"We'd like the colours moss green and brown". Estelle the happy bride- to- be was saying to me and my best friend Nicole. I watched her happy smile and dreamy eyes and I couldn't help but wonder if I looked as ridiculous as that when I was planning my own wedding.
Nicole smiled back at her enthusiastically .
"That's a good combination. So..."
"Jungle-like" I suggested cutting nicole mid-sentence.
Estelle stared at me for a moment and her dreamy smile threatened to fade away from her beautiful face. "Excuse me?"
Nicole glared at me with a hidden message that said: please, just shut the hell up if you can't say something nice!
"What she meant was earthly", Nicole said smiling back at estelle and from the somewhat constipated look at her face, I can tell that she was trying her best to pass on some of her enthusiasm back into the bride-to-be.
"No. I meant jungle -like, if I meant earthly, that's what I would have said." I said bluntly, which earned me another glare from Nicole. This time, her hidden message was: you are so dead. I raised a brow at her and flashed her a crooked smile that was meant to say: I already know that!
"Excuse me? Do you... have a problem with me?" Estelle asked reluctantly.
I sighed. " I'm sorry sweetie. I don't have a problem with you. I have a problem with green. Moss green to be exact. And since you are in malibu and are planning for a beach wedding, maybe you should take a look at yellow, orange, red and gold with maybe a bit of indigo?
I thought Estelle would tell me to get lost right then and there. It didn't really matter. I don't care anymore. Weddings used to be my thing. However, because of some recent events in my crappy life, it now gives me pain to see happy, blushing bride-to-bes. It is easier for me to imagine that maybe on the night of their fiance's bachelor party, he might be humping the stripper inside the big cake!
"I'm sorry Estelle, I know you like green..." Nicole started apologizing on my behalf. She didn't even bother to glare at me anymore. She knew I couldn't care less and we'd only look unprofessional if we spent half the time glaring at each other.
"My fiance likes green... I infact like orange..."
Unfortunately, I don't see green and orange going together with your theme. I hope you are paying for the wedding." I said under my breath.
"Actually I am" Estelle said raising her chin proudly.
I smiled at her. "Good for you! Then you should plan it exactly the way you want it. That way you get to keep your wedding ideas in case your fiance decides to marry someone else at the last minute."
"Might I have a word with you in private, Astrid?" Nicole asked me with a grave look on her face, that she was not even disguising in front of Estelle anymore.
"Sure". I said, smiling sarcastically. Then I turned to Estelle. "Please do consider choosing between orange and green. If I were you, I'd make it worth my money. Think of things that are green" I said trailing thoughtfully..."hmmm...like vomit"
"Now! Astrid" Nicole said pulling me up by the arm.
When we were outside the office, Nicole gave me a good slap on the face. It actually stung.
"Are you awake now?" She asked me angrily.
"What is your problem Nic?" I asked, rubbing my cheek with my palm.
"Pull yourself together Astrid! Or you are not only going to lose your dream wedding. You might lose your job as well!" She said to me. "Now stay here and I will talk to Estelle... alone."
Nicole started to go back to the conference room.
"Nic?" I called and she turned back to me with a raised brow. "If she picks orange, will I at least get credit for talking her into it?"
She glared at me one last time and turned her heel towards the conference room, hoping to repair what damage I might have caused.
I went to the pantry to get myself a cup of coffee. Nicole's slap wasn't powerful to wake me up but I knew she had a point. If I continued talking to Estelle the way I did, I would have another complaint against my name.
Last week, a client withdrew their account with us because the tulip-loving bride could not forget the story I told her a psycho killer murdering brides on their wedding nights and laying them on a bed of tulips afterwards. I made up the story of course but I didn't know she had such a wild imagination! So the groom refused to have us do their wedding claiming , we had traumatized his blushing bride-to-be. And now I'm pretty sure that if Estelle will still choose green, everything about her wedding will remind her of vomit.
And speaking of vomit,it makes me want to do so when I look around the office and I see reels of laces and bows of different colours. A single lace, a single bow makes me want to puke.
I picked up a bow that strayed on my table. There was a phrase inscribed on it "yours forever"
I snorted and threw the bow in my garbage bin. Forever is such a big promise. I don't believe any man can keep a promise as big as that. That's why divorce happens left and right. Any girl will be a fool to believe in forever. I, for one will be damned if I ever believe in that word again!
I was so lost in my own thoughts that I did not notice that nicole was already standing in front of me with a giant scowl on her face. I stared up at her for a while and then I sighed.
"Okay okay, I'm sorry, I messed up" I said, throwing my hands in the air.
"No, you did not mess up Ash, you deliberately sabotaged that meeting" .
"I did not"
"You did too". She said angrily and sat in front of me. "What is happening to you Ash?"
"Nothing" I replied. That was a lie. I know exactly what was wrong with me.
"You used to believe in this. This company is twice as big as it is when it started five years ago because of you. You've worked on this for five solid years and you are the best employee this company has ever seen...and now, you are throwing it all away. And in the process, you are also jeopardizing my future along with yours".
"No, I'm not!" I said defensively
"Yes you are!" And not only are you jeopardizing our futures, you are also jeopardizing the futures of the engaged couples who will step into this office!" Nicole let out a frustrated sigh. She stared at me, shaking her head.
I could go on and on in this imminent circle of denial forever. I could argue with her all I want but I knew she was right. I was being a bitch. And I was being difficult. And I couldn't stand to see another wedding in my life again...at least, not yet.
"What do you want me to do?" I asked her. "Do you want me to file my resignation?"
Nicole rolled her eyes "no, silly! But I think you should take some time off! I think you should refrain from talking to engaged couples...until you get back on your feet" . She tried to smile encouragingly.
I sighed. "I guess you are right. The sight of this very place makes me want to puke already! And I don't think I can stand to see another wedding again. Please! The thought of it not ending in happily ever after is enough to make me want to hang myself!"
"Good! Because that is exactly what our clients want to do after they meet you". A familiar voice said behind me.