The Chase is Over - Toni Aleo
I’m finally seeing what everyone else has been saying. This wedding is a little bit out of control.
I watch as my future wife waves her arms in the air, frustrated. “Those aren’t the heights we discussed. The stages need to be elevated off the ground. I want the musicians to be seen. It’s all about the ambiance!”
I roll my eyes; everything is about the ambiance. Our wedding is in only five days, and I’m pretty sure Shelli is losing her damn mind. All she talks about is the wedding. All she does is flip through her wedding planner, and I’ve never hated a book so much in my life. I swear, I’m at the point where I want to burn the fucking thing since I’m sure it gets more attention than I do.
Along with planning a wedding, I thought it would be a grand idea to buy a house. Now, not only is that damn wedding book in our bed, but so is the tablet holding all the listings our real estate agent sends us. After trying to have a house built fell through, we decided to buy an existing one. It’s become a shitshow.
And on top of all this, Shelli is also helping our friend Lacey King with a really in-depth social media campaign featuring women with breast cancer. Our alumni game raised so much money for the Lacey’s Lace Foundation, and Shelli is convinced that since she was able to make the alumni game a success, she’ll do the same for the photo spread.
I don’t doubt her one bit—problem is, she’s stressed to the max, and I really want her to make it down the aisle without having a heart attack. We may have bitten off more than we can chew…
The poor wedding planner—also known as Shelli’s aunt, Grace Justice—gives her a look only an aunt can get away with. “Shelli Grace, they are high enough. I’m not trying to have a musician fall off or trip when they’re attempting to get up there. Your dad is paying enough. He doesn’t need a lawsuit.”
Still frustrated, Shelli strikes her hands on her hips. “But I want them to be seen!”
“Shelli, it’s not about them. It’s about you. You’re the star here.”
“Well, duh. But I want it to be all magical and stuff when I’m walking down the aisle to their beautiful music. I want it to feel like it did when I walked out for my solo on Broadway in Frozen.”
I raise my hand. “Question. Am I just chopped liver? Or better yet, the costar? No, wait. I’m the snowman, huh?”
Grace is immediately embarrassed, holding her hands up in defense as Shelli laughs. “Oh, Aiden, stop,” she says, taking my shirt in her hand and pulling me to her. Instantly, gone is everything but her gorgeous blue eyes. I hold my breath, my lips curving as she grabs my jaw with her other hand. As a promise, she says, “You’re my star.”
I press my lips to her top lip. “I know.”
And I do, but hell if this wedding isn’t becoming a real pain in my ass. I’m so worried about her, it’s hard to be excited for the day. More so, I’m excited for it to be over so I can lie on the beach with my wife. Man, I can’t wait for her to be my wife.
She kisses me again before turning to Grace, her hand still in mine. “For real, I want them higher.”
Grace glares. “Shelli, that’s going to cost more.”
Shelli shrugs. “Daddy won’t mind. At this point, he’s given Mom the checkbook. We’re good.”
“Jesus Christ,” Grace mutters. “As my brother’s sister, I need to play devil’s advocate and say I feel they are at the perfect height.”
Just then, in her thick, distinctive country accent, Elli Adler, my future mother-in-law, says, “Oh no, these stages are too low.”
Shelli throws her hand toward her mother. “Exactly!”
Grace groans even louder. “Elli, we don’t want to chance fate of people falling off.”
Elli makes a face. “We bought extra insurance since we’re having all kinds of chandeliers installed, and we’ll have those heavy vases full of flowers and water. I don’t trust one of my brothers not to get drunk and fall into one just to sue us.”
Grace blinks. Shelli nods. I inhale deeply.
I know I’m going to regret this. “I thought we decided against the chandeliers since we were getting bigger vases?”
All three women turn to me. Grace, she’s with me, wondering what the actual fuck is going on.