One More Time

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
1 year after the last time he encountered Chris Messner and Katherine Taylor, Nick Brennan gets a call inviting him to their wedding. After his last encounter, Nick made it clear he wanted nothing to do with them. What is a guy to do?

Submitted: October 04, 2016

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Submitted: October 04, 2016

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After a year of living in Gallatin, I felt as if I had turned a new leaf. I became a part of my town. I sat on a couple of commitees and I even coach the Boy's Varsity Basketball team. I felt as though I was finally moving forward. I had a few friends that I visited with on the weekends, I even had been out on a date a few times. I could not have been happier with the way things have been going.

A couple of weeks ago however, I would have thought otherwise.

Walking to my mailbox I saw that I had a card of some sort. It was postmarked Ridgeview. My alert senses immediately went up as I opened it. When I made it into my house, I opened it and could not believe what it was.

It was an invitation to a wedding.

In particular, the wedding was that of Chris Messner and Katherine Taylor.

I fell to my chair.

I could not honestly believe it.

She did it.

She stole my friend. 

Katherine took Chris from me. She is marrying him.

Why?

God, how have I made you angry?

The thought was one that made me wanna sprint to the bathroom and throw up. I got up and walked over to the fridge. I grabbed a Pepsi and read over the invitation. It was a doozie of a design.

Said that I was coordially invited to take part in the ceromony of marriage of Chris Messner and Katherine Taylor. The wedding was gonna be in a few days. RSVP as soon as possible. 

The last time I was in Ridgeview, I basically ended my life long friendship to Chris and told Katherine she didn't exist to me anymore. I wondered how they got my address. I also wondered why they would send an invitation to me after that encounter last year. If it was to rub salt in the wounds, well then they can rot in hell for all I am concerned. However, they may be wanting to patch things up with me. I wasn't sure.

So I layed down on the couch and weighed all the possibilities in my mind. I wasn't able to come up with an actual satisfactory answer. While I was going over all of this, I heard my phone ring. I sat up to look at the caller ID. It was Casey Freeman. I hadn't spoke to him in a long while. I decided to answer it.

"Hello, Casey," I said.

"Nick, how the hell are you?" Casey asked.

"I've been good man. How about you?" I asked.

"Oh, not bad. Jake and I did a couple of shows in Fort Collins Colorado. They were pretty good. How's Montana treating you?" Casey said.

"We are having a hell of a winter. Road is closed to Bozeman. That is the nearest city from me. But it's good man. Just enjoying the mountains." I said.

"Pretty sweet, brother. Listen I was wanting to talk to you about something." Casey said.

"Go right ahead, I have no where to go and all the time in the world." I replied.

"I found your address and gave it to Katherine and Chris." Casey said.

"Why the hell would you do that?" I asked.

"Cause Chris is one of your oldest friends and it is his wedding day. I understand your history with Katherine, but this is about Chris man. He needs you. We all need you man. Now we know that Ridgeview is the 9th circle of hell, but just one more time man. We wanna get the band back together one more time." Casey said.

"My friend, the answer is no," I said. "I love you Casey, but I can't go to this wedding. I don't believe in it. I think Katherine is setting him up to be a fool. I tried to convince him of it. I am sorry but the answer is no."

"Well damnit. I had to try," Casey said.

"I appreciate your effort man. When you come out to Montana and play some shows, let me know and you guys can come stay at my place." I said.

"Sounds like a plan." Casey said. 

Casey hung up the phone. I just sat on my couch and stared at my phone. I hated to make Casey upset with me, but I had to stick to my guns on this issue. I wanted no part of this wedding. As much as I didn't want to go back to Ridgeview, I sure didn't want to be at a wedding. I took a couple of sips of my drink and reached for the invitation. It said it was on a Sunday. I could miss a game and give the assistant coach a chance to lead the team. I figured for Casey's sake, one more time wouldn't hurt.

I called the number listed on the RSVP. 

"Hello,"

"Hello, Chris," I said.

"Nick, what's cookin good lookin?" Chris said.

"Not a whole lot. I understand you are getting married. Congratulations are in order I suppose." I said.

"Thank you Nick. That means a lot." Chris said. 

Not wanting to draw out this call any longer than necessary, I decided to get to the point:

"I will be there," I said.

"You will?" Chris asked. "You really will." 

"I just said so," I said 

"Nick, that means a lot. We wanted to tell you sooner but," Chris said.

"I don't care," I said. "Casey invited me. So I will go as a favor to him. Don't give yourself too much credit." 

I hung up the phone and decided to pack a suitcase. As I packed a suitcase, I turned on the weather reports. The roads were being plowed and that caution was advised if traveling. So I guess I better try for the airport at least. After I got my bags packed, I called one of the kids I coached and asked if he could watch the house for me. He said he and his parents would. After that, I locked up the house and decided to make my way to Ridgeview.

II

After taking a couple of days, I arrived at my hotel. Checking in and get cleaned up before I had to meet the wedding party for photos, I wanted to take as much time as I could. I was in no hurry for this and just wanted to get in, see this show and head back home. 

While I was shaving, I heard a knock on my door. I walked over and opened it. It was Holly Harper, my old colleague from the Ridgeview Gazzette.

"Well, that's what you look like without a shirt on. I need to move to Montana." Holly said.

Holly was a curvy brunette. We worked together for about 5 years but had known eachother for at least 15. We would cover stories for different papers. We had a friendly relationship. Holly was the equivalent of a brawler. She would pursue anything she wanted and didn't stop til it was hers. 

"Well, I got about 15 minutes. I suppose I could give you a quick tour." I said.

"Your going to the wedding, aren't you?" Holly asked.

"Unfortunately, yes." I said

"Why so glum?" Holly asked.

"I used to date Katherine Taylor." I said.

"Now I understand," Holly said.

"I knew her in High School. We were together for a couple of years and then we split up." I said.

"You know I could use this for a story. Star writer dated famous singer." Holly said.

"It's too boring. You going with anyone?" I asked.

"I suppose you, you big stud." Holly said.

"You keep talking like that, we just won't go to the wedding." I said.

"Just get dressed or I will have to start getting undressed." Holly said.

I smiled and finished getting ready. I didn't have a nice shirt but I had a hawaiian shirt with a blue blazer and khaki pants. I got dressed and put on a different watch than the one I usually wore. This outfit was the kind I usually wore when I would be at a signing. Holly laughed at the outfit.

"That is a unique choice." Holly said.

"I'm a famous author. This is usually the outfit I wear at appearances." I said.

"Well I have a tie in the car." Holly said.

"They aren't gonna force people to wear ties are they?" I asked.

"Who said anyone was gonna wear it?" Holly said. 

I shook my head.

I went with Holly in her car. We drove over to the Ridgeview Country Club. It used to be a full golf course, but now the building and restaurant were only in use. As we made it up the hill, there were a lot of cars parked on the sides of the road. I shook my head. The travesty was gonna be bigger than I had initially thought. As we made it up to the main parking lot, I saw Chris and Lucas and Casey and Jake dressed in matching Tuxedos. I turned to Holly and shook my head.

"Are you sure we have to go to this?" I asked .

"I'm covering the wedding." Holly said.

"Please, I'll give you an exclusive. I'll let you have your way with me. I don't care, for the love of God I do not wanna go to this wedding." I said.

"Now, sweetheart, we were invitied and it is time to go mingle. If you are good, I will make it worth your while." Holly said.

"Well now that you say that," I said.

Holly smiled. She parked the car. We got out, Holly walked over to a group of people leaving me standing by myself. I took a deep breath and walked over to where Chris and the guys were standing at. I walked slowly, wanting to avoid eye contact if possible.

"NICK!"

"Hey boys," I said.

The guys had matching hairstyles. They all were shaved bald. Wearing black tuxs and white shirts. The guys looked like the all american wedding party. We all shook hands and walked into the dining area.

"It's been a while," Lucas Coleman said.

"That it has," I said.

"Hello Nick." Jake Portman said.

"Jake," I said.

"Glad you could make it," Casey said.

"It's good to see you Casey," I said.

"Nick," Chris said.

"Satan," I said. 

We shook hands. As we made it into the room, there was a silence that was lurking over the group. We all sat down at a table and stared at eachother for a moment.

"Looks like the ceremony is gonna be great," I said.

"I hope so, I have to deejay this thing. For no pay, mind you." Lucas said. 

"What the hell, can't afford it?" I looked at Chris.

"He gets free food and booze," Chris said.

"There you go,"  I said.

"How long are you here for, Nick?" Casey asked.

"I'm here for the wedding." I said.

"We appreciate it Nick," Chris said.

I nodded my head. 

"Can we just get drunk already," Jake asked.

"Not yet," I said. "We have to start when it's time for the reception. Embarrass the poor bastard." 

Everybody laughed. I noticed that Chris wasn't laughing as hard as the other guys were. Chris got up from the table and excused himself. The guys and I sat there and caught up for a little bit.

"It's good your here, Nick." Jake said.

"Boys, I said I would be here. The band is back together one more time." I said.

"Man, that reminds me. I got to put Thin Lizzy on the playlist for when we walk into the reception." Lucas said.

"There is a joke somewhere," Casey said.

"We will research it later. Where is the ceremony at?" I asked.

"In the main conference room," Lucas said. 

We all got up from the table and walked over to the conference room. Everyone was sitting in anticipation. The minister was a man I knew for a long time and I walked over to him.

"Hello Harry," I said.

"Nick Brennan, you scoundrel. How are you boy?" Harry said.

"Doing fine. Think everything is gonna go OK?" I asked.

"Don't see why it wouldn't." Harry said. 

We shook hands and I went back to sit by Casey. A woman came up to me and handed me a note. I looked it over. It was from Katherine. I asked the woman to take me to her.

Heading to the back, we made it to a makeshift dressing room. I knocked on the door.

"Who is it?" Katherine asked.

"It's me," I said.

"Come on in," Katherine said.

I opened the door slowly. As I opened it I saw Katherine was in her underwear. I shook my head.

"It is in bad taste to seduce someone minutes before they are gonna marry someone else." I said.

"I'm surprised you decided to come." Katherine said.

"I wasn't gonna come at all. I was still sticking to what I said last year. Casey convinced me that I should come." I said.

"Casey can be very serious for a comedian," Katherine said.

"No fun in that at all," I said.

Katherine walked over and hugged me. I wrapped my arms around her. As soft as her skin was, I couldn't help but feel all those old feelings. I pulled myself from her. 

"What the hell is this, Katherine?" I asked.

"What do you mean?" Katherine asked.

"It's your wedding. You are not dressed and you send for your ex. You really don't want to marry Chris at all do you?" I said,

"No Nick, it isn't that at all. I guess what I was trying to do was, see if maybe there was still some feelings between us still." Katherine said.

"On your wedding day?" I asked.

"Look there isn't any, OK. I just had to be sure." Katherine said. 

"Lady, you are all kinds of twisted." I said.

"Nick, have you talked to Chris by any chance?" Katherine asked.

"No, I haven't" I said. 

"It does mean a lot to him that you are here." Katherine said.

"Let me put it to you this way. When I was invited here by Casey. He told me for some reason we need to get the boys back together. I didn't want to. I figured there was no reason why. But, it hit me. The love of my life is marrying my old best friend. Maybe it was OK. One more time. Have a few laughs and see a wedding. That's why I am here. To fufill a promise I made. Don't flatter yourself Sweetheart. I'm gonna go." I said.

I shook my head and headed for the door. As I opened it, I saw Chris Messner standing infront of us. 

"Hello Chris. Didn't you know that it is bad luck to look at the bride before the wedding?" I said.

"Glad you are here. We need to talk." Chris said.

"You two are supposed to be getting married. I need to go get my seat." I said.

"Nick please stay," Chris said.

I took a deep breath.

"OK, this had better be important." I said.

"What happened to you? Why are you so bitter. Why are you so angry?" Chris asked.

I couldn't believe him. Before the happiest day of his life and he wants to talk about he and I.

"Let me be sure I understand you two. She trys to seduce me by standing in her underwear. You wanna talk about feelings. Let's do the decent thing here. I will congratulate you two and wish you the best. Then I will go back home to Montana." I said.

"Why can't you just talk to us?" Katherine said.

"What is there to talk about?" I asked. "It is your wedding day. Why make this any more awkward than it has to be? You wanted my blessing last year and you got it. Why are you torturing me like this. I have moved on."

Chris stood infront of the door as I reached for the handle.

"If you don't move out of the way, it is gonna be real hard for you to explain why the groom has no arms." I said.

Chris moved out of the way. I opened the door and made it back to my seat. Casey looked at me.

"Buddy, what was that all about?" Casey asked.

"I had to find Holly's car and move it." I said.

5 minutes later the ceremony went under way. Katherine came down the aisle to Nat King Cole's "Mona Lisa". She looked incredibly beautiful. Chris and Lucas looked really sharp. Jake was filming the wedding for them. After the vows were exchanged, the bride and groomed kissed. That moment, I knew that I moved on. I didn't feel the urge to punch Chris in the face anymore. I for sure wasn't angry. 

We all made it to the reception. Lucas grabbed Chris and Jake and Casey. We all got together. 

"Boys, this is it." Lucas said.

"Let's do it," I said.

Lucas opened the door and the opening riff of "The Boys Are Back In Town" started to play. The crowd hollered and got a big kick out of it. The dinner went with a success. Lucas played the faithful Deejay. Spinning the tunes and cracking jokes at the right time. Casey and Jake did a little bit of their standup routine. The crowd even talked Katherine into singing a song. I thought I was gonna be able to say something bad about it, but truthfully she was pretty good. 

I found Holly was busy talking to people about the wedding. So I decided I would get a taxi back to my hotel. As I waited outside, Casey was standing next to me.

"Good wedding," Casey said.

"Yeah, Chris even cried. I wanted to laugh out loud at that moment." I said.

"You can't laugh at beauty," Casey said.

"Ain't that the truth." I said.

There was a moment of silence. 

"It was good to see you Nicholas," Casey said.

I extended my hand. "It was great to see you Casey." I said.

"Your not coming back are you?" Casey asked.

My cab pulled up. I turned to look at Casey and smiled.

"Never say never, Casey."

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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