The Bridesmaid

Free The Bridesmaid by Hailey Abbott

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Authors: Hailey Abbott
the perimeter of the kitchen until she got to the stairs. Tucker shot her a helpless sort of smile.
    “Sorry,” Abby mouthed.
    “Save yourself,” he mouthed back.
    Abby turned and bolted up to her room. Maybe Tucker wasn’t so bad after all.
    That afternoon Abby returned home from a long run to find a wedding in progress. The bride was just starting down the aisle in the backyard, so she slipped as quietly as she could through the side door, then headed up to her room to call Delila.
    She was just sitting down with her cordless when Carol burst into her bedroom, the color high in her cheeks.
    “Hey. Knock much?” Abby said.
    “Sorry.” Carol closed the door. “I need to talk to you.”
    Abby put the phone aside, intrigued. This was high intensity stuff, whatever it was.
    “Abby, I have never seen Mom and Dad like this,” Carol said. She pushed her hands through her hair as she paced the area rug in front of Abby’s bed. “First it was color schemes, then they moved on to invitations and place cards and whether to invite Donny and Beth and if so, whether we should have an open bar. . . .”
    Abby stifled a laugh. Donny and Beth were the raging alcoholics of the family who just loved to make a scene at any and all functions.
    “It’s not funny!” Carol said. “I’m telling you, you should have seen them! I think my wedding is going to kill their marriage.”
    Abby chewed on her lip. “Come on, Carol. Don’t you think you’re being just a little dramatic?”
    “No! No I don’t!” Carol sat down on the bed and pulled one leg up on top of the blankets, then started gnawing on her already gnawed fingernails.
    “Okay, stop doing that before you draw blood,” Abby said, putting her hand over her sister’s.
    “Sorry,” Carol said. She pulled her angry, red pinky free and sucked on it. “You have to help me, Abby. You have to help me plan the wedding. If Mom and Dad do it, they’re going to kill each other. I swear it’s like this whole thing has set off some kind of latent power struggle between them. They’re not themselves.”
    “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute,” Abby said, pushing herself off her bed and backing up slightly. “You want me to plan your wedding ?”
    “Well, not the whole thing,” Carol said. “I just need your help taking some of the responsibilities off Mom and Dad.”
    “But Carol . . . you said all I had to do was show up. I hate weddings. You know this.”
    “I know,” Carol said. “Which is why you know I wouldn’t ask unless I thought it was important. Abby . . . I just want to have a nice wedding. And it would be great if our parents made it through it in one piece.”
    Abby saw the sadness and hope in her sister’s eyes and felt herself caving. The last thing she wanted in this world was to plan a wedding, let alone her sister’s premature, ill-advised one. But how could she turn down a face like that from the person she loved most in the world?
    She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and dove. “I’ll do what I can.”
    “Oh! Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Carol cried. She hugged Abby so tight, she could barely breathe.
    “I wouldn’t thank me yet,” Abby said as she finally extricated herself from her sister’s freakishly strong grip. “I’m sure I’m going to suck at this.”
    “Not possible,” Carol said.
    Abby couldn’t help but smile at her sister’s confidence. “Oh, and hey! I get to pick out my own maid of honor dress,” she said.
    “That’s a given,” Carol told her. “I promise.”
    She squeezed Abby’s hand, gave her one last grin and walked out the door. From the yard Abby heard the string quartet break into the classic bridal recessional.
    Abby wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.
    “Okay, the first thing I need you to do is come up with a song list,” Carol told Abby. It was later that evening and the two sisters and Tucker were sitting under the stars in the backyard, kicked back on lawn

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