The Upside of Unrequited Page 63

“Pillow fight!” Abby yells, making her voice super high. “This is the fantasy, right? Should I tell Nick this is happening?”

Cassie nods. “Tell him we’re pouring honey on our boobs.”

Abby laughs, pulling out her phone.

“Wait, seriously? Are you texting him that?” Cassie clambers toward Abby, who smoothly twists away from her. “Wait, let me see.”

“Nope.” Abby grins. “This is confidential.”

“My ass is confidential.”

“Let’s hope so.”

And it’s funny, watching them bicker. It’s like falling backward through time. I feel perfectly content. I don’t even want to talk. I just like being here.

I text Reid. I think you’re going to have to dance with me tomorrow.

Three dots.

Ohhhh no. I don’t dance.


You have NO IDEA how clumsy I am, Molly.

I laugh. I have some idea . . .

My dance moves have actually killed people.

“Look at this one giggling into her phone,” Abby says.

I look up, smiling guiltily—and I catch a sudden glimpse of myself in the mirror across the room.

It’s the weirdest thing. My hair is unbrushed. I’m wearing what may actually be one of Nadine’s maternity shirts. And pajama pants. And there’s a spot of toothpaste in the corner of my mouth.

But for the first time in maybe ever, I feel really beautiful.



I’M TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP. I keep thinking about the wedding and Reid and the centerpieces and my outfit.

I’m in love with my dress. The design is so simple: soft and blue green, with short sleeves, and a layer of tulle under the skirt. That’s it. But it fits me in exactly the right way. It doesn’t make me look skinny. I think it makes me look fat on purpose.

I keep touching the fabric. I can’t wait to get dressed.

There’s something in the air. I feel this buzz of anticipation. Outside my window, I see my moms lining two long tables with chairs. There’s definitely no tent. Maybe Nadine talked Patty out of it. But it’s sunny and warm. I almost sigh with relief.

My whole morning is devoted to decorations. I think I’ve finally nailed it: vintage Coke crates for height, painted mason jars at different levels, and flowers—mostly baby’s breath, but some hydrangeas. I’ll stagger Olivia’s painted animal figurines all around, plus family photos, framed in painted wood. Then I’ll drape the fabric garland over the ceremony space, kind of like a scraggly chuppah, and Isaac says he’ll help me hang twinkle lights from the trees.

And I actually think I might cut up my bead string. Because I’m suddenly obsessed with the idea of magazine bead napkin holders.

Seriously, I could do this for a living. Maybe one day I will.

Though these stone-cold bridezillas can be a little challenging. I’m fielding texts from both my moms every few minutes.

Sweetie, can you remind Isaac to tip the rentals guys?

Momo, I need you to find the laptop charger


The caterers just arrived. Maybe you could get them set up in the kitchen? Thanks!!!

I mean, I’m still in pajama pants, but I guess that’s almost like pants. I run down the stairs and almost bump directly into one of the caterers. “Oh God. I’m sorry.” I look up. And my whole face goes warm. “Julian?”

“Oh, no way! You’re Elena’s friend. Molly, right?”

My eleventh crush. Julian Portillo of the Experimental Breakfasts. And now he’s a caterer. Go figure.

“So your moms are getting hitched,” he says.

“Yup.” This is surreal. “Wow. How are you? How’s Elena?”

“Aww, she’s good. I’m good. I’m at Georgetown. Just finished my sophomore year, and I’m catering this summer. I love it.”

“That’s so great.”

He smiles, and hey: there are those dimples. Maybe I have a thing for dimples.

“Oh, and I should introduce you. This is Carter Addison,” Julian says, touching my arm lightly.

As if on cue, this lanky, curly-haired white guy sets down a covered tinfoil pan and ambles over. “Hey,” he says, smiling. And he’s sort of cute, too. He has this big, open smile. “I’m the sous chef,” he says.

“And the boyfriend.” Julian grins. “Carter, this is Molly. She’s the daughter of the brides.”

Boyfriend. I did not see that coming.

“Really nice to meet you,” I say.

“You too. And mazel tov!”

I walk them through our kitchen and show them the appliances and my cupcakes and everything I can think of. “I don’t know if this is helpful.”

“It definitely is,” Julian says. “This is great.”

“Good.” I nod. And for a minute, we all sort of stand there, smiling awkwardly. I’ve never really been good at forming words in the vicinity of Julian Portillo.

“So, I don’t want to rush you or anything,” Julian says, finally, “but maybe you should get dressed? Don’t get me wrong, I dig the plaid pants . . .”

“Oh, crap,” I say.

“Oh, she’s blushing!” He hugs me. Julian Portillo hugs me. “Man, you’re the cutest.” I catch him winking at Carter. “You know, if I’d ever liked girls, you’d have been the one, Molly.”

I don’t think there are words to explain how I feel.

Okay, you know the emoji that’s laughing and crying all at once?

It’s that. I am that.

I get dressed quickly and run back downstairs, just as Mina and Olivia are arriving. They’re pretty early—I actually think they carpooled. Olivia hugs me as soon as she sees me. “Congratulations!”

Cassie wanders over to meet us. “So, I just had the best conversation with Grandma.”


She grimaces, and I laugh.

“Grandma has just informed me that when a bisexual woman marries another woman, she becomes a lesbian.”

“Oh no,” Olivia says.

“And I’m like . . . Grandma, just no. No. Infinite side-eye.”

Mina laughs. “She’s very well-intentioned, though.”

“And she’s not even drunk yet,” says Cassie. Her eyes drift sideways, and she nudges me, grinning. “Hey. Your boyfriend’s here.”

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