Over the next week, life had settled into a routine for Daisy and Chris. While his world was filled with international movie premieres and press junkets, he would call and text Daisy throughout the day. They had become one another’s touchstone; needing to communicate with one another to find normalcy and balance no matter what the circumstances.
They didn’t speak any further regarding the reception or Daisy’s declaration of love. He made it clear he took it as her being intoxicated and the fact that she had a crush; he didn’t think she was serious. He also knew she was embarrassed by it and did not want to tease her about it and make her feel worse. He only remarked that maybe one day she might say it and mean it and not have to get drunk first.
Daisy told Melody what had happened, she needed someone to talk to about it and for them to be supportive. Melody is also the only person she trusted to know abut her relationship status with Chris. Daisy was not comfortable referring to her and Chris as dating since they had technically never gone on a date and their entire relationship had been via text message and phone call. She was in no way ashamed to be with Chris, on the contrary, she was at the point now where she was over the moon about it.
She was just not ready to share her news with her other friends because of the ramifications of doing so. See, several of her friends were social media freaks. They couldn’t get out of bed without tweeting it or putting it on Instagram. So sharing with a few of her friends would be like putting it on the newsfeed at the bottom of CNN – the world would know about it in a matter of moments.
The only other person who had been trusted with the news of her relationship with Chris was his brother, Scott. Daisy was regularly texting and calling him as well. She also tweeted him and his super secret account but keeping with their pact, those tweets never discussed Chris.
The weekend was upon her and she had several appointments set up over the next two days for bridal gown selections. Her store was small but she had worked hard to carry designer gowns that were not readily available at the other shops in her area. This set her boutique apart and allowed her to have a steady stream of business from outside of her community. The big city stores might carry some of these designers but Daisy had worked very hard to give each customer a personalized experience that they might not get at other boutiques.
Daisy was rushing to get things ready for her first appointment when the door to the shop opened and her mother came walking in. Her stomach dropped, her mother always made her nervous when she came into the shop. Martha Proctor was every bit the free spirit that Daisy was but could not understand her daughter’s fascination with weddings and romance and fluffy white dresses. She encouraged her daughter when she announced she wanted to open a bridal boutique; she thought it was a passing fancy though and she would come to her senses about it. Five years later, the store was still open and Daisy had no intentions of giving up her store to pursue a ‘real job’ like Martha had asked.
“Oh, dear you have entirely too much makeup on this morning, you need to go fix your face,” her mother announced as she walked into the store. Obviously forgoing the traditional greeting of ‘good morning’ or ‘hello dear.’
Daisy did not turn around, she continued to prepare the dressing room for the appointments and the racks of dresses pulled for today’s brides to be. “Good morning to you too, mother. I don’t have too much makeup on, you just don’t like it when I wear any at all.”
“Well, that might be, dear. Are you not going to come and give me a hug? I swear, I haven’t seen you in weeks and you can’t call or even acknowledge that I exist.”
Daisy put her head down and chuckled, her mother always did have the flair for the dramatic. She walked over and gave her mom a hug and a peck on the cheek. “You look particularly lovely today, what brings you into town?” She asked as she turned to go back to her duties.
“Well, my daughter takes a trip to California and then is home for a week and we never hear a peep from her. I needed to see if you were still alive. I mean just because Greg at the flower shop said he delivered flowers to you and the Sheriff said he saw you at Melody’s café didn’t really mean you were home.”
“Sorry, being gone for almost a week put me behind and I have been trying to get caught up,” she began straightening hangers and moving merchandise around. “Besides, I knew you and dad were working on that winery thing so I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“Oh, poppycock! You are hiding something missy and I am determined to figure out what it is. I know we can go for days without talking but this is more than a week, two actually because you never called while you were in la-la land.”
Daisy sighed heavily, “Mom can we do this later, please? Today is going to be busy and I need to be in a good mood to handle these brides and their families. How about I come out to the house for dinner tonight after the store closes and I promise to fill you in on everything?”
Martha watched her daughter closely for a minute, unsure if she was telling her the truth or just trying to feed her a line to get her out of the store. She finally reconciled that it was a bit of both, “Fine, that will work. I will have your dad grill up something delightful for you. But Daisy, please wipe that stuff off of your face before you come over tonight and let your hair down. I don’t know you insist on putting it up when you are so beautiful with it hanging down.”
Daisy did all she could to hold her tongue and not respond; this was how her mom was and she should be used to it by now. “Ok, see you tonight, mom.”
Daisy heard the bell ring as Martha opened the door and stepped out of the shop and back onto Main Street. She knew that the next time the bell rang, it would be her first appointment of the day.
~ * ~
The day had flown by and the two appointments with the brides to be had gone amazingly well. The appointments were always worrisome for Daisy because you never knew if you were going to be dealing with a bridezilla or if the family would be the problem. It was astonishing as to the number of brides who would come in with confidence issues and instead of their families helping to build them up, they did nothing more than to play into their fears. Daisy had often told her friends that her family would be like that and she would just elope. No big wedding or fancy wedding dress; ironic since she owned the shop. She found gowns on a regular basis that she could imagine wearing as she walked down the aisle – but she didn’t want to plan a wedding with her parents!
The first appointment for the day was for a young woman from out of town; she was petite and very country. For a minute, Daisy was afraid the color scheme for the wedding was camouflage. Her name was Heather and she tried on four or five gowns before finally settling on a trumpet style dress with lace straps and romantic neckline. The dress was gorgeous yet understated and would be perfect for the style wedding they were having; they were getting married in an old barn. This dress had a ribbon around the waist that made it look like it was specially made for country weddings – perfect!
The second appointment for the day was for a slightly older woman, probably a few years older than Daisy. She had an entirely different vision for her wedding. She was going for a vintage bohemian look and when Daisy started looking for dresses for this showing she had the ideal dress in mind. Luckily, the dress she had in mind fit perfectly with what the bride was looking for; a lace chiffon gown with an empire waist and long sleeves. It was light and flowy and not heavy; it was also not bright white but instead an ecru or eggshell white.
She closed up the shop and sent a quick text to Chris before walking out the door.
Sorry I haven’t been able to chat much today been super busy with work, have to go to parent’s house for dinner – shoot me now! Will call you later…miss you much
She felt horrible for not talking to him that often during the day but she also knew that he had no premiere that night and he was going to enjoy a rare day off. He said something about attempting to play golf, a game in which he needed serious help, and possibly trying to catch up on some rest.
Her parents’ orchard was approximately twenty minutes outside of town, in the opposite direction of the big city. The drive was long but peaceful but this time of year the flowering trees meant her allergies were going haywire. She had just pulled up in front of the old farmhouse when her phone chimed and Chris finally responded to her text message. Before she could read the first message, the phone chimed a second time.
Enjoy your dinner, are you going to tell them about us? What are you going to tell them about us?
I miss you and desperately need to hear your voice, call me when you get home…I don’t care about time difference
It broke her heart to read that message and she didn’t want to send one back. She thought that would only prolong the amount of time it would take for her to get through dinner and get back to her house. She got out of the car and made her way up the steps and through the front door where she announced her arrival.
Martha just looked at Daisy, she didn’t say a word but the stare conveyed the message, “Sorry, I was in a hurry to get here and forgot to wash my face,” Daisy commented.
“Why in the world would you need to wash your face before you came to see us?” Thomas Proctor asked as he walked in the back door and approached his daughter, “You look beautiful, darling. I have missed seeing your face,” he said as he gave her a hug and a kiss. Daisy adored her father and she enjoyed a special bond with him. She was ‘daddy’s girl’ and he would let her do or get away with anything.
“Mom was in the store today and told me I had too much makeup on,” she said sheepishly, not wanting to cause any problems between her parents.
Her mother ignored the conversation going on between Thomas and Daisy, “I have vegetables that need cutting for the salad, can you get on that Daisy? Your father is grilling steaks and I am finishing up the bread and green beans.”
Daisy rolled her eyes and made her way to the kitchen island to begin salad preparations. Dinner was ready about ten minutes after her arrival and they sat down to eat. As her dad poured a glass of wine for each of them, he finally decided to ask about her trip.
“How was California? Did you have a good time?”
“I did have a good time; the movie premiere was fantastic and the after party was so much fun. I don’t regret going.”
“Well, I still think you should have taken someone with you. I told your father that I was not comfortable with a single woman being in LA all by herself.”
“I can understand and respect that mom, but I was well taken care of by Marvel and there was nothing to worry about.”
“Did you meet any celebrities, baby? How about the stars of that movie you went to see, were they nice to you?” Her dad asked. He was either oblivious to the tantrum her mother was trying to through or he was just so used it by now that he tuned her out. They have been married for almost forty years, so Daisy was guessing he tuned her out.
“Well, it is funny you ask that. I actually did meet the stars of the movie and I had an instant connection with one of them,” she figured her parents didn’t need all the gory details about how they got together. “We hung out together at the after party and he actually went to DisneyLand with me the next day. We are, um, well, um, we’re dating,” she finally spit it out.
Her parents each put their forks down and reached for their glass of wine. It was as if they had studied synchronized shock reactions.