Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week we’re continuing the story begun by Val Muller a few weeks ago. Where we left off, Remy was hoping to sneak a conversation with her new neighbor, Jeremy, when a blonde woman named Barbara showed up at Jeremy’s asking about… a wedding!
Our serial story doesn’t have a title yet… start thinking about some ideas because it smells like a contest might be coming up soon!
This week’s story is by Val Muller, author of FOR WHOM MY HEART BEATS ETERNAL, a sci-fi romance, and CORGI CAPERS: DECEIT ON DORSET DRIVE, a mystery novel for young readers. Book Two will be released this October.
The Spot Writers Blogs appear at the end of this story. Don’t forget to check them out. Check out our blogs at the end of this story.
What about the wedding? Remy fumed. Here she had been having dreams all night about Jeremy, and all of a sudden this blonde shows up asking about a wedding? And hadn’t Jeremy walked her home the night before? Hadn’t he been sending her signals that he was interested? And here he was, engaged to Miss Blonde. Remy turned around to go inside and finish getting ready for work. She always fell for the wrong guys. Always.
“Remy,” Jeremy said.
Remy turned around briefly.
The blonde scowled. “You mean you know her?” she asked.
“Barbara, not now,” Jeremy said. “Remy, wait!”
But Remy wouldn’t have it. She turned and closed the door behind her—hard—and engaged the lock. She wanted nothing to do with her new neighbor or his fiancée. She stormed into the bathroom to finish her makeup. Why bother? she wondered as she applied her eyeliner. Not like there’s anyone I need to impress. Not anymore.
But she couldn’t help herself. Before she realized it, she was sneaking through her own living room and creeping over to the door. She peered out the peephole, but all she saw was a mop of blonde hair.
Barbara, she thought. My new least favorite word in the English language. Remy sighed and pressed her ear to the door.
“I was thinking lavender for the color of the bridesmaids’ gowns,” Barbara was saying. “Or maybe periwinkle. It matches these earrings my grandmother gave me.” She giggled. “And I could have a bouquet of blue flowers. You know the saying. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something--”
“Barbara, we broke up, remember?”
Barbara giggled as if Jeremy had made a joke. “Not after all the great times we had,” she said. “I even drove to my parents’ house to get my great-grandfather’s heirloom belt buckle. I brought it to the leather shop. They’re going to put a new leather strap on it for you. I was going to give you the belt as a gift on our wedding night. It’s a family heirloom. And then you can pass it on to our own grandkids some day.”
“Grandkids?” Jeremy asked. “Look, Barbara, you’re a nice girl, but…”
“And look what else I did,” Barbara said.
Remy brought her eye to the keyhole again. The blonde mop of hair had moved closer to Jeremy, allowing Remy a better view of the situation. Barbara was reaching into her purse. She took out a small picture frame. “It’s our special napkin,” she explained.
“Napkin?” Jeremy asked. “Look, Barb. I got to get to work.”
Barbara looked at her watch. “You have plenty of time,” she said. “You haven’t been pulling into the parking lot at your job until 8:40. That means you have at least fifteen minutes before you have to leave.”
“How do you know what time I pull into my parking lot at work?” Jeremy asked.
Barbara didn’t answer. “See,” she said, pointing to the picture frame. “It’s our special napkin. You drew a heart on it during our first date. Then you kissed it and gave it to me.” She pointed again. “There’s the little barbeque stain from your cute little lips. Remember, you got the barbeque-cheddar club, and you ordered broccoli instead of fries, and you asked for the bacon on your sandwich to be extra crispy and…”
Remy watched the expression on Jeremy’s face turn to horror. Maybe he wasn’t into Barbara after all. Remy resolved to leave for work, interrupting their conversation and saving Jeremy from the awkward discussion. She went back to the kitchen for her bag. When she returned to the door, she had her hand on the door, all ready to turn the knob and save her cute neighbor from this psycho. But she listened for just another moment.
“…and that’s why we just need time apart,” Jeremy was saying. “I don’t think we’re healthy for each other. And we never really talked about a wedding,” he added.
“We mentioned it,” Barbara corrected. “And I know it might have just been pillow talk, but the thing is…”
Remy smiled, firming her grasp on the handle, ready to become the hero.
“The thing is,” Barbara continued, “we have to get married. There’s not an option anymore. I’m pregnant.”
Remy fought a wave of nausea. She let go of the door knob as if it were molten metal that seared her flesh. Her face flushed and the world around her spun. She stumbled to the back door, exited through the sliding glass door, and snuck around the back of the building, taking the long way to the parking lot. How could she have dreams about Jeremy all night, how could she set her heart on him, when he was obviously not free to be hers? Why did she always choose no-win situations for herself?
She got into her car, trying to focus on driving. Get him out of your mind, she told herself. But it was no use. Even with her world falling apart, Jeremy’s smiling face lingered in the back of her mind like the last beam of sunlight before a dark winter night.
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Catherine A. MacKenzie