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We Need to Talk

By Alexandra Swain

I do.

I do want some more cake. I do want to take a trip to the Bahamas. I do want a gin and tonic.

I’m lying, I «need» a gin and tonic.

I cannot believe Berni convinced me of this, but I’ve known her my whole life. When she called me crying this morning it took me less than three seconds to look for my keys and shovel. If Gonza had hurt her, that would have been his final act.

But it was nothing that drastic. She just needed to talk. So I found my makeup and my dress, making sure I had everything to anticipate any possible scenario I could imagine before closing the door. At the last second I ran back for that hidden bottle of vodka stashed in my socks drawer. Still not sure why I store it there, it’s not like I have to hide it from my parents or anything, but some habits are just hard to abandon.

Now, standing in front of the mirror I see what a big mistake this was. A monumental one, not one of those funny mishaps that you’ll laugh about later. I’m not sure anyone will be laughing once we come clean, maybe Berni will, I just don’t see myself joining in the fun.

In the meantime, I’m blaming the vodka. If it wasn’t for those shots I would not be standing in the cold light of the bathroom in nothing but a white corset, stockings, and a hollering headache that starts behind my right eye and stabs my whole brain until it reaches my left ear. I’m starting to believe I deserve it, though.

I look stunning. Glowing. And my breasts look like they are being served on a flowered platter. These months of CrossFit have toned my arms, and if you ignore the nauseated look I’m currently sporting I could easily be posing for a bridal magazine.

“Honey, don’t be shy, I’ve seen you naked before,” Gonza calls from the other side of the door. His deep laugh is inviting, and I’m tempted to comply. Throw every caution to the wind and enjoy the moment. But between the headache and the vodka trying to make its way back up, I’d rather not.

I can picture Gonza in the room, pacing with a look of innocent eagerness in his face, with just a touch of nervousness. Oh buddy, you have no idea what's coming…

Like always, this morning I flew to Berni’s rescue. We sat cross legged facing each other in her hotel room, our knees touching just like when we were kids. Back then, no secrets stood between us, but now it felt different, they floated in the air in a confusing haze. Her hands were like autumn leaves on decrepit trees, almost spilling the whole contents of her glass. Gently, I take her hands between mine, soothing her nerves by just holding her.

“Trini, I cannot get married.”

“Excuse me, what?”

“Everything went down way too fast, I just need some time to think!”

“Why didn’t you tell Gonza this before? Preferably with more than four hours before the ceremony.”

“Oh… He is just so excited, and so was I. It’s not that I don’t want to marry him, or be with him forever, because I do. You know how gorgeous our babies will be.”

“What do you want then? They are already decorating downstairs and I’m guessing that the food is ready by now…”

The smile she gave me at that moment is the only thing we don’t share. She’s always been confident and stunning. Me, a little less. But seeing her like that gave me that extra confidence that I was missing, and in that moment, sitting like we did when we were kids, I couldn’t help but fall into her charm. If she could smile like the world owed her in the moment she felt so insecure, I could help her, however she needed me to do so.

That’s how I ended up dressed all in dashing white in front of two hundred of their closest friends and family. Though, I’m not sure how close they are if they couldn’t figure out it was me there and not Berni. But the vodka was still coursing through my veins, emboldening me to stand there with Berni’s cocky smile upon my face.

“I need you to repeat that, the vodka makes it hard to hear.”

“You pretend to marry Gonza, after the party you tell him we switched and that I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.”

“Ok… And this works in your head? You know we’re not in a Disney movie, right?”

“You have to have a little faith Trini, just trust me.”

And just like every time before, I did. I believed in my sister, and all this craziness worked. Our parents didn’t notice between the crying and sobbing, and Gonza wasn’t doing much better. Then, during the reception, everyone was so drunk that is was impossible to begin thinking about the fact that Berni and I pulled a «Parent Trap» on them.

What if I Lindsey Lohan this shit? Drink everything in sight then grab the first plane to the Arab Emirates to party my life away. I deserve it after this «tiny favour». I have this year’s Favourite Sister award in the bag.

I grab my uni sweatshirt that I brought into the bathroom with me before stepping out.“Gonza,” I tell him, looking into his eyes for the first time today as I escape the cold bathroom floor into the luxury of the carpeted room, “we need to talk.”

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