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With the planning for Annabel's wedding underway, Genevieve is distracted by family bickering and an unexpected life-altering discovery. With Annabel threatening to cancel her wedding and Julia hiding a dark secret, her life once again descends into the perfect mix of hilarious chaos. Will the sisters be able to sort everything out and get their happy endings?
Annabel's wedding is a tale of sisterhood, relationships and learning to find happiness in spite of the sometimes crazy hand you're dealt.
‘I think we may have overdone it,’ I laughed, pushing the back door hard to close it.
‘Oh well, at least we’ll have fun,’ Julia cackled, as she planted her foot and reversed much faster than I liked, sending half of the pile to the floor, including the helium kit.
‘We need to make a plan for the night,’ I said, gripping my seatbelt. ‘Which games shall we play first?’
‘Everyone can mingle for a while and have a few drinks, and then once they’ve all arrived we can start the games.’
‘Has Annabel given you a guest list yet?’ There was a lot that Annabel hadn’t gotten around to doing.
‘No, but she said she’d get it to me this week. I don’t think she has too many coming, maybe thirty, so we should be fine with what we have.’
Julia’s phone rang in her bag. ‘Can you grab that out for me, it’s probably the stripper people.’ I reached into the black hole of her bag and fished around, finally feeling the vibrating phone. I held it up and pressed answer, switching it straight to speaker. ‘Hi, Julia speaking,’ she called out.
‘This is Madame Summer’s, you called about booking a stripper?’
‘Yes, that’s right. I just wanted to confirm the Hunky Hoseman I had tentatively booked in.’ As Julia spoke I noticed there was a slight elevation to her pitch. I looked at her, she sounded weird.
Madame Summer confirmed the booking and promised to send an email with the details. I was still trying to work out why Julia sounded so odd.
‘What? Why are you looking at me like that?’ she asked.
‘You sound weird.’
She shrugged. ‘You always sound weird.’
‘I’m serious. You sound like a teenage boy before puberty. What’s wrong with you?’
Before Julia could answer her phone vibrated against my hand and the twinkle sound of a message rang out. I looked down, expecting to read Madame Summer’s confirmation, but the words were far more personal. Julia immediately saw the shock on my face and grabbed at the phone, but the words, awful and paralysing, had already made their way from the screen to my brain.
‘Give it here,’ she insisted, flapping her hand around to take it from me.
I held it out, escaping her reach, buying my scurrying thoughts some time to register what I had just read. ‘Please tell me this is a joke!’ I sat, glaring at her with an intensity I hadn’t felt since Peter’s betrayal. ‘You lied to me, Julia. You lied to my face. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe you would do this.’
Her voice had gone yet another octave higher. ‘What the hell is going on with your voice now? And give me my phone!’ She said, swiping at me again.
I was shaking as the words cut deeper each time I looked at them: I need to see you, I need to feel your body against mine.
They weren’t just words. They were betrayal, lies and heartbreak.
‘It’s none of your business, Viv, stay out of it.’ She lurched at me, one hand on the wheel and the other grabbing at the air for the phone.
I pushed it away and held the phone further out. Another message came. ‘Oh my God, Julia, how long has this been going on?’ I lowered my tone to convey my disgust at her behaviour. Instead, I sounded like a chipmunk.
She slapped back at me ferociously, squealing for me to hand it over as the car veered onto the gravel. Julia swerved, spinning the wheel and causing the car to slide.
‘Stop, Julia,’ I screamed, pointing to the approaching tree and bracing for impact.
She slammed her right foot hard onto the brake pedal, enough to bring the tiny car to a screeching halt. The front bumper was touching the tree trunk.
‘Are you okay?’ she asked, not waiting for a response before launching her attack. ‘This is your damn fault, you idiot,’ she shouted, clawing at me.‘Give me my damn phone.’
It was possible a chipmunk had climbed into the car and was practising ventriloquism. Her voice sounded ridiculous and so did mine. I threw the phone at her. ‘You can stick it,’ I retaliated. ‘This is your fault for being a sneaky, conniving cow. And where the hell is the helium? You’ve obviously left it on to poison us to death. That’s your fault too!’
‘I don’t think you can die from a bit of helium, you sook.’ Julia turned to kneel on her seat, reaching over and dragging the helium canister out of the box. ‘Shit, I didn’t shut off the nozzle properly.’
You ladies okay?’ A handsome twentysomething police officer was tapping at the window.
‘Not really,’ I chip-munked. ‘My sister is a lunatic who put a leaking helium canister in the back of this tiny car and then ran us off the road while trying to hide her sordid affair from me!’
Susan Murphy is a marriage and funeral celebrant from South Australia with a passion for telling stories. She's also Mum to three fabulous kids, a wife of many years, and self-confessed chocolate addict. When not writing she can be found standing on the edge of a cliff, on a P&O cruise ship or even getting blown away on a beach somewhere while officiating wedding ceremonies. You might also find her at the SA Writers Centre where she is currently the Writer in Residence.
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