Badd Motherf*cker:Badd Brothers(2)By: Jasinda Wilder
That’s how it always worked.
Michael was a stickler for tradition, so I knew he wouldn’t want to see me in my dress before the moment I walked down the aisle to him, so I stuck my head out of the door of the Sunday school room I was using as a dressing room. My dad was sitting on a bench opposite my room, scrolling on his cell phone. He was my best friend, and my namesake: he was Drew Connolly, and I was Dru Connolly. Maybe that was cheesy, sure, but he was all I had.
He looked up, smiling at me. “What’s up, baby girl?”
“Do you have that stupid trench coat you’re always wearing?”
He frowned at me. “We live in the Pacific Northwest, Dru, so a trench coat isn’t stupid, it’s practical. So, yes, I do. Why?”
“I need to see Michael, but I don’t want him to see me in my dress yet.”
Dad nodded. “Ah, of course.” He stood up, moved to a coat rack down the hallway and lifted his beloved, twenty-year-old tan trench coat off the hook.
I hated that trench coat. It made him look like he was trying to be a gumshoe detective in a late-forties detective noir flick. But for the moment, it was what I needed, so I put it on and buttoned it over my dress, and then did a twirl, kicking my heel up and posing…with zero percent sarcasm, of course.
“How do I look?”
Dad smirked. “You look great, baby. See? A trench coat is always fashionable.”
I rolled my eyes at him. “Don’t even get me started, Dad. Trench coats are never fashionable. Ever. Like, maybe for five minutes in the nineteen forties, sure, but that’s it.” I leaned up and kissed him. “I’ll be back, and then we’ll be ready to get started, right?”
Dad gave me the look, then. The one I hated. The look that told me he didn’t quite approve of Michael, or the wedding, but was supporting me because I was his only child and he loved me. “If you’re sure this is what you want, then yes, we’ll be ready. Michael’s family is here, all sixty-four of them.” He grinned. “Rolando, Vickers, Johnson, Benson, Ayers, and Mickelson are all here too with their families, so we’ve got a few people to fill up our side. But if you’re having any doubts, just say the word. We’ll organize a getaway.”
“I’m sure, Daddy. I promise.” I leaned up and kissed him. “Now wait here, I’ll be right back.”
He sat back down, pulled his cell phone out, and resumed scrolling, content to wait as long as it took, as long as he had his Buzzfeed app to scroll through. “I’ll be here, then.”
Michael’s dressing room was down the hallway and around a corner. His two best friends, Nate and Eric, were lounging on a bench like Dad had been, passing a flask back and forth and cackling about something on Eric’s cell phone. Lisa and Annie were crowded around Eric and his cell phone, cackling right along and taking hits from the flask when it got passed around.
I strode up to them, and they were so involved with whatever they were watching that they didn’t notice me. I was close enough to hear Eric’s phone. It sounded like porn, and as I got close enough to see it, it looked like porn. Eric had his phone held away from himself, so everyone could see, his palms cupped around the back to reflect the sound. I stood next to Lisa and crowded in.
“What are you watching?” I asked, but I was able to see enough to know what they were watching.
Only, it didn’t make any sense.
It couldn’t be.
Eric did an actual double take: looking at me, looking back at the phone and then looking back at me in total surprise, which quickly morphed to panic.
“Shit! Dru, I—we—we’re watching…nothing.” He clicked the phone off and stuffed it in his pocket. “Don’t worry about it. A stupid video my buddy sent me.”
I was staying calm, so far.
It’s not what I think.
“That’s not what it looked like,” I said.
Eric shifted, looking to his friends to help him out.
Lisa glanced at Michael’s dressing room door, eyes wide, and then looked back at me, speaking a little louder than necessary. “You want a shot, Dru?” She snatched the flask out of Nate’s hand and shoved it at me. “Have a shot. It’s Jim Beam.”
I pushed past her, ignoring her and the flask, reaching for the doorknob.
“You’re not supposed to see him before the wedding, Dru!” Lisa shouted, getting between the door and me. “It’s bad luck!”
“He’s not supposed to see me in my dress before the wedding, you idiot.” I had never liked Lisa, I realized. She was vapid and stupid and now she was getting in the way of me seeing my fiancé on the day of our wedding? “Which is why I’m wearing the trench coat. Now get out of the way.”