“You won’t forget the flowers, right? Keryll? You hearing me?”
“Sure . . . flowers. Gotcha.”
“And the cake . . .”
“Cake . . . ”
I looked up from the book I was pretending to read. “I hear you, Krystan. Get the flowers! Pick up the cake. Go get ready, already!”
“Get those flowers, Keryll Lynn!” And she flounced out of the room.
“As you wish, Queen Krystan! Why can’t they be delivered?”
“Delivery is extra!” came from the hallway. Momma.
I tossed the book aside and fished the drawing I’d been putting the finishing touches on just before Krystan’d barged in, out from under my desk. Barely’d had time to stow it under there, but I’d heard her hollering to Momma, so I had a bit of a warning.
It was a portrait of her and her fiancé, Matt. I’d been working on it for ages. My technique had improved, and I was pretty proud of it. The two of them under the blossoms of Grampa’s cherry trees last year, gazing deep into each other’s eyes, just before Matt had dropped to one knee to propose. Maybe those blossoms weren’t on the grand scale of those trees in Japan, but still, they were beautiful, and they’d made his plea all the more special that day.
I planned to display it on the table with the wedding cake tomorrow. Until then, I didn’t want her to know anything about it.
You wouldn’t know we were twins. I was tall, dark, and “cute”. Krystan was small, fair, and gorgeous. I was relaxed and creative. She was feisty with no spark of creativity in her. Except for gardening. Which I hated. Picking up flowers at Flo’s Flowers and Balloons was as close to gardening as I wanted to get!
Glancing at the time, I put the drawing back under my desk and headed for the shower. Pulled on jeans and a T-shirt that said “Who cares? What’s the difference? Why bother?”, and went off to Flo’s for those well demanded flowers.
Found a note on the door that informed, “Went for food. Back in ten.” I waited. For twenty-six minutes.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Keryll!” Flo apologized sincerely when she came back to find me waiting for her, sitting in the Adirondack chair under her awning. “I couldn’t get a sub at Gil’s, they were out of rolls, so I went to Liberty Deli and they were swamped with people.”
“They usually are,” I observed, getting up to follow her in.
“True. Now,” she said, putting her container of food on the counter, “What can I do for you—oh, you’d be here for your sister’s flowers, right?”
“You got the truck?”
“No, my CRV.”
“Oh.” She glanced out the big front windows to size it up. “Well, you might have to make two trips . . . maybe three.”
I laid the seats flat, and we packed the back of my CRV as full as it could hold with the smaller bouquets. But Flo decided that I should get Dad’s truck for the next run as those flower arrangements were taller.
Just like me and Krystan. She fit anywhere. Me, not so much.
Jumping into the driver’s seat, I eased into the street. Dawned on me then, that I hadn’t a clue where I was supposed to go with these flowers. Okay, I should’ve known. But I’m afraid I wasn’t paying a lot of attention when these details were being discussed. I knew the wedding was being held at some country club. Littleton Country Club? Littleton-by-the-Sea Country Club? Littleton and Hughes Country Club? One of them Littletons. Or was it Redfield’s? Maybe.
So, I tried calling Krystan, but she didn’t answer her cell phone. Momma answered hers, but the call dropped before I could even say hello. Tried Krystan again. Nothing. No point in calling Daddy. He never remembered his phone anyway. I tried Matt. I tried his mother . . .
Guess they were all too busy getting things ready for The Special Day.
And you’d’ve thought that since we were sisters and twins, I’d’ve been a part of the wedding party. Maid of Honor or, at least, one of the bridesmaids. Nope. She gave those honors to her favorite cousins and best friend. So, that should tell you how close a relationship we actually had.
I cruised past each club to see what was going on there. I should by that, maybe figure out where I was supposed to be. Nothing out of the ordinary at Redfield’s. There was something happening at Littleton-by-the-Sea, but didn’t seem to be a wedding, so I went on to Littleton and Hughes. Now, there, there was a bustle of activity going on, and I thought I recognized some of the vehicles. So, I toodled up to the front of the building.
A harassed looking guy in a suit holding a clipboard came over, and seeing all the flowers in my backend, looked rather puzzled, but hollered for someone to come unload them. Several people answered his call, and as he started to move away, I asked where I should park.
He looked surprised I asked. “Why would you want to park?”
“I’m sister of the bride,” I answered as if he should know that.
He again looked puzzled, asked my name, then ran his pen down the list. “Kirsten, Kerrill, Kerryn . . . Kacey . . .” Someone hollered to him and he hurried off in answer to the call. “Park wherever, Kerrill!” he hollered to me.
I found a space way off to the left of the building, and hurried back to help with the flowers. Really, I hadn’t known Krystan had hired a wedding planner. She’d been so adamant to do it herself along with her best friend and favorite cousins. But, maybe she’d decided one would be handy.
There was a bustle of activity going on. People scurrying here and there, setting up tables in the banquet room, or hurrying outside to the courtyard where the wedding would take place. I didn’t recognize anyone right off, but before I could think more of it, I remembered I had more flowers to bring here. Off I trotted to do that.
I buzzed home to get Daddy’s truck. Flo was right, I needed to take two more trips. We’d gotten all the flowers in the truck bed for the last trip when Flo said, “These are going to look so beautiful in the courtyard at Whitmore! They have such a glorious view of the ocean there!”
No! Whitmore? Really? Whitmore?
Flo looked at me funny since I’d uttered that aloud. “Yes, Whitmore. Where did you think it was?” Then, “Keryll . . . where did you deliver those flowers?”
“Oh, my God, Keryll. Do you want me to call her—”
“No! No . . . I’ll . . . just deliver these and go get the others. No sense in getting her worked up over nothing.”
Okay . . . good luck!”
Yeah, I’d need that.
By the time I got to Whitmore, the rehearsal was . . . over. People were standing around talking about how well it went. Someone mentioned the lack of flowers, and that’s when Krystan spotted me.
She hotfooted it over to me, demanding, “Where have you been? Just one simple thing I ask you to do! What? Did you get lost?”
“When did you change your mind about where you were having this party?”
She stared at me in disbelief. “You were going to deliver my flowers to the wrong place?
“Thanks for telling me you’d changed your mind—again! Here’re your flowers. Where do you want ‘em?” I know where I’d like to put ‘em . . .
Matt and his groomsmen graciously offered to help me empty the truck and place these ones at the end of each row. As it was getting dark, the area lit up with the outside lights, and it looked wonderful with just those few vases to decorate it. It’d be positively breathtaking once all of the roses were in place.
Now I had to trek back to Littleton and Hughes to retrieve all those other roses.
Well, of course, there was no one there for me to talk to about getting back those roses as the club was about to close. “We open at 7:30 AM,” said the bartender, exiting the building. “Someone should be around to help you then.”
Great. I thanked him and went back to the truck. Pretty soon the lot was empty. Except for me. I wanted to spend the night right there until they opened again.
But then, I started to think. This was an outside event as well. I wonder . . .
I drove the truck close to the side they’d been setting things up at. Ran around the building.
The tall vases of roses were placed pretty much as Krystan wanted hers placed. The smaller vases of roses I assumed were inside. Well. Nothing I could do about those right now.
In the moonlight, the dozens of vases that had to be hiked all the way back to the truck seemed impossibly endless. I’d just placed the last vase in the truck cab, when I noticed a car in the parking lot. The light was on in it, and someone was chatting on their cell phone. I dismissed it at first—but then considered the possibility they thought they were witnessing a thievery going on . . .
Yeah, time to get the hey out of here!
I sped down the road heading for Whitmore Golf and Country Club, In my rear mirror, I glimpsed flashing lights come on up by Littleton and Hughes. Nice.
What to do? What to do?
If I could make it to Whitmore, I could swing in by the cart garages and maybe avoid capture.
Impulsively, I left the main road and turned right onto Glenn Street. Took an immediate left onto First Street. I hoped to be turning left again before the cops figured out where I’d gone. Almost worked. As I made the turn onto Harold Ave., they started to go past First, paused, backed up and barreled down after me.
So, I had nowhere to hide now, so I went back out to the main road, going back the way I’d come. Turned again onto Glenn Street. And back down First. There they were, still at the bottom of Harold Ave. Probably wondering which way they oughta go. Backing up, I turned around and took the first side street that came up. Found my way back to the main road after driving a maze of side streets to get there, and proceeded on my way.
There ahead of me, buzzed the cop car. I moseyed along well behind them. Whitmore Drive came up on my left, and I thankfully turned onto it. A half mile down the road was the club. I freaking made it!
Took longer to place those darling pink roses in the dark, than it had to retrieve them, but finally, it was done.
Just as I was preparing to turn into our driveway, red and blue lights flashed, and a siren sounded a quick alarm. Scared me half to death! They pulled me over in front of the house. One officer checked the back of the truck while the other came to confront me. I gave him my license and the registration. He glanced them over, checked inside with his flashlight.
“Nothing in the back,” reported the backend officer.
“We have a report of a truck answering this description and license plate number being loaded with flowers from the grounds at Littleton and Hughes Country Club. Where are they?”
“Well, actually, I delivered those flowers by accident to the wrong place and . . .”
“Keryll? Keryll Lynn! Where have you been? Did you get my flowers delivered and set up?” Krystan flew out the door and across the yard, disregarding the policemen standing right there by the truck. “I swear, I’ll never speak to you again if you didn’t!”
“They’re delivered.” Mostly. “I set them up! Why are you still up?”
“Look,” frontend cop broke in, “I think we need to settle this downtown . . .”
“You get them alI set up?”
“No, but they will be.” That is, if I wasn’t in jail for stealing back the others.
“All right, that’s enough. Get out of the truck.” Both cops stepped back to let me out.
Backend cop had the cuffs ready, and as he clamped them on, Krystan stormed, “You better be back in time to pick ‘em up! And my cake!”
Seriously? They’re hauling me downtown, and you’re still looking for me to pick up flowers and cake! Y’ know, a couple days in jail might be restful . . .!
They showed me to some holding room while another officer made a call to the club manager to find out whose flowers I’d stolen. The manager couldn’t give any information right that moment, but he congratulated them for nabbing me. I sat in limbo for hours. After a fashion, I dozed off.
A bit of a commotion in the outer room woke me. Someone came to get me. The sisters of the bride of the other wedding party were out there, wondering why they’d been called in to talk about flowers.
“Well, we got a call saying flowers from your venue were being stolen last night.”
“Oh, well . . . actually, we were wondering why they were being delivered, because they were the wrong flowers and ours were delivered this morning . . . so . . . I guess she was just coming to get her flowers back?”
“So . . . the flowers weren’t yours?”
“No. Those flowers were from Flo’s Flowers and Balloons. Ours are from Passionate Petals by Patrice! All red roses. The others were pink.” Sister of the Bride turned to me. “I’m so sorry you had to go through this! I hope it doesn’t ruin your day! Well, not the rest of it, anyway!”
“Thanks! I appreciate you coming to get this straightened out. Kind of a bummer getting yanked in for thieving back my sister’s flowers.”
“You weren’t thieving. I’ll see that the others are where you can easily pick them up.” She stepped forward, extending a hand. “I’m Kirsten. My sister, the bride, is Kerrill. We’re twins!”
Which accounted for Wedding Planner’s befuddlement. Her sister already being there..
“Well, I’m Keryll and my sister is Krystan. And we’re twins.”
“That’s amazing! We have almost the same names! These are my other sisters, Kacey and Kerryn.”
Kacey asked, “Are you and your sister as inseparable as Kirsten and Kerrill are? It’s crazy!”
“That’s awesome!” I returned with feigned enthusiasm. What would that be like? “Well, if I’m free to go, I should get going!”
I was free to go, so I quickly went.
Mercifully no one was home. Probably already at the club. After all, the wedding was supposed to start at eleven. 9:15. I can do this!
I showered, changed, grabbed my dress, and bolted out the door.
Halfway to Littleton and Hughes, I remembered my drawing. Pulled a U-ey and buzzed back to get it. Stowed it in the back seat.
True to her word, Kirsten had the flowers waiting on folding tables in front of the club. I whisked them away as fast as I could. But not fast enough that I couldn’t catch glimpses of Kirsten and Kerrill together. They were identical. And it was plain they cared for each other deeply. I watched for a moment longer. Then, slamming the trunk door shut, I hopped into the CRV and drove off.
In view of the time, I decided to go get the cake instead of making two trips.
“Cutting it close, aren’t you?” Irene, the cake maker, teased. “I’ve gotten three calls from your sister wondering if you’d been here yet!”
I rolled my eyes. She laughed and called for her husband to load the cake into the car for me. Since I’d draped my dress across the front seat, he parked it in the back seat. “Drive careful, now!” he said as he slammed the door shut. I waved and drove off.
Why is it every gramma and grampa in the state is on the road when you’re in a hurry? Took another route, and why, don’t y’ know, there was roadwork going on. Augh!
10:40. I was definitely going to be late. But maybe not terribly late, if this line would start moving. I contemplated turning around and going back the way I came. But—they let cars coming from the opposite side come through, and someone came up behind me so close I thought he maybe wanted to ride with me.
Finally, our side started moving. Just as I was next to go through, the flag guy stopped me. I jammed on the brakes in frustration. The cake slid off the back seat. The box broke open on one corner, dabbling frosting on my drawing.
By the time I got there. the ceremony was about over. I arranged the table flowers while Krystan and Matt received congratulations and got their pictures taken. Some other photos I wouldn’t be in . . .
Bringing the cake in, I inspected the damage. Not too, too bad. The cake was a trifle lopsided, but again, not too, too bad. However, Krystan’s face and part of Matt’s face in the drawing were smeared in white frosting.
How to clean them up presentably and quickly?
“Keryll Lynn! It’s about time you showed up! Good thing you weren’t my Maid of Honor! My goodness but you can’t be trusted to . . .”
I pondered no further. Parked that ruined drawing prominently upon the table.
Frosted faces and all!