Face down with two hands sliding up and down her back, she couldn’t help but wonder who was texting her while her phone lay rest in the room over. She couldn’t hear her phone going off, but the simple fact that she didn’t have it on her was enough to make her wonder.
Immediately cashing in on the spa gift certificate that Todd had given her for Christmas, it was exactly what she needed. “I’ve just been so stressed lately,” she had told Victoria at lunch an hour beforehand. “With this wedding coming up and everything, mama just needs some time to unwind.”
After all, Caroline’s wedding was in just a few days, and she had yet to even write her speech despite her claims to everyone that she had written it months in advance.
The masseuse’s hands began to focus on her shoulders and neck, with more and more of the lavender-scented oils seeping into her skin.
“Ugh, I have to beat Katie’s speech,” she thought to herself over the calming music playing on the speakers. “But if Katie’s speech is anything like her speech at her sister’s wedding, I should be good,” she reassured herself as her masseuse brought the towel further down her back.
Being co-Maid of Honor had been weighing on her for months now, but it was no excuse to let the pressure get to her and show it on Caroline’s wedding day. In an effort to relieve herself of all of her stress prior to the massage, she considered taking a Xanax but forgot her bottle at home in her other handbag. She had asked Victoria if she could bum one off of her at lunch earlier that day, but Victoria’s prescription had run out after she switched to adderall once law school started.
She ran her speech ideas through her head while the masseuse began to work the knots out of her calf muscles.
Caroline had seemingly been present in every life event leading up to this moment: middle school gymnastics, their first periods, high school dances, sorority recruitment, graduation. But the last thing she wanted to incorporate into her speech was a bunch of inside jokes and drawn out stories. “That would be so Katie of me,” she laughed to herself.
“Please turn over,” the masseuse told her quietly in her left hear. As she began to turn, she clutched the sheet close to her body to make sure that none of her body can be seen. She had previously discussed with Victoria that she’s always worried masseuses are “pervs,” and Victoria agreed.
He began massaging her temples and forehead. She attempted to keep her mouth shut and not make any pained noises, but the pressure his hands put on her head was too much.
She again began wondering if anyone had texted her since she entered the room just 34 minutes beforehand. The group text had been quiet leading up to Caroline’s wedding which concerned her. Is everyone busy for the holidays, or is there a side text going on about how she’s failing as a Maid of Honor? Her efforts to go above and beyond seemed to be public to everyone, but had she taken things too far? Was Katie’s method of doing (seemingly) the bare minimum turning out to be more fruitful?
“Ugh, that bitch,” she thought while the masseuse worked on her right arm. “I swear to God, if she comes in and tries to take all the credit–”
“Excuse me,” the masseuse said, “Can you please slide over?”
She was startled but readjusted without saying anything to him.
“I mean, she didn’t even want to go to Cabo for the bachelorette party,” she continued thinking. “She’s probably going to get her something from her registry for a gift which, tbh, is just embarrassing.”
As he moved his hands through her fingers, she began to have a growing concern that the oil could possibly mess up her manicure. She attempted to look downward and see but the sleep mask she had on blocked her view.
Her inner-monologue regarding the stresses of being a co-Maid of Honor continued when she began running through the laundry list of items she had to take care of in the days leading up to the ceremony. The holiday season was stressful enough, but to end it with a New Year’s Eve wedding was compounding everything.
She could tell the massage was coming to a close as her masseuse finishing her feet.
“I wonder if I have any cash to tip him with,” she wondered. “Or can you tip on gift certies? Idk.”
She didn’t worry about it as she knew she could simply tip him when she came in again the following week for her standing appointment.
“We are finished here,” he again whispered into her ear. “I’ll leave so you can get changed.”
Lifting the eye mask up, she looked towards the door to make sure he had left. She groaned, “Just what mama needed” and fastened her robe over her oily body. As she exited through the door to the shower area, she stopped by the locker where she had stored all her things. Digging through her handbag, she found her phone at the bottom beneath her wallet. Her thumb pressed the “lock” button to display what she had missed during her hour-long massage. But what she saw was jarring.
No calls, no notifications, and most importantly, no texts. .
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