An Important Date


KRISTEN

Laurie hooks the last clasp on the back of your dress, then walks around the front of you to straighten the straps on your shoulders. She ruffles the skirt a bit, but it's not that puffy anyway. She adjusts your necklace, an old thing she'd argued with you about wearing, but you insisted. Finally she steps back and looks at you, putting her hands on her hips.

Her face breaks into a smile. "Kristen, you are, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful brides I've ever seen."

You feel yourself warm at her words, and turn to look into the mirror just as Mrs. McLean comes back into the room. When her eyes land on you she brings her hands to her mouth. "Oh, Kristen, look at you."

You almost feel yourself blush, and you look into the full-length mirror. You find an incredibly pretty young woman looking back at you. She wears a simple, yet elegant white dress, a thin silver chain necklace with a flower charm on it around her neck, and her light hair falls over her shoulders in curls, half of it pulled back with a beaded barrette.

Laurie comes to stand next to you. "Ace is going to weep."

"Oh, I don't think…" you start, your voice fading. You're going to try hard to resist it, because God knows Derek will mock you, but you have a feeling it might not be Ace doing all the crying today. You feel beautiful.

"I hope I see the look on your father's face when he sees you," Mrs. McLean says, standing on your other side.

Yes, you feel beautiful, and their comments are doing wonders for your ego, but add it to the long list of emotions you're currently going through right now and your head is a bit dizzy.

"Everyone is going to think you're gorgeous, Kristen," Mrs. McLean says.

Everyone will think you're gorgeous. Everyone will see you. Everyone will watch you as you walk down the aisle, on heels, their eyes on you and nothing else. You suddenly feel a bit nauseous.

Laurie glances at the clock on the wall. "Twenty minutes till wedding time!" she says.

You force a smile. Twenty minutes until you're walking down that aisle in a white dress and heels in front of an audience made up of relatives you hardly know and gays that will surely judge you.

Laurie and Mrs. McLean move to take care of the final preparations, and you watch as the girl in the mirror stares back at you. She takes a deep breath. The anxiety only mounts. Bloody hell. It's times like these you curse yourself for never having made a girl best friend.

Screw tradition, you think, glancing at Laurie and Mrs. McLean before you grab your purse from a small table in the corner. You glance at them again before stealing into the small adjoining room, quietly closing the door behind you and locking it. You pull your phone out of the purse and quickly press the first speed dial number.

ACE

You're retying your shoes when you hear the jingle on your phone go off on the other side of the room. You jump up, but Derek gets to it first.

"Hey Ace, Kristen's calling to call off the wedding," he says, picking it up.

"Shut up," you say, swiping it from his hand before he can answer it. Nevertheless, your heartbeat quickens slightly. The wedding starts in fifteen minutes, what's she doing calling you?

"Kristen?" you say as you pick up.

"Ace," her familiar voice says, almost in a rush.

"Is something wrong?" you ask. Derek watches you and you try to wave him away, but he doesn't move. You glance around and dart for your only choice of privacy- the bathroom.

"I…" she starts, then fades. "I don't know."'

You close the door behind you, hearing it shut securely with a click. You lock it. "What is it?" you ask her. You glance at yourself in the mirror. You're wearing a spotless black tux and your hair is combed neat. You look nice, if a little scared. You pace back and forth in the small space.

You hear her hesitate on the other side. Your stomach suddenly lurks; it's your worst fears confirmed- she's not ready, she's leaving you, she found someone else, she's halfway across the city by now and she's not coming back. "Kristen?" you say again.

"It's stupid," she finally says. "I shouldn't have called you. I'm sorry."

"Kris, what is it?" you ask again. "Where are you?"

"I'm in the bride's room," she says. "Why? Where are you?"

"The groom's room," you say, relieved. She's still here. Of course she is, you idiot, you tell yourself.

"It's about to start," she says. There's weight on her words. You feel a jolt of excitement with a dash of nerves.

"Yeah, it is," you say. "You okay?"

"I guess so," she says.

You glance at yourself in the mirror again. "Kris, really, what's wrong?"

Silence for a beat. "I'm just kind of nervous, okay?" she says, slightly defensive. "You and everyone else are trying to get this going as fast as possible, and I think my head might explode."

You stop your pacing. "Oh," is all you say.

"Right. Fine. Let's just get this done," she says curtly. "I'll see you in five minutes."

"No, no, no!" you say, pressing the phone tightly against your ear. "Kristen, wait!"

"What, Ace," she says on the other side. You can see her balancing the phone on her shoulder, her arms crossed in front of her.

"Let's just stop for a minute," you say. "It's not going to start without us."

You hear a deep breath on the other side. "Okay." There's silence for a moment.

"Are you in your dress?" you say after a pause.

"Yeah," she says.

"I bet you look beautiful," you say.

"I don't know," she says, her voice shying on you slightly.

"You do," you say assuredly.

"You haven't even seen me," she says.

"I know you do," you say.

"You're mental," she says, and you can hear the slight smile in her voice now. Another pause. "You know, I'm wearing the necklace you gave me for my eighteenth birthday."

"Really?" you say.

"Mhmm," she says.

"We weren't even together yet then," you say.

"We should've been," she says. "How more obvious could you have been?" You can see her fingering the flower hanging around her neck.

"Glad you realize how obvious I was now," you say, smiling slightly.

She sighs. "I realized it. I was just an idiot."

"Nah, you're great."

You can almost hear her rolling your eyes. You smile again.

"We got together later that year anyway. Close enough, I think," you say. "But why don't you wear something I got you after that? Like the necklace for our second anniversary?"

"I like this one."

"Okay."

Another pause. "Do you think we're breaking tradition?"

"What, by talking on the phone?" you say.

"Yeah," she says.

"No idea," you say. "I bet we could break all the traditions and we'd be fine."

"Probably," she says. "I liked you when you were in diapers and I'll probably still like you when you're in them again."

"Thanks," you say. "Same to you."

She laughs lightly, and the sound calms you. "You alright?" you ask gently.

"I think so," she says. "You?"

"Yeah," you say. "No second thoughts?"

"Of course not," she says. "You?"

"Never," you say.

A knock comes from the other side of the door. Derek calls your name.

"You ready?" Kristen asks you.

"Yeah," you say. "You?"

"Yes," she says. "I am."

You feel yourself grinning. "Let's do this, then."

"Okay," she says. "I'll see you at the altar?"

You shrug even though you know she can't see it. "I've got nowhere else to be today," you say.

"Good," she says. "I'll meet you there in ten minutes."

"Sounds like a plan," you say.

"Bye," she says. "Love you."

"Love you, too."

The line goes quiet and you hang up your phone. You glance in the mirror once more, straighten your tie, and open the bathroom door.

"God, what could you possibly have to talk to that girl about five minutes before you marry her?" Derek says as you walk back into the room. "You have the rest of your lives to chat."

"Yup," you say, grinning. "I do."

"Yeah, save it for the ceremony," Derek says. He claps you on the back. You keep grinning and he raises his eyebrows at you.

"Stop it or I may get sentimental," he warns.

"Okay," you say. You start toward the door. You don't have time for that right now anyway.

You have a date at the altar with Kristen.


A/N: pssst, if you're interested in that necklace Kristen's wearing and how she got it for her 18th birthday, read my story 'A Little Less than Sober.' If you're not, then, well, I hope you enjoyed this one! :)