Love Struck (Miss Match #2)

By: Laurelin McGee

Lacy ignored her, and started filling in her brows, but not without first glancing at her phone to see if she’d missed any notifications from the songwriter forum app. She hadn’t. She tried not to be too disheartened.

“This process has made me realize—and don’t be shocked—but I don’t have a ton of close friends. Do coworkers count? Can I ignore them and elope?”

Lacy dabbed white sparkles on to her brow bone. She studied the effect, and added some more to the corners of her eyes. She told herself Andy wasn’t looking for an answer, she just wanted to hear herself talk. That way she didn’t have to feel guilty about not weighing in.

“Are roses or lilies hotter right now? We’re bound to get covered in Boston mag. If I pick wrong, will I be lame, or trendsetting?” It was getting harder to pretend Andy didn’t really want answers when she kept pestering for them like that.

“Look,” Lacy yelled over her shoulder, “I’ll go to your meeting tomorrow with the planner. Just stop stressing tonight, okay?” She wanted to be there for Andy, but she couldn’t deal with the recording studio anxiety and her petty bridal jealousy. It took more energy than she had.

She left the mirror and stuck her head into her sister’s room. “Do you want to come listen to a new band with me and Kat? It’ll calm you down.” Though Andy didn’t live and breathe music like Lacy, they always enjoyed each other’s company. Even when Andy was being a bit wedding-crazy, she was still Lacy’s sister and best friend.

Andy glared. “Thanks, but no thanks. The last time I went out with you two I ran into that weirdo from the Irony and Wine bar. A night at home with Netflix and a bath sounds far more relaxing. Thank you, thank you, thank you for attending my meeting, though. Be awake and not hung-over by eleven, please!”

Lacy returned the glare, but Andy was right. The strangest people hung out at the coolest bars, and the Iron and Wine guy, or Eeyore, as Andy called him, had developed a fascination with the older Dawson sister. He was a recovering alcoholic who dropped trou after a single Jäger shot. It was weird.

Also, Andy and Kat were hard to bear when they got together. Kat got all cable show about wedding ideas, and Andy liked it. Maybe even loved it. It disgusted Lacy. Weddings should be reflections of the couple. So why all the hassle? Andy and Blake were Type A workaholics. They should have a courthouse ceremony followed by a formal sushi dinner and something fancy, like—port. Ob. Vi. Us. Weddings were overdone.

The doorbell rang, and Lacy was so grateful to stop the holy matrimony talk that she almost jumped into Kat’s hippie-reeking arms.

“Hey, let’s go!” she yelped. She blew a kiss to her sister and off they went.

Chapter Three

An hour later, and Lacy was actually really happy she’d gone. Folx still hadn’t responded to her message—she’d checked her phone several times—but, as she’d hoped, the music had eased her anxiety. This band was phenomenal. They had the folky sound of Mumford & Sons but the symphonic composition of Bastille. It was fresh and traditional at once. Lacy was entranced.

“Where did you hear about these guys?” she yelled in Kat’s ear.

“I screwed the drummer!” Kat screamed back, through neon orange lips.

Dear God. I did not miss the single life. Lacy mimed getting a refill on her drink, and headed toward the back bar.

“G and T,” she told the bartender, who seemed like a normal guy. It was a relief these days to find one who was clean-shaven. The last bar she’d played at, mustachioed patrons could actually order drinks in glasses with guards to keep their facial hair from getting damp. At that point, she thought that hipster bars had either jumped the shark … or she was too old. As Lacy had only just celebrated her twenty-sixth birthday, she hoped it was the former.

When her drink came sans any accoutrement but a lime wedge, she relaxed. Good music, good drinks. If Darrin and Andy were here, she might be having A Best Day Ever.

That was something Lance had taught her. Calling any one particular day your favorite was silly. There were a ton of tiny moments that added up to a great day, if you paid attention. Probably once a month you could find enough moments in a day to call it A Best Day Ever. Not The. But A. That made it possible to have them more often.

Lance had always been an optimist. Or at least he’d done a good job of pretending he was. It was the one thing she’d tried, on her grief counselor’s suggestion, since his death. Lacy tried to honor him by having at least one great day per month. Most days she faked it, pretending to find joy in a BLT and a new Neil Gaiman book when all she really saw was the jarring absence of the one person she wanted to read aloud to over lunch. Sometimes, though, it actually worked.

This band, for example. She really meant it tonight. Their sound was new and fresh and very soothing at the same time.

“Aren’t they totes amaze?” Lacy jumped when Kat’s familiar shrill voice pierced her right ear. “Let’s do shots.”

Lacy considered. She wouldn’t mind hanging out longer for the music, but she’d promised Andy she’d come home soon and sober. “Actually, I’ve got an appointment pretty early. I should probably go.” Plus, even though Folx hadn’t responded yet, she knew he would any minute, and she wanted to be able to talk to him freely. “Thanks for the offer, though. And for showing me this band. What are they called?”

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