Daisy told Chris that she loved him and then walked out the door. If she had stayed to hear his reaction or waited for him to say it back, then she never would have left and she would have missed her flight. No, she needed to stay focused and get out of the hotel before she did something stupid like running back to him. She was not quite sure how this was going to work, three time zones in between them and the world apart in terms of their jobs and lifestyles. She was not talking herself out of her relationship with him; no, she was just now sure how love was going to complicate an already complicated situation.
She was able to utilize the car service and get a ride to the airport. Luckily she was able to clear security rather quickly and get to her gate with time to spare. Actually, with enough time to allow her to get a cup of coffee so she could try to ward off the jackhammer in her head that was reminding her that she drank a ridiculous amount of alcohol the night before. She just didn’t want to get sick on the plane, there was nothing worse than puking your guts up on an airplane.
She pulled her phone out of her purse. She had not paid much attention to her phone the last few days; she had a few messages from Kimberly just letting her know the store was doing fine and not to worry. Her dad had texted her to ask if she was having fun and to let her know that her mom was still in the dark about her whereabouts. Other than that, Daisy had ignored her emails and text messages, now seemed like the perfect time to go ahead and start answering them.
But as she lit up her phone she noticed a message from Chris that he must have sent as she walked out the door.
I love you and miss you already
She had to smile, it was so sweet and she was glad that she finally gave in and said those words back to him. She only kicked herself for waiting so long to tell them to him. She answered a few emails and then heard the gate announcement for her flight. Without hesitation, she picked up her bags and headed for the gate. She wanted nothing more than to settle into her seat and try to sleep on the flight home.
~ * ~
The flight attendant gently shook her shoulder to let her know they were on final approach and would be landing soon. The sleep she had been able to get had helped. Her headache gone she felt like she could easily handle the hour long drive to her house. When the plane landed, she made her way to her car and checked the time. She didn’t think Chris would be home yet but she went ahead and send him a text.
Just landed, have an hour drive home, will let you know when I am there. Miss you….love you
She pulled out of her parking spot, paid the parking attendant and started the drive home. She was almost home when her phone rang. “Hi, are you home, did you get my message?”
“Hey baby, yeah, are you still driving?”
“Yeah, I am about ten minutes from the house. How are you feeling? Does your head still feel like cement?”
“It isn’t so bad, but it isn’t great. I’ve taken several Advil and I’m going to go to bed but I wanted to talk to you first. I feel horrible that I didn’t take you to the airport.”
“Don’t, if you had I would have been a blubbering mess. This way ended up being better, I promise. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you get all of your stuff together, you got everything, right?”
“Yeah, hey you didn’t get a call from Shannon or Zach did you?”
“No, why? Is something wrong?”
“Zach left me a voicemail message while I was in the air, something about he needs to talk to me about last night. He’s got something I’m going to want and we need to work out how to get it. I have no idea what he is talking about.”
“Me neither. Well, call him back and see what he wants and if I hear from Shannon I will let you know.”
“Yeah, I’ll call him tomorrow, I need to sleep this off. I love you and quit worrying – I know you are probably stressing already about how this is going to work – just stop and enjoy it, okay?”
She had to smile, he knew her so well already and it was scary, ‘Okay, I won’t, at least not yet. I love you, too. Now go to bed and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” As Daisy disconnected the call she killed the ignition on her car and walked up the path to her house. Once inside you dropped her bags and went into the bedroom and collapsed.
~ * ~
Daisy rushed around the house to get ready for work; she wasn’t actually late by any stretch but she had been quite hesitant to get out of bed when the alarm went off. She was worn out from her trip to Vegas and she expected part of that was because she made the entire trip home with a hangover. Her headache had finally subsided but she did not have a restful sleep. She knew that was because she spent three nights snuggled in bed with Chris and last night she had to sleep alone. She did not like that feeling and she knew that was going to be the side effect of spending the weekend with him. She had quickly showered and dressed and made a cup of coffee, making the decision to put on her makeup in the store once she was fully awake and functioning. Her makeup bag was still in her purse so she figured she was set.
Once she got to the store, she realized that Kimberly had unloaded the inventory that had been delivered on Friday and steamed the dresses and put them into rotation. She had even updated the books and the files for her. Not only that, she had sold gowns to the two appointments from Saturday and left detailed notes about the orders and the measurements. Daisy would give her a call later today to thank her for all of her help and for keeping everything running smoothly. She had been worried she would have so much to deal with when she came in and in reality, the store operated just fine without her. While she appreciated that it was also a gut check to realize she wasn’t even needed in her own store.
She was working on her books and banking records when she realized it was nearing time for the store to open. It would be a good idea to put on her “face” so she reached in her purse for her makeup bag. When she pulled it out, she pulled out a folded piece of paper. She didn’t unfold it, she just set it to the side and opened up the bag and started applying her eyeliner and lipstick and used the jewelry mirror on the counter for assistance. When she reached back into her bag, she noticed the ring that she had taken off in such haste in the hotel room on Sunday morning. She pulled it out and began looking at it and her heart sank. It was a platinum band ring with five diamonds and looked exactly like the ring she saw in the jewelry store with Shannon. More precisely, the wedding band she saw in the jewelry store when she was with Shannon. Daisy’s hands began to shake and she reached for the folded piece of paper that was on her countertop.
She opened the paper and read the words:
Groom: Christoper Robert Evans
Bride: Daisy Ann Proctor
Marriage Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016.
She couldn’t move and she couldn’t breathe. She held the paper in one hand and the ring in the other and somehow didn’t drop either one. Her shaking became more pronounced and suddenly she heard a deafening scream; unaware that the noise was coming from her own mouth. It was at that moment that her friend Melody walked by the storefront and heard her friend’s scream and came running in.
“Daisy, are you hurt? What’s wrong?” Daisy just stared at her and waved the piece of paper at her; she couldn’t speak. Melody took the paper and began reading it and then broke out into an all-out belly laugh. “Oh my God, you married him? You don’t remember doing it do you?” Daisy shook her head in reply and held out the ring for her friend to look at. Melody took the ring and inspected it and then placed it on Daisy’s left hand, “It is gorgeous and it fits beautifully and Oh my God you are married to a superhero! Your mother will have a kiniption when she finds out.”
“Melody, I don’t remember getting married and I’m going to guess he doesn’t either. I have a husband, holy shit, I have a husband….this can’t be real…we had to be drunk and if we were drunk this could be annulled, right?”
“I think you need to call him and talk to him, are you sure he doesn’t remember?”
“I spoke to him last night and he never mentioned it. You would think if he remembered he would have called me his wife or would have referenced us getting married, right? I mean, come on, he would have had to have remembered.”
“Oh this is glorious, can I please sit here and listen when you call him? I need to hear this so I can tell your kids how mommy and daddy realized they were married.”
“There won’t be kids, Melody. I’m not going to stay married to him…this can’t happen,” Daisy was insistent.
“Did you have sex before you came home and after you got married?”
“I don’t know, I don’t remember getting married. I know I woke up naked,” Daisy stopped for a second, thinking about what she just said, “Shit, TMI Melody you don’t need to know that.”
“You consummated your marriage so you are out of luck, sister. It is official and done and over and you are Mrs. Evans. Daisy Ann Evans has a nice ring to it. And speaking of rings, that one is gorgeous!”
Daisy reached for her phone, she knew it was early in California but she didn’t care, she needed to talk to Chris. She dialed his number, no answer.
She dialed it again, no answer.
She texted him, no response.
This was ridiculous and she couldn’t take it any longer. She dialed the phone again and waited for an answer, nothing. As she was dialing a second time, the phone rang in her hand and she immediately picked it up, “Scott, where the hell is your brother?”
“Well good morning little Miss Daisy, I’m fine, thanks for asking and how are you?”
“Hi, Scott, where in the sam hell is Chris?”
“I don’t know doll I’m not babysitting him this week. Where’s the fire?”
“I’ve tried calling him and texting him and he isn’t answering and I need him, I need to talk to him right now,” her voice was breaking and she was having trouble maintaining her composure.
“What’s wrong muffin, is there a bun in the oven you need to tell him about?” Scott was ignoring her meltdown and wanted to keep pushing her buttons.
“No, I’m not pregnant Scott but I’m fucking married!”
This caught Scott’s attention, “What? Can you say that again?”
“Your brother and I are married!!! At least, that is what this marriage certificate in my hand says.”
“Oh shit! I’ll head over to his house right now, calm down and I’ll find him. And don’t worry, I won’t tell him the news, I’ll let you break that joyful news to him,” Scott hung up the phone and took out to find his brother
Daisy disconnected from Scott and began to pace the store, she was so lucky that Monday was a slow day for customers. Melody had not left her spot on the chair near the counter, she was watching Daisy’s meltdown like it was a telenovela and the only thing she was missing was popcorn. Daisy turned and glared at her, “Are you enjoying this? Don’t you have a job to go to?”
Melody just smiled, “I have people to run my cafe and I am here to support you, my best friend.”
Daisy just returned the glare and began pacing again. Two steps in the phone rang and she picked it up before the first ring completed, “Where’ve you been?”
“On the phone with Zach so I couldn’t take your call. Where are you right now?”
“At work, why?”
“Daisy, we need to talk,” his voice was grave and flat.
“You’re damn right we need to talk, did you know we got married?”
“Shit, how did you find out?”
“I have the marriage certificate in my hand. Wait, you knew?”
“Remember I told you last night that Zach wanted to talk to me? Yeah, well it seems he went with us when we got married. Well, he and Shannon went with us and Zach videotaped it on his cell phone.”
“Oh my God, our wedding is on cell phone video? Oh, shit!”
“Yeah, it gets worse. Zach intends to sell the video to TMZ and wants to know if I am willing to pay more than the tabloids will to keep it quiet.”
That was the final straw for Daisy, she collapsed to the floor. Melody rushed to her side to check on her and picked up the phone, “Chris this is Melody, I’m Daisy’s best friend, she just passed out. I”m not sure what you just told her but it was evidently too much.”
“Is she okay? Please tell me she is okay,” Chris pleaded.
“She’ll be fine, she didn’t hit her head or anything but I think she is a little overwhelmed. Look, I’m going to hang up and get her revived and calmed down and then you two can talk later. For what it’s worth, congratulations.” Melody didn’t wait to hear what he had to say in response, she just hit end on the call and tried to get Daisy to wake up.