The trip there wasn't terrible at all, and went better than Eddie expected. They left right after school so they could get there by evening on that Friday. The wedding and reception were on Saturday, and they would go back to New York on Sunday. Eddie's car worked just fine, which he was a little worried about because he didn't use it that often, but it was a nice car. He told Stella to bring her iPod so they could alternate music, and hers wasn't too bad.
They stopped a few times along the way, but still the trip only wound up being a little over four hours. They got to Eddie's house by 9:45. Eddie hadn't been there for a while, but despite that, everything seemed familiar. Well, except for the obnoxious decorations and the extra hands. A valet took his car and another unfamiliar man took his and Stella's things. This was going to be ridiculous, hhe could tell already. There was no way Leslie Brooke would let her favorite niece have a simple, boring wedding. He could almost smell the extravagance in the air, or maybe that was the lilac bushes they apparently planted just for the occasion.
Lilac and white were the colors, it seemed, because those colors were everywhere. The hired hands were wearing white button downs with lilac bowties and black pants. He couldn't see his mom yet, but he knew she would probably be wearing lilac, even before the lilac bridesmaid's dress she would be wearing. He wondered if hers would be slightly different since she was the matron of honor. He would just have to wait and see.
"So, uh, yeah. This is the place." He still hadn't told Stella that this was definitely his house that his parents owned and that he lived in when he wasn't at Baum, and he still wasn't one-hundred-percent sure when a good time to bring that up was. He was just about to find some other words to string together to fill the void when another person in a lilac bowtie came up to him. "Right this way," he said, motioning for them to follow him into the threshold.
It was a lot to take in, the foyer. Usually it was large and empty, but now it was filled with decorations and people. People with drinks chatting in circles and hugging and reuniting with family members they only saw at weddings and funerals. He recognized some faces from family photo albums and previous gatherings, but some were young and new so he assumed those were Shelly's sorority sisters and other college friends. And obviously, there were many unfamiliar faces that he assumed to be her fiance's family.
But what he was focused on most was the woman in the lilac sundress fluttering about, making sure everyone was satisfied with their pre-wedding experience. "Fuck," he whispered under his breath, realizing she was coming this way. "Hey, look over here," he said to Stella, turning to avoid the situation, but it was too late. She had spotted him.
"Edgar!!! Edgar, darling!!!" she yelled, and eyes turned to him and Stella. Oh god, why did he invite Stella again? This was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, probably. The woman finally reached them and he turned back to face her with a forced smile. "Edgar, dear, I've missed you so much!" she said, and squeezed the life out of him.
"I missed you too, Mom," he managed to say, though he was pretty sure he was going to suffocate and die at any moment and kind of wished he would, but unfortunately she released him before his face turned blue.
"And this must be your girlfriend!" she said, going to give Stella a hug, too. "No, Mom, she's just a friend. This is Stella. Stella, this is my mother, Leslie." He wanted to die.
"Stella? The Stella I've heard so much about?" Oh god. "Yes, my friend Stella." She looked at him with mischief in her eyes and he was pretty sure he had already died and gone to Hell, which apparently existed. "Well I'm glad you brought her home to meet us, finally!"