It Just Comes Natural by Brooke May

Chapter One


“Why do you have to get married?”

Rolling my head from one side of the passenger seat headrest to the other, I closely regard my best friend and savior. She came in and took me away from the hell my mother had waiting for me this weekend of finding the right dress.

More like she would be finding the right dress while I put up with whatever she wanted me in.

The type of hell I mean is a glitzy bridal shower and trying on wedding dresses she managed to get the local bridal boutique to bring to the house for a wedding that’s still two months away.

I can’t thank her enough for crashing since she wasn’t even invited, and she’s supposed to be my maid of honor. She told my parents this was the only weekend we could get into a certain spa for the next couple of months, and it was enough to free me from their clutches. She got me away from not only my overbearing parents but my crazy sister as well.

“Are you going to just stare, or are you going to answer me?”

I wish I could tell her everything, but that’s just a fact in my life. I won’t be able to tell my best friend my family secret ever, and though part of me is sad I can’t share it with her, the rest of me is okay with her not knowing anything about it. It allows me to just be me and not who my parents expect me to be.

“I have to.”

“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want. Do you want to marry Adam?” Her nose scrunches up. She isn’t an Adam fan in the least.

“Well, no …”

“Then why have your parents force you into it?”

“Because … it’s complicated.” I cringe at the poor excuse, but I have no other way to explain it without giving anything away. And as much as I can’t stand my parents and most definitely my sister, I won’t mess up by letting our secret out.

“You know that’s lame, right?” I don’t know how to answer her, which is okay because she continues to talk. “That’s why I thought we could have a girls’ weekend. We’re going to party and let loose. You’re going to have fun, and Sunday, before we leave, we’ll get our nails and hair done so it looks like we’ve been at a spa all weekend.”

She’s got it all figured out. I couldn’t ask for a better friend. This is just what I need—a weekend away from the watchful eye of my father and all his minions and the overbearing command of my mother. I need to drink, have some fun, and not worry about what’s waiting for me back in Fetterman. This weekend, it will remain in the rearview mirror.

I could cry. Not because I’m sad, but because, for once in a long time, I’m so damn happy.

“Thank you.” It’ll be nice to let loose with the safety of my friend close at hand. I won’t ever object to what she plans for us. She isn’t my sister—who thinks getting wasted with whatever she can put into her body and being reckless is the best thing ever—but she’s willing to have fun where both of us are safe.

“You’re welcome. I packed up some clothes for you to wear when we go out tonight. No offense, but the crap your mom makes you buy is lame. You have killer curves and need to show them off way more than what your parents allow.”

She couldn’t have hit the nail any more perfectly. I’m curves where my mother and sister are thin. I’ve been forced to diet to the point of passing out and still haven’t been able to fit the mold my mother believes is the only way to true beauty.

“Maybe we could work in some shopping as well? It would be nice to buy something without Mother looking over my shoulder.”

“Abso-freaking-lutely!” Her cheer causes the car to swerve.

“Hey, watch it.” I reach for the handle over my head to brace while she straightens the car back out. “I didn’t realize you would be this excited.”

“Do you know me at all?” She scoffs. “Every time we try to get any shopping in, your mom rains all over our parade. I’m so ready for this weekend.” She expresses that by speeding up a little. She has a nasty habit of acquiring speeding tickets. “Besides, you never know. You might meet a cute guy tonight,” she sing-songs.

A blush floods my face. “No way. I’m engaged, or did you forget?”

“You haven’t been wearing his ring, and you don’t want to get married, so what if you meet a guy this weekend? Take life by the horns and regain your control of it. Your parents be damned.”

“In the form of a possible one-night stand?”

“Just go where your feelings take you.” She shrugs. I wish I could be as carefree as her. Debbie doesn’t have the obligations I do. She’s lucky that way. It’s funny how that works. From the outside, it looks like I’m the lucky one. I come from a well-off family who can afford a lot of things, but love is missing in my home. Debbie has the love of two amazing parents and the support to go after whatever she wants in this world.

A buzzing in the back of my mind tells me she’s trying to help me find freedom and get out of a marriage I don’t want. And she’s right. I’ve allowed my parents to dictate my life for far too long. I’m twenty-one years old, and it’s time for me to take control of my life.

“You’re right.”

“Such sweet words,” she sing-songs again.

“Oh, stop it.” I bat at her, mindful not to make her swerve again. “You’re right. I need to let loose, have some fun, and when we get home, I’ll tell my parents I’m not going to marry Adam.”

“That’s my girl!” she cheers. “Here’s to fun!”

“To fun and freedom!”