The weird thing about getting older is how fast things seem to happen. The years fly by and big (I mean big)changes happen. I've been home for three days now and it's like everyone has lost it. Was something in the water here that made everyone go crazy? So many people that I went to high school with are already married and/or have kids! It's nuts. They're nuts.
I just graduated from college and that is a big enough change for me. In fact, I'll stick to that for now. I'm happy sticking to that. I don't know that I could handle more, or that I would want to. Who am I kidding? I wouldn't want to at all.
Along with finishing school, there were a few other reasons I came back home. Going with the trend of young marriages and people going crazy, my best friend Dana asked me to be her maid of honor last summer when she got engaged to Mike Phillips. Dana has always been a little crazy though, so I suppose it's not as surprising that she's tying the knot.
Anyways, here I am, trying on some silly dress that makes me look like I'm going to prom again. The things you do for best friends.
"My maid of honor is a hottie," Dana grins. It's obvious she is pleased with her dress choice.
I laugh. "Yeah, hopefully I don't make the dress look too horrible."
Dana rolls her eyes and giggles. "Juli, it's not horrible!"
"I don't know, I feel sort of silly in it, I guess." I stare at myself awkwardly in the mirror.
"It looks great, ok?" Dana protests.
"Yeah, purple is really your color," Bryce comments waltzing through the door.
"Bryce! Is Mike here? He can't see my dress! It's bad luck and our marriage will be doomed forever." Dana can be so dramatic sometimes.
Suddenly I feel more awkward in the dress now that Bryce is standing in the room.
"Dana, chill. He's at the country club taking care of details for the wedding reception. He is not going to see your dress. I promise," Bryce reassures her.
"Well, why are you here?" I ask somewhat nervously playing with the fabric of my dress. I was getting good at finding reasons to avoid direct eye contact with Bryce since I'd gotten back. It was a challenge with him being the best man and me being the maid of honor. But so far, I was making it work.
"Mike asked me to come by and pick up some things for him. You know, groom-like items."
I feel his eyes on me, but choose to stare into the mirror again, still fidgeting with the dress.
"I didn't expressly make the trip to visit you, Juli. Don't worry," he says pompously.
He knows how to get a response out of me. And to make matters worse, he is standing in the doorway grinning and being effortlessly handsome. Asshole.
"I would never want you to," I answer and can't help but shoot him a look of annoyance. I'm about to add to my witty response, but stop myself. Fighting back would only be letting him win. He wants an argument and I refuse to give him one. Instead, I send him a phony smile and return my attention to the dress and my reflection in the mirror.
"Juli, stop playing with it! The dress is perfect." Dana's oblivious to the little verbal tennis match between Bryce and I. All she cares is that the dress gets my approval. "Bryce, tell her the dress looks perfect," she says grabbing my hand, spinning me around till I am standing directly in front of Bryce.
Damn it, Dana. Don't tell him to say that to me. I see his eyes scanning my figure and the dress. My cheeks are getting warm. Don't look at me like that.
He seems to know this is making me uncomfortable and is almost enjoying tormenting me with his gaze. Ok. I take that back, he is a super asshole. Finally he stops the torture and nods in approval.
"She's right. You're perfect."
Dana giggles loudly.
I freeze. Did he really just say that? I can't help but look at him again.
Bryce looks horrified and incredibly embarrassed. "I mean, the dress. The dress is perfect on you. NOT you. The dress. I meant to say that the dress makes you look perfect," he fumbles for words. He has this look like he wants to punch himself in the face.
I feel my lips fighting not to smile. But I just won't let myself.
Dana is staring at the two of us like we're in elementary school again, grinning mischievously. "See. There you have it, Juli. You're perfect!" She is clearly making fun of Bryce. "And by 'you're', I mean the dress!" she adds with a wink.
"Anything else you need me to do, Dana?" Bryce asks with a hint of sarcasm. "If not, I better get back to Mike. I think my duties as best man are reserved more for him. Plus, you've got Juli here. So I think you're in good hands." He smiles at me and this time I can't help but smile a little too.
So, I cracked. Don't judge me, I'm only human.
"Tell my sugar muffin that I love him and miss him," Dana requests in a love-struck tone.
Bryce stares at her like she's a crazy woman for a moment. Inside, I am laughing hysterically.
"Sure, Dana. You've got it." With that, Bryce leaves the room.
"Awesome! See you, Bryce!" she waves.
Good. He's gone.
"Well now that we know you look perfect in the dress, can you please just be the best maid of honor in the world (which you are) and lie and say you love it?" She's looking at me with this puppy dog stare.
I give in."Ok. Yes, I… I love it," I force out.
Dana squeals happily and hugs me tightly.
"Yayy! Ok, so when are you two going to kiss and make up?"
"What?!" I am so shocked; I don't even know how to answer her question.
"You know exactly what I mean. Stop acting like you're in seventh grade, Juli! Something is still there and you can't keep being stubborn and fighting it."
I stare at her. The girl who calls her fiancé 'sugar muffin' is telling me to grow up? Please. I am really hoping this is the end of this conversation. "Look, Dana. There is nothing there, ok?"
Dana shrugs in response. "Whatever you say…" she trails off. It seems like she is ready to change the subject.
"Oh, and Juli, don't forget! Tomorrow night we have lessons at the dance studio. Whew! So glad to hear there is nothing between you and Bryce. That means you'll be just fine dancing with him then," she says with that infamous mischievous grin of her's. "Gotta shake a tail feather at my wedding," she adds enthusiastically before going inside the bathroom to change out of her wedding dress.
I am already panicking. I have to dance with Bryce? I knew the circumstances of having mutual friends meant having to be Dana's maid of honor while he was Mike's best man, but nobody said anything about dancing.
A/N: Thank you so much for all of the reviews! Please keep them coming. It seriously makes me want to continue writing and updating as often as I can! I am taking any comments/suggestions into consideration and seeing how I can incorporate them into the story as I continue writing. :] Hope y'all enjoyed the chapter. What will happen when Bryce and Juli meet on the dance floor? Will they collide or move like a match made to dance?