Serena Lawson's wedding is the talk of the small beach town. Not because she is the second girl to have her wedding this year, and not because her groom, the handsome Andrew Wielder, is one of the richest boys for miles. No, this wedding is the talk of the town because Serena, my nineteen year-old best friend, is four months pregnant.
We had written down all the important events into a pink notebook that we had found in Al's Notes and Things since the moment that the little pink cross came into our lives. We included the encounter with Andrew and his family, Serena's mom's tears, and the surprise of the town. Serena was the best student in our small high school, things like this were not supposed to happen to girls like her.
The wedding had come to life in the short span of three months, Andrew's family agreed that a smaller wedding would be better. Every time I looked at my best friend as the days drifted away and the D-day approached, I could see her happiness and I knew that she was going to be in good hands. Andrew's love for Serena is unquestionable and anybody in the town can tell as such.
Today, as multiple women in purple gowns rush past and little tuxedoed boys hurry to find their moms in the mess, I sit beside my blushing best friend, and bride. Her long blond hair is loosely braided and several wisps of feather light hair surround her thin face. Her green eyes are nervous and her nude lips are slightly quivering.
"He loves me, right?" She asks me for the fifth time this hour.
"You know he does," I reassure her, again. "You're just nervous."
"I don't know Ella," she looks down and I place my hands on her tanned shoulders.
"Ser, you'll be fine." I smile at her reflection. "You know that he wouldn't want to be with anyone else." She nods and I kiss her forehead. "You're beautiful and I'm sure that he'll fall in love with you all over again once he sees you."
"Thanks," she puts her hand on mine, and I see her reflection smile up at me.
In that single smile I can see all the memories, the tears, and laughter that we've gone through. Ever since I moved here when I was five, we've been inseparable.
"I love you Ella," she whispers. "I wouldn't be able to go through with this if you weren't here."
"I love you too, and I think you'd be just fine," I look behind me and whisper in her ear, "plus, have you seen the groom? Wow, he is hot."
She laughs and I tell her that I am going to make sure that everything is all right outside in the lobby.
For as long as I'd lived in Costal Shores, this banquet hall had always been the town space for weddings. Serena and I had seen dozens of weddings take place here. The arching beige ceiling, with angel paintings and velvet purple grapevines, make the place appear more ancient and special. The brilliant marble floors are never scuffed and they never seem to age. At the back of the long, picture framed hallway, was a large balcony overlooking the ocean. The sunlight plays a trick on the marbled floors and the light bounces into every corner of the area. A wide staircase to the right side of the balcony descends onto the patio below, where roses, lilies, bleeding hearts, and daffodils wave at the visitors in the summer breeze. Wooden benches line the path towards the sand and glass tables shimmer under the glow of the sun.
I stand outside of the bride's room for a while, simply watching the aquatic blue sky to my right. I hear the shuffling of feet as waiters and decorators rush past, trying to make this wedding a success. A slight clearing of a throat snatches me out of my reverie and I turn to face Andrew's sister, Madeleine.
"Well," she says, "look who the dog dragged in."
Her black hair is up in an elegant bun and her blue eyes stab into me like icicles. A crimson red dress frames her petite five-foot-two frame. Her hollowed cheeks are lightly blushed and her thin lips are set in a sarcastic sneer. This feels like high school all over again.
"Hello Madeleine." I say and watch her turn quickly.
"Jason," she says in a hushed whisper. "Come here!"
I watch in silence as a handsome man in his twenties walks over coolie, one hand in his dress pant's pocket.
"Yes Made?" His voice is deep and his hazel eyes are looking down at my nemesis adoringly. Jet black hair covers his forehead.
"I want to introduce you to someone," she says quietly to him while brushing her pale, thin fingers on his neck. I almost laugh. Madeleine is so short that she nearly has to go on her tip-toes to simply touch his neck.
His eyes shift to me for an instant and his stern stare catches me off-guard.
"This is Ella," she smirks when she says my name and I roll my eyes. "Ella, this is Jason."
He barely acknowledges me and I say a polite, "Nice to meet you," before going back into the bride's room.
"That's the girl I was telling you about," I can hear Madeleine telling her boyfriend as I enter the room. "You know, the one that clung onto Serena like a piece of gum caught in her shoe, when we were in high school?"