The Wrath of Bridezilla

Submitted into Contest #191 in response to: Start your story with your character(s) going to buy some flowers.... view prompt

7 comments

Drama Funny

"I need Peonies," my mom said, burying her hands in her face. "This is a flower shop. Why don't you have the flowers I need?"

The elderly florist wiped some sweat from her brow. My mom had that effect on people. Her third wedding was the following Saturday, and everything had to be perfect.

"I'm so sorry miss, we just don't have any peonies right now. If you come back on Sunday, the new inventory will-"

"Come back on Sunday?" My mom laughs hysterically for a minute. "My wedding is this Saturday. But by all means, I'll come in the day after my wedding, to buy my wedding flowers." My sister, Mila, put an arm on my mom's shoulder.

"Calm down, bridezilla, we can buy your flowers somewhere else." Mom aggressively turned to Mila.

"Can't you see I'm talking to this kind florist? I don't need you to interrupt. I didn't even want you to come." She didn't want us to come. Mila and I insisted so we could avoid our mother unleashing her wrath on innocent florists, but what can I say, my mother was a force of nature.

"Ma. She is not the only florist in town. The shop down the road has peonies," I said in what I thought was a reassuring tone, but my mom took it differently. She brushed her curly red hair behind her face.

"Calvin Ortega-Mancini. You have been nothing but a nightmare since Shawn and I got engaged. Just because our family situation is a little strange, doesn't mean you get to ruin my wedding."

A little strange? Our family situation was strange to the degree of a telenovela. For some background, Mila is only ten months older than me, so we are in the same year of school.  And no, we aren't Irish twins. Not when we have two different dads.

Mom was married to Pablo, and then she had her first child, Mila. Pretty normal, right? When Mila was a month old, my Mom got pregnant with me, except Pablo wasn’t my father.

My father, Ramon Ortega, met my mom on her service trip to Puerto Rico. So I'm born, Pablo finds out I wasn’t his, and their whole marriage fell apart.

After four years of being a single mom, she got remarried to Logan, and they had another daughter, named Kaylee.

Their marriage was normal enough. Logan had been the main father figure for me and Mila, as our birth fathers would only visit once a year, Logan would always be there for us. 

But then mom screwed that up and she and Logan divorced two years ago. Now my mother was preparing to marry Shawn. A world-renowned idiot. Mila and I have had several discussions regarding Shawn’s low IQ, and how his lack of intelligence explains his irrational love for our mother. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom. But she is kind of a menace. Isabella Mancini is the kind of person who is constantly looking for more if that makes any sense. Nothing is ever enough for her. Pablo wasn’t enough, my dad was barely an afterthought, and Logan wasn’t enough for her either. Even after the divorce, Kaylee, Mila, and I wasn’t enough for her to be happy.

“I’m sorry, Ma,” I said apologetically, “I know how stressed you are right now. How about you and Kay go to the salon and get your nails done or something. Mila and I will get the flowers.” She let out a sigh and started twirling her hair.

“I love ya, Cal. But you don’t know a thing about peonies. Along with some of the others present in this room,” she glared at the poor florist. Mila stepped forward. 

“I know tons bout’ flowers, Ma. This seems simple enough, go check something else off of that hefty list of yours.” I could tell Ma didn’t really believe Mila about the flowers, as my sister was the opposite of a girl who would know about flowers. 

Ma nodded and hugged Mila, then left the store after mumbling expletives at the florist. The second that our mother was out the door, Mila burst into an apology for the florist. 

“She is not normally this terrifying,” Mila promised the old woman. We walked six blocks to the nearest flower shop, but the second we walked inside I wanted to leave. The cashier was a girl, sixteen probably, so my age. She had long brown hair, hazel eyes, and freckles. In short, she was very pretty. And I happened to have a fear of pretty girls. 

She smiled at me, and said, “Hi, how can I help you?” I gulped. 

“We come in pursuit of peonies.” Real smooth Cal. I couldn’t have phrased that any differently? Mila punched me in the shoulder. 

“Sorry bout’ my brother,” she apologizes, before she added, “he’s not normally this strange.” The girl ignored Mila and smiled at me again. 

“Looking for peonies?” She repeated back to me. I nodded quickly. “We have plenty of those. You buying for your girlfriend?”

Mila snorted and then murmured, “Cal? A girlfriend?”

“No. Our mother is getting married on Saturday, so our mission is to provide flowers of her liking for the ceremony.” 

The girl laughed and brushed her silky hair behind her back. “You’re real funny. So you're looking for a lot of peonies, then?” I nodded. She opened a reference book, and I walked over to the register and inspected the peonies they had. 

“Do any of these fit your pursuit?” She said, jokingly. I chuckled.

“I have no idea. Mission headquarters is very picky when it comes to peonies.” I said, only half-jokingly.

“Your Mom?” I nodded. “Makes sense, I mean, who doesn’t want their wedding to be perfect?”

“Well, the third time is the charm, right?” I said as the girl stared at me.

“This is her third wedding? She must be quite the catch.” I snorted. 

“She’s a monster!” Mila blurted out from behind us. She was so quiet, I had almost forgotten she was there. The girl laughs dryly. 

“My name is June.” She slid a piece of paper to me. “And this is my number. This way if mission headquarters has a problem with the peonies you choose, you can call for backup. Or you know, you can just call me.” 

I smiled. The bell at the entrance to the shop rang, and my mother, whose white dress was now covered in coffee, stomped inside. 

“Ma, what are you doing here, I thought you were going out with Kay…?” Ma ignored Mila and strut over to me and June. 

“A man spilled his coffee on me a few minutes ago, and I had the epiphany that nobody,” she shot a glare at June, “can do anything right. So here I am, making sure that my own children aren’t screwing me over!” Ma shoved me aside from the counter and stared deep into June’s soul. 

“Show me your recommendations for peonies. Now.” June started frantically flipping through the photobook. 

“Depending on whether your wedding is a cool tone or warm tone pallet, I’d recommend either the Moutan peony or the Chinese peony. If you and your fiance are having a white wedding, then the hybrid peony could be-”

“Nothing ever works out for me, huh? Why me? Why do I always have to suffer? I just wanted my wedding day to be perfect, but the only florist available is this child, who is trying to con me into buying her ugly flowers!” She yelled. June looked shocked. 

“Ma, give her a chance to at least finish telling you about them!” I said, defending June. 

“I don’t want to hear about ugly flowers I won’t be buying. All she did was waste my time. Is there an adult present who can actually help me?”

June shook her head. 

“Ma, please calm down,” Mila said, putting her hand on Ma’s shoulder. 

“This is a waste of my time, a waste of all of our time. We are leaving. Immediately.” 

“The person wasting time right now is you! You could be at the salon, getting your wedding nails done, but instead, you thought it was important to come and scream at the high schooler!” I yelled, but mom ignored me and left the shop. 

“I’m so so sorry, June. We didn’t mean for any of this.” Mila turned to follow our mom out. I cupped my face in my hands. 

“I really am sorry. She is literally the definition of a bridezilla.” I looked down at the counter, but June had already slid her number back. I gave her an apologetic gaze. 

“I’m sorry too, but I don’t date boys with mothers who are borderline psychotic.”

March 27, 2023 15:43

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7 comments

17:02 Apr 02, 2023

I think this story is pretty funny! As someone who grew up with a nightmare parent, it is very relatable!

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20:12 Apr 03, 2023

This is really cute. You captured the bridezilla energy well.

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Kaylee Bronz
17:03 Apr 02, 2023

I enjoyed this story, although it does stray a little far from the theme for this week, I think it was very funny!

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Alexis Araneta
13:18 Feb 14, 2024

Super fun read. I love the vivid descriptions you put in!

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John Siddham
18:16 May 08, 2023

Amusing story, moves pretty fast with a frantic mum and embarrassed kids. Well done!

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Roger Skrypczak
10:41 Apr 06, 2023

If the goal was for the reader to hate Mom and feel sorry for the kids, mission accomplished. Lark, I get the feeling that you worked in retail at some point and had to deal with more than one phycotic. With a mom like that, its understandable that Cal would fear girls. The underlying tragedy is that Cal, because of his mother's rejection of him and then the mother causing him to be rejected by a potential girl friend, would become a real misogynist. Well done.

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Mara Masolini
07:45 Apr 06, 2023

your story is very funny with the insatiable Mom about peones and...husbands

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