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Chapter 1


Screamsfilltheroomas the girls take another shot of tequila. I’m at my younger sister’s bachelorette party, and I’m the designated driver. I watch Colette dance with her friends as I sip my water at the bar. My parents, who own the place, shut it down for their little girls tonight. It was a big night, after all. In just two weeks, she is going to get married.

She’ll soon be Colette Jenkins.

Am I a little jealous that my younger sister is getting married before me? Well… yeah. It’s not just that she’s getting hitched before me despite being four years younger. It’s that I’m still a virgin at thirty. I was supposed to be married at this point. I should be making babies, but unless my vibrator somehow knocks me up, that will not happen anytime soon.

James, the bartender, fills up my water and leans down on the bar.

“Why aren’t you dancing with your friends?” he asks.

I shrug. To be honest, I don’t really know them. I mean, I know my sister, duh, but the other girls are her pals from university. I just met them tonight when they came to the bar to celebrate.

James gives me a sweet smile and goes to the end of the bar, where the women are asking for another round of shots.

God, I feel like such a Debbie Downer. Here is my amazing sister, who is getting married to the love of her life, and I’m sitting here in a pool of jealous misery. I should be happy. I am. But I should also act like it. It probably doesn’t help that I’m also a huge introvert.

Maybe I should have been the one drinking.

I feel a hand on my shoulder and turn to see my mother smiling.

“Hey, lady,” she says, kissing me on the cheek.

“Hey, Mom. What are you doing here?”

“James called.” I look over at James, who ducks and tends to the girls.

“What for?” I spin on the stool as Mom takes a seat next to me.

“James tells me you’re a little down.” She pats me on the leg, and I shuffle in my seat.

“I’m fine. Just sober,” I joke, and Mom laughs.

“Well, we can change that.” She gets James’ attention, “James dear, can you please get a shot of tequila for Poppy.”

“Mom! I’m the driver. I need to get these women home.”

“You let me worry about that, dear. Have fun.”

James sets another shot next to the other women, and I walk over to the bar and stand next to my sister, who’s smiling from ear to ear.

“Yes! Poppy! Big sis is getting drunk!”

I chuckle, and we all take the salt and the shot at the same time. Hot liquid burns down my throat as I finish the shot with a lime.

I look over at my mom, who gives me a nod, and I start to relax.

You know what? This is what I need. I need to relax. I need to accept that this is my situation and that Colette is happy, and I need to support her. That’s what family does.

Two hours later, it’s almost one a.m., and everyone is starting to go home. Mom piles us in a minivan and takes us to our respective apartments. I stumble up the stairs, a little drunk but still upright. I have just enough brainpower left to get up the stairs, as opposed to Nancy, one of the bridesmaids who could barely stand straight.

I toss my shoes on the floor in my bedroom as well as my purse and flop down on the bed.

My mind wanders as I stare at the ceiling in my silent home. I start thinking about boyfriends and husbands. Someone to come home to. Someone to talk to and, of course, someone to bone.

I get so nervous in front of guys. I turn into a little mouse, and that’s either too much of a turn-on or a turn-off, depending on the guy.