Disclaimer: I do not own the Clique or any of it's characters. That all goes to Lisi Harrison :)
Also: This was previously published as At Every Wedding, Someone Stays Home but I liked the title Something Borrowed Someone Blue better. Sorry for the confusion :)
You pick up the phone on the second ring and he's already talking before you say hello. Like always. His voice is giddy, excited. Eager. It makes your heart bound in your chest. Take a deep breath, you tell yourself. You lean against the counter, a cool expression on your face, delicate fingers playing with the cord of the phone (it's an old model, true, but you like things vintage). You look like you couldn't care less, it's a great act, really. If only he could see it.
"Hey, you gotta meet me." He's speaking so fast, it's almost impossible to understand him. "I just realized something, it's life changing." She could almost see him raking his hand through his hair, eyes sparkling. He was probably pacing, too. When he's this keyed up, he can barely stand, let alone stand still. "Look, I…I just need to ask you something."
"Sure," you answer, trying to keep her voice steady. It wasn't a big deal, you tell yourself. But your hands tremble and you know you're lying. "Where are you?"
He gave her the address, exhaling in relief. "I can't wait to see you."
The ring is beautiful. There's no other word that can describe it—actually, beautiful doesn't even begin to do it justice. Your eyes go wide as it slides onto your finger—a perfect fit. The diamond's small and delicate, nothing like you imagined. You always thought about big and extravagant things, but this was astounding in its simplicity.
"Cam," you say, you eyes looking up to meet his. You want to close you eyes, to whisk yourself away to a place where this has already happened, where this is just a day out of a thousand that you'd spend together. Some place secretive and romantic, like a Japanese garden. You've always liked those.
His eyes are mesmerizing, blue and green. Looking into them, it feels like it'll fix all your problems. The world just seems to knit back together.
But than Judi gushes, "It's perfect! I knew Claire'll love it." And everything falls apart.
Because your name isn't Claire—it's Massie. . You're not in some Japanese garden fantasy—you're in a high-class jewelry store. And you're not getting married to Cam Fisher—that's a different girl. He doesn't think you're in love with him—he thinks you're just friends.
And he's wrong. All of it's so, so wrong.
"She'll love it," you make yourself say and you force a smile. He doesn't even notice. He's back to being a little boy again, all excited and jittery. He shares an excited look with Judi, who's wiping away tears. A cluster of women had been watching them, mainly store assistants. Kathy, an elderly lady who had been helping Cam pats Judi's arm and then blinks backs tears. "Your daughter is so lucky," she croaks and the herd of women agree.
They don't know half of it.
"Thanks so much," he says sincerely. He's looking straight at you and it makes it hard to breathe. He's so happy and he's looking at you like it's all because of you and what would he do without you , which is such a great feeling that you might just pass out and die. But maybe dying with an engagement ring from Cam Fisher on wouldn't be the worst way to go. "I wouldn't have guessed to go small."
"Claire likes simple," you say, sliding the ring off your finger and into a small velvet box. Your eyes look at your lap, which is strange because nothing ever intimidates Massie Block. Your breathing is more regular now and you try not to dwell on why.
Judi nods and then sits next to you on the plush cushions. "Massie's absolutely right," Judi said, squeezing you affectionately and then just hugging you. A warm feeling spreads in you. Most of the time, you can't stand Judi and her tacky, Goodwill style, but she genuinely cares about you. And it's nice to know that, sometimes.
Cam drums his hands on his jeans. He was looking off into space, a smile playing around the corners of his mouth. He's such a dreamer, you think, rolling your eyes. But that's why you love him. Your face heats up, wishing you could highlight-alt-delete that thought. Clearing your throat, you push the beautiful ring that you'll never where again into his hand and shrug out of Judi's hug.
"I have to go," you hear yourself say, but you don't remember forming the words. Everything suddenly seems too loud.
"Right," Cam says, holding the box precariously, like it was his first born child. "Well, thanks for helping."
"Any time," you say, heading to leave.
"It's so lucky that you and Claire have the same finger size," Judi says and it feels like she punched you in the gut. Lucky. Yeah. You compose your face, tilting your head regally, showcasing your best side. It would overwhelm most boys with desire, but Cam wasn't most boys.
"Yeah, it's great," you say and turn the handle on the glass door. "Well, bye." You know you shouldn't, but you look back anyway, just because you have to see him. He's practically glowing and he looks so good right in that moment. You secretly love his style, even though you constantly chide him about it. But the dark jeans and gray shirts have a certain appeal and the leather jacket draws to his musical side.
"Bye, Mass," he says, waving slightly. "Love you."
Every time he says that, a part of your heart dies, a pang inside your chest. Because he doesn't mean it the way you do. "Love ya too," you call back over your shoulder, hurrying out of that shop as fast as you can.
Because he'll never know just how much you do.
"You don't have to do this," Alicia says firmly, peering at her reflection in the mirror. She doesn't look directly at you, but you're not dumb. You know what she's talking about. But you want to go. You need to go. "Do I need more blush?" she turns and asks Kristen after a moment of meaningful silence. Thank God. You hope she drops the matter.
"Nah, you're good," K replies, struggling to find the zipper of her dress. It's already night and the moon shines through the full length windows. "Damn it, my arms are too short."
Dylan chortles. "No, they're not. You're just not talented enough to find the zipper."
They were all in Alicia's penthouse, reject dresses strewn around the floor and leather couches. Leesh's kitchen counter had been transformed into a cosmetic stand. The plasma screen TV was showing a gossip channel, but muted. The atmosphere was light on the surface, but you can feel it tensing up, minute by slow minute.
"Can you just help me?"
"Fine." Dylan gets off the couch and zips up the back of Kristen's aqua strapless dress. "You know," Dylan muses, standing back and tapping her finger against her mouth, "that actually looks kinda cute."
"Mhm," you agree. Your tomboy friend doesn't usually dress up, but she cleans up well. "The color is ah-mazing."
"Just a little lip gloss," Alicia says, tossing a rosy pink shade of lipstick at Kristen, "and you're a heartbreaker."
"Joy," Kristen says dryly, catching it single-handedly and twisting the cap off.
"Stop being so sarcastic. You don't know how luck you are," Dylan sighs. She throws herself back on the couch, knocking over the remote, a bowl of chips and a pillow.
"Dylan!" Alicia half-scolds, half-laughs.
"What? It's true. She's a total ten and I haven't found a dress yet," she pouts. "How is that fair?"
"It isn't." You barely register you're talking. "Life's never fair."
Kristen, Alicia and Dylan exchange glances. Kristen puts down Alicia's lipstick and walks over to where you're curled up in an armchair. "Mass," she starts gently, but you don't want pity.
"The misty gray one," you say to Dylan. She props herself up on her elbows and knits her eyebrows together in confusion. "The misty gray dress," you say impatiently, trying to ignore Kristen's concerned eyes, "that's the dress for you."
Alicia turns away from the mirror. She looks great in an elegant black gown, full of ruffles. It's yours, but maybe she should just keep it. You looked like a chicken in it. "Massie," she starts and you want to cover your ears and shut your eyes. She doesn't say what you expected her too though. "I think the wine red dress looked good on you."
"Yeah," Dylan chimes in. "And you have to let me do your hair."
"And then you're a heartbreaker, too," Kristen says and for the first time that night, you smile.
An hour later, Alicia's limo pulls up in front of a decorated church. Everyone piles out. Dylan in the gray dress, Alicia in black and Kristen in aqua. And you. It doesn't matter what color your dress is; whatever you ended up choosing, it was the wrong one.
You wish it was white. It should be white.
People are already surrounding the church.
"Josh is inside," Alicia says, grabbing Dylan's hand. "He's saving all of us seats. I'm gonna tell him we're here. Dyl and I'll wait inside. "
"Why do I have to go?" grumbles Dylan. "You're just gonna make out and forget about me." But she goes anyways, her and Alicia disappearing into the crowd.
Churches used to fascinate you but this one is too tall and too old and there are too many shadows. It scares you. There are little tables set up around the front of the church and people are smoking their last cigarettes and draining glasses of complimentary champagne.
"Maybe we should have all gone inside," Kristen remarks, looking uncomfortable. Something in the distance catches her eye. You look too. It's Harris Fisher. And behind him is Cam. Their foot steps are loud, or is that just what you think? Leaves crunch underneath them and people from the crowd are already greeting him. He looks good in a tux and dark fall scenery reminds you of wine for some reason. Really, wine? You laugh to yourself as he makes a big show to some old friends about finding the crunchiest leaf. He did that back in 9th grade when you two had to walk home together.
You fiddle with your necklace, you fiddle with your purse, you even fiddle with your fingers. But it doesn't help; you're still nervous . "Let's go," you tell K, but the voice that comes out is too high and shrilly to be your voice.
You grab her hand and march through the crowd, through the church doors, trying to erase the image of Cam crunching leaves and your heart under his foot.
The wedding march starts and everyone turns and sighs as Claire starts to walk down the aisle. Two ladies in front of you burst out into tears. She looks so pretty and happy, it's hard to hate her. She looks straight at Cam and you wish he would look at you everyday the way he looked at her in that moment.
Dylan and Kristen both squeeze your hands and Alicia leans around Kristen, takes one look at your expression and then buries her head in Josh's shoulder before bursting into tears.
There's something about weddings that are just so damn sad.
The reception is lively. The buffet was a hit with almost all the food gone and Dune Baxter was doing an amazing job as a DJ. Josh had fixed Dylan up with one of his old high school friends, Chris Plovert, and that made her seem a little more self-confident. Kristen talks animatedly with Kemp Hurley, a guy you knew who went to Princeton and Alicia and Josh are holding hands under the table.
Everyone's having a good time except for you. Your head buzzes and you feel out of place. "Excuse me," you say, "I'm going to the bathroom." No one looks up.
You head to the connected room, which is a bar. It's so loud, everything is always so loud these days. Jay's talking about how just yesterday he was pushing Claire around on a Bratz bike. He bursts into tears a second later. Mrs. Fisher hasn't stopped crying since the ceremony—she looks like she used red eyeliner. Almost everyone was in a group, laughing, talking, crying, toasting to the newly wed couple. You wipe your eyes with a napkin. The bartender asks you what you want.
I want to go home.
But all you say is a Shirley Temple, even though you really want vodka so you can get drunk and blackout and forget everything. The way you're feeling right now, though, you might do something pretty stupid if you get drunk.
The drink slides across the table to you and you sip it, cautiously.
A few songs later, some blond came up to you and started flirting with you. You barely register it. You're too distracted. Cam and Claire are holding hands and people are wishing them well. It makes you want to throw something.
"Sorry, Derrington," you say to the blond, getting ready to leave. Alicia was right—you don't have to do this.
He laughs. "My name's Derrick," he says, "Harrington's my last name." You feel so stupid.
"God, sorry," you say, because even if you feel like crap and want the world to burn, you were raised by Kendra Block. "I've been having a crap night."
"It's okay," his eyes are soft and chocolate brown. You don't like brown. They're nice enough eyes, just not for you. Brown was so common. You liked atypical eye combos; like, for a random example, blue and green.
"I'm Massie," you say and sit back down. Dune changes the song to a slow one. He's saying something into the mic, but you can't hear him.
"Bride or groom?" Derrick asks. He's drinking vodka.
"Both," you say rigidly. You gulp down the rest of your drink and push the glass away harshly.
"Lucky," Derrick comments, flicking an invisible piece of lint off of his tux.
You look away from his face, back to the dance floor. And freeze. They're dancing. Of course they're dancing, you tell yourself. They're married, damn it. You should look away, but you can't. Not from his carefree smile, or the happy tears falling down on her face or the two of them, bodies entwined as they twirled around the empty dance floor.
"Yeah." You fix Derrick with cold amber eyes. A lesser man would have flinched, but Derrick barely looked affected. "I'm so lucky."
It's almost four a.m. You wistfully wish you could find an excuse to leave. You're so great at pretending, at lying, at building walls, so how can a simple excuse fail you? It's almost ending, though. You hope. Inside, the cake's being cut, but you're out on the veranda, staring stonily out at the mountain side. The view is beautiful, even so early in the morning.
The crowds awws and laughs and you hear Claire's giggle. You wish you couldn't hear them, but you can and they sear a mental image of the two happily shoving cake in each other's mouth. It's so sweet that it's sickening.
You don't keep track of the time and soon Kristen comes out, searching for you. "Mass, Claire's gonna throw the bouquet," she says, sitting down next to you. "I think you should be there."
You don't want to be, though.
But Claire's one of your best friends. And you can't ruin this night for her.
"One, two…three!" a giddy Claire shouts, hurling a bouquet of red roses behind her. The cluster of college-aged girls all squeal and screech and the guys, who had been waiting on the edge of the dance floor coughed embarrassedly. Alicia and Dylan are pushing each other out of the way, but laughing. And somehow, in the midst of everything, it falls right into your hand.
"Oh, you're so lucky," a random girl gushes, envy in her eyes.
"So." You turn around and see Derrick, the blonde from the bar, standing behind you looking amused. "You got a guy in mind?" He jokes.
Yeah, you think, eyes seeking out Cam, but Claire blocks him out as she excitedly tells him the news. They both laugh. But he's taken.
Everything's finally starting to unwind. It's almost six now. You're still talking to Derrick, trying to avoid Claire and Cam, but with the thinning group, it's starting to become a real challenge. Derrington's a funny guy though, you reflect. And maybe you could learn to like brown eyes. Even if you prefer blue and green ones.
"Come on!" A drunk Alicia staggers by, hiccupping and laughing. She tries to grab onto you, but she ends up grabbing Derrick. He tries to steady her, barely containing his laughter. "We gotta go, girlie." She's slurring her words and Josh hurries after her, muttering apologizes. He helps her into her limo, which has just pulled up.
You turn to face Derrick. "Well," you say slowly as Dylan and Kristen head into the car, both giggling drunkenly. For once, you're lost for words. You genuinely like Derrick, but…you're just not sure if you're ready to like him that way. You're still healing.
"Hey," he murmurs and it shocks you how well he reads you. "I'll give you my number, whenever—if you ever," he chuckles, "wanna meet up sometime, just call me." He scrawls down a few digits on your palm and gives you a kick butt smile.
You start to head to the limo but you're blindsided by Claire. She's talking so much and Cam's no where to be seen. She starts talking about how great Derrick is and babbles on and on until you grab her wrist. It's hard but you get her to look you straight in the eye. "Claire," you say urgently and so seriously that she sobers immediately. "Cam's a great guy. Don't ever let him go."
She looks back solemnly. "I won't. I won't ever."
The promise breaks your heart, but you don't care. It's saving the only heart you actually care about.
For every happy couple, there's a shattered soul. For every smile, there are a millions tears. For every crack on your heart, there's a story you can't repeat. And at every wedding, there's someone who stays home and there's someone who wishes they did.
Watcha think? I couldn't help but add a bit of Massington in there :D
I've been waiting to experiment with Cassie for a while, and BAM! here's the end product.
Was it too sad? Was it too long? Was the tense weird? Please, please, please, R&R about this.
And I PROMISE I'll update my other stories soon. Pinky-swear