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Driving Her Crazy(2)

By:Kira Archer



“Sorry, ma’am,” Tim said.

“That’s okay.”

It wasn’t okay. But it wasn’t his fault she’d decided to do her makeup in the car.

The theme song from “Game of Thrones” rang from her purse and Cherice sighed, the little ball of dread in her stomach growing bigger.

Her mother.

She fumbled her phone out of her purse.

“Hello?”

“Cherice. Are you at the airport?”

Cherice took a deep breath. She wasn’t even in New York yet and she was already going to piss off her mother.

“I’m on my way.”

A faint sigh echoed from the phone. “You should always leave yourself at least two hours to go through security.”

“I know. I meant to but—”

“It doesn’t matter. Just make sure you don’t miss your flight. I hope the weather won’t be an issue.” Her mother sighed. “Of all the weekends to have a summer storm.”

“Is it causing problems up there?”

“Not for me, so far. But with the reception outdoors, even with the tent, anything more than a light drizzle could be a disaster. I had to pull a lot of strings to get this wedding in the Times. I’ll never live it down if it’s not perfect.”

“I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful, Mom.”

“Yes. Well. Just be sure you get here on time. The rehearsal dinner is this evening. You are part of the wedding party. Your absence will be noted.”

Cherice winced, breathing past the guilt and hurt feelings that were a normal part of conversations with her mother. Her absence would be noted, not because they’d actually miss her but because she’d throw off the balance of the perfectly organized wedding party. Not that she blamed her mom for wanting everything to go off without a hitch. The vultures her mother called friends really would torture her with it for the rest of her life if anything went wrong.

“I’ll be there.”

“I hope so. Oh, the journalist who is writing the feature is here. I must run.”

The phone clicked before she could say goodbye.

She dropped her phone back in her purse. Her mom was always short with her, but Cherice didn’t think it was personal. The woman was just…supremely efficient…and insanely busy. Always. Especially with her sister’s wedding a day away. But once in a while, it’d be nice if her mother would call her just to talk to her, not chastise her for some mistake she hadn’t even made yet.

With a sigh, Cherice cleaned up her face. Thankfully, she managed to apply the rest of her makeup without any further complication. Her necklace and bracelets went on last. There. Perfectly presentable. Even her mother couldn’t complain.

Her leg bounced all the way to the airport and it took a Herculean effort not to chew her nails to the quick. She’d blown off Thanksgiving, had just barely made Christmas (two days), and ditched New Year’s entirely. She’d also pretended she was sick for Easter. If she missed her sister’s wedding she’d be disowned. And that wasn’t an exaggeration.

Cherice was already the black sheep without ruining what was supposed to be one of the social events of the year. She didn’t have an important job, she wasn’t in school anymore, since her abysmal mcats had pretty much derailed her medical career, and she wasn’t involved in some illustrious relationship. Therefore, she had no justifiable reason to mess up her mother’s flawless plans.

“Are you okay, ma’am?” Tim asked.

Cherice made an effort to stop her leg from bouncing and smiled at him. “I’m fine, thanks. Going up to New York to visit my family and I’m just a little nervous.”

“Afraid of flying?”

She laughed. “No. Afraid of my family.”

He grinned at her in the rear view mirror. “They can’t be that bad.”

“You’d be surprised,” she said. “My sister is getting married this weekend and my mother is in full meltdown mode.”

He shook his head. “I sympathize. My oldest daughter was just married a few months ago. My wife was…” He laughed. “Let’s just say I was very happy when the wedding was over.”

“Good to know my family isn’t the only one that goes crazy over weddings.”

“It would be weird if they didn’t.”

The car pulled up outside the airport and Tim came around to unload her bag and open her door. Cherice had already paid for the car service, but she handed him a generous tip.

“Any advice for how to survive this weekend?”

Tim grinned. “Keep your head down, stay out of their way, do everything you’re told to do quickly and without argument.”

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