Double Major

By: Catherine Gayle

I took Tuck’s hand from Abby, and she kissed him on the cheek. Then she went around and kissed Maddie, and Dana, and me, before finally going through the door into the chapel so she could take her seat. It had been set up with two aisles, with seats on each side and down the center. Dana was going to walk down the right, and I would go down the left, and then she and Brenden could be standing next to one another during the ceremony, brother and sister.

The music started, and our bridesmaids headed in—two on each side, all walking in at once, arm in arm. The videographer had an assistant, and they were shooting both aisles and showing it live on a split screen above the altar. Once the bridesmaids were halfway to the front, the wedding coordinator gave Maddie a little nudge, and she went down the aisle on my side, dropping her rose petals as she went. The big screen went fully onto her since there wasn’t a flower girl on the opposite aisle. She was blushing so hard from all the attention being on her that her face was redder than her hair. As soon as she got to the front, she bustled up next to Katie and reached for her hand. Those two had a special bond lately. It was good to see.

The music changed to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” and the coordinator gave us a nod. Dana and I looked at each other and both took deep breaths. The pair of us must’ve taken too long sorting ourselves out because Tuck pulled on my hand until I looked down at him.

“Come on,” he said. “Mr. Soupy said I gotta be sure you get there on time. He said I’m not just the Ginger Ninja, but I’m his big man and I got a job to do. Let’s go.” With that, he started marching toward the chapel’s double doors whether I was ready or not.

Mark burst out laughing as he and Dana headed for their set of doors, causing almost every head inside to turn and look at us—all but those watching the screen up front.

This was it. It was really happening.

I was finally going to get my happily ever after.

WHILE EVERYONE WAS staring at the two brides coming down the aisle and laughing along with Mr. Campbell despite not knowing what had tickled him, Burnzie cuffed Babs on the back of the head.

“Maybe we should start calling you Animal, going around with hair like that,” he said. “Like the drummer dude from The Muppets.”

“Fuck off,” Babs muttered beneath his breath so no one else would hear.

“Buy a fucking comb.”

“Leave him alone,” Webs muttered.

There was no doubt that Babs’s hair was an absolute wreck, but that was an everyday occurrence. There was no good reason for Burnzie to whack him like that now, but I didn’t get the impression he needed any reason at all. That was just how he was with Babs. He meant it good-naturedly, but I wasn’t sure Babs always took it that way. God knew I wouldn’t if I were in Babs’s shoes. Then again, I wasn’t one to ever let myself get into a position like that.

Zee shot all three of them a glare, which shut them up pretty fast.

I let my gaze wander over to the bridesmaids—or really, to Sara. She was standing at the end of the row, as far away from me as she could be without sitting in one of the seats with all the guests.

Maddie was standing beside her, holding onto Katie’s hand and beaming. It was good to see her smiling like that. In the time I’d known Rachel and her kids, Maddie hadn’t ever smiled much. She was a guarded little girl, in a way that made me think of my sister Corinne. But today? Today, she was happy.

Sara, however, was not. Even with all the distance between us, I could sense Sara’s discomfort. She was grinding her jaw, and her grip on her bouquet was of the white-knuckled variety. The problem was, I had no clue what was bothering her. Two of her best friends were about to get married. They were coming down the aisle right now. She ought to be ecstatic about this, like Maddie was, but she looked ready to rip someone’s head off.

And for once, it wasn’t mine.

I wished Scotty had come with us to the wedding. He’d know better than I did what to say to her to get her to talk once we got her alone. I was learning more about her every day, but there was still a long way for me to go in that regard. He had a twenty-three-year leg up on me. Instead, he’d gone to New York with the rest of the Storm executives for the draft. He had a new role in the organization as the director of amateur scouting, and helping out at the draft was essential to that new position. That meant it was up to me to figure out what to do about Sara and whatever was bothering her so much.

She wasn’t even watching Rachel and Dana coming down the aisle, so I tried to follow the path of her gaze—not an easy task, since we were at completely different angles. She was staring into the center section, which was filled to bursting with Soupy and Dana’s friends and family.

I couldn’t tell how far back she was looking, but her eyes weren’t moving at all. They were fixed in one spot, on one person, it seemed. I’d only ever seen her looking so livid when I’d done something wrong, however unintentional it may have been. It was times like this when she reminded me of her father. Who the hell could be here who would upset her so much? To my knowledge, she’d never been to Providence before, at least not until a few days ago when we had arrived together.

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