Asking for the Carpool Lane

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
The epilogue of Over a Summer (hint, hint, it involves a wedding!!)

Submitted: November 15, 2010

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 15, 2010

A A A

A A A


I hate dressing up. I hate suits too, they’re so uncomfortable. If I sit down, just at the right moment, I feel like I can’t breathe. And the jacket, I hate the jacket too. Why wasn’t my sports jacket good enough anyway?

Everyone suddenly stands up and that cliché wedding march song starts to play. It’s like someone says, “All stand in honor of the bride.” In fact, I would like if someone did because then I could point out, I’m already standing.

I hate the way I have to hold my arms, like I’m trying to give myself the Heimlich maneuver or something. Man, these cuffs on this jacket are really, really uncomfortable.

I feel Aaron nudge me as he grins at me and whispers, “There she is, man.”

I nodded, I wasn’t blind. I could see her walk up the aisle, her blonde hair is done up in some kind of bun with curls or something. I’m a guy, so I don’t have to know.

She looks up from the ground and I can see a smile curling up on her lips as she overlooks everyone in front of her and she finally smiles.

When she glances at me, I give her a smile and she blushes and smiles back. She’s actually pretty cute. Although I pictured her more of a little sister than a bride, but that’s just me.

When she finally reaches us, she smiles again (bashfully this time) and hands her bouquet over to Lindsey as Aaron holds out his hands with a slightly nervous smile and she takes them.

Halfway through the service, I catch Lindsey looking at me with a small smile. I glance at Aaron and Sophie, but I figure they’re too caught up to notice me so I give her a small smile back.

I’m not much of a wedding person so I pretty much just stand there and hold that ridiculous position and scan the crowd, fighting off smirks at the men with glistening eyes. I guess Aaron getting married was a dream come true.

And to a blond, which I heard somehow he gave up on. But then I heard he wasn’t even pining for Sophie, but actually the other way around. I didn’t hear much of their “love story” because it kind of makes me throw up a little bit.

But this a wedding, so I’m betting I’ll be hearing “So, tell me, how did you two meet?” kind of stuff so I’ll end up hearing the story anyway, but oh well. Not to mention that stupid toast thing.

I told Aaron I didn’t want to do it. I told him to ask one of his new collage friends or something, or maybe even his dad; anyone but me but he said “the best man has always been there forever.” Which, apparently, I have been.

And so when I say I haven’t written a toast, don’t get mad. I told him, I warned him too. But he was okay and went all hippy on me so I hung around the door until Aaron pulled me away to help his grandmother sit down.

This, luckily, took up a lot of my time. I knew his grandmother already, so the minute I took her arm (I can’t even imagine how stupid I looked) she said, “Oh, Bryan dear. How are you doing?”

And well, I like his grandmother so I actually gave a response and asked her a question about her health (because that’s what you do with old people. They get sick all the time, so you ask) and so on and so on.

She patted my arm with that grandma smile, which reminds of when I was a kid and she was there at a sleepover when I got a fever (she refused to call my parents, she said she was better at curing people than anyone.) “So, Bryan, when do you think you’ll book a church?”

To understand my reply, you had to know that I often treat her like my own grandmother because, well, I’ve known them for the same amount of time so . . . I laughed. “Nu-uh.”

Then she did that grandma scowl (you know, when they realize that they’re getting nowhere.) “You know, when my husband was your age, he was a father already! Get started on your life!”

I smiled, patting her arm now but I felt really old so I stopped. “I am,” I told her and I almost whispered it to her but I changed my mind. “Trust me.”

She squirmed but sighed, “When you book that church, call me. I wanna be there so I can tell you off about something you did.”

I was still thinking about that (and about how that girl in front of me could wear that dress. It seriously looked like it was trying to suffocate her) when I felt Aaron nudge me again, “Dude, the ring?”

This is another thing I hate about being the best man. I hate having to be responsible for the ring. It gets lost and I get hounded because of that for the rest of my life.

I heard somewhere that the best man is always supposed to keep the ring in a jacket pocket inside the jacket or something? Yeah, well I said screw that and put it in a normal pocket.

This is why I have no trouble finding it because I knew that someone was going to tell me that I put the ring in the wrong place. I dug my hand into my pocket and fished out the ring (which I thought was just plain too big) and handed it over.

“Thanks, man,” Aaron whispered, like someone would shoot him if he actually said that a little louder but whatever.

I tuned out again as they start doing their vows and Sophie looks ready to burst into tears or something. I wondered why girls (and a couple of guys, according to this wedding) always cry at weddings; did somebody die or something?

Take Aaron’s Aunt Loretta, who’s close to sobbing and I imagine she’s got a pretty good size used tissue pile at her feet, for example. And then there’s Aaron’s mom, who’s looking at Loretta with this disgusted glare.

Although, I would love to point out that I was pretty sure I caught her wiping a tear after I talked to Aaron’s grandmother, but if I ever brought it up she’d deny it to her grave and back.

I’m still thinking about crying females (all probably have estrogen seeping out along with their tears) when I hear that loud bit, “You maybe now kiss the bride.”

I always thought that bit was a little corning. I mean, odds are the groom’s already kissed the bride, but not that moment. I prefer, “You can make-out with the bride now” instead.

Then everyone’s clapping and standing up with mascara running down their cheeks (I am so deadly serious) and they’re all doing that sobbing sigh thing and it’s just kind of funny to watch.

And then I feel a bridesmaid smack me and I look to my side and see Tara holding out her arm and this honestly the part that sucks the most. Walking down the aisle (with Lindsey standing behind me anyway, and the thought of her walking down with Warren is exactly pleasing) with a bridesmaid. Yay.

*~*~*

I plop down into a chair with some kind of pink table cloth over it or something with a bow. It looks kind of ridiculous and I would’ve pointed it out last night at the rehearsal if Sophie wasn’t, you know, totally losing it over flowers.

I hate pictures. Well, I always had a hidden hatred for them since I was two and my parents brought me to one of those photo places in Wal-Mart and the flash, according to my mom, made me burst into tears. Which is slightly embarrassing but since I was two, I let it go.

And I was just standing there for, what, forty minutes while some photographer took pictures from all angles. It was stupid and painful and I swear, if I see one more flash I’ll go blind.

Or, you know, flash back to being two and cry.

“You look happy.”

I glance up, withholding a groan because apparently they’re not very appreciated at weddings, and especially not from the best man, who’s tired and cranky and can’t breathe because of his tie and talking about himself in third person.

“Oh, I’m thrilled,” I said, bored and wishing just once that I could be stripped of everything but my boxers and go back to bed. I glance down at the floor, “How can you stand those heels? I hate standing in these shoes, let alone those things with the pointy end.”

Lindsey rolled her eyes, glancing to see if Sophie was around (she was practically a mess on wheels) and then slouched into the chair. “I didn’t pick these out,” she said in a low, monotone voice. “Sophie did.”

I smirked and watched as Lindsey gulped down her drink and leaned her head back and closed her eyes.

I lifted my hand and I plugged her nose, which instantly choked her and she practically sprang right out of the chair, gasping and stared incredulously at me.

“If I can’t sleep, neither can you,” I told her and leaned back into my chair and ignored her glaring. She does that a lot; glare at me. “Besides, aren’t you supposed to be at some special table or something?”

She shrugged, glancing at that so-called special table, which is where all the wedding people were supposed to sit but I squeezed out and hid a chair and told them I’d bow out of eating with them. “I was going to but I changed my mind. It too teary over there. Everybody’s crying.”

I pointed my drink to the special table where at that moment, Sophie’s mother promptly burst into tears. “It’s a wedding. Everyone cries at weddings; it’s like a tradition or something.”

Lindsey raised her eyebrows, glancing at me as she quirked, “I haven’t seen you cry yet. At least not here at the wedding anyway.”

I rolled my eyes, “You only say that because you don’t go into the mens-room. I was bawling uncontrollably at the urinal.”

She reached over and shoved me with a small laugh but I caught her hand and shook my head. “You did not,” Lindsey countered, pulling her hand.

I grinned and she rolled her eyes and sighed. “I’m going to die if Sophie asks me to hold her dress while she pees.”

I frowned, “Wasn’t that in a movie or something? Maybe a book?”

She nodded, taking a sip of her drink and glanced over at me before a loud sob echoed through the room. “Yeah, 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl. That was actually a good movie; I liked that one.”

I nodded dramatically, “oh, yes, the Friday movie nights with Emma and chic flicks.” That was happening a lot lately; not that I was complaining, I liked having the bed to myself. Sometimes. “Personally, I think you girls pick too much Ashton Kutcher.”

Lindsey faked a gasp but then gave up and shrugged. “When your ex gets married and your single, all you want is Ashton Kutcher in a suit, that of course he later takes off, and a new hair cut.”

“Is that what it’s like to be a girl?” I asked, glancing at her then nodding towards the sound of the crying. “Jeez, it must suck for you. Always crying and staring at Ashton Kutcher. Sounds a lot like death.”

Lindsey glared at me. “Being a girl does not sound like death,” she said in that scary monotone voice. Oh don’t get me wrong, the voice wasn’t all that scary but the thought of me sleeping on the couch was. “We have emotions and we tend to show them, unlike you heartless jerks we call men.”

I studied her for a moment, wondering if people would call it abuse to make HER sleep on the couch instead of me. “Oh, that’s right,” I said easily and sinking back into my chair. “I can’t badmouth you because you give people life.”

She nodded, sighing. “Oh, yeah,” she said and I knew this was the beginning of a long rant. “We go through morning sickness, swelling, get fat, and then comes the actual labor.And then boys sass us for being wimps. Ha! No guy has experienced real pain unless they’re bled from their penises.”

I absent mindedly crossed my legs (which I didn’t notice until a couple of minutes later.) “Okay, I’ll play under the fantasy that you’ve actually had a child,” I said and ignored her scowl, “oh, Lindsey, you poor dear. How dare you bring life into the world?”

Lindsey narrowed her eyes at me just as Emma yanked out the chair next to her and slumped into it. “Aaron looks happy,” she moaned, jerking a thumb in his direction. “He’s supposed to see me and go all, ‘oh, Emma, breaking up with you was a mistake’ and then I get to turn him down in font of his bride and his mother.”

“C’mon, Emma. You said you wouldn’t act this way,” Lindsey said while I said at the exact same time, “You broke up with Aaron.”

I was, apparently, kicked off that table five seconds later when I asked why Emma was upset if she broke up with him and hasn’t spoken to him in three years (well, other than saying the formal stuff.) I guess I don’t speak chic.

*~*~*

“So, man, did you do it yet?” Aaron asked after grabbing me by the shoulder and dragging me into the guys’ room like a girl, or that’s what I thought of anyway when he did.

I pulled my shoulder back, ducking his gaze as I slipped over to the sink and found it a convenient time to wash my hands. “No,” I mumbled, almost hoping he didn’t hear me.

“Ah, dude!” Aaron exclaimed, running a hand through his gelled hair that looked kind of stupid when you look at it long enough. “You said you were going to do it last week and it’s a week later!”

“I know!” I said, nearly breaking the soap dispenser. “I just don’t do it text-message-style like you did. I mean, what kind of way is that?”

“A way that worked,” Aaron pointed out and I rolled my eyes and searched for a paper towel. “I mean, dude, you told her you loved on the phone; proposing in a text message, it’s like your guys’ thing.”

“And look where telling her I loved her on the phone got me,” I told him. “I didn’t see her again until December. And I didn’t get her back until April so. . .” I shrugged.

“Dude,” Aaron said, crossing his arms with a smirk; it looks weird on his face. “You’re so complicated.”

Yeah, I know.

*~*~*

Lindsey’s Point of View . . .

“Emma . . .” I went as she went a death-glare towards the Special Table just as Aaron and Sophie went for another kiss after a chorus of annoying clinking. “This is HIS wedding. If you didn’t want to come then you shouldn’t have.”

She rolled her eyes; she considers me an old married woman who says she understands you and your boy troubles but really doesn’t because she’s been married forever, for some reason. “I came to spy! I thought he would chicken out!”

I glanced over her shoulder as Aaron gave her a small kiss on the cheek and she giggled and blushed. I thought that was cute. That even though they were married, she still blushed when he kissed her. “Well, I think he’s in this for good. It won’t be long before they start pushing strollers.”

I didn’t know it at that time, but I would later point this out to Emma again four months later (when I was pointed right.)

Emma groaned and dropped her head on the table and bonked it a couple of times. “I can’t believe this,” she said, her voice muffled. “Aaron was supposed to grow old and die alone.”

I nearly choked on my drink when I notice that camera guy (he walks around and asks what we want to say to them, as if we can’t call) looking and pointing the camera towards and watched as he made a face and slowly turned it away. “You just totally said that to the camera guy.”

Emma turned her head and sighed so loudly that he turned his head a little. “Well, he deserves it,” she muttered, dropping her head again. “It’s his punishment for getting married.”

I personally think that Emma is only so depressed because she isn’t married yet and Aaron (his name speaks for itself basically) and he’s married already. I thought it sad that he beat me too.

But then again, I didn’t sleep with him (which Emma did) and I wasn’t his ex (Emma was) and I wasn’t single (Emma, as you guessed, was.)

*~*~*

I stumbled away from the church door, heels in hand, and trying to figure out which car was mine. And I was doing a pretty good job too, especially since I was ignoring Bryan smirking at the same time.

“I can already see the car,” Bryan was saying as I glanced around but all I could see were little cars and SUVs. “I can tell you what color it is if you need me to.”

I rolled my eyes, although he couldn’t even see my face so I guess it doesn’t even matter that much. “I already know what color it is,” I snapped, but I paused (he snickered.) “It’s red.”

But that was pretty much all I knew. Unlike Bryan who knew its license plate number, how many people could fit in it, and how people we could fit if we squished everyone. And he pointed this out a lot. Not how many people we could fit but that he actually knew the answer.

“How many times did you need to convince Emma not to kill Aaron and/or Sophie?” Bryan asked as he followed on my conquest to find that stupid red car and could fit a surprising amount of squished people in it.

I shrugged, personally I didn’t want to give it up because I told Bryan that Emma was totally over Aaron (which she is) but telling how many times may make it look differently. But I cracked. “Four times,” I broke, “and that’s not counting how many times at the actual wedding.”

He laughed, obviously pleased with his so-called rightness or whatever. “I said she wasn’t over him,” he told me with a grin. A smarty-pants grin at that. “I was right and you were wrong. And I want that in writing by the way.”

“She is over him.” I paused, feeling Bryan’s gaze on me, waiting for me to explain (and that’s why I said to plan this carefully.) “She’s just mad that Aaron, the world’s worst player, got ahead of life before she did. I mean, come on, aren’t you just a little upset that Aaron’s farther than any of us in life?”

Bryan smirked. “Now why would I be mad at my friend’s happiness?” He mocked and I rolled my eyes, still searching for that stupid car. “Besides, he’s not that far ahead in life. He’s only married.”

For the record, Bryan took these words back four months later.

I shook my head, incredulous that he said that. “Married is a lot of mileage,” I pointed out. “Life is this one big road map and we’re stuck at the gas station for pee breaks while Aaron’s already halfway there.”

“I thought you did like going to the bathroom at gas stations,” Bryan questioned but I ignored this. “He’s not close to the end, he’s married. Besides, we’re not that far away from him anyway.”

I smirked. “Unless we’re getting ready to go into the carpool lane then no, he’s a lot farther ahead of us. Soon, I’m going to be stuck at Babies R Us trying to find a shower gift and you know it.”

He paused. “So then let’s go into the carpool lane,” he said and what actually surprised me was that that wasn’t a question.

“So, we can’t do that unless you ask.”

It took me a couple of paces to realize that he wasn’t following me anymore and I turned around to see that he was pulling something out of his pocket.

“Bryan . . . ?” I said slowly.

He pulled out a black box and I held back that gasp thing that women do when they see a black box because for all I knew, he got me a pair of earrings.

He took a couple of steps and leaned against a red car (I didn’t realize it until ten minutes later that was in fact our car) and opened that little back box and popped a foot on the bender. “So, then I’ll ask,” he said and I glanced around, as if expecting some kind of camera crew yelling “gotcha!” “Marry me?”

I looked down because I didn’t want him to see me smile. “You’re asking me to marry you,” I said clarifying, “at a wedding?”

He grinned and glanced at the church before looking down at the ring, which was glimmering under the streetlight. “Yeah, it’s cliché,” he said, “but I’ve been carrying this around for a couple of weeks if that makes it any better.”

“And your not down on one knee,” I pointed out.

“I don’t do that,” he told me, looking up for a second before facing me again. “I lean against my car and wait for my answer.”

“And you didn’t make a big speech about how much you love me and how you can’t live without me and then end with ‘Lindsey Turner, will you marry me?’.”

He smirked and shrugged. “I don’t need a big speech,” he said and crossed his free arm over his chest. “All I need is three simple, short words. I. Love. You. And I’m done.”

“Do I need to make a big speech?” I asked him as I walked over beside him and leaned against the car, propping my own foot on the bender and let the heel of my shoe hang against it. “Do I need to scream yes with tears or say no silently while sobbing?”

He smiled. “You don’t need to scream, tear up, or sob or even make a speech,” he said, brushing back a lock of hair that slipped away from my cutely styled hair, “as long as you say yes.”

“Okay,” I said and watched as he waited for his answer as I purposely stalled. “Yes,” I told me and watched as he smiled at me.

I wait for his lips to touch mine like they do in the mornings and the afternoons and the evenings. And just like always, it never takes too long before I feel them spark my lips.

“I love you,” he says against my lips and I smile against his because every time he says that I never lose that giddy feeling I got the first time. And the second. And the third.

Because if you’re meant to be with someone, every time feels like the first time.

Because when I kissed him at that alter one year later, it felt like a first kiss. And when someone calls me “Mrs. Carter” it still feels like the first time.

And kisses never ever lose their spark if they’re with the right person.

“I love you too.”

And for the record, when I told Emma the next morning, she said, “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!”


© Copyright 2019 dantana. All rights reserved.

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