Saturday, September 24, 2011

Roses in June (Unfinished)

"Where is the florist!"

Danielle wanted to scream until every last one of the crystal champagne flutes exploded. This couldn't be happening. Not today. Not today of all days.

"Erin!' The maid of honor hoped out of her chair at the mention of her name.

"It's okay, Danielle. I'm sure they'll be here." She said, rubbing her friend's shoulders as Danielle covered her eyes and began sobbing. "Shhh. They'll be here. Don't worry."

"They were supposed to be here last night!" She said, pulling away and stomping to the window.

"Dominque said that they haven't called and no one has been able to get a hold of them." Erin said, tucking a brown curl behind her ear. "At this point, maybe we should try to make it work without the flowers."

Danielle had sat down on one of the maroon chairs and and looked up at Erin with fire in her eyes. "We. Can't. Have. A. Wedding. Without. Fucking. Flowers!"

Erin ducked as the telephone on the side table was thrown at her.

"Jeez, calm down Dani." She said, backing up a bit. "Yes you can."

"There won't be any centerpieces on any of the tables at the reception!" She said, tears beginning to flow again.

"Shhh. It's okay. We still have the candles." Erin said, directing one of the spectator bridemaids to pick up the fallen phone. "We can put them in the middle and make it very minimilist. You said yourself that you don't want your wedding to be tacky. This way. It will be. Classy."

Danielle sniffed and looked down at her small feet squeezed into the pair of white Prada's she had received last summer. For a moment she felt like everything would be okay. Then her shoulders tensed and began shaking. Her gloved white hands dug into the red velvet she sat on. Her makeup streaked eyes locked onto her maid of honors as she spat, "And what about my bouquet!?!"

The smile on Erin's face died down. In her mind she was quickly weighing options. Danielle was her best friend. So booking it out of the doors and escaping wasn't an option. Danielle was the one who had insisted on having the wedding at the mountain lodge, almost a 2 hour drive away from the nearest town so there would be no back up florist. And because they were way up in the mountains there wasn't a chance of finding any flowers there, wild or otherwise. Erin was running out of options.

"What if we improvise with some lace and some pine branches." The look on Danielle's face told Erin she wasn't buying it. "I mean. In case the florist doesn't show up."

"I'm. Supposed. To walk. Down the aisle. On my WEDDING DAY! Carrying a fricking tree?!?!" Erin sighed and closed her eyes as Danielle went on to list all the people she hated and blamed or this happening.

"Well, hun. Listen, I'm going to go grab some of them. Just the small, thin branches. They'll fit with the location too. In the meantime. Here. Have some champagne to clam your nerves."

Danielle chugged the alcohol and threw the glass against the wall, sending bride's maids scattering and covering their heads.

Erin just shook her head and walked out of the room, smoothing her black silk dress. She opened the door to walk straight into another person. Miles stood in the doorway with his hand raised, mid-knock.


"Miles!" She grabbed his arm. "Good. I'm glad you're here. She needs someone to calm her down till I get back."

"Did you find the florist?" He asked, dragged into the anteroom.

Erin turned sharply on her high heels and looked him in the eye while lowering her voice, "Don't mention this to anyone. Especially Danielle. But. The florist went to the wrong lodge. They're on the other side of the mountain and won't be here until 3 at the latest."

"But the wedding is supposed to start at–" Miles began before Erin's finger was shoved on his lips as Danielle walked into the room.

"Miles? Any news from the florist?" She asked, drying her eyes.

"Danielle. God, you look awful." He said, holding out his arms.

She began to cry again and slowly walked to him, clutching him by the coat lapels as she cried into his vest. Erin shook her head and gave him a look that said, "you're a moron" before she turned to go on her mission to go find flowers.

"Come on, let's get you some water." Miles said as he led her back to her room.

He nodded with his head that the rest of the bride's maids should clear out so they would have the room to themselves.

"So, what exactly is happening?" Miles asked looking confused.

"Everything is going wrong." She said, walking over to the window, having regained a semblance of control of herself. "The stupid florist just disappeared."

"I see." Miles said, swallowing.

"What?" She turned on him, "You know something! Admit it! Where are they!?"

Miles slide further down on the bed to get away from her as she advanced on him. "I don't know anything. I swear!"

"Miles." She said, leaning over him, piercing his soul with her gaze, "Don't think. That you can lie to me. Because you can't."

"Ha!" Miles said, ducking out from under her and standing up, adjusting his lapels. "Please. I've lied to you for years and you never caught on."

"What?" She said, now the one sitting on the bed as she rolled her eyes, "The fact that you and Evette aren't really together? Please, I could tell you weren't interested in her from the start."

"Was it that obvious?" He said, smiling and sitting down next to her.

"Well, you two did book separate flights here, separate rooms in the lodge, and I've barely seen you in the same room. So yeah." She said, flicking him none too gently on the forehead, "Just a bit obvious."

"Hey." He said, rubbing his forehead. "You haven't done that to me in a long time. Not since–"

"Don't." She said, standing up. "That's the other thing Miles."

He remained sitting on the bed, looking at her back, where the bodice of the white satin wrapped around like two thick, flat arms, connecting in a line of pearl buttons running down her back to disappear in the folds of chiffon.

"I know you're still in love with me." She said turning, her gloved fingers running over each other. "I know you've tried to pretend like you got over me. But I've felt it. I've felt your gaze lingering. I've felt the way you touch me arm when you're passing."

Miles didn't say anything. In his mind he was running through all the subtle things he had done since arriving at the lodge. He was trying to figure out where he had been too blunt. What would have made her talk to him like this.

"It's sweet. It really is." She said, crossing her arms, "But it's also sad. You've got to move on. I mean, there are plenty of fish out there."

She smiled slightly as she said it. For a moment she did relish the feeling that someone couldn't get over her. It gave her an intoxicating thrill. But at the same time she felt bad for him. Her friend. She cared for him too. Just not in that way.

"I don't know what you're talking about." Miles said, getting up and grabbing one of the glasses, sipping from the fizzing amber liquid.

"Miles. Please." She said, placing her hand on his arm and squeezing it softly, "You have to let it go. We were both too young and stupid and just not ready."

Miles finished off his flute and then turned away from her, looking out of the window. When she walked over she saw he was smiling. She didn't know why but for some reason it made her stomach turn.

"What?" She asked, breathing in deeply, "Why are you smiling?"

"Because if were not going to play pretend anymore then I guess I should at least be helpful. Do you still need a bouquet? Because I got one for Evette. It's up in her room right now. She hasn't even looked at it. It's yours if you want."

Danielle felt a ray of hope. She wouldn't have to walk down the aisle with a tree. She would have a bouquet! Maybe her wedding day wouldn't be ruined after all.

"What are they?" She asked, as her hopes suddenly dove. "They're not carnations, are they? You know how allergic I am to them."

"Nope." He said, smiling, "White lilies. Come on. We can go grab them right now. Evette is out at the bar already."

"Oh, she is a classy one, isn't she?" Danielle smiled.

"Come on." Miles said, leading Danielle from the room by her hand.

They rode the elevator up, the soft classical music pouring down on them, filling the room with peaceful quiet. She looked down at her small Pradas again and over at his shoes. He was wearing his Prada's too. From their trip to Milan. Out of the whole group they had been the only ones to actually buy shoes while there. Her gaze traveled up his suit. She could tell it was expensive. The material had a certain sharp texture to it. A crispness.

"It's French." He said, catching her gaze in the reflection of the bronze elevator door.

"Oh. I hadn't even notticed." She lied, focusing instead on the numbers slowly climbing upward.

The rest of the elevator trip was spent in silence. The classical music stifled the air and droned tensely.

"This is it." He said, just as the elevator doors opened.

The long hallway extended before them, dark mahogany doors lining the plush red velvet carpet, while the lights spaced between them seemed to tone everything cold. She followed him down the hallway. And as they walked she couldn't help but think this is what it would be like. Him. Her. Her wedding day. The hotel hallway. Had things been different.

"It's just in here." He said, sliding the key into the door and opening the heavy brass handle.

The door opened into a dark room that was stifling and warm. Like a garden on a summer night, she thought. The scent of lilies blossomed across their senses. He stepped inside and she followed, the only light coming from the white, dull lights in the hallway. Then he flicked on a switch and the whole room changed.

"There we go." He said, as the warm lamps and lights across the room lit it up in tones of burnt umber and reds. "Sorry. She had the light's set for some... alone time last night."

"I see." Danielle said, holding her dress up as she walked in. As if to say how disgusted she was with the little slut, "But you were at the bachelor's party last night, weren't you."

"Yeah." He said, rubbing the back of his head. "Anyway. They're right over here."

He walked into the small bathroom and pulled them out form behind the sink. She gave him a look that asked a dozen of questions. He just smiled and motioned to the large bouquet of sunflowers, carnations, and roses standing on the dresser. "Well, apparently I was outdone anyway. She won't miss the lilies."

"Thanks." She said, taking the flowers from him.

For a moment she just stood there, the light of the hallway illuminating them both from behind.

No comments:

Post a Comment