Melody hung up the phone and focused on trying to get Daisy to wake up; the girl was out cold, and Melody was a little concerned. After a few minutes of slapping on her cheeks and shaking her shoulders, Daisy’s eyes started to flutter. She came to fully and sat up, trying to get her bearings and digest everything that just happened. It took her a minute to realize she was on the floor of her shop.
“Why am I on the floor, Mel?”
“You passed out, Chris said something on the phone and your eyes rolled back in your head, and you were on the ground. What did he say?”
“I can’t talk about it,” Daisy scurried to her feet and began shoving her things back in her purse. She didn’t remove the ring from her finger. “I can’t think, this is too much.”
Melody grabbed her by the shoulders to stop her movements, “Daisy, stop and talk to me. Did Chris know what happened?”
She nodded, “Zach called him, that is why he didn’t answer when I called him earlier, he was on the phone.”
“Ok, so you had someone to witness your wedding, that’s good. Can he advise if you two were drunk or sober when you did this?”
“He has it on video,” Daisy quietly announced, “He’s threatening to sell it to the tabloids.”
Melody’s hand flew to her mouth, now she understood why Daisy passed out. This would be awful for both of them. As she tried to think of what to say next, Daisy’s phone began to ring. The caller ID showed that it was Chris calling back, Daisy lunged for the phone and quickly answered it. She then took off to her office and slammed the door, leaving Melody behind to watch the empty store.
“Are you alright, Melody said you passed out,” there was panic in his voice as he spoke.
“Yeah, I’m okay. I’m just a little overwhelmed, that’s all. Tabloids, Chris? Your friend is trying to extort money from you?”
“Well, you passed out before I could tell you that he was kidding about the selling it to a tabloid. But he really does have the ceremony on video,” his voice was soft, and he spoke with reverence regarding their wedding. He didn’t sound regretful, and Daisy took notice of this.
“When did we do this and exactly how drunk were we?”
“Amazingly, we weren’t that drunk. Based on the information from Zach and the timestamp on the phone, we left their ceremony and went up to the bar and had a few drinks. Evidently, they commented on how we were perfect for one another and we were already acting like a married couple so we should just do it.”
“Oh my God, Chris, I don’t remember this at all.”
“Yeah, me neither. But Zach ended up letting it out that I bought the ring, the one that you liked and we went back downstairs and got married. Went back upstairs for a few more drinks and then went to the nightclub. So all the champagne and all the dancing at the club were as husband and wife.”
Daisy turned and grabbed her office trash can and began to dry heave. Chris felt the same way, and he was trying his best not to get sick on his end of the line. He was not sorry he was married, he just wished he could remember it.
When she was able to pull herself together she finally spoke, “We need to get this annulled, isn’t there a grace period or something? Aren’t you supposed to get your marriage license first?”
“Yeah, I checked into that already. Seems when you get married without having a license first, you have 24-hours to annul the marriage and keep the documents from being filed and becoming valid. We got married on Saturday night which meant that they had to be pulled by 8 am on Monday morning, the first business day. We missed the deadline, so we are legally married.”
Chris could hear a loud thud on the other end of the line, and he waited a minute to see if Daisy said anything. When she didn’t, he began to worry that she had passed out again, “Daisy, are you okay?”
“Yeah, that was just me pounding my head on the desk.”
“Look, I’ll get on the first flight out there, and we can discuss this in person. I don’t think we need to have this conversation over the phone.”
“There is no need for a discussion, Chris. We need to annul this marriage right away – we can’t be married.”
Chris felt like he had been kicked in the gut. He hadn’t expected this reaction. He knew it wasn’t the ideal wedding she had probably dreamed of, but he didn’t expect her to be so adamant about ending it. The two of them had said they loved one another, and the relationship had been going well. And the sex? Well, the sex was fantastic, and he was happier with her than he had been in years.
“Chris, I know that isn’t what you want to hear. But think about it, we just can’t do this yet. I’m not saying we can never do it, but right now, right now it is not an option.”
He said nothing, waiting to see if she said anything else before he spoke. When it was evident that she was finished, he broke the silence, “I do think we need to discuss this even if we are doing an annulment or divorce, there are things to consider. I’ve got to wrap up a few things and then I am flying out to see you, and you are not going to keep me from doing that Daisy. For the time being, I’m your husband, and you have to listen to me.”
Daisy let out a huff and hung up on him. She wanted to hurl her phone across the room, but she didn’t want to have to worry about the hassle of replacing this one. She stood up, took a deep breath and walked out of the office and back into the store. Her blood ran cold when she noticed her mother talking to Melody. She reached down and quickly removed the wedding band and slipped it into her pants pocket and began walking in their direction.
“Well, there you are, Daisy,” Martha sneered as her daughter approached, “You do realize that Melody doesn’t work here, right? I mean really dear she has her own business to run.”
“I know, mother. Melody was kind enough to keep watch while I had to deal with an urgent call. She knows I owe her.”
Melody was trying to stifle a laugh, she knew how complicated the relationship was between Martha and Daisy and could only imagine how that would multiply when the marriage bomb was dropped. “I’m going to head out Daisy, is everything okay? Do you need me to stop by later?”
“No resolution just yet but soon, I hope. How about coming over for dinner tonight, I might need a drink or two.”
“Sounds good, I’ll set aside some of today’s lasagna and bring it over for dinner. Can you handle the wine and salad?”
“Sure thing, thanks!”
Melody gave Daisy a hug and then turned and left the store. Martha watched the two of them carefully and could tell they were hiding something, but she just wasn’t sure what it was. She carefully looked back over at her daughter, “What was that all about?”
“What? Melody and I just need to catch up on a few things, that’s all. No need to be suspicious.”
“Daisy, I can tell you are hiding something. Does this have to do with that ‘relationship’ you are having with that actor?”
“Mother, I don’t really want to talk about Chris with you.”
Martha walked over to the counter and put her purse down and started to turn around to face her daughter when something caught her eye on the counter. Daisy noticed it at the same time but could not reach the paper quick enough, Martha picked it up and began to read the marriage certificate.
Her eyes widened, and she reached for the stool to take a seat. Daisy was afraid she was going to have a heart attack. “Let me explain.”
Martha waved her hands at her daughter as if to warn her to stop talking. She was trying desperately to calm her breathing and to bring her blood pressure down. When she felt as if she was ready, Martha stood up and looked at her daughter with steely eyes,
Daisy knew that she was in for a lecture from her mother. She tried to prepare herself for what was about to come, the disappointment over her poor life decisions and her lack of respect for herself and for her family. The fact that she misuses her talent and God given abilities to run a small bridal shop versus finishing off business school and becoming the success that she was destined to be. She had heard this speech so many times over the years that she had it memorized in her head.
“Daisy, I’m sure you think you know what I’m going to say, but I might surprise you. You know I don’t want you to be alone your entire life. I always wanted you to move to the city and be successful where you would have opportunities to meet the right man and live happy ever after.”
“Life is not a fairytale, mother. There is no Prince Charming in real life.”
“There could be, your father was for me. You are stuck here, and you are safe, and you have walls around your heart, and I don’t know why. I was shocked when you announced that you were going to have a relationship with that actor.”
“Shocked? You said it would never work.”
Martha interrupted her daughter, “To be fair I said you weren’t Hollywood material and you aren’t. That isn’t a bad thing Daisy; you are you, and that is a beautiful thing, but you aren’t what the Hollywood types are going for.”
“You told me that I don’t fit in with those people, and I’m not what he’s looking for, and I can’t expect to date a movie star,” she spat the words at her.
“You hear things in the tone that you want to hear Daisy Ann. You think I am hateful and hurtful towards you, and that is not what I am saying to you,” Martha took a step forward and embraced her daughter. Daisy couldn’t remember the last time she had a hug like this. “You are a beautiful and talented soul and extraordinary women like you aren’t what the men in Hollywood look for. They want the love ‘em and leave ‘em type, and that is not my girl.”
She released Daisy and stepped back to look at her in the eyes. She could tell her daughter was confused, she patted her on the cheek and then went back to her seat next to the counter.
“Daisy, you live in a small town, and you don’t want to leave here. How are you going to date a big city man and live a life outside of these four walls? You need to branch out, but you won’t, and you will only set yourself up for heartache. This man could be your Prince Charming, heaven knows he has swept you off your feet and has evidently made you do things you wouldn’t normally do.”
“So, you aren’t mad at me and yelling at me for getting married?”
“Oh, I think you’re a damned fool, and I’m going to guess there was alcohol involved. Tell me this man bought you a ring!” Daisy reached into her pocket and pulled out the wedding band and handed it to her mother. “Well, it sure is a beautiful ring. You should keep it on so it doesn’t get lost.”
“I can’t wear it – I’m ashamed of the whole thing, I need to call Violet and see about getting it annulled or getting divorced, something.”
“Well, before you do, you need to tell your father that you’re married, and it might be nice if we got to meet our son-in-law,” Martha gathered her bag and started to head for the door.
“You’re not listening to me, I’m not staying married, I need to end this.”
“Keep telling yourself that Daisy but I want to meet my son-in-law before you do anything, do you hear me?”
“Why did you even come into town today?”
“I don’t remember now, Daisy. But the next time I talk to you there better be a timeframe for when Chris will be here.”