#58 Maid of honor duties
Caroline is shrieking into the phone so loudly that I actually have to hold it away from me so I won’t go deaf. I’m in the parking lot of Giovanni’s, ready to get on Dshawn’s motorcycle after a long hard shift, but I decided to pick up before getting on and getting all horny. I’m definitely regretting my choice now.
“I can’t understand you when you talk in such high tones!” I yell into the phone. “Only dogs can hear you now! And… dolphins or something.”
“He proposed!” she shrieks, still hurting my ears. “I’m getting married!”
Dshawn and I lock eyes, surprised beyond belief. Married? Already?
“But… you haven’t even moved in yet,” I say, totally failing to be a good friend and just jump up and down like a mad person. Caroline called me not that long ago to tell me that she was going to move in with Nathan during spring break and that she was slowly getting all the parents to trust her again, and now… now she’s suddenly ready to walk down the aisle? How the fuck did that happen?
“I know!” she agrees, still talking way too loudly. “He just handed me the ring in the car, I slipped it on, and now we’re engaged!”
Dshawn raises his eyebrows and I shrug. That sounds like the weirdest proposal ever. Oh well, what do I know? I’m never even getting married.
“If you can calm down for a moment, I might be able to understand what you’re saying and actually be happy for you,” I tell her, laughing. “So… Nathan proposed?”
Slowly, she manages to get the whole story out. It’s actually pretty standard Nathan and Caroline stuff. They never do anything the normal way. He pretty much bribed her with sex to agree to move in with him, and now he just hands her a ring and tells her that she can put it on whenever? Weird, but exactly what Caroline wants. If there is anything I know for sure, it’s that those two were made for each other. She’ll be popping out their first kid in a year or so, mark my words.
“That’s great!” I tell her, finally able to be pleased for her now that I understand what went on between them. “He’s the luckiest man in the world.”
Dshawn shakes his head at me and points at himself, winking. I grin, but keep my focus on Caroline.
“Please tell me that I’m your maid of honor,” I say, finally realizing what this means for me. “Oh my God, I am going to rock as maid of honor!”
“Of course you’re it!” she agrees, squealing. “We’re getting married at the end of June, at home in the garden, with only close friends and family.”
“Ahw,” I say, smiling. “That sounds nice. And… fast! Damn. Aren’t weddings supposed take like… over a year to plan?”
“Don’t most people propose… I don’t know… not in a moving car?” Caroline laughs. “Since when do Nate and I do anything the normal way? I want to get married to him, but I don’t want to get all stressed planning the whole thing. I want to be his wife as soon as possible, not in two years or something.”
Dshawn is smiling and so am I. If you have to get married, this is definitely the way to do it.
“I’m so happy for you,” I tell her. “And like I said: Nathan should thank the gods above for giving him a girl like you. Tell him that I will personally cut off his dick and feed it to him if he ever hurts you. Official maid of honor duties and all that.”
“I’ll tell him,” she says before shrieking again. “I’m getting married!”
“Stop yelling!” I shout in the phone. “I’m going deaf, woman!”
When she finally hangs up because Nathan keeps kissing her while she tries to talk to me, I look up into Dshawn’s gorgeous face and lean up to kiss him. Caroline is the one getting married, but I’m just as lucky.
Francesca is beyond excited about the engagement, maybe even more excited than me and Caroline, which is insane, since Franny isn’t even invited to the wedding. Franny and Car met a few times, but they aren’t friends. Not because they hate each other or anything, but they just don’t know each other that well. A year ago, I mostly hung out with Caroline and saw Franny only when I went clubbing during the week, when Car was busy teach a bunch of overexcited second graders. It wasn’t until Caroline moved away that I truly needed another girl to confide in, to hang out with. Franny slipped into that role easily. I still wish Caroline would just move back, but I am grateful that me and Francesca are closer now. She’s such a vibrant addition to my life.
“As a maid of honor, your most important task is to give her a kick-ass bachelorette party,” Francesca tells me, pretty much skipping around the apartment. “And we all know what that means…”
“Strip club!” Dshawn and Aston yell in unison.
I give my boyfriend a pointed look. “Careful now, boy.”
Aston laughs and rolls his eyes. “Dshawn doesn’t do strip clubs. He thinks it’s demeaning to women. I took him along once and he covered his eyes whenever a girl took her bra off.” Seeing my wide eyes, Aston quickly adds: “Before he met you, Shaughna. Years ago. Eons.”
I don’t mind that Dshawn has been in a strip club, but I just didn’t expect it. He’s not nearly as experienced as I am, and I haven’t even been in one. Never.
Dshawn laughs and gives Aston a playful shove. “Shut up, man. You’re making me sound like a pussy. I didn’t cover my eyes. I just didn’t want a lap dance.”
“Oh, but lap dances are awesome!” Franny squeals. “I organized my big sister’s bachelorette party, and three other ones for her friends, and the best part is when the stripper arrives! I’ve always wanted to go to a strip club, but I’ve only ever booked a stripper for a private party, because my sister and her friends are all too scared they will run into someone they know.”
“Just come to Caroline’s party,” I say with a shrug. Caroline told me that she wants to keep things simple and that she only needs me, Tiffany and Hillary there, but I’m sure she won’t mind Franny tagging along. “We could go to a strip club. Caroline is never going to say no to anything I plan.”
“No no,” she says quickly. “I barely know her. It would be weird to tag along.”
Franny has been so down lately, and she’s still not truly over Aston, so I hate to see her excitement die down again. Then an idea hits me. “Why don’t you come with me to find the perfect place for the party? Surely we need to go and see for ourselves if those strippers are any good?”
“Really?” Her eyes light up and she jumps around like a little kid. “Oh, this is going to be so much fun! When can we go? When is your next night off? You’re gonna love it, Shaughna!”
“Erm… honey?” Dshawn waves from his place on the couch, trying to catch my attention. “Isn’t there something that you’re forgetting?”
I frown at him. “Are you saying that I need your permission to do whatever I deem necessary to give our good friend Caroline a kick-ass bachelorette party?”
He rolls his eyes. “No… I’m just saying… Isn’t this something we should discuss? You going to a strip club… I’m not sure how I feel about that.”
“Then tag along,” I say, smiling at how uncomfortable he’s getting. “I’ll even buy you a lap dance.”
Aston laughs at me. “Honey, almost all strip clubs are all male or all female. There’s no place anywhere near here where all four of us would get what we want.”
“Especially since I don’t want to go to any kind of strip club, period,” Dshawn adds. I swear that if his skin wasn’t so dark, he’d be blushing furiously right now. He’s so cute.
“Well, I like girls,” Francesca says with a shrug. “I’m not gay or bisexual, but I wouldn’t mind some titties in my face. It’s not like I’ve never slept with a girl before. And Shaughna, you had some girl-on-girl action as well, right?”
I nod. “Yeah, once.” No use lying about it, since everyone in this room already knows. And let’s face it, when have I ever been shy about sex?
“Then it’s settled, we’re going to a strip club to watch some naked girls!” Francesca exclaims, nodding her head so her purple-and-blonde hair bounces around. “Oh, I can’t wait! Let’s pick a date right now!”
Aston is grinning at Franny, more amused than anything. I know he used to go to strip clubs a lot a few years back, but not so much anymore. He prefers the chase and having sex at the end of the night. He doesn’t need to pay for female attention anyway, being a muscular god and all, but he used to hang out with some guys who loved going there, and Aston loves watching naked woman, so he’s not going to say no to coming with us to a strip club.
Dshawn is not even the tiniest bit excited. By the time Franny and Aston leave our apartment, Dshawn is quiet and almost shy, not meeting my gaze at all.
“Honey…” I say, taking a seat next to him and rubbing his arm. “Look, I was just trying to cheer Franny up. You know she’s been having a tough time trying to get over Aston. We don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”
He shrugs. “It’s fine.”
It’s obviously not, so I sigh and put my hands on his face, forcing him to look at me. “We agreed to be honest with each other, right? You’re obviously upset, so talk to me.”
“Okay, fine,” he snaps. “I would have preferred a private discussion with you about you going to a strip club instead of getting dragged into this whole outing that I don’t feel comfortable with.”
“Okay, I get that,” I agree. “I do. But to be fair, you yelled strip club just as loudly as Aston when Francesca talked about Caroline’s bachelorette party. And I don’t think that throwing my best friend a party where she’ll get a lap dance is the same thing as me wanting to go to a strip club once a week for my own enjoyment.”
“Yeah,” he sighs. “I guess… It’s not really about Caroline’s party, if I’m being honest. I don’t actually mind you going to see a show with your friends. It’s not like it will change anything between us. Aston was right. I don’t like women dancing naked in front of a bunch of horny men. I think it’s demeaning and wrong.” His eyes are almost… misty? Is he going to cry?! “There’s something I think I should tell you.”
“What?” I ask, a little taken-aback. What is he going to say? Did he date a stripper at one point? Did he use to work as a stripper himself?
The suspense is driving me crazy!
Author's note: please, do me a favor, and comment to let me know what you think Dshawn is going to say. I am so curious! S