The ladies’ room in the event center had a nice powder area, and I plopped myself on the striped couch directly across from the massive wall to wall mirror. I didn’t want to cry and mess up my makeup. Maddie had worked on my face for over an hour. I grabbed a tissue from the end table next to me to pat my eyes.
Taylor and Kade were twins. It was undeniable. As the dots connected in front of me, disbelief clouded my thoughts. How could I not have seen this before?
I didn’t understand why Taylor would lie to me. I gave him the opportunity not even ten minutes prior to tell me the complete truth, but he still chose to withhold information from me.
The mirror stared back at me. I was pathetic sitting here in my black satin gown, glitzy jewelry, and red eyes from the tears fighting to fall down my cheeks. I fought back and dabbed at my eyes again.
“Really, Gracie?” I grumbled at my reflection. “Were you really this blind to Taylor’s lies? Son of a rock star, probably a millionaire, twin to someone who didn’t exist until two weeks ago? You’re pathetic.”
“Maybe just a little,” Laura said, standing by the door to the ladies’ room. When did she come in? How much had she heard of my ramblings? Great.
“Don’t you have someone else to patronize?” I asked, rolling my eyes and looking back towards my reflection.
“You know you deserve better than that, right Gracie?” Laura said in a kind voice.
I glanced over at her, perplexed. Why was she being nice to me? “Everything was perfect before Kade got here.” There, I’d said it out loud, granted I said it to the girl who used to be my best friend, but whatever. “I mean, yeah, I was hiding my feelings from Tay. But people were nice to me and I certainly had a lot less drama.”
“Gracie, you’ve always had drama,” Laura said, clicking her tongue and laughing softly. There she goes, patronizing me again. I half-wondered if she was going to pat me on the head as she walked past and sat next to me on the sofa.
I furrowed my eyebrows and turned to face her. “What do you mean by that?”
Laura folded her hands and placed them on her violet satin gown. “Oh, come on, Gracie. You used to call me almost every night with the same whining. ‘My parents are fighting. I don’t know if I’m good enough for tennis. So-and-so doesn’t like me’. It was exhausting to say the least.”
I was offended but had to admit she was right. I hadn’t meant to be whiny and needy. “I guess it makes sense why you didn’t want to be my friend anymore.”
“Yeah, that would make sense.” Laura glanced down at her perfectly manicured hands and she took another deep breath. “But that wasn’t why I stopped being your friend.”
Her words were so quiet I wasn’t sure if she’d meant to say them out loud. I heard it though, and I couldn’t ignore it. “So, why did you stop being my friend?”
Laura closed her eyes and her leg bounced like it does when she’s nervous.
“It’s okay, Laura,” I encouraged. “I won’t be mad. I want to know so I can make it right. You deserve that.”
Laura turned to look at me. “I couldn’t be your friend anymore after I saw you with Tay,” she said. “It was like he replaced me, and that hurt, especially after we had been friends for so long.”
I could tell that there was more she wanted to tell me, so I sat there until she was ready to talk.
Laura took another deep breath and let it out slowly. She clutched the skirt of her satin prom dress with her fists, opening and closing her hands like she was kneading a stress ball. I could tell that whatever she was about to say was the real reason she was no longer my friend. I held my breath, suspecting I already knew the truth.
“Haven’t you done enough damage?” Maddie said from the doorway, interrupting the first time Laura and I had talked in several years.
Laura stood and took a step back, that same mask of anger once again on her face.
“Maddie, it’s okay,” I started to say.
“No, it’s fine,” Laura said. “You hang out with your other best friend and I’ll talk to you another time.” Laura gave Maddie a wide berth as she skirted around Maddie to get to the door. And then she was gone, taking with her the real reason why she’d stopped being my friend.
Book Club Discussion Questions: What do you think Laura was trying to tell Gracie before Maddie interrupted?