In so many ways, I still couldn’t quite believe that this was happening. Literally three weeks ago, I was single, living as a housemate to Finn, a man who was practically plucked from my dreams, but I was too chicken shit to make a move and sure that I’d never be able to get him anyway. Then a mutual friend made a joke about the two of us together, and by the end of the week, Finn and I were engaged.
Okay, so we hadn’t technically dated, but we had been housemates for the better part of three years. I’d seen the best of him and the worst of him. Heaven knows he’d seen the best and worst of me. And, although I never would have admitted it without his admission first, I was in love with the man. Head over heels in love. Crazy in love. And it was really nice that he loved me back.
So, we were getting married in about a month’s time. Because why not? We already lived together, and neither of us wanted to do something big and overly fancy—so why wait?
I was flying back to my home in Virginia, to break the news to my family. I twisted the beautiful engagement ring Finn had gotten me nervously. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure how my family was going to react. That’s why I’d made my visit home a surprise. Only my sister knew I was coming, so she could pick me up from the airport and so that I could crash on her couch.
I was going to tell her first—one so I could ask her to be my maid of honor and two so I could use her as a litmus test for how the rest of the family was going to react.
So, after the welcome homes and the post airplane shower, I curled up on the couch with my sister and a glass of wine. The engagement ring was snuggly in my pocket now, so that it wouldn’t give me away, but where I could get to it as soon as I told her. “So—I’ve got some big news.”
“Oh yeah?” Grace took a sip of her wine, “What’s that?”
“I-uh,” I could feel the smile creeping up my face, even though I was trying to seem serious so that Grace would take me seriously. “I’m getting married.”
“Pft. No, you’re not.” Grace was flippant. I’d expected that.
“No, I really am.” I pulled the ring out of my pocket, slid it on my finger, and held out my hand for my sister’s inspection.
“Oh, my god. That ring is perfect for you.” My sister gaped for a second, “I didn’t think you were seeing anyone.”
“Well, I technically wasn’t.”
My sister gave me a look. “Well, if you’re not dating anyone, who are you marrying?
“Finn. You remember my housemate?”
“So—you two were actually secretly dating?”
“Uh—no. He just kind of confessed his love for me a couple of weeks ago, and I’d been fanning a bit of a flame for him too, so we decided to get married.”
“When are you getting married?”
“Oh. Well, we’re not exactly sure yet because we want to make sure our parents can get out to LA for the wedding, but probably sometime next month. Speaking of, Grace—“
“Are you pregnant?” Grace interrupted.
“What? No!” My hands immediately went to my shirt, pulling it away from my skin. “I know I gained a little weight but—“
“No, you look good. If you are pregnant, you can’t see it yet. But that’s it, isn’t it? You and Finn got drunk, forgot protection, you’re knocked up and now you’ve got him by the balls.”
“Wow. No. I’m not pregnant, believe it or not, a man loves me even after living with me for three years and I don’t have to have him ‘by the balls’ for him to want to marry me.” I wasn’t proud of the anger rising in my voice, but I was more than insulted by what my sister was implying. I began to wonder if it was a mistake to tell my family at all at this rate.
“I’m sorry—“Grace backpedaled immediately, “I didn’t mean to imply he doesn’t love you. I know he does—I could tell that even when I met him last year. I know he loves you. I’m just shocked by the speed of it.”
“Well, I wish you would have said something last year about him loving me. We could have started this whole thing a lot earlier.”
“But—a month? That a real quick wedding, Bette. Like, really quick. You’ve got to admit that that timing looks suspicious.” Grace stared at me in silence for a moment longer, since I didn’t really have a response for her. Then she leaned forward a little bit and whispered, “Are you sure you’re not pregnant?”
“Yes. I’m sure I’m not pregnant.” I was laughing now. She had a point, with a wedding this close there would be whispers, I might as well start to find it funny now or else I’d go mad.
“Well, then why are you getting married so quickly?”
“Because we’ve wasted an awful lot of time already. We already live together and we know that works for us so why wait?”
Grace downed her wine and then stood up. “Come on,” she ordered, crossing to the foyer area at the front of the apartment
I got up, followed her over, and found her slipping on her shoes and putting on a coat. “Where are we going?”
“If you’re not pregnant—“
“—then you won’t mind peeing on a stick. We’re going to CVS to get a home pregnancy test.”
“Grace. You have got to be kidding me.”
“I’ve got my suspicions—and this will resolve them. If you want me to be your Maid of Honor, then isn’t it best if all my suspicions are resolved before the wedding?” I stared at my sister in shock for a long time. “What? You were going ask me to be your Maid of Honor, right? Because you’ll most definitely be mine.”
“You’re a brat, you know that?” I finally turned to my own shoes and coat
“It’s in my job description as the little sister. Now, to the CVS before it closes.”