When Lauren and Eric announced they were going to honeymoon on Long Beach Island, the young couple received looks of astonishment from their friends. Naturally, the islands were perfect places for the newly married. Hawaii was a romantic spot for the newlyweds. There were plenty of beautiful places in the Caribbean. For those who were more adventurous, Thailand would provide an exotic taste, and there was always Paris, where love is said to bloom year-round. So why Long Beach Island of all places?
Their friends’ quizzical glances didn’t deter the young lovers in the very least. A secret smile between the two promised their choice was secure. Even if presented to them free of expenses, they wouldn’t have chosen another place. LBI was their choice, and it was going to remain their choice.
The engagement party was throbbing along at full speed. The attendees raised their glasses to toast the upcoming nuptials, followed by a string of lewd jokes. The private dining area of Dmitri’s Pizzeria thronged with guests. Loud voices and laughter drowned out the Frank Sinatra tunes that played in the background. Patrons in the main room of the restaurant could overhear the merriment. Due to many salutes to future happiness, Lauren and Eric were beginning to feel comfortably numbed by the many glasses of champagne they had already consumed. It was only the beginning of the happiest event of their lives. Both were ecstatic over their choice to spend their lives together.
When Lauren found herself cornered in the lady’s restroom by her two best friends, Chloe Field and Emerson Delacroix, it was nearing midnight. They had been hovering, one on each side, at the stall door the bride-to-be was positioned behind. As soon as she exited, the two women pounced.
“Why LBI?” Emerson demanded as she thrust her overly made-up face into Lauren’s. Chloe closed in to voice her command, “What gives? C’mon, tell us.” Although both women were beautiful enough in their spaghetti strap sheath dresses with their long blond hair swooping over the right sides of their faces, they were both far on the other side of tipsy.
“It’s no real mystery,” Lauren sighed as she leaned back against the stall door. It was getting late, and the party was going into overtime. She had told Eric she was only going to be a moment, but there was a story to be told. “When we were six years old, Eric and I met in the shadow of Barnegat Lighthouse.”