Hello kind readers,
I, as an obsessed Taylor Swift fan, have written a story based on her new song, Speak Now. If you like the song, go buy it on Itunes and support Tay Tay. :) Please. Her new album called Speak Now is coming out Oct. 25th and two more songs will be released as a countdown. Back To December comes out tomorrow (!!!) and Mean comes out the 19th. YAYY. SO EXCITED. :)
I hope you like the story. I've got a long way to go as a writer...
"I, am not the kind of girl
Who should be rudely barging in
On a white veil occasion
But you, are not the kind of boy,
Who should be marrying the wrong girl…"
I was sitting on the hotel bed, staring at the digital clock on the bedside table. In exactly one day, eleven hours and thirty minutes, the person I have been attracted to, had a crush on, pined for, and am in love with, will be off limits.
Married. And to The Bitch, at that. Not a bitch, but The Bitch.
Doesn't get any more cliché than this, does it.
And who exactly, is this special person who I have been attracted to, had a crush on, pined for, and been in love with?
Ah, Grayson St. James. The most beautiful 26 year old you will ever meet. Blonde hair, blue eyes the color of a deep sea. C'mon now, you know the deal.
And my best friend.
It started off in kindergarten. I'd been sitting on the swing, rather lonely, as it was my first day. My family had just moved to the area later in the school year, and by then, all the kids had made friends. I'd been trying to convince myself that the other kids probably liked me, they just thought I needed some time to adjust. And then tomorrow we'd be friends. I silently prayed to the magical fairies to send a friend my way.
Oh, the dreams of a five year old.
The voice appeared out of nowhere. I swiveled around, to find the most beautiful boy I had even laid eyes on in my short 5 year life, standing beside my swing, staring at me with his stunning blue eyes.
"Hi," I said, timidly. Even at a young age, I knew that the boy would be one beautiful specimen of man. Long, thick eyelashes, bed head hair that looked good on only him… the whole package.
It was love at first sight.
"I-I'm Hayden Montgomery. Today's my first day," I managed to stutter out.
"Cool," he said, grinning. "I'm Grayson St. James. Can you be my new best friend?"
His eyes looked into mine, pleading. "Sure," I said, giddy with excitement that my wish had been granted. The fairies sure did work fast.
I closed my eyes and muttered a quick 'thank you'. Grayson peered at me curiously.
"For what?" He asked.
"Oh, 'cause before, I was lonely, so I asked the fairies to send me a friend, and they did! It's you." I gave him a 'duh' kind of look.
"Really?" He asked, incredulous.
I nodded, and continued explaining. "Uh-huh. See, my big sister told me-"
"You have a big sister? I have a big brother!"
I scowled. He'd interrupted me. Mommy had always said that it wasn't a nice thing to do.
"Hey! You interrupted me. My mom says that interrupting is mean."
Now it was Grayson's turn to frown. "Well, you're being mean too!" He stomped his foot for good measure.
"Well, you're meaner!"
We glared at each other for a few seconds, both waiting for the other to relent.
Grayson gave up first. He sighed, his face an expression of defeat. "I'm sorry. Will you be my best friend again?"
"Okay," I nodded happily.
That was how it was, all through my public school career, all thirteen grades of it. We'd gone through everything, from playground bullies to jealous girlfriends. I mean, c'mon. He'd canceled on his homecoming date to stay home with me because my date had turned out to be a lying douche bag who'd only asked me out as a bet.
Needless to say, said lying douche bag had a much bruised face the next time I saw him.
Throughout high school, Grayson balanced his time between me, and his long, constant string of girlfriends. High schoolers being high schoolers, figured I must have been a very good fuck for him to keep me around for so long. After all, I never went out, never partied, and didn't have any boyfriends. Hence, the bets.
Around the eleventh grade, I realized that my formerly sisterly love feelings for him had turned into full fledged just plain old love. I did everything I could to hide it, make it go away. I wasn't stupid, but us going out and the relationship not working out would ruin our friendship.
It was just too much to risk.
And now, nine years later, that love had not diminished.
It was just too bad that he was getting married.
The techno-ish beat of my ringtone interrupted my mulling.
"Girl! You're such a backstabber (stabber). You're such a back stabber, oh girl, you're such a shit talker. And everybody knows it (and everybody knows-"
"Hello?" I chirped, wincing at my high pitched voice.
A deep, baritone voice that made my toes curl and my stomach flutter with excitement answered. "Hayden? Where are you? I called your house and your mom said you'd gone to Molly's, but I called Molly and you weren't there either."
Well, speak of the devil, it was Grayson.
"Uh… I'm at the mall," I lied, biting my lip and glancing around the room, as if that might calm my nerves.
Molly was my other best friend, who I'd met at college. She was the only one who knew of my infatuation with Grayson. The redhead was a freaking psychic.
She was also a good friend to Grayson. Not good enough though, to be invited to his wedding.
If The Bitch could fall into a very deep hole in less than 24 hours, I'm sure Molly would be invited. That damn bitch's "friends" took up over half of the church's maximum capacity and her relatives took up the other half, so it was "too full to fit any more people." In the Bitch's words, that is.
Not that Molly minded though. She was one of those girls whose interests were short lived, which was why shopping was her addiction. There was always something new to buy. The girl was one of those shopaholics, the ones who blew their money on stupid things like matching towels. For Pete's sake, it was just a towel.
Hence, Grayson's confusion of my being at the mall without Molly.
Thing was, I wasn't at the mall. I don't think I was anywhere near a mall. I was sitting in a motel room on the California coast. All the way on the other side of the continent, 2300 miles away from home, where I lived in Northern Virginia.
Did I mention, Grayson's wedding was to take place in California, 2,300 miles away from his home, because his bitch of a fiancée wanted to have a "Hollywood" wedding?
Because apparently, having a wedding take place in California makes it a "Hollywood" wedding.
The Bitch was S-T-U-P-I-D.
She was totally wrong for him. Grayson deserved a smart, beautiful girl who knew he liked eating waffles with peanut butter and hated it when people repeated themselves. A girl who'd been around his whole life and was good friends with his family and knew the difference between his real, happy "I'm fine" and his more rare "I'm fine", which meant something was bothering him.
In simpler words, me.
Oh, who am I kidding?
Grayson's voice snapped me out of my thoughts.
He sighed. "Were you listening to anything?"
"No… I'm sorry. It's just I'm pretty bummed that I couldn't come to your wedding…"
Did I mention I wasn't actually invited? The Bitch erased me off his guest list. Not that that was stopping me or anything.
I could practically feel his frustration and exasperation through the earphone. "I know Hay. I'm not exactly happy about that either, but Anna Marie said she wanted a small, private wedding-"
Private wedding my ass. What about that 400 people guest list she boasted about the other day?
"-with only her close family and friends. Her mom was bitching about it, and I'm so sorry, but I can't stand that woman. You know I love you-"
He stopped suddenly, and there were sounds of shuffling and muffled voices.
"Okay, okay," I heard him say in the background. He sighed. "You know I love you… like a sister."
I could hear Anna Marie's voice in the background now. "Much better," she said.
The Bitch was jealous. I laughed.
"Aww… I love you too Gray," I yelled, as loud as I could without damaging his ear drums, so the Bitch could hear.
Just not as a brother, I thought to myself. Just not as a brother.
He chuckled. "Love you too- ow! Anna Marie! That hurt!" More laughter. Giggles. "Aww, baby, you know I love you."
I hung up, not even bothering to say goodbye. Grayson would leave me hanging, he'd done it before. I'd call him about a lunch date once , and Anna Marie had been at his house. I'd waited for thirty minutes to realize that Grayson's 'be right back' was not what it meant at all. What it really meant was, 'I need to have sex with my girlfriend, so I'll leave you hanging for an hour, then realize it and feel bad, then try to make it up for you, only to do the same thing again our next lunch date'.
Just shows you how much he cares.
And I'm supposedly his best friend.
At that moment, my phone went off again, this time playing a weird cha-cha beat that I really had no clue where it'd come from.
But I did know who was calling.
"Hey Molls. What's up?"
"Hayden," she whined, stretching the last syllable. "Where are you? I'm bored. There's nothing to do but shop but I've reached this month's limit on my credit card..."
"Molly. I'm in California. Not Virginia, but California. I can't just waltz over to your house and watch a movie with you because I am across the country. And also because I'm a little upset that the person I've been in love with the past nine years is getting married in a little over one day."
There was silence on her end. Shoot. I hadn't meant to snap at her. She wasn't the person I was mad at.
"...I'm so sorry, sweets. I forgot," she finally said, softly.
I sighed. "I'm sorry. Didn't mean to snap at you. It's not your fault."
I almost smiled when I heard a thump. She was punching the wall because she was mad. For me.
"Shit, Hay. I don't know what to do. I keep telling you to tell him, you're his best friend. I'm sure he'd delay it or something if it hurts you," she said.
"But it would happen anyway. And then what?"
She was quiet. "I don't know. But maybe if you tell him, you'll feel better and it'll be easier to... let him go."
I guess that could work.
"I honestly didn't think it would get this serious. When I met her, I thought it was a joke, or I would have told him myself, Hays."
I didn't say anything, only looked at my hands and tried to wipe out the memory of meeting The Bitch for the first time.
"What are you dragging me here for, Gray? I'm meeting Molls at the mall in like, 15 minutes," I said, exasperated. He was holding my hand, dragging me along the sidewalk. I wasn't resisting, but instead enjoying the feel of his hand around mine.
"There's someone I want you to meet." Grayson's eyes were sparkly, he was obviously very excited. But then again, when was he not excited? He was a freaking six year old trapped inside a 26 year old.
But that was one of the things I loved about him. His energy and excitement for life.
I rolled my eyes at him, pretending to be annoyed. All of a sudden, he stopped walking, and I bumped into his back, my body nearly jumping at the almost flush contact. I turned to stare at our destination. We had stopped in front of what clearly was a...
"And we're going to meet this person at a nightclub in the middle of the day when it's not even open?" I asked, suspicious.
"Just get in here, Hays. You'll see." He held the door for me as I walked in.
The room we entered looked like any old bar, except that there were poles in the center of every round table in the room. And sitting on one of those tables was a blond girl wearing a short, low-cut dress and some super high heels, who was talking to a man who had his back to me, who was wearing a baseball cap backwards, baggy jeans and a large white shirt.
Talk about suspicious.
Grayson walked up to the pair, me trailing behind, suddenly wary.
The guy turned, and I realized that he was very nice looking. Emphasis on the 'very'.
"Hey, dude. 'Sup?" The guy asked, looking from me to Grayson and back again.
The blond girl was frowning, but then got up to give Gray a hug.
"Nothing much, dude, just letting my two favorite girls meet," he said, smiling as the blond hugged him. I watched as he looked down into her eyes and put his hands on her waist.
Whoa there. What's this?
And then he leaned down and kissed her on the lips.
I felt my heart drop into my stomach and down on the floor. Wow, but that hurt a lot. It'd been a while since he'd kissed a girl in front of me. During high school, it'd been a common event. I'd gotten used to it.
"Baby, this is my best friend, the one I told you about." He turned to me, his arm around her shoulder. I could see her face clearly now. Tanned, flawless, smooth skin. Eyes almost as blue as Grayson's. She was beautiful.
I could never compare to her.
The girl looked at me disdainfully, like I was gum at the bottom of her high heeled stripper shoe.
"And Hayden, this is my girlfriend. Hayden Montgomery, Anna Marie Wimbledon. Anna Marie, Hayden."
My chest constricted painfully as I heard him use the real word. Girlfriend. His fingers lightly caressed her side, and she nuzzled his neck.
Great. Anna Marie. Even her name sounded... pretty. Yup. There was no way I could ever compare to her.
"Nice to meet you, Haley," she said, smiling sweetly.
"Right back atcha, Annie Marsha," I replied, just as nicely.
Grayson chuckled and I watched as he kissed the top of her head affectionately. "Behave," he said.
The other guy, whom I had forgotten about until then, suddenly spoke.
"I can see why you like 'em, Gray. Feisty girls are hot," he drawled, smirking.
"Shut up, Jase," Anna Marie giggled. Wow. Was she was really flirting with the Jase person right in front of Grayson?
I watched as Grayson smiled on, completely oblivious to his girlfriend's real personality.
The Jase dude looked at me and winked. He patted my arm, and whispered. "I'm sorry sweets, I know how you feel."
I stared at him, surprised. He nodded his head towards Anna Marie and smiled, a little sadly.
"Not rich enough for her," he mouthed.
Talk about bitchiness.
"So..." I frowned. "What exactly are we doing here?"
Grayson smiled at Anna Marie affectionately.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you. Anna Marie works here as a stripper. That's how I met her."
Well, fuck me.
"Yeah... I didn't think he would marry her either. It was so fast, and I was... confused."
Molly laughed, although there was no humor in it. "They dated for what... 6 months? 7 months? Before he proposed?"
"Relationships like that never work out. Maybe they'll get divorced...?" I said hopefully.
"Or," Molly giggled. "Or he'll find out that she's been sleeping with all the best men and gave him Chlamydia."
"Just kidding. Then you wouldn't be able to sleep with him."
"Ooooh. Idea! You can do it like the movies, and when they say, 'speak now or forever hold your peace', you can object! Oh my gosh, I am so smart."
"And subject myself to humiliation, get kicked out, and watch as he continues to marry her? Okay. Why not."
"Why don't you call him today? Right now. And tell him."
Should I? I pretty much had a guaranteed rejection. But bottling this up was getting harder by the minute. Nine years was enough time to wait. It was time for me to just accept it and face it.
I felt my adrenaline surge through my veins. Yes. I would do it. Right now. And fast, before I lost my nerve.
"Yeah. I'll do it. And I'll call you as soon as I tell him. Stay by the phone for me. Love you."
"Love you too. And whatever he says, that bitch will never be better than you. You're prettier, smarter, and way nicer than she. I'll be waiting. Good luck, sweets. Love ya."
"Bye." I hung up, and took a deep breath, then pressed speed dial number one.
He picked up on the first ring. Damn. Half of me had hoped he wouldn't pick up.
Shit. Shit, shit, shit. My hands felt clammy, and my legs wouldn't stay still. I couldn't do this. I was too scared.
"Grayson? I have to tell you something. It's really important."
"What is it?" He asked, sounding concerned and alarmed at my tone. "What's wrong?"
"Um, um."Now or never Hays. Now or never.
"Grayson? I... am... I'minlovewithyou... and... I'."
There was only silence on the other end. It stretched, on and on, until I felt the whole world go cold, and all I could hear was the silence.
His answer was clear enough. "It's okay to say no, Gray. Don't worry, I understand," I said, softly.
I hung up, but didn't cry.
I was just... numb. I reached for my phone, pressed speed dial 2, and waited.
I didn't say a word, but the speaker on the other end knew.
"I'm so sorry, Hay."
"I, sneak in and see your friends
And her snobby little family all dressed in pastel
And she, is yelling at a bridesmaid
Somewhere back inside a room
Wearing a gown shaped like a pastry."
I sat in the back of the taxi, fingering my dress nervously. The dress I had packed was a beautiful, shiny, teal blue, which hugged my mostly nonexistent curves, making them look... more defined. I'd chosen silver sandals for the occasion, in case someone found out I wasn't supposed to be there and I had to run.
This would, hopefully, not occur.
I'd decided yesterday that I would go. So what, he'd rejected me. I'd known it would happen anyways. And despite that, he was still my best friend. I would be there when he was married. And I would support his decision, whatever it may be.
Even if it broke my heart.
I didn't plan on letting Grayson know I was there. He and Anna Marie would be on the top of my avoid list.
"Ma'am, we're here."
The taxi driver motioned to the right, where the church stood, in all its wedding bustle glory. People were standing all over the place, little kids who could pass for mini Anna Maries (!!!) and quite a number of good looking men. I recognized a blonde woman standing by the door.
Damn. Her mom.
Unfortunately, Anna Marie's mother knew who I was. I'd had the unfortunate luck to meet her at one of Grayson's parties last year. The woman was the devils spawn itself.
Hmm. The backdoor it was.
I handed the taxi man his money as I opened the door and stepped out. The fact that I was not supposed to be there only heightened my awareness of my surroundings. Thankfully, no one paid any attention to me. I was just another guest at the wedding.
I stepped to the side to hide in the tree's shadows. The devil spawn was busy greeting guests, hallelujah, as there was an almost endless line into the church. At least the 400 people guest list was good for something.
I made my way to the backdoor, standing next to the stairs that led to the basement. The door was locked, but that was what bobby pins were made for. The lock finally gave in, and the door swung open to reveal a chamber with doors on either side. Hm. Where to go?
Each of the doors were entrances to classrooms and one storage room. As I turned the corner, I found what I was looking for.
I crept up, feeling like a cool spy person. Voices could be heard as I got to the top. There were girls and men everywhere, fixing tuxes and bobby pinning dresses. A number of girls were wearing the ugliest, pastel green colored dress I had ever laid eyes on. They must've been the bridesmaids.
I could recognize a few of Gray's friends and family. Anna Marie's distinct shrilly voice could be heard behind one of the closed doors.
"I told you, you can't wear that dress. I have to be the prettiest here. You are supposed to be my backdrop!"
The girl in question's whimpers were almost pitiful. Almost.
"Where's the dress I gave you to wear? All the bridesmaids are wearing it! That's what you're supposed to be wearing!"
"B-but, I can't wear the fabric, it makes my skin rash," the girl sobbed.
Oh. That dress. I'd cry too, if I were her. The thing was hideous.
"Does it look like I care? Oh my gosh, just put on some lotion or something!"
If she treated her friends like this, how would she treat Gray once they were married?
I whipped around to find one of Grayson's cousins that I recognized from his family's Christmas parties.
"Uh... yeah?" I raised my eyebrows, trying to come up with a good excuse. 'He told me to come anyways?' 'He needed me to bring something from home for him?' 'He was missing some medication?'
"You're supposed to be in there." He pointed to a doorway."That's where all the guests are," he said, looking bored.
Oh, thank god. I'd thought he'd recognized me.
"Oh, uh, sorry. I kinda got lost."
He snorted. "Lost? In this church? What are you, five?"
I ignored him and turned to head towards the double doors.
"This is surely not what you thought it would be
I lose myself in a daydream
Where I stand and say
'Don't say yes, runaway now,
I'll meet you when you're out of the church at the backdoor.
Don't wait or say a single vow
You need to hear me out
And they said speak now.'"
Taking a peek inside, I saw Gray's older brother arguing with what seemed to be Anna Marie's younger brother. Uh-oh. Trouble in paradise? On the other side, the preacher was frowning at Grayson's mom, and using his hands to express what looked like defeat and frustration.
Yup. Definitely something wrong.
I walked over to the last bench in the room, careful to avoid staring at anyone and pulled my long, black hair to cover half of my face.
The majority of the crowd was now seated, but still, no one recognized the black haired girl wearing a bright blue dress that looked slightly out of place in the sea of pastel colors.
I sat myself down on the wooden bench and imagined what would've happened if Grayson had delayed the wedding on my behalf. Nothing, that was what. So what, I loved him? There was nothing that could be done. It wasn't like he'd suddenly realized that he was in love with me too.
Yeah, but a girl can dream.
I would wait for the preacher to say, 'speak now or forever hold your peace'. And then I would stand up and say... and say...
I really have no idea what I would say.
"Fond gestures are exchanged,
And the organ starts to play a song
That sounds like a death march.
And I, am hiding in the curtains
It seems that I was uninvited by your lovely bride to be.
She floats down the aisle like a pageant queen
I know you wish it was me
You wish it was me
I stared at my lap, waiting for the ceremony to begin. Everyone was now sitting, except for a group standing in the back behind me, as there were no seats left, and chatting quietly.
Then, the death march started.
The old lady sitting in front of me started humming along.
"Dun dun duh dun, dun dun duh dun."
She turned to whisper to the person beside of her.
"Doesn't this song always make you happy? It's such a joyous, meaningful song," I heard her say.
Joyous my ass. It sure as hell isn't joyous if the person you're in love with is getting married to a girl you hate.
I glared at the back of the old lady's head.
Then I realized that Grayson was now standing at the altar, looking beautifully handsome in a simple black tux, awaiting his bride. He was looking at the audience, his glance sweeping over every person. Shit! I ducked as I felt his stare.
I heard the old lady talking again.
"-and that she confessed on the phone that she loved him! It's so gloriously tragic that he has to marry my cousin's daughter, who is very rude!"
Oh my. That sounds familiar. I slowly got out of my seat and walked to the back and stood next to a curtain behind a huge, muscular dude who was sure to cover me. There. You'll never find me now.
Exactly three seconds later, the church's doors literally burst open and Anna Marie walked in wearing a rather frilly gown. If anything, it reminded me of a cake. Unfortunately, the dress did nothing to diminish her beauty. Every strand of hair was tucked in place and her makeup was flawless almost nonexistent.
I tried making myself feel better by pretending Grayson was secretly in love with me and wished that it was me who was walking down the aisle.
Pathetic, aren't I.
"I hear the preacher say, speak now
Or forever hold your peace"
When she reached the altar, Grayson took her hand, and they stood in the center as the preacher babbled on about what marriage was and meant... blah blah blah. Then the magic words: "Speak now or forever hold your peace."
There was silence.
"There's a silence, there's my last chance
I stand up with shaky hands
All eyes on me."
And then my hand suddenly moved on its own and pushed down the huge muscular guy, and I heard a voice that sounded eerily like my own.
The gasps that came next had to have come straight from a movie.
Anna Marie's face turned pale as she realized who I was, and Grayson looked... happy?
"Horrified looks from everyone in the room,
But I'm only looking at you."
Everyone was silent for what seemed like an eternity. My hands were trembling; it felt like my confessional phone call all over again.
"Uh, um... Grayson..."
He was looking at me, but I couldn't tell if he was mad, sad, or glad. His brother, one of the best men who stood next to him, looked very... ecstatic?
"Grayson," I said, my voice wavering. "I need you to hear me out. If you could give me a chance to talk to you, meet me in the back by the backdoor."
And then I ran for it.
I ran through the front door, circling the church to reach my destination, where an answer awaited.
"I, am not the kind of girl"
Would he say yes?
"Who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion"
Would he accept my... affections?
"But you are not the kind of boy"
No matter his answer, I'd still love him. I already knew that much.
"Who should be marrying the wrong girl."
I would forever love Grayson St. James, even if he didn't love me back.
"Hayden Rayne Montgomery!"
I whirled around, eyes wide as I realized Grayson was standing by the door, not even breathing hard.
"I beat you," he said, grinning.
I was too nervous to laugh, so instead I gave a weak smile.
"So I lose, don't I." It wasn't a question. And he knew it wasn't.
He was silent; staring at me with the same beautiful eyes I had fallen in love with when we were younger.
He stepped closer, wiping away tears I had not realized were dripping down my cheeks.
My heart broke.
I stared up at him in surprise, and then I was kissing Grayson St. James.
"And you'll say let's run away now
I'll meet you when I'm out of my tux
At the back door
Baby, I didn't say my vows
So glad you were around
When they said