The clouds coated the sky, camouflaging any hint of blue. The parking lot of the Catholic Church was packed tightly. The white rental car circled the lot several times before finally searching for a parking space on the street. Space was limited there as well. Vans and cars complete with camera crews and still photographers lined the block, waiting to catch any glimpse of the bride, but especially the groom, and possibly some of their “royal” guests.
Parking around the corner, a young man of average height with dark hair rushed out of the car; an even younger woman followed him, both making their way toward the church.
“Cooper, faster!” the man yelled as he ran, straightening his gray tie as he went.
“You try running in heels!”
Cooper Jackson shot at him angrily as she tried to keep up with his pace in her long form-fitting dress and two and a half inch heels; strands of her dark golden hair swayed across her bare, fair-skinned shoulders as she awkwardly ran. Thunder boomed causing her to jump, almost twisting her ankle as her feet landed back on the ground. “Shit,” she cursed, but quickly crossed herself, seeing the crucifix on top of the church staring back at her. Cooper wasn’t one to believe in religious superstitions, but she’d rather be safe than sorry. She was sure her mother would be amused if she were watching her.
“Please don’t rain,” she sighed. “Dave, wait up,” she groaned, trying to catch up to him as she passed some gossiping photographers.
“No, they’re nobodies,” one sighed.
“You think Britney Spears will show?” another asked.
Though it felt like a mile in her painful shoes, Cooper reached the church and her date, Dave held the door open for her.
They entered the rather large building, seeing the bridal party in the foyer ready to start. All at once, it seemed the bride and bridesmaids turned to stare at their intrusion.
“Dave, you made it,” the bride sighed with a smile.
“Barely, thanks to my date,” he glared at Cooper before kissing the bride’s cheek.
Kelly Sutter, soon-to-be Kelly Bailey, was relieved to see Dave Jackson. She wanted to murder her mother and sister, who were both nervous wrecks. Kelly was becoming increasingly anxious herself, but still credits her stress to her family. Kelly’s blonde hair was swept up in loose curls, and her make-up wasn’t too extreme. She had a natural beauty with rosy cheeks and fair skin.
“You’re beautiful,” Dave said.
Cooper apologized as she walked over to them.
“I’m Cooper, Dave’s cousin.”
“I’m Kelly…the bride,” she giggled nervously.
“It’s nice to finally meet you,” Cooper smiled.
“You too. Too bad it was after Dave and I broke up,” Kelly laughed. “Maybe he’d be up at the altar instead if you kept him in check while he was living here,” she teased, punching Dave in the arm.
Dave and Kelly dated years ago when he was in Orlando for an internship. They had a whirlwind romance that fizzled fast, and before they knew it all they had underneath everything was a friendship. They teased and tormented each other like brother and sister would. Kelly was relieved her fiancé, Mike Bailey, didn’t have an issue with her friendship with Dave.
“Dave was always bad at relationships,” Cooper nodded along, agreeing with Kelly.
“This is true,” Dave said, deciding to cut out any banter. “But hey, Mikie won.”
He winked before changing his mind about bantering, “There’s still time to back out,” he whispered.
Kelly rolled her eyes and shook her head, “Not a chance. I can’t believe it’s finally happening,” she grinned.
Dave smiled back.
“Are you nervous?” Cooper asked.
“Nope,” Kelly said confidently, but her face gave way to the butterflies in the pit of her stomach. Just then, a man announced the ceremony was going to start, and Kelly’s eyes went wide.
“Kell?” Dave asked and she didn’t answer.
The maid-of-honor advised Dave and Cooper to find their seats. As soon as the cousins stepped toward the mass room doors, a man peeked out; his face almost smashed into Cooper’s.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he laughed.
Cooper just smiled at him, unable to speak for a moment. His blue eyes appeared as though they matched his smile perfectly. It was almost as if his eyes were upturned into a smile as well. Cooper snapped out of her daze as the man told Kelly something. Cooper looked back as she passed him and he looked over at her once more. He smiled yet again and chills went down Cooper’s body. For just a moment, she wondered if he was real or someone who stepped out of a fairytale. Cooper shook the moment from her thoughts and focused on where she was walking instead.