The Day Nobody Saw Coming
Save the date: Jan.1
Audrey and Danny say I do
Time of arrival: no later than noon for makeup and pictures.
7001 Mcfergeson Ln.2300 second to last house on the right.
Dresscode: wear coral green bridesmaids dress with rainbow hair pinned up or in a fishtail braid. (have fun with it!), along with sequined flats or heels.
One week, that gave me exactly one week to mentally and physically prepare for the escapade that was about to go down. I didn’t even want to go to this wedding in the first place, given my phobia for large crowds, but I was basically guilt-tripped into going by Audrey when we were shopping for her wedding dress three months prior. Don't get me wrong, Aubrey and I were like two peas in a pod and I would do anything for her, but attending her wedding wasn't even in the top five things of what those things would entail.
From the time she first told me up until now I'd managed to block it out of my mind, but with it being just around the corner now I couldn't help but get cold feet, which was a little ironic because it wasn't even my wedding. It didn’t help that Audrey wanted me and our mutual friend Clarisa to walk her down the aisle instead of her father who stepped out on her at the age of ten. Yep, to this day I was still getting monthly phone call meltdowns with that one. I couldn't blame her though because no parent should have the right to walk out of their child’s life the way Audrey’s dad did, and I would be lying if I said it didn’t change her view of the opposite sex for half her life. Danny didn't know what he had in store for the rest of his life.
I instantly reverted back to when Audrey and I were in middle school. Picture two twelve-year olds just eating our lunches and minding our own business, when a tall, scrawny guy with glasses and freckles came over to our table and bluntly asked Audrey out. She didn’t even give it a second thought before bluntly telling him no, then returned to her baloney sandwich as if that was more important than the guy standing there heartbroken in front of her. I was way too socially inept at the time to even think of what to say to diffuse the situation, so I just let the awkwardness linger long enough for him to get the hint that she wasn’t going to change her mind, then watch him trudge back to his lunch table in defeat.
I waited until after lunch to tell her how cold that was, and that she should have given Gavin Berkly a chance, but she just shook her head and said, “ boys are just a waste of time. At the end of the day they will dump you to the curb completely heartbroken. Now I don’t know about you, but I would like to be spared the unnecessary false hope and heartache. After that I just dropped it, because to be fair she had a good point; what was the point in investing what, one week max of our lives on a relationship that was already doomed from the start by constant hormonal change and immaturity? Who has time for all that mess when you’re too busy trying to make it through the most awkward stage of your existence without making an utter fool of yourself in the process? No thanks.
To this day it still bewildered me, that Audrey actually found someone six months before graduating. Not many people can say they are high school sweethearts these days, and over ten years later they were still head over heels for each other. Not to mention Danny was a nice, down-to-earth guy who enjoyed the simple things in life, AKA: anything that made Audrey happy, which was a breath of fresh air to me after enduring over a decade of the I’m shunning off boys forever faze. It was so bad that one day during the summer of our Sophomore year Audrey wanted me to perform an arranged marriage ceremony to her and her twelve cats. Yeah that was a thing…
I glanced at the invitation one more time as the reality my best friend was finally getting married started to sink in. In a matter of 7-days Audrey Drought-yes her last name was drought. To say she was thrilled to change it was a huge understatement- will be Audrey Franklin-Hutcherson. Now I don’t know about you, but trading in one lousy nickname for two cool-sophisticated ones seemed like a win to me.
After getting over the initial shock of my best friend actually getting married, I decided to treat myself to a bubble bath and a good book. I’ve tried to make it a habit to treat myself to a bath at least once a week to take some time to myself, which took me up until a couple months ago to realize that it was a necessity and not selfish. I also try leaving my phone on the charger during this time, giving myself a break from the depressing world of the internet as I enter the sweet serenity of silence.
Once in the bathroom, I took my time running the bath water and getting undressed, enjoying every step of the process. It wasn’t until I was ready to get in that I realized I also had a couple face masks as well. I smiled with mere delight. Today was definitely going to be a good day. I decided to go with one of my clay masks, specifically my Anti-stress dead mineral clay mask. I’d been told it helps replenish your skin and leaves it smooth and radiant. Best of all, it works on ALL skin types which was music to my ears since my skin was VERY dry-mainly oily on my nose, but that was really the only place. Definitely going to be put to good use with my stressed out behind. Like for real, how could a human being under so much stress without completely shutting down? Still trying to figure that one out.
I managed to get halfway through my latest read when my phone decided to have a seizure in my room… I tried to ignore it for a while, but for some odd reason it wasn’t going to stop until it was answered. I sighed, as I realized my much needed R&R(rest and recreation) time had come to an end. I grumbled under my breath as I slammed my book shut, not trying to hide my annoyance as I stomped back to my room wrapped in a towel dripping wet. Whoever was pestering me better have a darn good reason or they were going to get an earful. I was so irked, I didn’t even bother looking at the missed messages as I pressed ‘call’ and waited impatiently. One ring. Two rings. Three rings. So help me if they don’t answer- “Hey, it’s Bryson. You already know what to do after the beep.” OH HECK NO! BEEP!
I immediately clicked ‘end’ and shoved my phone under my pillow. Why on the face of the earth was my EX Bryson Griffin calling me!!!? How-why- I didn’t even know he still had my number for crying out loud!! I hadn’t heard a peep from him since we broke up freshman year of college. Mind you, he broke up with me, not the other way around, so it completely baffled me that he just called me… He came out to me as gay so it was apparent it wasn’t to get back together-that’s how he broke things off, which in a way I should have seen coming, but at the time I didn’t know if it was my paranoia or intuition talking, so I chose to ignore it.
Instead of fretting over whether he was going to call back or not, I decided to go on about my business and get dressed. Plus, if he did call back and although he couldn’t see me, I would feel extremely awkward answering the phone in a towel. I guess it didn’t really matter all that much since he was gay, but I still had enough dignity and self-respect not to flaunt myself like that. I manage to get dressed and take a five minute nap before my phone goes off again. This time, instead of impulsively answering it, I slowly retrieved my phone from under my pillow and glanced at the caller ID to see if it was safe to answer. Unfortunately it was just a random number with no name, which I assumed was just spam so I pressed decline then got up to brush my hair.
I didn’t even make it three feet before my dang phone went off again. Are you flipping kidding me right now??? Can I not have a day to myself? Is that a crime?? “Apparently”, I answered under my breath and answered. “Whoever you are you got the wrong number. Delete it and never call again”. I was about to hang up when I heard a familiar husky voice say, “Chameleon, it’s me Ben.”
OH DOUBLE HECK NO! What business did this bastard have calling me??? And just like Bryson, HOW DID HE STILL HAVE MY NUMBER!!!!??? I mean seriously? What are the odds of both your exes from highschool and college calling on the same day? Unless…. I shook my head. No way, I was going for a triple heck no. That would be too much, especially after I just got out of the bath.
As much as I wanted to hang up, I wanted him to humor me with his reasoning for calling after ghosting me for five years. I waited, but there was just static on the other line. Did he hang up? I took the phone away from my ear to check and was disappointed to see his number sprawled across my screen. Mental note to block it later. “What do you want Benjamin?” I said, not even trying to hide my annoyance. “Bryson just texted me saying he tried to call you. Did you not get it?”
Oh so him and Bryson were both in on this? Well I’ll be the last one laughing when I block both their sorry butts. Not before I got some information out of him first. “Why did Bryson try to call me? He made it pretty clear what team he played for when he dumped me by introducing me to his new boyfriend”. It all started to come back to me; the vision of Bryson admitting he cheated on me the last couple months of our relationship with Asher, my best guy friend; Asher who I’d known since kindergarten who didn’t show even the slightest sign of being gay up until I saw him with Bryson.
I was very hurt to say the least and it took the longest time, but Asher and I made up and remained best friends. I was the first one he came to when Bryson dumped him, and although I wanted to gloat and tell him I told you so, I set my own petty feelings aside to be there for him. A couple months after we ended up losing touch- until now. I leaned against the wall and sighed. Maybe I should have just cut my losses and blocked him when I had the chance. “Chameleon? Are you there?” I cringed at my dumb nickname Bryson gave me when we first started dating. When we were together I pretended to like it for his sake, but since things have changed I don’t have to pretend anymore.
“You know you can stop calling me that. It’s an awful name.” I said through gritted teeth. He was obviously oblivious to the fact I didn’t want to talk. “I think it’s cute.” He said nonchalantly, like all his friends had nicknames named after an ugly lizard. “Look Ben, I’m not in the mood for games, so if you don’t get to the point in the next five seconds I’m hanging up.”
“Wow, umm okay. I uhh… I was wondering if you could possibly, maybe…. Be my date to Audrey’s wedding. I stood there stunned. Was I deaf, or did he just ask me to be his date to my best friend’s wedding. The same guy who broke up with me three months before graduation because he “needed a break”. Yeah, a ten year break…. “Why did Bryson try to call me?” I asked, trying so hard to make my voice sound less shaky, obviously failing.
“He wanted to talk to you about something,” was all he said which just frustrated me more. How vague can you be? What? He thought he could just fall off the face of the earth, leaving me alone and broken-hearted and then waltz back in ten years later and say through my other EX that he needed to tell me something? How much sense does that make? My head started throbbing all of a sudden, and I ended up collapsing back onto my bed, completely neglecting my already very matted hair. I needed to get off this phone ASAP before I threw up. “Okay, well if you aren’t going to tell me what I want to know about Bryson, do you care to explain how the first thing to come out of your mouth wasn’t “I’m sorry” when you called instead of telling me to call my gay EX-boyfriend for whatever reason you won’t tell me?”
I didn’t even have to tell him what for, when I heard a sigh on the other end of the phone. “Look Cam I’m sorry for not calling you after all these years. Last time I checked though, you made it pretty clear you wanted nothing to do with me after we graduated so I didn’t even bother wasting my time trying to get through to you.”
“Then why now?”
“I’m Danny’s best man and like I said before, I wanted you to be my date to the wedding.”
My mind started reeling. How did I forget Danny and Benjamin were best friends in highschool?? That’s how him and I got freaking introduced since Danny was our mutual friend, who I met through Audrey. Man, I felt so dumb….
“You couldn’t find any other random girl in your phone to ask?”
Given the information I just recalled, I kind of hoped he said he had a date so I wouldn’t have to sit through an entire wedding ceremony with him…. To my utter dismay he said, “you know you aren’t any random girl. Plus…. I haven’t stopped thinking about you since graduation.”
Man, this day just kept getting better by the minute.. “May I remind you that you broke up with me?”
“Camila I didn’t want to break up with you. Danny advised me to end things with you until I got my crap together because he thought I wasn’t good enough for you.”
Say what now? I just reached a whole new level of confusion. Danny was the one that freaking introduced us!!! What the actual heck was wrong with all these dingbats!??? “Okay, now you have exactly five minutes to explain to me what the heck you’re talking about.”
“Can we meet up somewhere? I could pick you up and we could go to Dirkins like old times”.
My heart heaved in my chest at the mere thought of seeing him after all these years, but my mouth also watered thinking about the delish pizza. My cravings won over my fears, and I agreed.
“Okay, so when you want to meet up?”
“How does tonight work?”
OH TRIPLE HECK- “Um sure, that uhh… that works.. I’ll uhh see you at-”
“6 on the dot. Text me your address when you can and I’ll see you soon.”
He hung up without giving me a chance to answer. I could feel my heart rising to my throat, then plummet to my feet. “Guess I have no choice but to actually brush my hair now.”