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Obsessed With My Step

By:Zania Summers


I had to steam my ridiculously fluffy turquoise bridesmaid ball gown again, going over parts I had previously missed. My dad’s cruise wedding would be starting in a few minutes. And, as usual, I was running late. I could see the blue water from the oval window in my cabin. It was so sunny and calm out there, a perfect day for a wedding for a man that meant the whole world to me. Dad was finally getting remarried after six years of being single, and I couldn’t be any happier. I was excited that he had met someone he truly loved and that he was willing to give marriage a second chance.

My parents had divorced when I was in middle school, and my dad hadn’t taken it so well. Mom had met someone else, remarried, and moved across the country, from DC to LA. It was so much for my dad - divorce and the possibility of losing me that he almost lost it and became super-protective of me. Thankfully, my parents agreed to a shared-custody arrangement, which meant I spent equal time with each of them. Since my old middle school was in a better school district than the area my mom was moving to, they decided to let me complete middle school in DC. I ended up going to the local high school partly because I insisted that I wanted to be with my friends, and also because my mom was too busy starting a new life. I didn’t want to be in her way. Thus, Dad ended up raising me during the school year while I spent summers and winters with Mom and my stepfather in LA, lazing on beaches and shopping all day.

I’d left for college last year, moving to Boston and giving Dad a chance to live his life. He must have been waiting for that chance because soon after I left, he had met Alyssa, a really nice woman. He had proposed to her within months. I had been very surprised; Dad was someone who never made hasty decisions. But I was happy for him after I met Alyssa and liked her instantly. I was even more excited when they decided on a cruise wedding. I had never been on a cruise, and the three months it took to plan the wedding seemed like forever to me.

Alyssa was in her late forties, a couple of years younger than my dad. She was a divorcee with two sons, Nick and Todd. Nick was a junior in a college in Minnesota, while Todd was still in middle school. Todd was a typical middle school kid, and Nick was just an ordinary college guy.

The idea of a cruise wedding had been Dad’s since he had wanted the kids to spend some time together and get to know each other. He thought the family would bond well over the ten-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. It wasn’t a bad idea, but I didn’t intend to spend too much time getting close to my soon-to-be stepbrothers. I had my entire life to do that. Instead, I hoped to meet one or two young men and possibly have a naughty time on the cruise.

I looked at my dress and wondered how I was going to get into it. Although it was expensive, it was just so green, with layers and layers of tulle that did nothing for my body. Ordinarily, it would have been a nice dress if the wedding was taking place in a church or a ballroom, but the wedding was on a ship, on a simple deck, and the dress hardly seemed appropriate. But who was I to say? I was just a bridesmaid; my job was to get through the day with a smile on my face for the guests and pictures.

Once the wedding was over, I planned to run back to my cabin to change into something that I could handle for the rest of the day. I shimmied into the dress, huffing and puffing as I tried to zip it up. It was a little too tight, but that was partly my fault as I had given Alyssa a smaller size than I usually wore. I had hoped to lose ten pounds before the wedding, but one thing had led to another, and only a fraction of the ten actually left.

So I shimmied into the dress that was a size or two too small, holding my breath as I pulled it over my hips, hoping to goodness that it didn’t burst at the seams during the ceremony. I had laid out a dress for after, a short and strapless A-line dress that was gathered at the waist that would have been perfect for the wedding. I finally got the dress over my ass and zipped up. I made finishing touches to my makeup and went to check on my dad.


Dad was clumsily buttoning up the last buttons of his tuxedo shirt. He hadn’t had to dress up so nicely in such a long time, so I could imagine that he was having difficulties remembering how things worked. Or maybe he was just nervous. He looked like he needed help. I walked over and gently took his hands off the shirt.

“Here, let me help you,” I said, fastening the rest of the buttons on the shirt and straightening his bow tie.

He made a fake choking sound, causing me to break into a smile.

“You look so handsome, Dad.”

He really did look good. My dad was one of those men who didn’t seem to age. Even though he was almost fifty, he could have passed for a man in his forties. Heck, I’d even had people think we were lovers when we went out together. Either he looked way too young, or I looked older than my age. Whatever the case, those instances when people asked us if we were together always tickled his fancy and brought the usual answer: “She’s my daughter, and the best girl in my life.” Now that Alyssa was in the picture, I wondered who the best girl in his life was going to be.