The Perfect Drug
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Adriana had nearly fallen asleep on the uncomfortable purple couch in front of the dressing room when two pairs of hands grabbed her and dragged her across the store to another tall, blonde mannequin. Shaking the sleepiness out of her body, Adriana blinked open her green eyes and stared at the mannequin frowning, then looking to her left and right, at Susan and her mother. Both women were grinning broadly, eyes shining happily. Susan Maxwell, her future mother-in-law, was looking at Adriana expectantly, clutching her purse tightly. Her mother, Rachel Denham, had her eyes on the beautiful gown. Adriana turned her eyes back to the wedding gown, absentmindedly twisting her engagement ring around her finger.
The dress was perfect. It would be especially perfect for her, as she noticed with disdain that she did resemble the tall, blonde mannequin, only her skin was soft and tan and she had actual eyes that were grayish green. But she shared the tall, slender figure, the long legs, and the curly blonde hair. That “homecoming queen” look her friend often teased her about, considering Adriana was far from that type of girl.
With a sigh, Adriana suffered the image of herself in that dress. The flowing white skirt billowing around her body, the tight bodice with its intricate design of silver fitting her to perfection. Her heels would be silver to match the silver lines, and silver jewelry Susan or Rachel would let her borrow. Then she’d wear her hair up after her mother would spend hours arguing that she should, and it would have diamonds in it, because Susan thought it would be just lovely.
As much as she loved Christopher Maxwell, and as ready as she was for marriage, Adriana was not the type to plan and attend big parties that involved formal wear. Quite the opposite from her own family and Chris’s family. However, the actual wedding was very important to Christopher. And after all Chris had done for her, she had reluctantly agreed to a large, grand wedding planned by the parents, Susan and Michael and Rachel and Johnny.
It was certainly a grand and perfect dress. It would fit in perfectly with the large, perfect church on Pelican Lane, and the sterling roses Susan had already ordered with the orchids Adriana demanded. The cake was tall and had a complicated design in icing with several fake flowers in it. It seemed that the whole wedding was planned with seven months to go.
Of course, Adriana knew, Susan and Rachel would push for Adriana and Chris to move up the wedding date.
Not a problem, Adriana thought to herself. The sooner the whole charade was over with, the better. Then she and Chris could be together forever and hopefully Adriana wouldn’t be forced to attend any other balls or parties or anything else.
“So?” asked Rachel, tearing her eyes away from the dress, excitement lighting the dark brown irises.
Taking her index and middle finger, Adriana lifted the first layer of the skirt and ran her fingers over the soft material, eyes roaming over the dress again. She bit her lip, an awful habit her mother scolded her for, and only glared at briefly before lighting up again at the sight of her daughter and that dress so close.
Not all of their parties were the fancy type, involving gowns and corsets and other discomforts. Adriana had never attended those, and opted for the costume balls and the smaller get-togethers. So, Adriana didn’t know how horrible it would be, being in that contraption for a good few hours. Her older sister Lorelai claimed it was quite painful, but something easy to get used to.
“Perfect,” Adriana agreed, tone dull.
Neither of the older women seemed to notice this tiny detail. Their grins grew wider, if it were possible, and they embraced each other, laughing and moving quickly to the saleswoman, both pulling out their credit cards and arguing over who would pay.
Adriana let the skirt fall from her fingers and walked back to her couch and sank into it, slumping down and crossing her arms over her chest, watching as he fate was sealed as the dress was bought, in the end by Rachel, agreeing that Susan could buy the shoes.
“I’m surprised it took them so long to get the dress,” said an amused voice from beside her. She sat up straight, head whipping around. There was a chuckle, and Adriana grinned at the sight of him. “A whole week!”
Chris held out his hand and Adriana gladly took it, allowing herself to be pulled up once more, and into the arms of her fiancé. If anything was perfect, it was Chris. Romantic, kind, funny, thoughtful, perfect Christopher. Adriana smiled into his neck as Chris pressed his lips to the top of her head.
“I love you!” Chris said, pulling away, only barely, and holding her hand tightly in his. Adriana took in the sight of him. Curly, auburn hair and dark gray eyes. Tall and thin. A wide, friendly smile and perfect, white teeth. She rested her head against his chest.
“I love you, too,” Adriana replied. “So, did you and Michael find a tux?”
“Yeah,” Chris said. “It took a few minutes to convince him that the purple and yellow looked more like a Mardi Gras wedding tux than one for a summer wedding…”
Adriana laughed. Michael was a big fan of going all out for Mardi Gras. It was the favorite holiday in Louisiana. The thought of Susan and Michael arguing over that tux was amusing.
“Are you sure?” she asked, teasing, while feeling the idea wasn’t too awful. “I could turn up in that red, green, and violet dress I wore to the party two years ago. I think I even still have the mask!”
Chris chuckled, shaking his head and rushing forward to take the gown from the women, following them out to the fan with Adriana trailing behind, shoving her hands deep into the pockets of her maroon jacket.
This wedding stuff really wasn’t for her. But that was the point. This was for Chris. And since most of the details were done, only a few miniscule details left to prepare, Adriana felt relieved. No torture left before the wedding. Then, afterwards, she and Chris could move into the one-story, yellow house Chris had bought for them and they could go on.
It would be the perfect life.
Adriana stopped short, in the middle of the parking lot, frowning.
How incredibly dull.
Pulling her dad’s baseball cap out of her back pocket, Adriana shoved it on her head, pulling the bill low over her face and quickly got in the very back seat of the van. For an aspiring novelist, Adriana loathed the word “dull” and “uninteresting.”
Of course, the trauma of her childhood had been quite an ordeal…Most of her life before Chris had been. She’d found her solace in writing. It was all she’d ever wanted to do with her life. And as much as she loathed how life had been, life now was far too boring. The recent wedding plans had been the most excitement Adriana had seen in a year.
Adriana shook her head, cursing herself for such odd desires. Most people with horrible childhoods would kill for the chance at a normal, happy life. But since when had Adriana ever been blessed with normalcy. Even with this now normal life, she still found ways to be a freak.
She forced a smile when Chris crawled into the backseat with her, buckling up and holding her hand tightly and putting it with his on his knee.
“So…how’s the novel coming?” Susan asked conversationally as she drove out of the parking lot and onto the highway. “Adriana?”
Adriana threw her head back onto the headrest and glared up at the top of the van. Her head suddenly throbbed just thinking about her problem. The curse of all writers…
Probably due to lack of inspiration. Nothing interesting enough to get the ideas flowing. Her fingers itched to fly across her keyboard, to see a plot forming before her eyes. But every time she sat at her computer, she ended up staring at a blank screen.
“Perfect,” Adriana replied dryly, sitting up straight again and squeezing Chris’s hand.
“That’s good,” Susan said. “You’ll publish a novel and Chris will do wonders with computers! You’ll never have to worry about silly things like debt and loans and whatnot.”
“A very lucky thing, I tell you,” Rachel added, turning up the radio as a familiar song came on. Adriana didn’t pay much attention to that, or much of anything else, mind coming blank. The eighteen year old curled a stand of hair around her finger, trying to think about something, pulling random thoughts together.
Some days, her brain just didn’t work properly.
“They’re going to have beautiful children,” Susan was saying.
“Definitely. Dear Adriana is gorgeous and your Chris here is quite a looker!” Rachel said, smile forced. Adriana knew well her mother didn’t exactly think Chris was a “looker.” But it was one of those things Adriana cared less about than her mother. And considering Chris had money, Rachel didn’t mind so much. Adriana gave Chris’s hand another squeeze.
“Mom, don’t forget we’re dropping off Adriana at Lorelai’s house,” Chris reminded his mom, nodding to the sign up ahead reading Pelican Lane.
“Oh, that’s right!” said Susan, turning onto the street.
“What are my girls going to be doing today, anyway?” Rachel asked.
Adriana shrugged and readjusted her baseball cap so that she could see. She smiled as they passed the yellow house Chris had bought them, further down the street to where Lorelai and Sean lived.
“Probably just going to plan the baby shower,” Adriana replied.
“Is she…She’s still planning the shower?” Rachel asked, exasperated. “Didn’t you tell her she’s not supposed to plan her own shower?”
“Yes,” Adriana replied. “But she knows I’m not much of a party planner and offered (rather demanded) to help.”
Rachel rolled her eyes and went back to chatting with Susan as they pulled into the driveway. Adriana stepped out of the car and watched as they drove off. She’d nearly forgotten about this. Just finished with planning a wedding, now she had to hash out the details of Lorelai’s baby shower.
But that was life. Nothing was really perfect, was it? Maybe she could write a story about it. A story about the girl who hated parties, forced to follow her family’s footsteps in being a party planner and she died of complete horror, surrounded by confetti and menus.
Adriana sniggered at the idea.
“I wasn’t aware you found Mrs. Tolle’s garden so amusing, Miss Denham.”
Adriana jumped in surprise and spun around, looking at Lorelai’s porch. Her eyes grew wide and she felt her jaw drop open. This was certainly unexpected. Uncertain to how she was supposed to react, Adriana just stood there and stared at him.
He was perfect.
Bright blue eyes, shaggy dark brown hair, tall, muscular, tan…
Okay…tell me it sucks and get it over with. I haven’t really written in a while, and this is what I could come up with. The next chapter will move…um…quickly, but for good reason. Anyway, leave me a review and tell me what you think. Thanks.
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