Chapter Ninety-Five: “I’m going to bust out of this thing like the Incredible Hulk in a minute”

Iggy was not having a good time. It was at least four hundreds degrees out and she was standing in the middle of a vineyard getting photographed relentlessly by a woman who kept calling her Figgy. Iggy could feel sweat running down the inside of her thighs. Jana had chosen a blush taffeta dress that trapped the heat. The bodice was like a convection oven. Plus it was floor-length. Jana had originally wanted them to wear yellow, but Katy had managed to talk her out of that and Iggy was eternally grateful. It would’ve looked like they were entering a Disney princess cosplay contest, all dressed as Belle. That having been said, it was still a floor-length taffeta dress. Iggy was extremely doubtful that the photos would turn out nicely because all of them shone in the sunlight. Jana had always had somewhat questionable taste, but they looked like they were going to prom in the late 1990s. Melly kept lying about how horrible it was, telling everyone that they could definitely wear it again. She, apparently, was considering having hers shortened. Iggy couldn’t imagine converting it into a cocktail length blush taffeta bridesmaid dress would make it much better, but she kept that to herself.

On top of the world’s worst bridesmaid dress, she was forced into spending what she considered an unreasonable and cruel amount of time with Taylor. Iggy had told Jana that she and Miles were dating, under the impression that that meant they would be partnered together since Melly and David were placed together. Of course that meant Jacklyn would’ve had to have been with Taylor instead, but that was a bus Iggy was more than prepared to push her under. And then she ended up underneath the bus instead. Jana told her it was just more aesthetically pleasing to have Jacklyn and Miles together, which was a bit of slap in the face considering that Miles was her boyfriend.

“What does that mean?” Iggy had asked Jacklyn afterward. “Do Miles and I not look good together?”

“I’m sure it’s just because Taylor is taller,” Jacklyn told her. It wasn’t reassuring in the slightest. It opened up a whole other floodgate of questions about whether or not Iggy dwarfed Miles. Had she been walking around oblivious as strangers marvelled at her giantess?

Taylor talked a lot and most of it was inane drivel. Iggy was by no means a Rhodes Scholar, but she felt she contributed more to a conversation than Taylor. Half the words out of his mouth were “yeah, bro” and “fuck yes”. He was thrilled about everything. Iggy had no idea why. As far as she could tell, he didn’t have all that much to be happy about. He was unemployed, he lived with his parents in his old childhood bedroom, and he was so sweaty that he had become slippery. She supposed that one wasn’t really his fault. Even she was hotter than she’d ever been in her entire life, including the all-inclusive trip to Mexico her mother had taken her on in August of 2011. She could feel her hair falling. Soon it would be plastered to her skull. She and Taylor would be two ugly, damp splotches in Jana and Dan’s wedding photos for the rest of time. Naturally, Jacklyn looked amazing.

Jana and Dan’s wedding venue was actually beautiful. They were at a winery that had a picturesque luxury hotel attached. It looked like a castle. It even sat atop a lush green hill with a river running beneath it. It was a little slice of Ireland in Southern Ontario. Iggy was certain the photos would look amazing, but it was hellish getting there. The photographer had them stand in between the rows of grape vines at one point as part of her artistic vision. All it meant to Iggy was that she was standing in dirt in the new shoes she’d bought next to Taylor. She thanked God he was wearing a suit because he’d already managed to get some of his face sweat on her and she didn’t think she’d be able to handle anymore of that from any other body part.

“Figgy, dear, I need just a little more from you!” The photographer called to her. Iggy fought the urge to flip her off. She had no idea what the woman wanted. Iggy felt she was being incredibly vague and most probably on purpose. There was sweat running down the back of her neck. If they stayed out in the sun for much longer, her dress would end up two shades darker. She couldn’t imagine damp taffeta was very comfortable.

“Let loose, girl!” Taylor goaded her. Iggy nearly punched him in the throat.

The photographer led them even further down the rows of grape vines so that they were being swarmed by bugs as well as being a billion degrees. Iggy was already  furious before the photographer suggested that each groomsman lift up their respective bridesmaid. She looked around at the others, expecting them to think it was as horrible an idea as she did, but no one else seemed nearly as bothered. That may have been because the rest of them were in fully committed relationships or partnered with someone who wasn’t a sweaty mess. One look at Taylor made Iggy think she would merely slip right out of his grasp.

“Uh, I’m not so sure about that,” she protested weakly. She could already tell it was an argument she wouldn’t be winning, but she still felt it was a concern that needed to be voiced.

“Oh, come on, Figgy,” the photographer returned, rolling her eyes like she was fed up with Iggy’s shit. Iggy scoffed and turned to the others for help. Jacklyn was the only one who made eye contact with her and, even then, all she did was shrug.

So Iggy let Taylor hoist her into his sweaty, overly warm arms. She was curious about the final result the photographer had had in mind. Surely it wasn’t Taylor struggling to hold her above his waist, sweat beading rapidly along his hairline as she tried very hard to stay immobile and mask her face into something not portraying the pure horror she felt. She was tempted to look around to see what everybody else looked like. Jacklyn, no doubt, looked stunning, perfectly at ease in the arms of Iggy’s boyfriend. That was the last thought Iggy had before she was unceremoniously dumped in the ground, hair caught on the branches of a grape vine, mouth full of dirt.

“Oh shit,” Taylor said from above. Iggy very seriously considered poisoning him.

Iggy marched into the reception hall furious after the photos had been finished. She immediately found Priscilla and Sybil. They were standing with their respective dates by the bar, most likely for ease of access. Both of them looked up at her, stunned. It was understandable. She looked like she’d been dragged into the underbrush of a forest by her hair.

“So how were photos?” Chris asked, probably just to be a dick.

“I love Jana, but not nearly enough for that,” Iggy said, waving down the nearest bartender with one hand while she tried to adjust her dress with the other. “God, my dress is strangling me. My ribcage is too big for this much constriction. I’m going to bust out of this thing like the Incredible Hulk in a minute.”

“Christ, that’ll be a look,” Sybil remarked.

“On the plus side, there’s no way you can seem crazier than Oscar right now,” Priscilla cut in. It was weak, but at least it was something.

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