“I cannot believe that I let you drag me here.” Madeline gently tucked one of her curls behind her ear, beyond annoyed that she’d been ‘tricked’ into crashing a wedding. The wedding of someone she didn’t even like, at that. “I could be at home, in my bed, eating Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, while waiting on my friend to hit me up for a quick round or two.”
Jenay, her best friend, rolled her eyes, pulling Madeline along as they moved through a crowd of invited guests, family, and friends. “Psh, that nigga wasn’t gon’ call you. He’s too busy gettin’ his face rode by a bitch you don’t like.”
“You said that like that was going to hurt my feelings or piss me off. I’m not the sidepiece crashing the reception of a man that chose to put a ring on someone else’s finger. You should have already known and come to terms with the fact that, if he liked more than your sex he would’ve put a ring on it, but he didn’t.”
Jenay stopped walking, ‘causing Madeline to bump into her. A mixture of pain and agitation spread across her face as she tried to find the right words that wouldn’t cause a fight between the two of them. “You really know how to cross the damn line, don’t you?”
“I’m just saying. Friends with benefits literally means we screw frequently but we ain’t catching feelings, or as he told you specifically… I do me, you do you, no feelings. No commitment, none of that, and what did you do? You caught feelings. I mean, you said yourself that he has your number saved under another nigga’s name. If that doesn’t scream you’re the sidepiece, I don’t know what does.”
“Your point, Bitch?”
“You’re out here playing a generic version of Law And Order, and you’re mad that you were too late to object. What’s coming to the reception going to do? Hmm, you think he gon’ leave his wife sitting at the main table and run away with you? Bye, Lance.”
“I hate you so much, Madeline.”
“And yet, you always manage to dial my number when you’re drunk and lost in your feelings behind a nigga that played you like a guitar. Strummed you gently, then smashed you and all the hopes you had of him being faithful. Congratulations, you played yourself.”
“You can’t just be a real friend, huh? You can’t just have my back, huh?”
Madeline looked around, chuckling to herself before she readjusted the top of the dress she was wearing. Smoothing down the bottom, she took one good look at her best friend before speaking as calmly as possible. “You’re really going to question my loyalty to you? Where am I right now? With you doing something foolish, right? With you, behind you, waiting to take you into my arms when he hurts your feelings, right? Because that is inevitable, you know. Just because I’m the only friend real enough to tell you what you NEED to hear, rather than what you WANT to hear, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped supporting you and these foolish ideas that you have. I’m here to catch you and hopefully build your crazy ass back up when he drops you on your ass, as I’ve always done. If I wasn’t a friend, if I didn’t care, I would have let you come here alone and possibly let you get jumped by the bride’s friends. But I’m here, ready and waiting to snatch any bitch that wants to try it.” Jenay said nothing. “Now, with all of that being said, I repeat; what is coming to the reception truly going to do for you? He might keep fucking with you on the side, being the dog ass nigga that he is… but trust and believe, that man ain’t never gon’ leave her. And if he does, it won’t be for you. That’s not me hating, trying to hurt you, or not wanting to see you with the things you feel you deserve in your life. Hell, we all fall for these dudes that promise us things and then drop us. But that’s when we pick ourselves up and move on. What you gon’ do?”
Jenay exhaled, walking away from Madeline and towards her original destination. The bride and groom’s table.
Madeline simply shook her head, following along so that she could grab a hold of her best friend after she made a thorough fool of herself.
As she laughed, thanking one of her bridesmaids, Lacey turned her head and caught a glimpse of a woman she’d never seen walking towards her.
A bit of anger and confusion began to present itself, as she’d been assured that everything was in order, including the guest list she’d put together herself.
Kevin, her new husband, followed her gaze, and immediately he felt the change in the way his heart beat. It sped up, literally thumping as if it would beat out of his chest. As Jenay stood before them, she eyed them both for a moment before giving a smile. Unable to tell what she would do next, Kevin quickly spoke. “I’m sorry, what can my wife and I do for you, Ma’am? This is a private occasion, and I don’t believe that either of us know you.”
Jenay felt as if he were literally pulling her heart from her chest and stomping on it. She hated to be wrong, but deep down she knew that she was being foolish. His words, the cold tone he gave as he spoke those words; it was enough to make her ruin everything he’d worked to gain with the woman Jenay felt didn’t deserve his love.
She spoke in a proper tone, one Kevin had never heard before. “No, you don’t know me. And I apologize for intruding but I was passing by and heard great music. Got a few details and decided to stop in to…” Kevin held his breath, on the verge of breaking into a sweat. “… say congratulations to you both. As I suspected, you’re a gorgeous couple and I wish you both many happy years.”
Taken aback, but in awe of a stranger’s kindness, Lacey smiled and extended her hand, shaking Janay’s hand. “Thank you so much. Um, since you’re here, why don’t you have a drink or get something to eat.”
Noticing the look on Kevin’s face, wanting to burst into laughter, Jenay simply smiled and remained in character. “That’s so kind, but no thank you. Again, sorry for intruding. Enjoy your day.”
Staring in shock as her best friend walked towards her, Madeline waited patiently until Jenay reached her. “So, what held you back from starting shit and getting snatched up?”
Jenay rolled her eyes. “That chick wasn’t finna snatch nobody up. Anyway, I started to… but then, I took a mental trip down memory lane.”
Jenay sighed, looping her arm through Madeline’s before they began to make their exit. “It was just like déjà vu; only, I had control over the situation. I took a few seconds to recall how some ignorant bitch crashed my wedding, only… she did it just before I could actually say I do.” Jenay sighed. “I don’t know. She was pretty, and she truly looked happy. I hope she truly gets what she deserves from him.”
“You’re wishing heartbreak on her instead of causing it directly? Okay.”
“No. I hope he remembers how scared he looked and felt when he saw me, and I hope he never wants to feel that again, and that it’ll make him treat her right. I might not be a good person, but she probably is. And she doesn’t deserve to feel the way I feel right now. If that makes sense. Oh, and if you tell anybody I caught a temporary soft spot, I will beat your ass.”
Madeline laughed, shaking her head. “You could try, and you’ll fail. But I hope this means you know you deserve better as well.”
“If you say so.”