Julie and Meg looked at the unusually cheerful wedding planner as she took them through the various destinations. Even though she had been talking non-stop for almost half an hour, all that was going through Julie’s mind was the fact that she would rather be at the office or out showing a house than being there at that particular moment. The lady had a remarkable kind of energy around her. She had actually never met anyone so…chirpy. It kind of reminded her of Squeak in The Color Purple.
“I’d rather go with the Arkansas venue…it’s nice, classy, secluded. What do you think Juelz?” Meg asked. But Julie was still staring off into space. “Hello, earth to Julie,” Meg said waving her hand in front of Julie’s face. Julie looked at her a bit confused.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?” she asked.
“I said the venue in Arkansas was perfect but then again, I shouldn’t be the one calling the shots, now should I?” Meg said. Julie shrugged.
“Why not? If you think it is good, then I am good with it.”
“Juelz? Are you serious? I am not the one getting married,” Meg said. Julie looked at Pamela the wedding planner.
“I just don’t know what I am supposed to say. I don’t want the day to be a disaster but I don’t want to rush the process either,” she said.
“Don’t worry. I have seen this happen time and again. Most brides are usually…skeptical to say the least as far as their big day is concerned,” Pamela said. Julie looked at her and shrugged. “It’s just something you have to think over.” Julie gave her an apologetic look.
“I’m really sorry about this. I just…this is my first wedding and hopefully my only one,” she responded. Pamela smiled. “I just want this to be perfect and I don’t even have the smallest of details in check.”
“What kind of details do you want to hold down Juelz? What are you talking about?” Meg asked. She looked at Julie and raised an eyebrow over the other. Julie took a long deep breath.
“I have no guest list, I have no venue…I am…” she buried her face in her hands.
“That’s why we’re here. Pamela will take care of everything and as far as the guest list goes, I will be that person who gives Steven a good kick in the balls,” Meg said. Julie looked at her and frowned. “Figuratively of course,” Meg added. Julie laughed.
“Margaret is right,” Pamela said. Meg turned and gave her one of those looks that would have sliced into her face. “We have everything under control.”
“Yes we do and if you ever call me by my full name again you will be dead,” Meg said. Pamela smiled.
“Of course,” she said as she packed up her portfolio. She looked at Julie and smiled. “We have six weeks and trust me I will make this happen. If it makes you feel any better, I pulled a wedding out of thin air in eight days,” she said before she stood up. Julie smiled and then laughed. “I’ll leave this here,” she said as she put a folder on the table. “These are just some of the ideas I had in mind.”
“It was nice to meet you. We’ll talk in a couple of days,” Julie said with a smile. Meg walked her to the door and then leaned against it when Pamela left. She smiled at Julie who smiled back, though she looked a little more exhausted than usual. Meg walked to the kitchen and got a bottle of chardonnay before she made her way back carrying it in one hand and two glasses in the other hand. Julie raised an eyebrow at her.
“Isn’t it a little too early?” she asked.
“Hey, it’s probably two in the afternoon in China,” Meg said as she sat down next to Julie who was shaking her head.
“Actually it’s around ten in the morning in China,” she said. Meg rolled her eyes at her and poured her a glass of wine.
“No one likes a smart aleck Juelz,” she said as she handed her the glass. “Here, looks like you need it.” Julie shook her head but took the glass anyway.
“I don’t need the drink. I just need to take a step back from everything,” she said before she took a long sip. Meg looked at her and then put the bottle on the table.
“What’s really going on?” she asked.
“Work,” Julie said. “I need to be at work but at the same time I need to be away from it because nothing seems to work anymore.” Meg looked at her and shook her head.
“You are talking in parables. I have no idea what you’re on about,” she said. Julie took a long deep breath and then looked at her best friend.
“Okay, let me put it like this,” she started as she put her glass on the table. “Like I told Pamela, I don’t intend on getting married ever again but at the same time, I need to know that everything will go perfectly.” Meg shrugged.
“What makes you think that it won’t? That is what we are talking about right? That something bad will happen?” she asked. Julie nodded. “Why?” Meg asked as she looked at Julie.
“Because of everything that has been going on,” Julie said. Meg just looked at her and shrugged, an indication that she had no idea what Julie was talking about. “The day I met his family I met his ex-fiancé. The day my office decides to throw me a party in honor of my engagement, I find out I am married,” she shook her head. She looked at Meg. “See why I am scared?” she asked. Meg smiled and nodded.
“How is the divorce thing coming along anyway?” she asked.
“Annulment,” Julie said. “And it is coming along well. I have a few more days before I can legally declare myself single though,” she added. Meg laughed. “What? That is not funny,” Julie said.
“I’m not laughing at you sweetie, it’s just that I can’t believe that you were married to that piece of shit,” she said with a smile. “I mean, I know you never once talked to me about him but I totally understand why. He is an asshole. And for the life of me I cannot understand why or how the hell you ever fell for him. He must have had some killer lines,” Meg said. Julie laughed.
“Actually, he did. Charm was always his way,” she said before she took a long sip. Meg raised an eyebrow over the other and shook her head.
“And you fell for charm? That, I find hard to believe,” she said. Julie circled the rim of her glass with her finger and smiled.
“What do you mean when you stress me in that sentence?” she asked.
“I mean that you have always been the kind of woman who knows exactly what she wants and means. And with your ‘husband’,” she paused and smiled. Julie shook her head. “You were…” she paused and took a long deep breath. “A follower,” she finally said. Julie looked at her and shook her head.
“A follower?” she asked. “Really?” Meg laughed.
“There is no other way to put it really” she said. Julie took a long deep breath. She leaned back on the couch.
“I guess I was just a bit naïve back then.”
“Just a bit?” Meg asked. She looked at Julie and then laughed. “I would say you were down right dumb but I love my life a little too much to say that,” she added. Julie smiled.
“Technically, you have already said it,” she said.
“Did I? I was just talking hypothetically,” Meg said. Julie looked at her and shook her head. “Okay, I may have stressed that I was merely stating the facts,” she smiled at Julie. Julie emptied the contents of the glass in her mouth and then put the glass on the table before turning to face Meg. “Whoa, pace yourself much?” Meg asked. Julie smiled and then reached for the folder Pamela had left.
“I think it’s time I began planning for the wedding I want. Don’t you think?” she asked. Meg smiled and nodded.
“Would you look at that? Maybe all you needed was some good old chardonnay,” she said. Julie looked at her and began flipping through the pages.
“Maybe,” Julie said with a smile.
As she looked into the mirror the next day, Julie was feeling conflicted. She had a simple black pencil dress in one hand and a lace dress in the other. She wished Steven was here to help her decide. She had one of the biggest listings of the year but there was one problem, the house was as ugly as they came. And one of the only ways Julie had thought of, as far as selling houses was concerned, was pulling on the sexy dress. She was still looking at her reflection when Steven walked into the room.
“Hey there, fiancé,” Steven said with a smile. Julie smiled back.
“Hey there, lover,” she said.
“What are you up to?” he asked. Julie took a long deep breath.
“Trying to figure out what to wear for this open house I have today,” she said. Steven shrugged.
“You need to dress up for an open house?” he asked. She smiled and nodded.
“Especially this one.”
“What’s the big deal with this one?”
“It’s ugly,” Julie said simply. Steven laughed.
“And why do you have it? Couldn’t you have passed it on to another realtor?” he asked. Julie shook her head.
“I think the guy selling it has it in for me,” she said. Steven shrugged.
“Why do you say that?” he asked.
“Well, he said and I quote ‘if you don’t handle this house personally, you may as well count your losses’,” she said. Steven looked at her and smiled.
“Just how ugly is this property?” he asked as he looked at Julie’s reflection. She took a long deep breath and turned around. She looked at him and shook her head wondering how she was supposed to paint a mental picture. “Well?” he pressed.
“There is a toilet in the living room,” she said. Steven’s smile got even bigger.
“What?” he laughed. She nodded.
“There is a toilet right in the middle of the living room,” she said. By this time, Steven could no longer contain himself. He burst out laughing. “It’s not funny,” she said as she pulled away from him and walked into the bedroom.
“Hey baby, I’m sorry…it’s just…”Steven was now trying desperately to construct any kind of sentence as he followed her into the room. “But why get stuck with it? You are a top realtor,” he said. She nodded as she sat down on the edge of the bed scrolling on her laptop.
“Everyone has made sure that they were extremely busy. No one will touch this property with a ten foot pole,” she said still scrolling.
“What are you doing?” Steven asked as he leaned against the doorpost.
“Showing you the reason this guy decided to stick me with the damn property,” she said. “Here,” she said as she turned the laptop around. Steven walked over to the bed and sat next to her.
“What am I looking at?” he asked.
“Those are all the realtors that have handled that house and failed,” she said.
“There are more than eleven names on this list,” he said. Julie nodded.
“I know,” she said.
“If this house was a person, this list would be saying a whole lot,” he said. Julie smiled and nodded.
“I know, right?” Steven shook his head. “So the whole idea of people taking the property and then not doing anything with it was not exactly a selling point. The owner got pissed off. So he took matters into his own hands got some lawyers involved and bam! You take the property, you have to sell it. So if I don’t close, I will be looking at a fine of almost twenty grand,” Julie concluded.
“That must suck for you,” Steven said.
“You don’t know the half of it,” Julie said and shook her head. “I mean, right in the middle. What the hell was the contractor thinking? I mean it’s one thing to follow instructions but seriously? Some things are just subject to scrutiny right from the start,” she added.
“So, what are you planning on doing? I mean, I have seen the way you’ve been up and down in getting this open house together. What have you decided on?” he asked as he put the computer aside and looked at her.
“Party house,” Julie said. Steven raised an eyebrow.
“Party house,” he repeated. She smiled and nodded. “How exactly is that going to work out? I mean what market are you targeting exactly?” he asked. Julie looked at him and smiled.
“Billionaire bachelors,” she said. Steven raised one eyebrow over the other. “Let me put it like this. Remember back when all you wanted to do was get high, smoke pot and fuck?” she asked. Steven frowned.
“I refuse to answer on grounds that it may incriminate me,” he said. Julie smiled.
“I’ll assume that is an affirmative. So, back then when you had a cold beer in hand and probably a bong in the other and you and your pals were drunk and stoned out of your mind, what was the one thing you wished you could get?” she asked. Steven shrugged.
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