The perfect match, p.7
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       The Perfect Match, p.7

         Part #2 of Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins
 
Page 7

  Author: Kristan Higgins

 

  To: [email protected] /* */

  From: [email protected] /* */

  Subject: Hey

  Hi, Honor. Don’t know if you got my call the other day.

 

 

  Oh, she had. She’d just opted not to return it.

 

 

  You might be avoiding me.

 

 

  Why, the man was a genius!

 

 

  So here’s the thing. I’m so, so sorry, Honor. I really never meant for you to feel bad in any way, honest to God. When we talked a couple of months ago about getting married, I was sure you were cool with that. And then this thing with Dana. . . We both weren’t sure how to tell you about it, exactly, but we figured once you heard, you’d be happy about it.

 

 

  She heard an unpleasant sound. Ah. Her teeth, grinding. Brogan. Was. Sostupid.

 

 

  And obviously, that was really stupid.

 

 

  Her jaw unlocked. Whatever else, Brogan always did have a way of reading her mind.

 

 

  I feel like utter crap that I misread the situation so completely. Your friendship is incredibly important to me. You’re the only one I’ve kept in touch with since elementary school, you know? I’d kill to know that you and I can still be friends. If not, I understand. I’d be really sad, but I’d understand.

  Hope you’re okay. Miss you.

  Brogan

 

 

  “Yeah, you should miss me,” she said, but her voice was shaking. Because let’s not fool ourselves here. She was going to forgive him. Even now, her heart felt floppy and huge in her chest.

  Ah, dang it. That was the thing with Brogan. He never meant any harm. He wasn’t the type. With a sigh that made Spike yawn in sympathy, she started typing. May as well get it over.

 

 

  To: [email protected] /* */

  From: [email protected] /* */

  Subject: Re: Hey

  Hey, you! Of course we’re still friends. Don’t be silly. I’m really embarrassed at how I acted, that’s all. But I’m fine. It was surprising, that’s all, and I guess

 

 

  —here her typing slowed—

 

  I had more invested in the idea of us than I realized.

 

  A horrible thought occurred to her. That since the catfight, Dana had told Brogan about how wretched she’d been after the failed proposal. That he knew how much she loved him. But no. Dana wouldn’t do that. It would make Dana look bad if she admitted she knew how Honor felt.

  But I do realize that “us” was just an idea and not anything more than two old friends hooking up once in a while.

 

 

  Oh, hell, that wasn’t true. It felt horrible to be throwing her heart under the bus this way.

 

 

  Anyway, I’m mostly just embarrassed. Not sure if you know this about me, but I generally don’t fight in bars. :)

 

 

  Reduced to emoticons. She sighed, feeling her throat tighten.

 

 

  You’re special to me, too, Brogan, and I’m glad you’re happy.

 

 

  The eggs rolled their cataract-riddled eyes.

 

  Please don’t give my girls-gone-wild moment another thought. In fact, I’d really appreciate it if we never talked about it again. :) I’ve got a crammed schedule for the next two weeks

 

  —lying—

 

  but maybe we can get together after that, okay? Take care.

  Honor

 

 

  It was better than the truth. I love you. I’ve spent two months trying to talk myself out of loving you. How could you not know? Even if you really didn’t see how I felt, Brogan, because you’re an obtuse male, Dana did, so now my best friend has stabbed me in the heart, and you’re marrying her.

  Last night, Honor had stayed up till 3:00 a. m. , looking up the the term toxic friendship on Google and reading every article she could find on it.

  Dana had a whole lotta ex–best friends. Honor had been treated to many a story about them, from Dana’s sister to her neighbor to her high school BFF. And while Honor recognized that Dana was temperamental and tended to see things in black-and-white, she always thought she could handle it. In the five years that they’d been friends, a few people had said something to Honor about Dana—Gerard Chartier from the firehouse commented once that he thought Honor could do better in the friend department than Dana, and Mrs. Johnson had said she didn’t trust her (but then again, Mrs. J. didn’t trust too many people).

  Nope, Honor thought she could handle Dana’s big personality. And why would Dana fall out with her, after all? She was a great friend—available, sympathetic, a great listener. Their friendship was different. Honor would be exempt from the dramatics Dana described with such gusto.

  Stupid. Apparently, she had no clue about women. Or men, for that matter.

  But you know what? The days of ignoring red flags and waiting around for stuff to happen. . . those days were over.

  “Hi, sweetheart,” Dad said at her door at six o’clock sharp. His gentle eyes were worried. “Everyone’s here. ”

  “Your father and I don’t want you to feel self-conscious,” Mrs. Johnson said, worming past Dad to administer simultaneous pats and scowls. “It’s just that we’re all very concerned about you, child. Very concerned. Deeply concerned. ”

  “Thanks. ” Honor forced a smile and followed them to the tasting room. It was really the only comfortable place on the vineyard where everyone could sit. Downstairs, a long, U-shaped bar dominated the room, but upstairs, there was a private tasting room for special events—one of Honor’s ideas. That area was like a giant living room, complete with leather couches, a stone fireplace and a smaller bar along one wall. The post-and-beam ceiling was exposed; an old Oriental carpet covered much of the wide-planked floor.

  Everyone was there, and heck, there were just too many people in this family. There were times when being an orphan held great appeal. David Copperfield never had to go to a family meeting, did he? Nor did Oliver Twist.

  “Thanks for coming,” Honor said to the room at large.

  “A catfight?” Goggy blurted. “In a bar? Over a man?”

  “I just wish I’d been there,” Pops said, winking at Honor. “You won, I hope. ”

  “It’s not funny!” huffed Goggy. “Since when do my grandchildren fight in bars? I mean, I’d expect that of you, Prudence, but Honor?”

  “Why would you expect that of me?” Pru said. “Have I ever been in a fight? No. I haven’t. ”

  “Well, I could picture it,” Goggy said. “Though with Carl, not another woman. ”

  Honor suppressed a sigh. Pru was colorful, Faith had the looks, Jack was the perfect son. . . Honor was what, then?

  The boring one.

  Which was going to change. Yes.

  “Honor definitely won,” Jack said. “You’d all be proud. ”

  “I never really warmed up to that woman,” Pru said. “Though she does have great hair. ”

  “Pass me the cheese,” Pops ordered.
r />   “No more cheese for you!” Goggy said. “You know what it does to your stomach. ”

  “Okay, shut up, everyone,” Honor said mildly. Not that she didn’t love her family. But with four generations present, two brothers-in-law, Faith, Pru, a teenage niece, a nephew who couldn’t make eye contact without laughing, her bickering grandparents, Dad and Mrs. Johnson exchanging worried looks. . . well, it was feeling a wee bit overwhelming. “Dad, get this over with, okay? I’d like to make a few changes around here. ”

  “I have an announcement,” Dad said. “We’re making a few changes around here. ” He seemed to realize he’d just echoed Honor, because he looked at her in surprise.

  “Go ahead,” she said, pouring herself a hefty glass of wine. It would only help, and besides that, it had a lovely nose of fresh-cut grass, grapefruit and a hint of limestone.

  Dad looked at Honor and put his leathery, grape-stained hand over hers. “For a long time, I think we’ve all taken Honor for granted. ”

  Her mouth dropped open.

  “She puts in way too many hours, travels all the time, takes care of a hundred different things,” Dad went on. “Which is why I hired you an assistant today. ”

  She blinked. “You did what? Don’t I get a say in who works for me?”

  “Great idea, Dad,” Jack said.

  “You can’t just—” Honor began.

  “No, sweetie,” Dad went on, his voice quiet but firm. “Mrs. Johnson and I talked it over—” Uh-oh. If Mrs. Johnson was in on it, she was doomed. “And it’s done. Also, I think it’s appropriate that Ned—” Dad nodded at his grandson “—take over half of the sales calls. ”
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