Status: Active

All Good Things


Cora was anticipating a nice day off. No meetings were scheduled, no follow-ups with vendors. It was the calm before the storm and she knew it. So she woke up early and decided to go window shop at the nearest mall.

She was on her way out the front door when her phone rang. Though she didn’t recognize the number, she answered.


“Cora? Oh thank God, it’s Abby.”

Cora held her breath for a second, reminded of the party two days earlier. “Hi, Abby, what’s up?”

“Look, I’m freaking out right now. I didn’t look into photographers ‘cause I assumed we had one and now we don’t and what the Hell am I gonna do now? We’re less than a year away and all the good ones book over a year in advance.

Cora noted her hurried speech and tried her best to be calm. “Okay, I can-”

“-Can you come by? I know it’s a drive, but…I need help.”

Suddenly she felt guilty for pegging Abby a certain way. It was surely the stress making her act out.

“Where do you want to meet? I’m on my way now.”

Thirty-five minutes and one stop at Dunkin’ Donuts later. Cora was pulling in the driveway of the most gorgeous house. Her phone buzzed with a text.

She glanced at her phone before knocking on the front door. Emergency meeting? Zack.

“Oh, Cora, you’re a doll for coming!” Abby was at the door in seconds, pulling her into the house and leading her right to the open kitchen. She was in awe of the open floorplan, the oversized fireplace in the family room, the large wall of books in the living room. “I was gonna ask if you wanted anything to drink, but…” Abby pointed to her coffee cup.

“Oh, don’t worry about it.”

“I’m really glad you came. I just…” Abby sat, slapping her hands on her thighs. “You won’t believe what happened.”

“Try me.”

The two exchanged a look as Cora sat down too. “One of my bridesmaids dropped out of the wedding.” As Cora listened she was reminded of how astonishingly well her B.S. in Psychology helped with this job. Between the stress and mishaps of wedding planning, brides often needed a shoulder to cry on.

“Abby, you still have time, believe it or not. You haven’t gone dress shopping. I’m sure one of the guys’ girls would be willing to-”

“Oh, no.” She said flatly. “No. We don’t get along.” Cora raised a brow at that. “They don’t even try to invite me to things anymore. I’m always seeing their get-togethers on Instagram and Facebook, but…” she shook her head. “I just don’t go.” Before Cora could respond to that, Abby continued. “I’m just so pissed off at the one that dropped out, you know? She says she has a family reunion that day and she wouldn’t be there early for hair and makeup. Of course she still wants to come to all the parties – go figure…”

“Do you have someone else you could ask?”

“Well, yeah! My college roommate said she’ll fill in. I just…well I bitched the other girl out. You’d miss my big day for a freaking family reunion!? And her boyfriend was supposed to be my photographer – he’s amazing – but she forbids him to do it now that we fought and I uninvited her.”

“Oh.” Cora sipped her coffee, nodding slowly.

“Zack thinks I’m being a bitch. He told me to reconnect with her – that people take family reunions very seriously and I overreacted. But I don’t think so.” Abby groaned. “So now I’m out a photographer.

“That bridal show was yesterday,” Cora acknowledge. “Did you talk to any photographers there?”

“No because I thought we had one,” Abby answered. “We got there late too so it was super crowded.”

“There’s another one coming up next Saturday.” Cora had been speaking with another client about the show. “It’s farther than this one was, but if you’re desperate it’s worth the drive.”

Abby nodded. “Do you have anyone you’ve worked with a lot?”

Cora raised her eyebrows at Abby’s behavior. She came off sort of brash at lunch when they first met. “I do, actually.”

“Let me get my laptop!”

When Abby was out of the room, Cora slid her phone out, replying to Zack: Damage control is here.

Abby returned and the two of them started working; Cora pulling up the list of who was at the bridal show yesterday. From there, they started reading reviews and viewing their sites.

Zacky had gotten Cora’s text before leaving the studio so he wasn’t surprised to see her car in his driveway. He was, however, surprised to see the girls at the kitchen table, scrolling through webpages and not pissed off.

“Hey,” Cora was first to greet him when he threw his keys on the counter.

“What’s up?”

“She found us two photographers I like,” Abby said gleefully.

Zacky was surprised she was working on this. “See what happens when you’re off work? You get stuff done.”

The glare Abby sent him reminded Cora of that first impression of her. Suddenly she didn’t know how to take her.

“He doubts my abilities,” Abby spoke to Cora. “But I don’t doubt yours.”

As Abby turned her attention back to the screen, Cora couldn’t help but glance at Zack. His expression was stony, jaw clenching and unclenching, fingernails burrowed in his palms. Her finger tapped on the back of her cellphone.

“I’m gonna make a call before you get your hopes up too high,” Cora spoke to Abby, standing. Abby was in awe of Cora’s close friend’s photography work, but she needed to make sure their date was still available. Abby hadn’t even looked up when Cora started to leave the kitchen. She boldly grabbed Zack’s wrist and urged him to follow her. To her surprise, he did. When the door closed behind them, Cora gave Zack a look.


“Was that comment really necessary?” at that, he stared, mouth slightly agape. “She’s trying.”

“Maybe with you she’s all nicey-nicey. She cussed a close friend out last night and cost us a photographer. She makes it seem like this wedding is the only thing that’s allowed to go on in anyone’s world that day. Cannot wait to see how many family members and friends she cuts out when the RSVPs come back.”

Cora stared, unblinking. “Did you lose a deposit?”


“Did you absolutely mourn the loss of this vendor?”



Zacky shut his mouth a moment before he sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Just feels like this is all gonna go downhill.”

“That’s why you’ve got me.”

He stayed on the porch when she walked away with the phone pressed to her ear. He pretended that last comment didn’t make him feel something – pretended that his heart didn’t flutter, that his palms weren’t sweaty.

There was something admirable about her determination – a trait Abby claimed to have but really didn’t. He felt like marriage was a lost hope: anything that could go wrong, would. Though he’d never spoken those thoughts aloud, they still burned in the pit of his belly.

The pack of cigarettes he’d bought sat heavy in his pocket. If Abby found out, he’d be fucked. He hadn’t smoked one yet, just tore the plastic wrap off the box and stared at it for a good minute before realizing he didn’t have a light on him anymore. The moment he was in would have been the perfect opportunity to light one up and breathe in deep. He watched Cora leaned against her car in the hot California sun. Watched those pretty thighs as she walked back up the porch to him.

“Just called my friend Alyssa; your date’s available,” as he spoke Zacky tried shaking off the way he was staring. “Just a suggestion, but you might wanna book soon – the last Saturday in June is a pretty popular date.”

“Right. Yeah, okay.” Zacky scratched the back of his neck.

“I don’t mean to overstep my bounds, but Abby’s trying, Zack.”

“I know.”

“You’re giving a lot too. Just…keep it cool, alright?” and she left him alone on the porch.

When Zacky finally come back inside, Cora was helping Abby fill out a form online.

“She has an option for an online payment which makes it way easier since we’re both so busy!” Abby told Zack. “So I’m gonna need your credit card.”

Zacky inwardly groaned. Sure, he had the cash, but he hated when she relied on him to pay for everything. Gena had done the same shit. He’d made a comment about it before: ‘can’t you get it this time?’ or ‘don’t you have cash? You work!’ But it always made him sound like an asshole and Cora already seemed to be siding with Abby. Besides, Abby always had the same answer: ‘that money was for clothes.’

So he pulled out his wallet, handed her his card, and went to grab something to eat. He wanted to push – to ask if they’d gotten anything else done other than the photographer, but his thoughts were interrupted by their nearly-empty refrigerator. He settled on a leftover eggroll from the Chinese they ordered the night before. Two bites in, Abby spoke:

“Zack, make Cora a drink or something. She drove all the way out here for us.”

“Got it,” Zacky said, mouth full.

Cora got up as he put down his food and leaned down to grab the vodka. “Oh, no. No, I’m alright. I don’t plan on staying.”

“Oh, nonsense. You drove all this way. The least we can do is make it worth your time,” Abby said.

Zacky got out a glass then picked up the bottle and Cora was on him instantly, pressing her hand to his, pushing it away from the glass. A smirk came to his lips.

“Aw, c’mon,” he laughed. “Break out the Xbox, make a drinking game outta something.”

Cora gave him a wide-eyed look, glancing over her shoulder at Abby who was distracted, looking through the photographer’s samples. Zacky knew just what she was getting at – Abby was none the wiser that Cora had crashed their little party the other night. If she was so worried about being professional, why hadn’t she told Abby? Why hadn’t he?

Her hand was still on top of his when she gave him a softer look, quietly laughing at the thought of Johnny’s drinking game the other night. The two of them stood like that for what seemed to Zack like too long. There was undeniable tension in their air – Zacky held his breath. He wasn’t about to take the step back. To be honest, he wanted to see how long it would take her.

She was the one who broke their moment, taking a half a step back but never breaking gaze.

“I really don’t need a drink, Zacky,” she called him by his nickname again. “Thank you, though.”

“Any time.”

“I should actually get going soon,” her cheeks were reddened. “Abby, did you need anything else at the moment, or…?”

Abby narrowed her eyes at her. “No, not that I can think of. I’ll text you if I come up with anything.”

Cora nodded, focused on getting out of the house. “I’ll do what I can.” She grabbed her purse and keys. “Oh, I gave you the address for that bridal show on Saturday, didn’t I?”

Abby nodded, “You did.”

“Alright, good luck Saturday. Make sure you taste the cakes – they always have the best bakers at that show.”

She waved to them both before taking her leave.

Halfway home, her phone went off.

[Zack: 3:42 p.m. ] Thanks for showing up today. Glad it’s getting done.

She bit the inside of her cheek and turned her attention back to the road. Zacky was the ideal client – Abby the more realistic one. After their first meeting, she was vaguely fearful to have Abby as a client. Some brides were easy to work with, many were not. Although, she understood: many people dream of their wedding day for years and when it’s actually time to sit down and plan things can be overwhelming. The cost of a wedding alone is enough to cause anxiety attacks. If the rest of their meetings went as smoothly as today’s did, Cora wasn’t going to be concerned at all.

She turned down her radio when a phone call came in.

“Hey, Lys! My client just paid the deposit online so you should be all set. She was really impressed with your photos.”

“I’m glad! Okay, so she sent me an email with their information and I remember you saying that you’ve worked with his bandmate and it just clicked in my head…” Alyssa spoke quickly. “Is this the guy from Avenged Sevenfold?”

Cora laughed. “It is. Why, are you a fan?”

“Well, not really, I’ve heard their stuff once or twice but holy shit what a story this is gonna be!”

“You’re ridiculous,” Cora laughed.

“I’m not. I’ve looked them up and he’s Zack, right? God, I’m so excited to meet them.”

Cora paused. “You mean Zack and Abby?”

“No! The band. They’re his groomsmen, right? I’ll be working with them. Can you imagine the pictures?”

“Okay, Lys, I’m hanging up now,” Cora laughed. “Get the fangirling done before you meet them. That might not look professional.”

“Oh, come on! I know you’re all over Johnny.”

“I’m really not,” Cora sighed.

“-You’re texting buddies, you and him and his wife. Don’t give me the ‘stop fangirling’ lecture.”

“I won’t,” she laughed before hanging up.

Alyssa was a good friend of Cora’s. It was the third wedding she’d planned in California that the bride and groom requested Alyssa’s work and after meeting for the first time the two got along swimmingly. Since then, they recommend each other to the couples they work with and she wasn’t surprised that Abby wanted Alyssa – she was a skilled photographer.

[Cora: 4:11 p.m. ] Glad you’re happy, Zack. Let me know if you need anything else.