Memories of You – Excerpt

“Even I have to say you look beautiful in that dress, Stacia,” Lissa de la Fuente said. She stood with her arms crossed over her chest, relieved that this was Stacia’s final fitting. Over the last few months, she’d spent far more time in the bridal salon surrounded by frilly dresses than she’d cared to. Stacia had asked all of her bridesmaids to attend her fittings. The day Stacia picked out her dress had been the worst. She’d tried on twenty different dresses before settling on one. After the fifth dress, Lissa didn’t care what dress Stacia picked. She only wanted to get out of the bridal shop.

“Thank you. That means a lot. You never compliment anyone.” The fitted bodice was strapless and a combination of lace and beading. The bottom formed a bell and as Stacia twirled around the layers of lace and tulle fanned out around her. “I feel like a princess.”

“You look like one too,” Robin said, her green eyes shone with joy and Lissa knew Robin’s thoughts were on her own upcoming nuptials to Ty Flynn, her partner in Flynn’s Steakhouse.

“You’re all going to make me cry,” Stacia said.

An assistant placed a tray with a tea kettle and tea cups on the coffee table in front of them. They’d been in the bridal shop several times over the last few months and no one had made them tea. Lissa figured it was because the shop was quiet. They had it all to themselves. Lissa poured herself a cup of tea and waited for the torture to be over. She wished she’d come up with a good excuse like Samantha and Jessica. Samantha supposedly was preparing for a trial and Jessica was holding auditions for the next musical that would be performed at her music school. She should have volunteered to help Jessica. Listening to kids screech out songs would have been better than suffering through another fitting.

Stacia stepped in front of the mirror and pulled her brown hair up on top of her head. “How would I look with my hair like this?”

Before anyone could answer, Jill raced through the door of the bridal shop. “I know I’m late. I was chasing down a scoop. Did I miss anything?”

“It’s nothing you haven’t seen the other thirty times Stacia tried on the dress,” Lissa said.

Robin rolled her eyes. “Could you act like you’re happy for Stacia?”

“I’m thrilled for Stacia and Will. I don’t like spending all of my free time in a bridal salon.” Turning to Jill, Lissa asked, “Why don’t you tell us about your big scoop?”

Jill frowned when she glanced at Lissa. “I shouldn’t. It’s nothing anyone would be interested in.”

Dread made Lissa’s stomach heavy, like a rock sinking to the bottom of the ocean. “Then why did you mention it?”

“I was explaining why I was late,” Jill said.

“I don’t know why you still write gossip for the Lincoln Falls Times. You’re better than that,” Robin said.

“Maybe, but it’s what I like. It’s fun.” She tossed her light brown hair over her shoulder and sat on the edge of the sofa.

“What’s the story?” Lissa asked. She couldn’t let it go. She had a bad feeling about Jill’s latest gossip.

“You’re not getting it out of me.” She looked at the other women and pointed to Stacia and Robin. “Well, except for maybe the both of you. I’ll tell you later.”

With her hands on her hips, Lissa said, “Jill Stanton, you will tell me what your big story is or I will tell everyone who starred in your last sex dream.”

Jill gasped. “You wouldn’t.”

“Do you want to take that chance?”

“Fine, but you’re not going to like it.”

“Of course, I won’t if it means I’m the latest town gossip.” Her stomach sunk. She knew based on what Jill had said that she had to be the subject of the gossip or it was something that would affect her.

“Here it goes. Zach Brody is back in town,” Jill said at a breakneck pace.

“What?” Lissa stumbled backwards.

“That’s not news,” Stacia said. “He’s Will’s best man.”

“You should sit down,” Robin said to Lissa. “You’ve gone pale.”

Jill and Robin helped Lissa sit. “How can he be Will’s best man? He left. He left right after graduation.”

“He’s been in touch with Will for years,” Stacia said. “At least that’s what Will said. I had expected Cord to be his best man.”

“Will and Zach were best friends in high school and he was Lissa’s boyfriend,” Robin said.

“Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” Stacia stepped down from the stool and went to Lissa. “I swear I didn’t know.”

“All this time, I thought he had disappeared and Will knew where he was. He knew and didn’t say anything.”

“She’s turning red,” Robin said.

“Of course, I’m turning red. I don’t know who I’m angrier at — Zach for leaving Lincoln Falls and never contacting me again or Will for not telling me that he’s been in contact with Zach.” She gripped the arm of the chair so hard that her knuckles turned white.

“Ten, nine. Come on, Lissa. Count with me,” Robin said.

“I could count backwards from a million and it wouldn’t ease my anger.” She stood, almost knocking Robin and Stacia over. “I’ve got to hit someone.”

“No, you don’t,” Robin said.

“I do and no one is stopping me.” She stepped around Robin and shoved the door to the bridal shop open.

“Where are you going?” Jill asked.

“To see Will.”

“What? No.” Stacia picked up her dress and ran after Lissa. “Stop her. She’s going to hit Will.”

“Come back. I’m not done,” the seamstress yelled.

“Just a minute,” Stacia shouted over her shoulder and hiked her dress up higher, allowing her more freedom to run.

“If you tear the dress, I can’t guarantee I’ll have it fixed in time for the wedding.”

Robin, Jill, and Stacia chased Lissa down Main Street. “We’re never going to catch up. She’s a jogger,” Robin said.


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