The Upside of Unrequited Page 64

I blush. It’s just weird. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone knows. I mean, it is never-ending, this weirdness. I’ll never have a handle on this.

Reid is standing near the back steps, wearing a button-down shirt. So, now I know: Reid is ridiculously cute in a button-down shirt. He smiles at me, and I smile back, and it’s like someone put the world on pause. Just for a moment.

I think I like not having a handle on this.

It feels like six o’clock will never come, but it does—and all of a sudden, we’re lined up beneath the garland chuppah. Cassie, Abby, and me, plus Isaac, holding Xavier. Xavier, who is wearing a tiny gray suit.

He is perfect.

“Welcome, all,” greets my aunt Liz.

She isn’t technically my aunt. She’s not technically a minister either, but she got certified online. “Patty and Nadine have asked me to keep this short and sweet and relatively PG-13, which . . . we’ll see.”

Everyone laughs.

“Anyway, I’m Liz, and I was Nadine’s roommate at Maryland, roughly, I don’t know, a billion years ago.” Nadine snorts. “So, true story: freshman year, we get our class schedules, and Deenie is pissed. Because they’ve put her in Biology 101—which she’d already taken in high school, and this was fucking bullshit—”

There’s this burst of laughter from the tables, because you can totally picture Nadine saying that. I sneak a glance at Abby’s parents—Uncle Albert looks stern, and Aunt Wanda is smiling brightly with raised eyebrows. Abby glances at me sideways and grins.

“Anyway, she huffs off to class, muttering and raging under her breath. And then she comes back around lunchtime, and I ask, ‘Okay, so, are they going to let you transfer out? Are they going to accept your credits?’ And Nadine is like, ‘Ohhhhh. Yeah. I like that class now.’”

Nadine covers her face, laughing.

“And I’m like, what?” Liz continues, eyes glinting. “So, this morning, you were ready to chain yourself to the door of the dean’s office over this, and now you’re like, ‘Oh, this class is the best.’ And I’m just totally baffled by it.” Liz pauses for dramatic effect. “Until a few weeks later, Nadine introduces me to Patty Peskin. Her TA.”

There’s clapping and whooping from the tables, and Nadine and Patty are looking at each other and giggling. There’s something weird about seeing your parents so openly adoring each other. I’m not saying it’s bad. Just weird.

For the millionth time today, my eyes find Reid.

He smiles.

And I smile.

“So, do you, Nadine, take this woman, Patty, to be your wife, to have and to hold, to honor and cherish, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?”

“I do,” Nadine says. I’ve never seen her smile so widely.

“And do you, Patty, take this woman, Nadine, to be your wife, to have and to hold, to honor and cherish, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?”

Patty sniffs. “I do.”

Warm fingers thread through mine—Abby. I squeeze her hand tightly.

“Should we put a ring on it?” asks Liz.

I laugh. Everyone’s laughing. And Patty’s sobbing, which isn’t surprising, but even Nadine is crying a little. That’s kind of a big deal. I’ve only ever seen her cry once, and she was literally giving birth at the time.

“So, by the power vested in me by the state of Maryland, I now pronounce you legally and awesomely married.”

Then they break the glass, and everyone giggles and yells mazel tov, and a few people whistle.

And then. Well.

There’s a single moment in the life of parents when they get to make out in front of their kids. This is that moment. It can’t be stopped.

I wouldn’t stop it if I could.

Reid finds me straightaway and hugs me. “That was really awesome.”

“Thanks!” I lean into his chest, breathing in his deodorant. “Did you cry?”

“NEVER.” His dimple flickers. “A little.”

“Aww.” I grin up at him. He takes both my hands.

And for a minute, we just stand there like that, looking at each other.

He shakes his head. “Molly, you’re killing me.”

“What?”

He pauses. His cheeks are pink. “You just look really, really pretty.”

His voice is so soft. I feel my breath hitch. Because in all my years of watching movies, I’ve seen this look on a lot of boys’ faces. But I’ve never seen someone look that way at me.

“So do you,” I say quickly.

He laughs. “Why, thank you.”

Julian and Carter have set all the food out on a picnic table—brisket and corn bread and rolls and grilled vegetables. There’s the kosher stuff and vegan stuff and gluten-free stuff, all meticulously labeled. And there are stacks of those fake china plastic plates. It’s definitely a self-serve kind of wedding.

It’s still light out, but a few people are dancing by Xavier’s swing set. There’s a slow song playing, and I can’t quite place the artist. It’s definitely a famous British guy. Maybe Sam Smith.

“Are you hungry?” Reid tugs on my hand.

“I guess so?”

“Or do you want to find Abby?”

“That works, too.”

“You are so easy to please today.” He grins at me.

“I know!”

I just feel so achingly happy. Like the happiness is bubbling over. I could do anything right now, and it would be the exact right thing. This is invincible joy. I can’t ruin it. I can’t even put a dent in it.

We sit at the end of one of the tables, next to Abby and Nick. “Look at how cute your moms are right now,” Abby says.

They’re sitting on the back steps, holding hands and talking. Totally removed from everyone, for a moment. I see Olivia sneaking closer with her camera. They don’t even notice her pointing, focusing, and clicking like a paparazzo.

Then, she walks over to Cassie and Mina on the grass, smiling as she taps through her viewer window to show them.

Cassie’s beaming.

“For someone who thinks of herself as such a cynic,” I murmur.

“I know. Cassie’s actually the biggest mush of all of us. Pure goopy-hearted grossness.” Abby laughs. “Hey, before I forget, look who’s here.”

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