When Evie’s best friend’s wedding rolls around, she wants nothing more than to be a part of Jade’s big day. But as the wedding dawns, rumors about Evie’s husband, James, begin to fly around — including the fact that he’s been uninvited. What secrets lurk between the rumors? And more importantly, are they true?

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Jade and I had been friends for years. As kids, our families lived across the road from each other — so we had grown up together. From diapers to high school, we were inseparable. And when college came around, we did the long-distance thing.

Two little girls hugging | Source: Unsplash

Two little girls hugging | Source: Unsplash

“We’re going to be friends until we’re old and gray and knitting scarves for our grandchildren,” Jade would always say.

And I believed her, especially because she made a concerted effort to keep up with our friendship.

Even when I got married four years ago — Jade shared the Maid of Honor spot with my sister and was part and parcel of the entire experience.

A person knitting | Source: Unsplash

A person knitting | Source: Unsplash

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Now, Jade’s wedding is a few days away, and I’m a bridesmaid. Because we had been such close friends for so many years, she had invited my family to share in the joy of her big day.

“Everyone?” I asked her, making sure she knew what she was doing.

“Everyone!” she confirmed, giggling. “They’ve all been a part of my life since we were just kids, Evie. Especially your grandmother! Remember all the toasted cheese sandwiches she made me over the years? That was the best comfort food I’ve ever eaten.”

Toasted cheese sandwiches | Source: Unsplash

Toasted cheese sandwiches | Source: Unsplash

The closer we got to the wedding, the other bridesmaids took over their duties leading up to the day. I was in charge of the big bridal party dinner a week before the wedding.

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“Matthew and I don’t want to do the traditional bachelor and bachelorette parties, Evie,” Jade said. “We want something more classy.”

I sat down with her and took notes — Jade was stubborn; she knew exactly what she wanted, and if I wasn’t paying attention to her, I would mess it up.

A notebook with a pen | Source: Unsplash

A notebook with a pen | Source: Unsplash

“Tell me what type of event you’d like,” I said.

“Just something elegant. But also cozy. A dinner with plenty of drinks flowing.”

“And the guests?” I asked, jotting down notes.

“Just the bridal party,” Jade said. “But no parents, because Matthew will hold back on having fun if they’re around. He doesn’t enjoy himself because he thinks that if he shows himself having fun, my parents wouldn’t respect him.”

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A group of men holding drinks | Source: Unsplash

A group of men holding drinks | Source: Unsplash

That sounded absolutely absurd. But Matthew was a scientist, and he was strange. He was perfect for Jade, but he could be rather rigid.

“He’s not like James,” she sniggered.

I didn’t know what my husband had to do with it. But I did know that Jade had a love-hate relationship with James.

Jade would love him on certain days, and they would get along like a house on fire, but there were also other days when she would simply be polite to him.

A young smiling man | Source: Unsplash

A young smiling man | Source: Unsplash

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The dinner went off without a hitch. Jade looked incredible in a white dress — with white dresses being the theme for the events leading up to the wedding.

We all partied the night away, reminiscing about the past — while a tipsy Jade sent my husband to get s’more ingredients from the 24/7 supermarket.

“Please, James,” she said, hanging onto my arm. “Please can you get the bride-to-be some chocolate and marshmallows?”

S'mores on a plate | Source: Unsplash

S’mores on a plate | Source: Unsplash

My husband, who had been drinking himself, eventually gave in and called a cab to take him to the supermarket.

“I’ll be back soon,” he said.

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When James returned, the s’mores were made to satisfy Jade’s cravings under the night sky.

Everything was perfect.

A taxi at night | Source: Unsplash

A taxi at night | Source: Unsplash

Then, something changed, and suddenly, I was left to wonder if Jade valued our friendship or not.

Two days before the wedding — I sat at home with a cup of coffee, thinking about calling Jade. I remembered my nerves had kicked in around that time. I loved my husband and I couldn’t wait to marry him — but the problem was that I hated being the center of attention.

“Hey, Jade,” I said when she answered. “I just wanted to say congratulations again! And that I cannot wait to see you at the end of the aisle.”

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A woman holding a mug | Source: Unsplash

A woman holding a mug | Source: Unsplash

Jade chuckled.

“Thank you so much!” she gushed, breaking away to talk to someone in the background.

“Listen, Evie,” she said. “While you’re here, I have one thing to ask you.”

“Anything!” I said. “It’s apparently written in the bridesmaid constitution that I have to do everything you ask. Without question.”

“I’m glad you think that,” she said. “Because this is really important to me.”

“What?” I asked her, wanting her to just spit it out.

“Please don’t bring James to the wedding. Please,” she pleaded.

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A shocked woman holding her face | Source: Unsplash

A shocked woman holding her face | Source: Unsplash

Why wouldn’t my husband be at the wedding? My entire family was going to be there.

“What? Why?” I exclaimed, spilling my coffee.

“Um, Evie,” she stammered. “Oh wait! I need to run.”

With that, Jade cut the call.

I didn’t understand any of it. Why would my husband not be invited to the wedding? Especially because Jade had been the one who introduced us in the first place. And she had played a pivotal role in our wedding.

A person spilling coffee | Source: Unsplash

A person spilling coffee | Source: Unsplash

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My mind was racing. I didn’t understand where Jade was coming from. All I knew was that my chest had gotten heavy, and I was starting to feel anxious.

Because I was alone at home, I decided to take a bubble bath and calm my nerves.

We did have a pre-wedding event later that day — all the bridesmaids were getting together to have our nails done, with Jade deciding on the colors and patterns.

A woman taking a bath | Source: Unsplash

A woman taking a bath | Source: Unsplash

I had been looking forward to it all week because it meant some time-out for myself, and also — I enjoyed just chatting with the girls.

But after our phone call, I didn’t know whether to go.

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Had something happened between James and Jade?

My husband would never do that to me, especially with my best friend.

I decided to pluck up the courage and drove to the nail salon to meet the other bridesmaids. Everyone was sitting around, sipping on mimosas.

A person at a nail salon | Source: Unsplash

A person at a nail salon | Source: Unsplash

Jade wasn’t there.

“Where’s Jade?” I asked Whitney, her cousin, as I sat down.

“No clue,” she said, putting her phone away. “And how are you holding up, Evie?”

What does that mean? I thought to myself.

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“I’m fine, why?” I replied.

“Well, I heard that James had been uninvited to the wedding,” Whitney said. “I didn’t know if you would still be a part of the party when you heard.”

A smiling woman | Source: Unsplash

A smiling woman | Source: Unsplash

“What?” I exploded. “Why? What did James do?”

Whitney turned toward me, her eyes wide.

“You didn’t know?”

“Jade called me this morning and told me not to bring him, but I didn’t know what it was about. I was hoping to see her here and clarify it.”

“I’ll tell you what I know,” she said.

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Sun on a woman's face | Source: Unsplash

Sun on a woman’s face | Source: Unsplash

Apparently, Jade had been disparaging my husband behind our backs, claiming that he was unsuitable for me. And that she didn’t want him there to ruin her perfect day.

“She said that James drinks a lot, too,” Whitney said. “Does he have a problem? Because Jade said that she didn’t want him to make a scene and embarrass everyone.”

I was floored. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. It made absolutely no sense to me. Jade was the one who had been a tipsy mess at the dinner, demanding that my husband go and sort out her cravings.

“I’m here!” Jade said, walking through the door of the nail salon.

A woman drinking wine | Source: Unsplash

A woman drinking wine | Source: Unsplash

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I confronted her, demanding the truth amid the hurtful rumors that were clearly going around.

Jade denied it all and claimed that everything was a misunderstanding, but the damage was done. Despite her assurances, the trust between us had fractured.

That evening at home, James and I ate pizza on the couch and I told him everything that had happened.

“I don’t get it, love,” he said. “Jade has issues.”

Close-up of pizza | Source: Unsplash

Close-up of pizza | Source: Unsplash

I couldn’t disagree.

“Did anything happen?” I asked James, hoping that my husband would be open and honest with me.

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“During the s’more incident, she said that she wished that her relationship with Matthew was more like ours. That’s it. I think she was embarrassed when she realized what she had said. That’s about it.”

All of this just because of a drunken thought?

I was absolutely puzzled.

In the end, I went to Jade’s wedding by myself — it was a decision that weighed heavily on me. But James had encouraged me to do it.

“I know you’re hurt,” he said. “But you should go. At least go for the years of friendship that you guys shared. It’s important, Evie.”

I wore one of my own dresses, discarding the role of bridesmaid. Jade knew exactly what she had done. She should be grateful that I was at her wedding at all.

A woman wearing a red dress | Unsplash

A woman wearing a red dress | Unsplash

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“Besides, your entire family is invited,” James said. “Go and gossip about people’s outfits with your gran.”

It was a beautiful ceremony, and although our friendship was on a steady decline, I was glad that Jade had found her person. Even if she wanted him to be a bit more like my husband.

Reflecting on the situation, I’m left trying to understand the dynamics of friendship and the pain of feeling betrayed by someone you thought knew you better than anyone else.

After the wedding, James picked me up and we went for ice cream and waffles.

A man sitting in a car | Source: Unsplash

A man sitting in a car | Source: Unsplash

“Are you glad you went?” he asked me.

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“I’m glad it’s over,” I said.

Even now, I’m not sure if I was referring to the wedding or our friendship.

Waffles and ice cream | Source: Pexels

Waffles and ice cream | Source: Pexels

What would you have done?

Here’s another story for you | In a shocking twist of fate, a wife’s suspicions lead to a revelation that shatters the very foundation of her marriage. Secrets unravel, emotions run high, and the truth emerges from the shadows, casting a stark light on a love story tinged with betrayal.

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