Chapter Ninety-One: “Everybody has a friend named Dan”

Miles’ friend Dan from high school was getting married to his high school sweetheart Jana at the beginning of June. Both Miles and Iggy were in the bridal party. Dan had been really close friends with David, Miles, and Oscar in high school, along with Jake, the boring half of Danielle and Jake, and their friend Taylor, who was, to put it shortly, an idiot. Miles and Oscar had kind of lost touch with Taylor and Jake, apart from all of the games nights they were forced to attend at the strong arm of Melly, but they had remained closer with Dan.

Meanwhile, Dan’s fiancée Jana had been good friends with Iggy, so she had been asked to be one of the bridesmaids. It was the first time Miles and Iggy would be debuting as a couple in front of most of their high school acquaintances. Iggy was anxious, Miles didn’t care. As far as he was concerned, he was doing really well. She had great legs.

Miles went to Robin’s apartment to ask to borrow his car for the weekend. Dan and Jana were getting married four hours away at a golf course. When they’d first been told about the venue, Miles had wanted to point out that there were many golf courses closer to home, but he refrained.

“My friend Dan is getting married this weekend in Destinyville,” Miles explained to Robin.

“Who?” Robin asked.

“Dan,” Miles answered.

“Who’s Dan?”

“My friend Dan. You know Dan.”

“No, I don’t know Dan.”

“Yes, you do. My friend Dan!”

“Unsurprisingly, you just shouting the name Dan over and over again is not actually that helpful,” Robin said, rolling his eyes. “You have a friend named Dan?”

“Everybody has a friend named Dan,” Joey cut in. Miles couldn’t tell if it helped his case or not.

“Yeah,” Miles agreed just to be safe. “Anyway, my friend Dan is getting married in Destinyville this weekend. Can I please borrow your car?”

“Yeah, sure,” Robin returned, slightly exasperated.

“Be careful, though, dude,” Joey warned Miles in a loud aside. “He’s real uptight about his car.”

The look Robin shot Joey might’ve killed a lesser man.

Miles and Iggy drove up to Destinyville in time for the rehearsal at the church and the rehearsal dinner. Iggy was pissed to discover that she would be walking up the aisle with Taylor and not Miles, who wasn’t dumb enough to think this was out of any kind of touching love for him. She just really, really disliked Taylor. He didn’t necessarily blame her. After all, he too thought Taylor was an idiot. Miles, on the other hand, got to walk back up the aisle with Jacklyn. The worst thing about that was that she would definitely make him look bad in photos by comparison. Miles sometimes actually found it difficult to look directly at her because she was too attractive, sort of like looking directly at the sun.

After the actual rehearsal, during which Melly lectured all of the groomsmen not to put their hands in their pockets or chew their gum countless times, the bridal party went to a nearby restaurant for the rehearsal dinner. Dan’s parents had rented out a room for the bridal party and members of the bride and groom’s families. Somehow, Danielle and Jake had managed to swing invites. Miles suspected Danielle had kicked up a fuss about not being asked to be a bridesmaid. He also suspected that, when the time came for Danielle and Jake to be married, Danielle either would ask Jana to be a bridesmaid out of spite or wouldn’t ask her to be a bridesmaid, also out of spite, whichever option was most spiteful.

“How’s it going?” Miles asked Iggy, finally catching up to her for the first time since they’d all left the church. And even then, it wasn’t as if they’d had a lot of time to chat. In between walking up and down the aisles and being shouted at about gum by Melly, there hadn’t been much time for anything.

“Taylor has the clammiest hands in the world,” Iggy grumbled in response.

“Yes,” Miles agreed. Sadly, he knew just how clammy Taylor’s hands were. Taylor became extremely handsy when he was drunk, which regrettably meant that he had spent a lot of time being groped by Taylor and his clammy hands through his young life.

“Let’s get drunk,” she urged, tugging on his hand to lead him to the open bar. Miles shot her a dubious look.

“I’m not sure we’re supposed to get drunk before the wedding,” he pointed out. “Otherwise I probably would’ve heard about how much fun rehearsal dinners are. Instead, Ramsay warned me that I would have to spend inordinate amounts of time listening to strangers talk about shit I don’t care about.”

“I mean, I’m going to need at least a bottle of wine for any conversation I’m forced to have with Jana’s Aunt Elspeth, the weirdo flautist who constantly tries to show people photos of her family’s nudist retreat,” Iggy retorted. “Some things just cannot be unseen and Jana’s rashy cousin Joel bent over a hammock is one of those things. It’s an image that will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Miles wrinkled his nose in disgust. He had met Jana’s cousin Joel earlier that day and his rashy ass unfortunately wasn’t something his mind was having difficulty conjuring.

“Oh sweet Jesus, you poor thing,” he said, wrapping both of his arms around Iggy’s head so that her face was smushed into his chest. Apparently one of his shirt buttons went up her nose, or so she claimed. He generally ignored her protests though, petting her hair instead. They were still standing like that when David came up to join them.

“Oh hey!” He greeted them brightly. Miles marvelled at his ability to remain cheery and unperturbed in even the weirdest circumstances.

“Hi,” he replied, finally releasing Iggy’s head. She began fixing her hair, trying to get it to lay flat again, glaring at him the entire time.

“Taylor’s arranging for a few after-party drinks in Taylor’s room later tonight,” David informed Miles, before turning to Iggy. “Just a few drinks with the boys, nothing to worry about.”

Iggy didn’t look like she had been worrying at all. In fact, she looked more like she hoped Taylor would choke on one of those after-party drinks.

After-party drinks turned out to be a six-pack of beer in Taylor’s hotel room. He had booked a suite with a king bed for all the bridesmaids he was going to be bringing back to his room.

“You realize none of the bridesmaids are single, right?” Miles checked. He honestly wasn’t sure Taylor did realize that. He wasn’t particularly swift at the best of times and he’d already had quite a few drinks over dinner.

“For now,” Taylor said with a wink. “I reckon I could persuade a few of them to make a change.”

Miles wondered if Taylor fully understood what he was saying to him, the boyfriend of one of the bridesmaids, and David, the husband of another. Beyond that, he tried to imagine Taylor attempting to pick up Iggy. He almost hoped it happened because it would go laughably poorly for him, and not because Miles thought Iggy was too dedicated to their relationship. Her rejection would stem one hundred per cent from her burning hatred of Taylor and everything he represented.

“Guys, I can’t believe I’m finally getting to marry the love of my life!” Dan exclaimed, deliriously excited. Miles supposed that was nice. David was nearly crying tears of joy, which was a bit much.

“It’s just the best,” David assured Dan, clapping him on the shoulder. Miles wondered how many drinks he’d had over dinner. Probably not very many. It didn’t actually take  much to get David to weep out of happiness, especially where Melly was concerned. He’d been a sobbing wreck at his own wedding. Fortunately, Melly found it sweet and not horrifying as Miles would’ve. Some of their wedding photos were truly priceless though, Melly looking radiant in her white gown and David crying in uncontrollable hysterics.

“Just you wait, bro,” Dan said, turning his attention suddenly on Miles. “You’re going to love it when you and Iggy finally settle down.”

Miles was startled and instantly sweaty. He didn’t like the way Dan had said “finally”, as if the six months that he and Iggy had been dating was already too much time and that they really should’ve been married a long time ago. Miles didn’t feel like it had been that long. They weren’t the leading characters of a Jane Austen novel. At twenty-five, Iggy wasn’t an unmarriable spinster, destined to a desolate life of teaching upper class children to read and do needlepoint. They still had time. At least, he was pretty sure they had time. What if he thought they had time, but Iggy felt like it had already been much too long without a proposal?

As Miles was going through his internal crisis, David really had begun to cry in earnest. He dabbed at his eyes with the sleeve of his shirt.

“I’m just so happy for you guys,” he told Dan, who returned his sentiments with a watery smile of his own.

“Jesus Christ, ladies, pull it together,” Taylor interjected insensitively. For the first time, Miles was glad to have him there.

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