Lily's MistakeBy: Pamela Ann
For my mom,
PrologueEighteen Years Ago
“Are you ready yet?” I call out from the bush I’m hiding behind. I don’t want Drake to get a peek at me while I’m getting ready.
I’m a few yards away from the white gazebo. Fixing my wildflower crown, I stand and slowly walk towards Drake’s line of sight. My hands tighten around the assortment of flowers bundled in my hands, but my shakiness vanishes when my eyes meet Drake’s. He’s gazing at me sheepishly as he waits for my approach.
I fight the urge to just run up to him; I know I shouldn’t, though. Weddings are supposed to be savored. Fairytales are forever and I have all the time in the world to get there.
I reach the few steps of the gazebo and almost falter going up them when Drake whispers, “You look beautiful.”
I give him a toothy smile in return.
We are finally standing side by side when he asks, “How do we do this? Do we just say forever and ever, then that’s it?”
“Gosh, I don’t know. How did they do it at your cousin’s wedding yesterday?”
Drake bites his lips as he thinks it through. “I don’t remember much, but I can try, I guess.”
He clears his throat and speaks, “I, Drake Tatum, take Lily Alexander forever and a day. I promise to give her flowers and kisses forever and ever until I die.” I giggle when Drake mentions kisses. “It’s your turn now, Lil. Just follow what I said.”
I nod and clear my throat. Smiling, I repeat his words. “I, Lily Alexander, take Drake forever. I promise to give him kisses and share my Reese’s peanut buttercups once a week forever and ever until I die.”
“That was not what I said, Lil! Now you just ruined it!”
I giggle again. “Drake! Just stop it. Aren’t you supposed to kiss me now?” He suddenly looks nervous.
“I guess,” he murmurs.
When I see his face closing in on mine, I close my eyes and wait for his kiss. I catch my breath as his lips touch mine. It’s short and sweet, but it seals my fate; I will forever be Drake’s girl.
When I open my eyes and blink a few times, I see Drake grinning at me. “There! Now we’re married!”
“Kids! Wedding’s over! It’s snack time,” his mother, Patricia, interrupts us.
When we pass by her, she laughs at our silliness. Once she piles our plates with sandwiches and cookies, she looks amusedly back at us. “So, how does it feel to be married?”
“I love it!” I exclaim.
“How did your job interview go honey?” my mother’s soft voice asks on the other end of the phone. “It looks promising. They said they’ll call me in two weeks,” I say as I maneuver my car out of the parking lot.
I’ve been job hunting for the last three months with no prospects at all. I got fired from my last secretarial job when Mrs. Donald caught Mr. Donald trying to seduce me. Allan Donald is a true gentleman… that is, he was before his usual cocktail concoction of gin and brandy for breakfast… then he became a little comfortable. It wasn’t the first time I had slapped his hand away, but this time, Carla Donald was there to witness it and fired me on the spot.
“I called because Patricia’s back in town and wants you to join us for lunch at The Four Seasons.”
Patricia Tatum is my godmother as well as my mother’s best friend since they were in diapers. She married Hugh Tatum, a very well-known import/export business man who is also a major financial backer for Hollywood blockbuster films.
“What time? It’s almost noon.” I glance back at the clock on the dashboard.
“Well, yes, dear, we need you to meet us right now.” My mom sounds a tad urgent.
“Sure. See you in a bit.” It’s almost lunchtime and my stomach growls.
A simple lunch at The Four Seasons would just be super!
What could possibly go wrong?
My appetite, apparently, as my godmother announces the reason behind this sudden lunch date.
I blink a few times, taken aback from what has just spouted off her rouge-tinted lips. “Excuse me? Did you just say Drake’s thinking of marriage?” I look at Patricia like she’s just offended me.
Well, I suppose anything that involves Drake I would find offensive. Good or bad.
“Yes, and to a monstrous, gold-digging, horrible woman!” Patricia dabs the sides of her eyes. The woman was a complete mess when I joined them five minutes prior and she has only slightly calmed in the time since.
Her words sink in, slowly and start gnawing inside me. Drake Tatum’s planning on marriage? No shit?