20.5 | Clear the Air
Hi everyone! I have some (what may be) exciting news!
So I have been thinking of tackling a new project for a while; in other words, I have been thinking of starting another book. The most exciting part is that I am actually collaborating with my boyfriend for this book—he is incredibly gifted in writing poetry which is what a portion of the book I have in mind will be comprised of.
Does anyone listen to Fleetwood Mac? Fleetwood Mac is my favorite band ever since I was a kid but only within the last few weeks have I been doing some in depth research about the band and their history. All I can say is WOW. There is so much to unravel. In addition, I am absolutely in love with Stevie Nicks—so much so that I want to write a character that captures hopefully an ounce of her mystique and allure.
The book will center around a band and will be told mainly from the perspective of the female protagonist and male protagonist. It will be largely inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s progression (after Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham joined) through the years and will deal with heartbreak, betrayal, drug use, the pressures of fame etc. I’ve been wanting to try writing something different from what I usually write and I think this is just the push I need to get me out of my comfort zone.
I would like to invite you (yes you!) to read the book once it’s published—I think it will be a wild ride and I’d love to have you (yes you!) there for it. If any of you have read this authors note you deserve a big thank you and a gold star.
And now, onto the chapter! Happy reading my friends!
Terrence joined me in the bathroom as I buzzed with excitement. I was going shopping for my wedding dress that day with Blythe and mom. There was no budget, Terrence generously lending me one of his many credit cards. I already had an idea of what kind of dress I wanted; something that showed off my thin waist and long legs. Being tall and lean had its advantages.
I blended my foundation, Terrence sitting on the toilet lid watching me. I kept glancing at him, smiling, unable to believe I was going to be getting married to this man in a few months time. Sometimes I still referred to him as my boyfriend instead of my fiancé. Being engaged felt so foreign, as if I was stealing the title from someone else without knowing what it meant or what to do with it.
“I still think it’s silly that I can’t see what dress you bought for the wedding,” Terrence commented offhandedly. “I would still act surprised as you walked down the aisle. Hell, I’d even throw in a couple tears. No one would ever know.”
“No way,” I laughed, patting some blush onto my cheeks. I leaned back, staring at myself, running my fingers through my straight hair. I wanted to curl it for my wedding; I couldn’t remember the last time I had curled my hair. Maybe I’d dye it a lighter shade of blonde, too. “I would know and I’m the bride. My knowledge is the only knowledge that matters in this case.”
“Alright, can’t argue with the bride,” Terrence relented playfully. I put on some tinted lip balm and was good to go. I turned off the bathroom light and Terrence followed me out. Boxes were strewn all over the place, Terrence and I in the process of moving into a new home together.
A beautiful home, upper class market. It had three floors; furnished basement for Spencer, a main level, and an upstairs with more than enough bedrooms and bathrooms. It was a lovely olive green color with a stained oak trim and multi-tier deck—not to mention a paved driveway. Terrence and I had been taking loads over every day with the help of his brothers and Blythe. She had been unusually quiet during this transition but, as per usual, was polite and all smiles.
“I’ll take some of your boxes while you’re out today,” Terrence told me as he walked me to the door.
“I would appreciate that, thank you,” I nodded, putting on my shoes and grabbing my keys. I had cut an extra pair of keys for Terrence a few months back. “I’ll tell Blythe and mom you said hi.”
“Actually,” he objected lightly. “I’ve been meaning to discuss something with you regarding Blythe. I know now isn’t the best time but I don’t think it can wait any longer.”
“Oh,” I blinked at him, leaning against the door. I furrowed my brows, slipping my hands in my pockets. “What happened? Did she say something to you?”
“It’s nothing she said,” he reassured me, shaking his head. “But I don’t think she approves of our marriage.”
“Whaaaat?” I exclaimed, mulling over the possibility for a few moments before responding. “Now that is silly. What led you to that conclusion?”
“I took Blythe Christmas shopping with me and I think I started planting seeds of doubt in her. I don’t think she trusts me. She asked what I did for a living and when I told her I owned some restaurants here and there she didn’t believe me. She thinks I’m being shady.”
“Well, whether she believes you or not I’m still going to marry you. She can suck it up,” I shrugged. I couldn’t deny that what Terrence was saying bothered me a bit—why did her opinion matter so much to him? Why hadn’t she been expressing these concerns to me? “But if she hasn’t said anything to you, why do you think we lack her blessing?”
“It’s the way she looks at me, Beth. She makes me feel like a liar,” he ran his tongue across his bottom lip, struggling to meet my eyes. “Yes, I know, she’s only fifteen and I should take her opinion with a grain of salt but I know what she means to you and it bothers me that I don’t have her approval. I am grateful she’s looking out for you, but I feel persecuted. I just want to clear my name first before she approaches you with this—if she ever does.”
“Well, the fact that I’m hearing this from you first tells me it’s not as much of a problem to Blythe as it is to you,” her being quieter around Terrence and his brothers began to make more sense. I had figured she was too nervous to say the wrong thing around Spencer. “Have you been worried that she would try to convince me to call off the wedding?”
“I figured if anyone had the power to convince you it would be Blythe. I know your mom is fully on board. My brothers have no objections. Blythe is the only loose thread,” Terrence shrugged, nearly embarrassed. “I know I’m a bit hushed about my work but it’s not because I’m being shady. There’s just not much to it. I don’t have the kind of job that needs to be unpacked or discussed—”
“I know, I know,” I nodded. “You don’t have to explain yourself to me. I respect your privacy and I trust you. Blythe is a smart girl but, at the end of the day, she is still fifteen. Every fifteen year old is a detective if they try hard enough. Try not to take it personally, okay? If you were anyone else she would still be giving you the third degree.”
“Don’t be upset with her, either. She hasn’t done anything wrong. I know her suspicion is coming from a place of concern for your wellbeing. She cares a lot about you. I know I’m your first husband so I expect to be under scrutiny.”
“I’m not upset with her,” I explained. “But I am going to talk with her about this and see what’s happening. I don’t like that she’s making you feel unwelcome.”
“It’s not that she’s making me feel unwelcome, it’s just that I know she doesn’t accept me yet,” he held his hands out in front of himself almost apologetically. “I just don’t want there to be any tension between you two because of this. I want everyone to be on the same page. I know this is a big change. It would be easier if everyone was friends, you know what I mean?”
“I hear you loud and clear, and I agree,” I took him in for a hug. He buried his face in the crook of my neck, pressing a kiss to the area. I whispered in his ear, “I’m going to get this sorted, okay? I love you.”
Terrence pulled away and applied a lingering kiss to my lips. He unlocked and opened the door for me, slapping my ass on my way out. I giggled, turning to face him over my shoulder.
“I love you too,” He said.
Searching for the right wedding dress had been an emotional process, the three of us fighting back waterworks throughout the whole experience. Once all three of us burst out crying at the same dress I knew it was the one I’d be purchasing.
It was a fit-and-flare style made of ivory tulle and a thin layer of white lace with hand-sewn pearls and fabric flowers that resembled lilies. It was low in the back with illusion sleeves; the pearls and flowers concentrated at the waist before diffusing evenly throughout the rest of the dress. I had a hard time taking it off. It was a bad idea to wear makeup because by the end of shopping my eyes were bleeding thick black mascara. I stopped in the bathroom before we left to clean myself up as best as I could.
I swapped the wedding dress for Blythe, mom promising she’d keep it safe for me until my wedding day. Blythe was more than thrilled to spend some time with me after, offering to buy a late lunch. I happily accepted her offer. We agreed on a place—the place we had went for her birthday.
We sat down at a table, ordering our drinks and meals since we both already knew what we wanted. Blythe kept rambling about how beautiful I was in my dress and how I’d be the most beautiful bride to ever live. It was hard to picture her disapproval of Terrence when I saw how ecstatic she was for me. I considered not bringing up what Terrence and I had talked about earlier at all but I could not help but think of her as a hypocrite. The air had to be cleared.
“Terrence mentioned something to me this morning,” I interrupted her abruptly. I noticed it then the way she stiffened at his name. She bit her lip, staring at me apprehensively. “Terrence thinks you don’t approve of our marriage.”
“What?” She appeared genuinely taken aback by the accusation. “I never said that.”
“It’s not what you said but how you look at him,” I knew how she could be. She could stare right through you with those bright, wide eyes of her. They assaulted you sometimes. “I know you two went Christmas shopping together. That’s when it all began going south. Everything until then had been peachy.”
“I mean, I wouldn’t say things have went south. I respect your decision to marry Terrence. I would never try to intervene. I mean, I didn’t even want to express my doubts,” she pursed her lips, treading carefully as though she was walking through a minefield. She was, in a sense. I was on the defensive. “But how well do you really know him?”
“I would say I know him well enough to marry him,” I snapped. “Blythe, the only one, in my opinion, who should have any objections is mom and she doesn’t. The fact that mom doesn’t have any complaints but you do leads me to believe that maybe you don’t want me to marry Terrence for different reasons.”
Blythe narrowed her eyes at me, sitting up straighter. She was insulted.
“What are you trying to imply here?”
“Either you really don’t like Spencer or you have feelings for Terrence—”
“I’m going to stop you right there,” Blythe chimed in. “I don’t know how you can think so little of me when I have always wanted what’s best for you. Terrence is like...a billion years old, why on earth would I have a crush on him? And on that same note, I couldn’t care less what Spencer thinks of me. I am able to keep my dislike for Spencer separate from your marriage. Those are real crummy things you just implied about me.”
“Okay, okay, you’re right and I am sorry,” I held my hands up in surrender. “He did say this has roots in what he does for a living. You asked him what he does and you didn’t believe him after he told you.”
“Has he ever taken you to any of the restaurants he claims he owns?”
“Well,” I had to sit and ponder for a moment. I twisted my mouth in thought, taking a large gulp of iced tea. I couldn’t look at Blythe after her question. “Okay, you win this round.”
“It’s not about winning, Beth,” she said humbly. “I just don’t want you getting yourself into another messy relationship. You know, after your last ex and all...”
“Yeah, I didn’t do my research that’s for sure,” I agreed, tucking a section of hair behind my ear. “But Terrence is different, he’s one of the good guys. I can understand him wanting to keep his professional life separate from his personal life. You can’t always mix business and pleasure.”
“You still have a right to know things. You are allowed to ask questions. You’re planning to spend the rest of your life with him after all,” she reminded me. “But I will say this: secrets are not a good sign. Be careful that he’s not keeping secrets from you.”
“Since when did you become a relationship expert?” I smirked. “You have to understand, Blythe, that Terrence is a private man. He’s allowed to keep certain things private from me, even if it does pertain to his work. As his soon-to-be wife, I have to respect that.”
“That’s a pretty unusual thing to keep private, even I know that,” she commented. “It’s not that I don’t like Terrence—”
“—You just don’t trust him.”
“Mom isn’t the only one whose allowed to have hesitations,” Blythe said almost pleadingly. “I’m not going to tell you whether you should marry the guy or not. But what I will tell you is to make sure he’s not going to get you into trouble down the road.”
“I’m sorry,” I apologized again. “I feel awful about what I said earlier. Terrence said you were just watching out for me and I concur. Weddings heighten everyone’s stress. I understand how Terrence has you on edge but I hope you have faith in the fact that I know what I’m doing. I really, really love him and he really, really loves me too. There are things he doesn’t know about me either but it’s not worth calling off a wedding over.”
“If you think he’s the one for you, then I support your decision. I know you know what you’re doing, but I also want you to know what you’re getting into. If you think you do, that’s all I ask for. I just don’t want a wedge driven between us.”
“There is no wedge being put between us,” I promised, taking her hand in mine. She smiled at me with watering eyes. I had hurt her and although she had forgiven me I knew she would not forget my accosts. “It’s just that your approval means a lot to both Terrence and myself. Even if I didn’t have it I would still marry him, but I’d hate for us to have to walk on eggshells around each other.”
“You’re my best friend,” Blythe told me. “Let me have your back.”
“I will,” I bumped her with my shoulder. “As long as you let me have yours too.”
The food came and everything was back to normal. There was a lot of chatter and laughter between us and I felt good about our talk—things felt organized and all sorted out. With Blythe on board it felt like nothing could go wrong from this point forward. Her merriment lit up her eyes and by the time dinner was over, I knew I had a very important question for her.
“Would you like to be my maid of honor?” I asked as we got settled into my car. Blythe’s jaw dropped and she paused just before clicking in her seatbelt. I grinned. “You can’t sign as a witness so I would have to get mom to do that, but I would love—”
“Yes,” she whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks. She leaned over the armrest and hugged me. “Of course.”
“Thank you,” I wept.