‹ Prequel: I Don't Do Lonely Well
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Inside Your Heaven

makin' plans.

I bury my face in my hands. “Dear god, I can’t believe I said all that.” Alex laughs and wraps his arm around my shoulders, pressing his lips softly to my swollen cheek.
“Don’t worry. I only posted one of the videos to YouTube.” I frown and stick my spoon back into the frozen yogurt for another sweet, strawberry bite. “Are you feeling better?”
I nod. “Yeah. It still hurts a lot, but other than that I feel fine. My accident was definitely worse.”
Alex lets out a single laugh and shakes his head. “I’m still trying not to think about that. It was terrifying.”
I nod in agreement. I set my carton of froyo on the coffee table and curl up to Alex. Sebastian takes that as his cue to hop up on the couch and snuggle into Alex’s lap. “You leave next week, don’t you?”
“Yeah,” he replies. He sounds excited at the same time as bummed. “I’m going to miss you, you know.”
I look up at him and smile a little. “I’m going to miss you, too, but it’s only for a month or so.”
“That we know of. We always end up deciding to add more dates on. I’m not sure why, but we do.”
“Well, it’s your job, and it’s what you love.” He smiles and leans down to cover my lips with his. “Are you playing Warped again this year?”
He shrugs. “We’re talking about it. We’d just have to keep July 18th open.” My lips immediately pull into a smile.
“We need to start planning and sending out Save The Dates…shit, we have to start planning.” I feel my eyes go wide. “I have no idea how to plan a wedding. Oh my god.”
“Whoa, babe, calm down. You know you hire people for that kind of stuff, right?” My lips form a small ‘o’.
“I have to pick my bridal party, too.”
“I mean, your biggest problem will be deciding if Grace or Cass is your maid of honor, right?”
I nod. “Probably. I love them both so much…”
“Well, I already know Jack is my best man.” I roll my eyes at the simplicity of men. Alex straightens himself up, and I turn around to sit cross-legged in front of him. “Are you going to ask your dad to walk you down the aisle?” he questions seriously.
“I don’t know,” I whisper. “He’s my father, but I don’t know if I can call him my dad anymore.” Alex frowns. “I’m not even sure I want to invite my parents. After all of the shit they’ve put me through…”
“They’re your parents, though, Virginia,” Alex reasons.
“I know.” I shrug. “I’m going to invite them anyways, but I’ll bet you they won’t show up.”
“You’re their daughter. Of course they will.”

I yawn and put the lid on my coffee mug. “I’ll see you in a few weeks,” Alex sighs, wrapping me up in his arms. I lock my arms around him tightly and bury my head in his shoulder. “In our new house, of course.”
I feel my lips pull into a smile. “Too bad you can’t be there to help the girls move in. It’ll be interesting.” He chuckles and rubs my back.
“Have a great first day of work, okay? I’ll call you tonight when we get to the venue.” I step out of his embrace and pull his lips to mine.
“I love you, Alex.”
“I love you, too.”
Alex picks up his suitcase and heads out. I finish getting ready for work.
It’s weird coming into a school and not knowing the layout or some of the teachers, but everyone I’ve met so far today has been extremely welcoming to me. Especially the other guidance counselor, Justin.
Justin comes into my office at lunchtime. “Hey, do you want to grab lunch with me? I’ll show you the best diner in town.” He comes in and takes a seat in the student chair and picks up a picture of Alex and me from Warped. “Who’s this? Brother?”
“Fiancé,” I correct immediately. “The other picture is my brother.” Justin reaches for the other framed photograph.
“You look nothing like him.”
“I know.” I shrug and glance at my phone, hoping for a text or something from Alex.
“So, about lunch?”
“Yeah, let me grab my stuff.”
We wind up in a diner that I’ve actually been to many a hungover morning in college. “So, this fiancé of yours,” Justin begins. “How long have you two been together?”
“Almost five years,” I reply. I twist the ring around my finger—a nervous habit I’ve picked up.
“Long time. Been with anyone else?”
“Yeah…look, I’m really uncomfortable with this conversation. We just met this morning.”
“Well, we’re going to be working very closely for the next few years. So, we might as well get to know each other now.”
I’m about to respond, but my phone starts ringing in my jacket pocket. I dig for it, and it’s Grace. “Sorry, I have to take this.”
I slide out of the booth and excuse myself. “Hey,” Grace greets. “So, the relator just called me and said the house is ready to move into whenever. I know you just got settled at work, but I’m going to start to move in tonight, just bring in some of the furniture we picked out. My dad and uncle are coming to help.”
“Already? Wow. I’ll let you know, but I don’t think that’s happening tonight for me. This weekend I’ll move in. I’m just having a hell of a day at work already.”
“Really? What happened?”
“I’ll call you after and tell you all about it. It’s still not over yet. “
We say our farewells, and I head back to the booth. Justin is playing with the napkin. “Everything okay?” he wonders.
I nod. “Just about the new house I’m moving into. It’s fine.”
The day turns out being just like lunch—Justin intruding on all aspects of my life. I can’t decide if it’s into me or gay anymore. Naturally, Alex isn’t too thrilled to hear about this, but I know he trusts me. I end up moving some of my stuff into the new house anyways, and I’m exhausted by bedtime. Sebastian is curled up at the foot of the bed, as usual. He keeps looking at Alex’s spot and whining. Finally, he crawls up next to me.
“I know, buddy. I miss him, too.”

I collapse onto the new couch, and Sebastian runs laps around the house at insane speeds. “I think he likes it,” Grace laughs.
“I absolutely love it,” I reply.
“Me too! Do you think you and Alex will still live here after you’re married?”
I shrug. “I guess we’ll find out. I really love this place, though. I think we all made a good choice.”
“Me, too,” Grace agrees. “How weird is it to think that you’re getting married this year?”
It’s an idea I’ve been entertaining since Alex proposed. The thought of us actually married and permanently (hopefully) inseparable. Legally bound together.
Part of me is absolutely horrified, but it’s a long time coming. We’ll have been together for five years by the time our wedding comes around.
“It’s really weird,” I reply, “but it’s not really going to be that different. The only thing truly changing is my last name.”
Grace smiles. “Literally, that’s the most precious thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Oh, by the way, I want to ask you something.” She nods in encouragement to the question. “Do you want to be one of my bridesmaids?”
She squeals and tackles me. “Yes! Absolutely!” Sebastian races into the room and barks at Grace, probably because of her screeching. “Who else are you going to ask?”
“Cass, definitely. I’m thinking about asking Tay, since we got pretty close over Warped last year. We talked about having a pretty big wedding, so we’re going to have quite a few people standing in our wedding.”
“Really? How big?”
“I want a really intimate ceremony, but we both decided on a huge reception.”
“Do you know where you want it yet?”
“Somewhere in Baltimore. I want to get married in a church, but Alex isn’t entertaining the idea too much as of now.”
Grace lets out a laugh. “Shocker. Where does he want it?”
“He wants an outside wedding.” I roll my eyes a little. “It’s so hot in the summer, but if we do a later ceremony and go straight into the reception, it shouldn’t be too hot out.”
“What if it rains?”
“That’s what I said, too! He responds with ‘well, we’ll find out real quick if you’re any good at wet t-shirt contests.’”
We share a laugh. “Typical.”
The two of us spend the rest of the night gigging about wedding and looking up different ideas on Pinterest.
♠ ♠ ♠
you know me like the back of your hand.
i'm your girl, and you're my man.
and we're makin' plans.