A Perfect Wedding

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I stepped out of Smushy, trying not to trip on my heels. I was wearing my royal blue halter-top prom dress. The dress Mom got me for Christmas was great, but just wouldn't work for a prom. This new dress was a little bit form-fitting, but simple. Just the way I needed it.

Cler stepped out in heels that were at least an inch higher than mine. Her prom dress was a two-piece outfit.

The top was pale pink with silver and gold sparkles worked in. Her skirt was the same pale pink with tiered layers of tulle. She got her hair done in an elaborate curly up-do. I was a mom of twins. I threw my hair into a bun and called it a day.

I grabbed Oliver and one diaper bag while she took Blaze and his bag. I rang the doorbell with my free hand. Chase opened it within seconds, and Jace was right behind him.

"Ah, there they are!" Chase said, reaching his hands out. I handed Oliver over, then he smiled and giggled. Sometimes I thought he liked his Uncle Chase even more than me.

"I'll take Blaze," Jace said.

Blaze smiled and cooed when I handed him over to Jace. With their parents away in Cancun, I knew Jace would be safe at home with Chase and the boys.

"I'm so excited for our first sleepover with them!" Chase said.

I handed Chase a piece of paper. "Here's a run-down of what they need. I wrote down some updates to their routine because of Oliver's diaper rash and—"

"I think we got it," Jace said, his hand already on the door.

"Hey, Knock it off," Chase said to him. He smiled at us. "They're in good hands. You two go have fun. Shoot me a text when you're ready to pick them up tomorrow."

"I will. Thanks," I said. "It probably won't be until mid-afternoon. We've got a long night ahead of us."

"Just go have some fun! You deserve it! I'll see you tomorrow," Chase said.

We went our separate ways. I drove us in silence to the Platinum Diamond Hotel, where Julia's wedding was being held. It was the nicest venue in town, and Julia somehow got a great deal on her wedding package.

We stepped out of the car and followed the signs to where the ceremony was. We sat on the bride's side underneath a big pergola. I didn't feel like I stood out in my dress, but people were definitely noticing Cler. We sat in the back row so we'd draw a little less attention.

While we were waiting, I got a text from Chase. It was a video of the boys bouncing in the brand-new baby jumpers he bought them as Jace played with them. They both looked so happy. I showed Cler and she lost her mind.

"Ah! Cuteness overload!" she said.

Music started playing and everyone stood up. Julia's bridesmaids started walking down the aisle. They wore magenta dresses. It was her favorite color and perfect for a spring wedding.

Then Julia came down the aisle. I almost didn't recognize her. She wore a big puffy princess ball gown that was covered in sparkles, just like she said. A gold tiara was worked into her hair.

The officiant started talking and we all sat down. I looked around for her girls. I thought she'd make them part of the ceremony in some way, but I guess she wanted the day to be free of any chaos. It made sense.

The two read their vows, which were a mixture of adorable, nerdy, and hilarious, just like them. The rest of the ceremony was short and sweet, then, before I knew it, it was all over.

"Carlos, you may kiss your bride!" said the officiant.

They kissed and everyone cheered as they walked down the aisle. There was no throwing rice or blowing bubbles, I'm guessing because it was indoors. The bride and groom left to take pictures while we moved on to cocktail hour.

Men dressed in suits and white gloves passed around appetizers while we watched the fish in the indoor koi pond. I think Cler ate enough mac and cheese bites to last her the whole night.

I went for the cups of fancy shrimp with cocktail sauce. They were the best thing I'd eaten in a while.

We moved upstairs into a big ballroom. The DJ was already playing music, but told us to be seated. The flowers in the centerpiece were white and magenta daisies, which matched the bridesmaid dresses.

We waited for a few minutes and munched on some bread before the music turned up again.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Julia and Carlos Mendoza!" he said.

Julia and Carlos ran in and we all clapped. They both looked so happy. It was like Julia's smile shined brighter than all the sparkles of her dress combined.

They did their first dance, which was a classic slow song, and then did a fun dance number with the bridal party and the groomsmen.

When it was almost time for dinner, we still had an hour left to go before we had to leave for prom. Julia recommended the chicken, so that's what I went for.

Once I took that first bite, I knew I made the right choice. The happy couple came around to our table when we were almost finished eating.

"Hey, how is everything guys?" Julia asked us.

"Awesome!" Cler and I said.

"I'm so happy for you two! You're adorable," I said.

"Thanks," Carlos said. "And Chrys, I wanted to thank you for being such a great friend to Julia. You've helped her so much."

"Thanks, but stop. I don't feel like crying," I said. "I'm pretty sure this mascara isn't waterproof!"

Julia elbowed me, but softly. "Just an FYI, I got the head cashier position!"

"What? You're going to be bossing me around now?" I said.

"You? Probably not. Everyone else, definitely."

We both laughed, and the couple left us to finish dinner. With only thirty minutes left before we had to go, the music started up again. Everyone else was still eating, but it looked like Julia and Carlos were so busy having fun that they didn't care to have dinner themselves.

With everyone still at their tables, me, Cler, Julia, and Carlos took to the dance floor all alone. The DJ played a fun, upbeat dance song. The four of us made one big circle and joined hands. We ran and laughed and tried not to trip or crash onto each other. And after all this we still had a fun night at prom ahead of us.

I felt just so...happy. This past year changed my life so much. I lost two okay friends and gained a great one. Cler was still by my side. My boys were being taken care of by the one family member on their father's side who loved them to death, and they'd have great playdates in the future with Julia's girls.

A year ago I found out I was pregnant. I was so worried about what was to come in my life, but I worked hard and got through it all. I had a job and was going to start college in the fall. Now, surprisingly, it felt like everything turned out perfect.

But as we were spinning around in that circle and dancing, something caught my eye. I stopped in the middle of the dance floor, Cler almost knocking me over. I gasped and walked towards the figure on the other side of the room.

"Jace?" I said, trying to shout over the music. He smiled. "Jace!"

I ran over and couldn't believe what I was seeing. Jace was dressed in a super formal outfit and carrying a bouquet, which he handed over to me.

"Chrys, I noticed you don't have a prom date," he said. "Chase is home with the boys. I'd love to go with you to prom."

I smiled and said, "I'd love for you to be my prom date, Jace."

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