6: “Sculpted by God, a perfect part of her bod”

Iggy was invited to brunch with all her high school friends. It had been organized by Danielle and so Iggy didn’t really have a choice about attending or not; Danielle was aggressive and persistent. Plus she said she had some very important news to share with them all.

“She’s pregnant,” Iggy tried to guess on the way to the restaurant, sitting on a street car with Priscilla and Helen.

“Oh God, could you imagine?” Helen returned, pulling a disgusted face. “I don’t think the world needs a tiny Danielle and Jake mash-up.”

“That’s likely where their relationship is heading,” Priscilla pointed out and Helen looked even more disgusted than before. “They’re probably buying a house or getting married or something else equally as adult.”

She also looked repulsed by this. Iggy thought about it for a moment.

“Do you guys feel like we’re not doing nearly as well at adulthood as they are?” She asked, voicing concerns she’d had for quite some time.

“Both Melly and Jana married their high school boyfriends and Danielle is very likely about to do the same,” Priscilla began shrewdly. “I want you to think about your high school boyfriend for a minute.”

“Oh man, Jesse,” Helen said, looking both nostalgic and delighted. “The singer-songwriter with the soul patch. Remember when Iggy and Jesse first got together and he wrote that song for her? What was it about again?”

“Her ass,” Priscilla answered. The two of them were now having a conversation about Iggy directly in front of Iggy.

“Oh yes,” Helen nodded before she began to sing softly. “‘Sculpted by God, a perfect part of her bod. One her finest assets, pun intended’.”

It had been a really stupid song.

“You’ve made a very good point,” Iggy told Priscilla.

“I have, haven’t I?” Priscilla agreed.

When they arrived at brunch, Danielle, Melly, and Jana were already seated at a large table. Jana and Melly, both six months pregnant, looked quite different. Melly had been fairly large near the end of her pregnancy with Madison. She was a petite woman and rather short-waisted so there wasn’t much space for the baby to be. It was even more pronounced this time around. Melly looked like Jessica Simpson when she was pregnant with her second child. And she looked angry about it. Iggy was certain that was at least partially down to the fact that Jana, pregnant with her first child and significantly taller than Melly, barely looked pregnant at all.

“This should be a nice time,” Helen remarked quietly and sarcastically at the sight of Melly’s glower.

“Brace yourself, ladies,” Priscilla nodded once before leading the way over to the table. There was a big fuss over Jana and Melly and their unborn children, which Jana embraced and Melly appeared to hate beyond all point of reason. Danielle didn’t seem particularly pleased with the attention being focussed elsewhere, but she couldn’t share her big news until Jacklyn joined them. She came in late, looking extremely put-together, but just a little bit out of breath.

“Sorry, sorry!” She apologized to the table, taking the empty seat next to Helen. “I missed the bus and I had to sprint to the next closest stop.”

Danielle glared at her once more for good measure, but then graciously accepted her apology.

“As you guys know, Jake and I have been together for nine years now,” Danielle began once everyone was settled and listening.

“Baby,” Iggy whispered to Priscilla and Helen.

“Engagement,” Helen whispered back.

“We should’ve taken bets,” Priscilla hissed to both of them.

“And we’ve finally gotten engaged!” Danielle exclaimed. Jana immediately gasped and then cheered. Melly demanded to see the ring. Jacklyn asked for the proposal story, though Iggy suspected she did that mostly because she thought she should and not because she actually cared how Jake had proposed.

“Ten to one, the proposal involved some sort of football metaphor,” Iggy said in a hushed voice to Helen and Priscilla.

“No way am I taking that bet,” Helen scoffed in return. “At least fifty per cent of Jake’s vocabulary is made up of sports vernacular.”

As it turned out, Danielle and Jake already had a lot of the details worked out, though Iggy suspected Danielle was mostly the one who had the details worked out. After she told them about the proposal, which did in fact involve a football metaphor (“we can go the whole nine yards!”), Danielle told them all that she and Jake would be getting married at the Bergdorf, a ritzy hotel and spa just far enough outside of the city that they would all have to book rooms for the night and just secluded enough in the countryside that the only rooms they’d be able to book would be incredibly expensive ones at the Bergdorf itself. Iggy could already feel herself growing poorer as she listened to the grandiose, exorbitant plans Danielle had for her wedding and the pre-wedding season leading up to the wedding itself. Danielle wanted to get married as soon as possible, which meant that they would be getting married at the end of August, just a short four months away.

“It’s perfect because both of you will have already had your babies and be thin enough to fit into the bridesmaid dresses,” Danielle told Jana and Melly. Iggy assumed they were meant to feel grateful about that. Iggy had no doubt that Melly would be able to bounce back to her usual petite frame if her first pregnancy was anything to go by.

“And you guys will already be skinny,” Danielle told Helen, Priscilla, Jacklyn, and Iggy dismissively. “Unless any of you get pregnant from now until then. Which, like, don’t.”

Iggy had no plans to get pregnant in the following six months and she didn’t need Danielle to give her that instruction. She was, however, incredibly thrown by the cavalier attitude in which Danielle had informed her she would be a bridesmaid for Danielle’s wedding. It was jarring for numerous reasons, not least of all because Iggy had been under the personal impression that the two of them weren’t very close friends. She would never have asked Danielle to be one of her bridesmaids. She wouldn’t even have given Danielle a very good seat at the reception. She would be at a table in the back with the weirdo work colleagues Iggy assumed Miles would want to invite.

“Uh, yeah, I’ll try to restrain myself,” Priscilla said after a moment, looking just about as startled as Iggy felt.

“Good,” Danielle replied, stabbing a rogue hash brown with vigor.

Sitting on the street car on the way home from brunch, there was a bit of a different vibe amongst Priscilla, Helen, and Iggy. No one said anything for quite some time until, finally, Priscilla cleared her throat.

“I wasn’t expecting to be asked to be a bridesmaid,” she admitted.

“All of us plus her insane sisters Kate and Laura is going to make an immense bridal party,” Helen remarked. “I didn’t realize Jake had so many friends.”

“To be fair, I think Jake has more friends than she does,” Priscilla pointed out. “I don’t think any of the groomsmen will be startled to have been asked.”

It was a fairly good point. As Iggy pondered it, something came to mind.

“If I’m partnered with Taylor again, I’m going to really lose my shit,” she said, feeling enraged by the sheer thought of it.

“Taylor may not survive this wedding,” Priscilla said after a minute.

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