The guest list should have been longer. But Vivi couldn’t do anything about that. Not with her parents separated.
So many of the RSVPs had come with an I’m so sorry, but they just wouldn’t go against her dad. He ran an upscale cigar shop called the Humidor. But their Team Alec and Team Dovie divide had split their friends. The great schism of friendship.
Vivi shook her head. Their venue was too big for the amount of people they were going to have there, but Dovie was picking up most of the cost, so it wasn’t falling on them. They’d just have to arrange the chairs and seating to make it look not so open, she supposed.
“Hey, baby.” RJ leaned over and kissed her shoulder where it met her neck. “Whatcha doin’?”
She picked up the guest list, the Regretfully Declines highlighted in yellow.
“I’m sorry, baby,” he whispered. “I’m so sorry.”
She stood up and turned to him, holding the man she’d chosen to love tight to her chest. “No, don’t be. I can’t believe he’d try to make me choose his standing or whatever over my happiness.”
He kissed her forehead. “I’ll be here for you. I’ll do everything I can and so will my family. Your mom is behind you, my family is behind you. We can be happy without your dad. I know it.”
She sniffled once. “I don’t want to walk down the aisle by myself.”
He shook his head. “Your cousin can do it. Tyler could walk you down the aisle.”
“I don’t know if he will. He’s scared of making my dad angry.”
RJ held her tighter. “He’s such an asshole, Viv.”
The anger and upset welled up in her and she started to cry, tucked against RJ’s chest. It was all so much. It was all the normal stress of a bride, but the stress of estrangement from her father was more than she could handle. It was more than she could take. The man here holding her, she loved him, and he loved her. They were meant to be together. She could feel it. And her daddy just couldn’t see it.
“I still don’t know how he could say no to you. I don’t know how he could do that,” she muttered into his chest. “You’re a good, kind, strong person. And you’ve always treated me with respect. And love. And passion.”
“I don’t know, Vivi. It just doesn’t make sense.”
“And the worst part is, I miss him. And I’m sorry for what I did to their relationship.”
“It’s not your fault your mom is on your side. It’s not your fault at all.”
She sighed once the bulk of her upset had passed. “This is just hard. I don’t like it. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl and now this is…”
“I know, sweetheart. I know.” He kissed the top of her head and said, “I know how much your love means. I know how much you’re walking away from.”
She sighed, then said, “At least once the wedding is over, we can just start the rest of our life, right?”
“Yes, once this is passed, we’ll figure it all out.”
He kissed her forehead, then wiped the tears off her cheeks. “I promise you, we will come through this.”
She drew a deep breath and straightened her shoulders. “We will.”
She sat down and went back to her work, finalizing the details of her wedding.
“I love you, Vivi.” She looked up to see RJ watching her, the glow of love in his eyes. “I’ll do anything to make you happy.”
She felt it in her heart. She was marrying her best friend and there was nothing in the world that could come between her and RJ now. They’d make their way.