Daisy got into the shop and tried to push her conversation with Violet out of her mind. She had let Chris invade her brain, and she could not concentrate on anything other than him. This was dangerous since she was a business owner and she had things she had to attend to. As she walked into the shop, she put her cell phone on silent so that she wouldn’t be distracted and could focus on the duties of the store.
She tried to keep herself busy, rearranging stock and moving the displays in the shop window. She had a few deliveries come in so she was able to steam the dresses and put them into rotation. She had a few of her clients come in and pick up their invitation or save the date orders and even had a few calls to set up appointments to pick out dresses. She also made a call to Kimberly, she figured that since she was going to be going through all of this with Chris, she would need help in the store. She knew it would be tight on her budget but at least she could keep the store open versus closing when issues would arise. He was going to be a strain on her pocketbook in more ways than one. She was afraid to ask Violet how much getting out of this marriage was going to cost her.
Daisy had kept herself busy enough that she didn’t even realize it was time to close up the store for the day. Before leaving, she called her parents to see if they were busy and if she could stop by. She was taking what her mother had said to heart and knew she needed to tell her dad about her marriage. He would not be happy about it, but she needed to face the music and get it over with. Of course, they were thrilled with the idea that their daughter wanted to come over and offered to cook her dinner. She hung up the phone, locked up the shop and drove out to the orchard. She had not checked her cell phone for calls or messages, but she was fairly sure she had a few waiting.
The drive to the orchard provided Daisy with ample opportunity to rehearse her speech. How she would tell him, how she would apologize for disappointing him, and how she was working to get out of it. She knew her mother would start in on the “when can I meet my son-in-law” line of questions but felt fairly confident that her dad would not go down that path. She hoped her dad would actually help quell the line of questioning from her mother and put some of the issues to rest. She also didn’t think he would yell, her mother was the yelling and lecturing type, not her dad. So he would silently pass judgment on her, which would probably be harder to handle than what she was used to from her mother.
But then again, her mother had turned everything on its ear when she didn’t lecture and instead told Daisy to give this boy a chance. Told Daisy to open her heart and to not spend her life alone; if her mother could change her tune it could mean that her dad could as well. Damn, she wasn’t prepared if that happened.
She pulled up in front of the farmhouse and turned off the ignition. She sat in the car for a few moments, waiting to gather her thoughts and to gain some nerve. Finally, she flung open the car door and began the walk up the path and the stairs. As she reached the porch, the door opened, and her mother stood there with a glass of wine in her hand.
“I guess you might need this,” she said as she handed the glass to Daisy, “I didn’t tell him a thing. I am leaving it all up to you, and I don’t think he suspects that anything is up.”
Daisy just looked at her mother with a confused look, “Why are you so nice to me?”
“You’re my daughter, dear, I love you, and I am always nice to you.”
Daisy took the glass and downed the wine in almost one gulp, “I need more,” she responded and walked straight into the kitchen.
Thomas Proctor was finishing getting dinner ready, he turned to greet his daughter and then turned his attention back to his gravy. Daisy offered to help but he told her to just sit and enjoy her wine, she wasn’t about to argue. When dinner was ready, he plated everything up and brought it to the table. She loved the fact that her dad could cook; tonight was homemade fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. The only thing her mother made for the dinner was the bread, she was a whiz with biscuit dough.
As if on cue, when dinner was finished, Thomas looked at his daughter and started the conversation that she had been dreading, “What is wrong Daisy?”
“What makes you think something is wrong?” She responded as she finished off her third glass of wine and began to pour her fourth.
“Well, you’re drinking wine like it is going out of style. You have practically polished off that bottle by yourself, so something is bothering you. And your mother, well she isn’t saying a word so it means she already knows something and that in itself scares me.”
Daisy took a deep breath and let out a heavy sigh, “You know I went to Las Vegas with Chris, right?”
“Oh, Daisy,” her father began to shake his head, “You married him didn’t you?”
Martha elected to use this opportunity to chime in, “See Daisy, you didn’t even have to tell him, he figured it out on his own.”
Thomas pushed himself back from the table and slowly walked into the kitchen. She couldn’t see what he was doing, but she heard him rifling through the cabinets, and she heard the clinking of glass. A moment later he returned to the table with a bottle of whiskey and a glass; this was serious. Daisy knew her dad was not a heavy drinker, and if he was really upset, the whiskey came out, usually just a glass here or there. But he sat down with the bottle, this was going to be a long night.
He poured himself a drink, neat, and swallowed it in one long drink. He quickly poured another and drank it in the same manner. Once he sat the glass down, he looked at her and began to ask his questions. “Was this the plan all along when you went out there? I mean did you anticipate that you were going to marry this man?”
“No, not at all. This weekend was supposed to be about us getting to know each other better and moving our relationship forward but not this far forward.”
“So, you went out for a tryst and ended up getting married. Seems like a logical leap.”
“Thomas! You make that sound so dirty,” Martha scolded.
“Martha, your daughter ran off to Las Vegas with a man she had been ‘dating’ for a few weeks via text message and phone call. What do you think she was going to be doing with him in Vegas? They certainly were not going to meet up to play checkers and watch TV,” his voice was firm but laced with sarcasm.
“Dad it wasn’t like that, things happened, but we didn’t go out there thinking that all of that would happen.”
“Then you are more naïve than I expected, Daisy. I always figured you were a smart young woman with a good head on your shoulders, and I have to say that this is by far the dumbest thing you have ever done in your life. Were you drunk when you did this?”
“Evidently not,” she muttered.
His eyes widened, “Evidently? Oh my, please elaborate for your mother and me.”
“I don’t recall getting married, we did drink quite a bit that night as we were standing up for his friend who was getting married. But there is a video of our…” she trailed off.
“Ceremony,” her mother offered, with a sly grin.
“Yeah,” Daisy continued, “Ceremony and we were not yet intoxicated. Supposedly we did all of our heavy drinking afterward, and that is why neither of us remembered. On Sunday morning, I woke up late, and I grabbed all of my stuff and ran out of the hotel room to catch my plane. I took off my jewelry before I left the hotel and took the ring off and didn’t register what I had removed.”
“When did you realize what you had done?” Her father asked, his tone beginning to soften. Daisy was wondering if it was the whiskey or if his attitude had changed because he was starting to feel sorry for her.
“Monday, in the store, I was putting my makeup on in the store right before opening and the marriage certificate was in my purse. I immediately freaked out and called Chris. He had talked to Zach, his friend who was with us, and evidently our videographer, so he knew about it at the same time I did.”
“And what does he think about this?”
Daisy took a swig from her wine glass, “He is not upset by it at all. In fact, he seems to enjoy calling me his wife and does not seem the least bit concerned about getting this taken care of. I think he wants to stay married.”
“And what do you want?”
“I called Violet Morgan this morning, and we are looking into whether I am going to do an annulment or a divorce. Whichever way will end the marriage the quickest is the path we will go down. I want to get this over with, and I want to try to keep it as quiet as possible so it doesn’t impact him negatively.”
“He obviously loves you, Daisy. Do you love him?” Her dad asked, point blank.
She took a minute to formulate her answer and then quietly answered, “ Yeah, I have to admit that I do.”
“Then why in the hell are you trying to get out of it?” Her dad asked somewhat annoyed.
“Well, because,” she started to say but stopped.
“Please tell me that you have a better reason than that Daisy Ann,” her mother retorted.
“I think it is best to end the marriage because we haven’t known each other very long, and obviously we didn’t know what we were doing.”
“You weren’t drunk Daisy – if you have video evidence that proves you were not of diminished capacity you can’t use that as your reason. You married the man, you need to stand up to your responsibility. If you love the man, and he loves you, I don’t see the problem.”
Daisy stared at her dad as she could not believe what he was saying. She was sure when he began speaking earlier in the evening he was going to back her in her attempts to end the marriage and to put this behind her. Now he was saying she needed to stand up to her responsibility; so he wanted her to stay married. She was sure it was the whiskey talking. There was no way her dad really meant that. And what in the hell happened to her parents that the two of them were agreeing on this subject and that both of them were against her? She normally had, at least, one of them on her side.
“Wait, so the two of you want me to stay married? Do I hear you right?”
“I think your father and I both believe that you should give it a chance – it seems ridiculous that you admit to being in love with the man, yet you are clamoring to find a way to get out of this marriage. Don’t you think you will end up right back in this situation later?”
“I don’t know, I guess I never thought about it.”
“Well, your mother and I think you need to think about it,” her father said matter of factly. “Do we get to meet our son in law before you divorce him?”
Daisy stood up, her balance was a bit off due to the multiple glasses of wine, “Mother! You told him, you swore you wouldn’t, but you told him everything!”
Martha looked down at the table, unable to make eye contact with her. As Daisy looked at her father, he turned away and began staring at the wall opposite her. She realized she had been played and that it had all been a set up to make her sweat a little over the entire situation. Her anger was beginning to boil up inside of her, and she suddenly felt betrayed. She began to storm down the hallway toward the front door, her mother in pursuit.
“Daisy, you’ve had too much to drink, and you can’t drive home. You need to sleep it off in your old room or let me take you home, but you cannot drive.”
She let out a loud huff and then gave in, her mother was right, and driving was not a good idea. Hell, walking up the stairs was not a good idea, but she was going to do it anyway. She tried, the best she could, to stomp her way up the steps and into her old room where she threw herself on the bed and tried to go to sleep.