Girls Only

Girls Only originally appeared in –One Story-Winter 2011

One summer when they were all still friends, they were the bridesmaids, determined for once to do their best. Their jobs were to smile and fuss, offer agreement and an extra set of hands. They were to play at intimacy, past and present. They were to overlook that they hadn’t been together for the past five years. While they believed the bride belonged in their little human pyramid, they also agreed she’d always been bottom row material. They’d seen the movies and read their Jane Austen. They understood this one time they were to be her back-up singers, her session drummers. Her beaver posse, Cleo said on the day they arrived at the bride’s childhood home for their week of pre-wedding Girl Fun, but Cleo had always said things like that. She was spacey and tone-deaf, and since college—could it already be nine years?—had made her living as an escort. Anna, the Legal Aid lawyer and former President’s great-great-granddaughter, told her her remark was repulsive. Cleo said she had just been kidding. “Can’t we just be nice to each other?” she added.

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