Chapter Ninety-Two: “Your friend is a nutcase”

Oscar was displeased about Dan and Jana’s wedding. He was angry it was happening, he was angry he had to go, he was angry he had to borrow his mother’s car to get there because it was four hours away, and he was angry that he had to carpool with Priscilla and her date. Everybody else had gone up earlier. Melly and David, not that he’d have gone with them, had gone a full week earlier, leaving Madison with Melly’s parents so that they could have some time alone. David told him they were “getting to know each other again” and Oscar had gagged on the spot. Miles and Iggy had gone the day before because both were in the wedding party and needed to be present for the rehearsal dinner. Even Jacklyn had gone up earlier as she was also a bridesmaid. Priscilla hadn’t quite made the cut, despite being one of Jana’s close friends, and neither had Oscar. He took solace in the fact that neither Danielle nor Jake had been asked either, not that it helped him much because he wouldn’t carpool anywhere with Danielle even if he was threatened at gunpoint.

Dan hadn’t asked Oscar to be one of his groomsmen because Katy was Jana’s maid of honour. They had been roommates at university, which was actually how he had met Katy in the first place. They had hosted the Halloween party where he had managed to woo Katy. He hadn’t seen Katy since accidentally seeing her pick out engagement rings with her new boyfriend Ezra and he wasn’t looking forward to seeing her again. At least he wasn’t showing up alone. In a vengeful fit, he had RSVP’d with a plus one. Fortunately, he now had someone to actually be that plus one. As did, it seemed, Priscilla. For some reason, Oscar found that deeply annoying. In fact, he found everything about her date Keith annoying. He was even irritated by the name Keith.

From the get go, their road trip to Destinyville was a disaster. Oscar was feeling particularly bitter and wronged. He knew it made him difficult to be around, but he also didn’t give enough of a shit to actually do anything about that. He hadn’t told Erin about his break-up with Katy, partially because he didn’t want to rehash it, but also largely because he found it unreasonably embarrassing. As such, she had no idea why he was being so short and irritable. Priscilla, who did know, graciously kept it to herself, but that somehow only made him angrier. And then there was Keith.

Rationally, Oscar knew there was nothing wrong with Keith. There was a very good chance that he might’ve even liked Keith under normal circumstances. But there was just something about him that irked Oscar. It could’ve been his face, or maybe the sound of his breathing, quiet though it was. When Oscar and Erin had turned up to Priscilla’s building to pick them up in Oscar’s mother’s car, Keith had been smiling and wearing sunglasses. Even that had annoyed Oscar. He had told a story about trying out for his high school’s swim team that had been both funny and self-deprecatingly charming. Oscar had hated every second.

And then they got lost. Oscar knew they were lost. Erin had shot him a few concerned looks as she seemingly also noticed they were lost, but wisely kept it to herself. No doubt Priscilla had also noticed and was keeping it to herself. It was Keith who brought it up.

“Hey, man, I think you may have missed a turn back there,” Keith informed Oscar calmly, leaning forward in the backseat. Oscar just about lost his mind.

“You know what, Keith!” He began shouting. Erin looked very startled. Priscilla reached forward from her seat behind Oscar to pat him on the shoulder.

“Alright, let’s just calm down,” she said loudly, making it seem like she was speaking to the entire car, when in reality they all knew she was speaking solely to Oscar. “We can just look up the directions. It’s going to be fine.”

“He just shouted at me,” Keith said in response, eyes wide, looking stunned.

“You know, man, it’s not good to hold on to things like that,” Oscar told him brusquely. “You’ve got to learn to let shit go.”

“It happened thirty seconds ago!” Keith protested.

“Who are you, Father Time?!” Oscar retorted. He could hear Priscilla sigh deeply from the backseat.

Between Priscilla and Erin, by far the most rational people in the vehicle, they managed to sort out where they had gone wrong and how to fix it. By the time they arrived at the hotel in Destinyville, they were not out by much time, but Oscar was still furious. He kept glaring at Keith in the rear-view mirror. Keith had tactfully ignored this, which had been infuriating. Oscar really wanted to fight someone. They had only been at the hotel for a total of ten minutes and he could already sense Katy. It was both irrational and unnerving. Erin kept glancing at him in concern; for herself or him he wasn’t sure.

“You made it!” Miles called to them, bounding towards them from the elevator. He looked pleased, like he was genuinely excited to see them all, even Keith. At this point, Oscar was fairly certain Keith was his least favourite person in the whole world. He was clearly evil.

“Oh, thank God,” Priscilla said when she saw Miles, who looked confused by the response, but pleased even still. “Your friend is a nutcase. Please God, fix it.”

And then she walked away, taking Keith’s hand to pull him to the bank of elevators that Miles had just come from. Oscar watched them go through narrowed eyes.

“I hate that guy,” he announced to Erin and Miles, who looked over his shoulder at where Priscilla and Keith had just disappeared into an elevator.

“You hide it so well,” Erin returned sarcastically, grabbing the room key card from his hand. “I’m going to go to the room. You two sort out whatever the hell is happening here.”

Miles waited until she had left the lobby to ask.

“Katy?”

“Yeah,” Oscar answered on a sigh, though he wasn’t so sure.

Oscar didn’t sleep well that night. He had nightmares, three to be exact, and each of them involved a wedding. In the first, he was getting married to Katy. Both of them were beaming from ear to ear. It wasn’t an unfamiliar nightmare for Oscar, who had suffered through months of the same after Katy had broken up with him. His subconscious, he’d learned, was an asshole that liked to show him what he very nearly had. In this particular nightmare, his happiness was ripped from him when Katy’s new boyfriend Ezra showed up with his blindingly white teeth, Smug Colin in tow, and shot Oscar through the chest with a crossbow.

Oscar’s second nightmare featured himself getting married to Erin. She looked beautiful in her wedding dress, smiling sweetly at him across the altar. Behind her, he could see her friends lined up in matching bridesmaid dresses. Margot was shrouded in a fur shawl that was bigger than her entire body and Sasha was holding a miniature figurine of the moon in her hands. Oscar felt at odds. He couldn’t determine if he was pleased or not. He could see Danielle in the audience, holding up a sign she had presumably made herself that just said “You suck” in glittery letters. The priest asked him if he would take Erin to have and to hold in sickness and in health and, just before he could answer, Danielle shot him in the chest with a crossbow.

In his third nightmare, Priscilla was getting married to Keith. Her wedding dress was made of black lace to go with her matching black lace veil. She looked like someone’s Depression-era Italian widow or an extra from a My Chemical Romance music video. Keith was grinning like a moron, but Priscilla was weeping behind her veil. Oscar could hear her, but he seemed to be the only one. Everybody else was smiling and clapping. Priscilla’s mother was dabbing at her eyes with a black handkerchief as she cried tears of joy. When the priest asked if anybody had any objections, Oscar put up his hand, because Priscilla was fully sobbing at this point, and Keith shot him in the chest with a crossbow.

When he woke up in the morning, Oscar felt like he’d been run over by a truck. Erin was snoring gently in the bed beside him, looking peaceful and kinder than she did when she was awake. He couldn’t help but reflect on his unresolved issues. He definitely had something to work out about crossbows. He took a shower and began getting ready for the wedding, bracing himself to see Katy. He wondered if she would be wearing an engagement ring. He wondered if it would look anything like the one he had bought her.

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