The Wedding DateBy: Jasmine Guillory
I am so fortunate that I have so many people in my life to thank. I’m more grateful for all of you than I can say.
Holly Root, thank you for everything that you’ve done for me and my book. I’m happy every day to have you in my corner. To Cindy Hwang, Kristine Swartz, Marianne Grace Aguiar, and the entire Berkley team, you have all been a joy to work with. Thank you for making this dream a reality.
The other writers who helped me along the way are some of the best people in the world. Amy Spalding, I never would have written a single word without your encouragement in the beginning, and I never would have kept writing if you hadn’t been there to help me, every step of the way. Thanks for changing my life. Thank you to Akilah Brown, who seemed to know I was a writer before I did. Thank you to Melissa Baumgart, who was the entire reason I started actually writing this book instead of just thinking about it. Thank you to Sara Zarr, who gave me some of my first, and best, writing advice. Thank you to Tayari Jones, Robin Benway, Ruby Lang, Rainbow Rowell, Heather Cocks, and Jessica Morgan, who have all helped me, inspired me, and answered millions of tiny questions. And Mallory Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe, who have been some of the biggest cheerleaders in my life, the biggest toast of all to both of you.
Everyone has their talents in life; mine is making really good friends. Simi Patnaik and Nicole Clouse, your love and support (and many, many text messages) keep me going. Janet Goode, you are one of the best friends a woman could ever have. Melissa Sladden and Jina Kim, I love you both so much. Jill Vizas, I’m so glad we became friends so long ago, and Katie Vizas and Sally Vizas, thanks for welcoming me into your family. Thank you to Julian Davis Mortenson, Kyle Wong, Toby Rugger, Leslie Gross, Kate Leos, Lyette Mercier, Joy Alferness, Nanita Cranford, Stephanie Lucianovic, and Laurie Baker. You all have been there for me in countless ways. And Colleen Richards Powell, thank you for the sandwich line that you delivered so memorably that day on the 4th floor of Claflin Hall.
Thank you to every teacher I ever had, but especially Elizabeth Varon, Anita Tien, Pamela Karlan, Bonnie Sussman, and Brad Goodhart. None of you were writing teachers, but you all taught me how to write. Thank you to Wellesley College, who made me who I am.
Michelle Obama, thanks for all of the pep talks, even if they were only in my own head.
And finally, I could have done none of this without my family. Thank you to all of my grandparents, but especially to my grandmothers, Joyce York-Brown and Lillian Guillory. Thank you to my many cousins, who are always there for me. Thank you to my sister, Sasha Guillory. And most importantly, thank you to my parents, Paul and Donna Guillory, who have always believed fiercely in me. Together and separately they both taught me to dream big and have supported every dream I’ve ever had. Thanks, Mom and Dad. I love you.
Alexa Monroe walked into the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco that Thursday night wearing her favorite red heels, feeling jittery from coffee, and carrying a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne in her purse. She took out her phone to text her sister, Olivia, upstairs in one of the guest rooms.
Getting on the elevator!!!
It was always good to give Olivia a little more advance warning than most people. It didn’t matter that Olivia had just made partner at her New York law firm; some things didn’t change.
Oh no, was just about to get in the shower.
Alexa got Olivia’s text just as she stepped into the elevator. She laughed out loud as she pushed the number of her sister’s floor, the laughter calming her nerves. Alexa couldn’t wait to celebrate with her older sister, despite . . . no, maybe because their relationship was still tricky after all these years.
The elevator glided in the air, in that smooth, noiseless way elevators in expensive hotels do, while Alexa checked her purse for the third time to make sure she’d tossed the fancy crackers and Brie in there. They would need a pre-dinner snack to soak up all of that champagne, after all. She wished she’d found the time to make brownies the night before. Olivia loved her brownies.
She spied the cheese and crackers in the corner of her purse, tucked away from the heavy champagne bottle. Just then, the elevator stopped with a jerk. A second later, the lights went out.