper we have now? Why not just paint it?”

“Because that’s how it was back in the day. Just because times are changing doesn’t mean I have to change too! I like a bit of old fashioned decor.”

I shake my head and turn my head to the patterns Gram is picking from, feigning interest. Then, as if they were angels calling me, I hear Amber and Amethyst shouting my name from somewhere behind me. I turn and smile with relief.

“Please say you’re here to rescue me from the paper!” I say as they tackle me with tight hugs.

“We are!” they reply in unison, then Amber says to Gram, “Mrs. Mondego, I must apologize, but we are kidnapping Danica for the rest of the day.”

The fact that Amber is calling Gram by Charlie’s last name makes me roll my eyes, but I’m smiling. Though Charlie and I had the same dad, he gave me my mom’s last name.

“Oh, by all means,” Gram replies with a genuine smile. “Do take her away. She’s such a bore when it comes to wallpaper.”

I gasp, “Gram!”

She merely winks and turns her attention back to the wallpaper. Amethyst hooks our arms and tugs me towards the exit with Amber close behind.

“You two have no idea how bored I was getting,” I say as we head for the car. “She’s been looking at the same six patterns for three hours! And Aldrich wasn’t at home when I left.”

“Oh,” Amethyst says, waving it off. “He’s hanging out with Danny and Charlie. We’ll see them later tonight. They’re taking us to dinner.”

“Yes,” Amber says as she unlocks the car doors. “And we are going shopping for a new outfit to wear!”

Amethyst releases my arm and motions me towards the passenger’s’ seat. She exchanges a bright, knowing, smile with her twin before climbing into the backseat. I raise an eyebrow at Amber when I get into the front seat.

“I love that on you!” I exclaim as Amber steps out of the dressing room in a short, teal cocktail dress. “Perfect color for ya!”

Amber beams and looks at her reflection in the mirror. Amethyst appears next, wearing a similar cocktail dress, but it is more of a murlough color. She twirls and goes to stand next to her sister. They pose several times, mirroring each other’s movements before breaking into giggle fits.

“I need you two to become my sisters,” I say, joining the laughter. “Amber, get Charlie to pop the question and then everything will fall into place. Amethyst is already marrying Danny, so he’ll be my official big brother after that.”

“The man is dense, Danica,” Amber says fondly, shaking her head with a gentle smile. “It takes more energy to get him to see my affection than to play a game of fastball.”

Amethyst laughs harder as a phone starts to play a crazy ringtone, which pulls our attention away from the current subject.

‘I’m gonna catch you! You’d better run! I’m gonna catch you! Here I come!’

“Is that Laurie Berkner Band?” I ask, unable to control my laughter.

“That’s me and Danny singing,” Amethyst replies as she rushes to get her phone from her purse on the sofa next to me. “He must’ve changed his ringtone last night at the bar.”

She taps at the screen for a moment, blushing before returning the phone to it’s place. Amber joins us and sighs as she plops onto the sofa.

“Aldrich is a good guy,” she says suddenly, looking forward, but at nothing in particular. “He looks like the kind of guy ready to step up whenever necessary.”

“Very kind and gentle,” Amethyst adds softly. “And head over heels for you, Danica. Maybe he should be the one popping the question, eh?”

I blush, “Don’t get all Canadian on me,” I shove gently, laughing.

“Can you blame my roots for showing themselves?”

Both sisters grin at me. I chuckle and shake my head. We talk about the qualities in our men for a little while longer before I finally relent and go to pick out a dress.

I scour the selection of cocktail dresses when I find one that screams Aldrich. The dress is dark violet-blue, and would barely reach the middle of my thighs. With the perfect shoe, I’ll have the perfect get-up for dinner tonight. I search for the dress in my size and hurry back to the dressing room.

“Oooh!” Amber and Amethyst say as I pass into an empty stall. “Love it!”

I laugh softly and quickly shut myself in the stall to try on the dress.

“Aldrich is going to love that dress,” Amber says as we enter Libby’s Cafe for coffee. “I’m buying! What do you girls want?”

“I’ll just have a regular mochaccino,” I say as I look around for an empty table. “Oh, and a jelly-filled donut. I’m in the mood something sweet.”

Amethyst rattles off some fancy coffee, which I just shake my head at. I understand the elaborate coffee flavors, and when the season gets cold, I do love me a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. But I don’t keep track of the special concoctions because a simple black coffee with a mocha shot is good enough for me.

“Oh gosh,” Amethyst says, looking at her phone as we sit at our table.

“What’s wrong?” I ask upon hearing her worried tone.

“I can’t get a hold of Danny,” she replies, furrowing her brows in frustration. “He told me to text or call him when we left the mall. But I forgot and now he’s not replying.”

“He probably left his phone in the car. Don’t worry too much about it. I’ll text Aldrich and have him check with Danny.”

“That would be so helpful, considering all the wedding details I have to talk to him about. And I’m stuck between having Amber being the maid of honor . . . or you.”

“Pssh!” I shake my head and narrow my eyes. “I’d be happy enough to be a bridesmaid. Amber is your sister. She should be your maid of honor.”

Amethyst smiles, “Funny,” she says, giving my hand a squeeze. “She said something similar about you.”

We exchange a smile and I quickly pull out my phone to text Aldrich. Amber returns from ordering our drinks and we start chatting about tonight. We’re going to go back to Amethyst’s apartment to get ready, but we’ll stop by my house for my stuff first. My phone starts to buzz on the table next to me, and when I glance to see who it is, I don’t recognize the number.

“Hello?” I answer slowly, because I never get calls from unknown numbers. And when I hear the broken voice on the other end. I lose it.

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