“Fine, more room for me. I’ll take over the rent if necessary.”

“Where’s Dad? Is he coming too?”

“He’s still in Florida. By the way, we’re getting a divorce. So, let’s talk caterers.” She sat down calmly.

“Oh Judith, I’m so sorry,” Deb Roth said, coming to sit next to my mother and obviously prepared to offer comfort. She must not know my mother very well.

“About what? The divorce? Oh it’s no big deal. When Ira and I were both full-time litigators we got along. Retired, we don’t get along. Who’s doing the ceremony, Rabbi Stein?”

“We haven’t discussed it,” I said numbly.

“Well, of course it will be Rabbi Stein,” Mrs. Roth replied.

“Mom, don’t you think Adam and Lily …” Abby spoke up.

“He’s known them since they were babies, honey! Nomi Stein would be crushed if her husband didn’t marry them.” I started to sweat.

“What month are we talking?” my mother went on. She was on a roll.

“How about June?” Deb suggested.

“June works for me,” the Ice Queen agreed.

“Shouldn’t you ask Adam and Lily what works for them?” Abby tried again.

“Abby darling, we don’t want to put this off, but don’t forget, no weddings between Passover and Shavuot,” her mother answered. I started to itch. It might have been hives.

“They’ll have to meet with him to go over all the pre-marriage details,” Judith went on.

“What details?” I asked. All I knew about the process was what I had learned years ago in Hebrew school, and I didn’t remember most of it.

“The expectations and obligations of marriage,” Deb informed me.

“It will all be in the marriage contract too, but at a minimum, Adam’s supposed to feed you, clothe you and take care of your sexual needs,” Abby reminded me.

“Sounds like a good deal,” I muttered.

“We’ll make sure you get a beautiful ketubah,” Mrs. Roth beamed, referring to the actual contract we would sign at the wedding. There were so many designs. It would be displayed in our home for the rest of our lives. I had to find the perfect one! No pressure! I felt like I might need a paper bag to breathe into.

This conversation between my mother and Adam’s mother continued for what felt like years, as they worked out the details of our wedding. I hoped they remembered to invite us. Finally, Abby gestured for me to join her and the two of us ducked into the kitchen together.

“Hey, are you okay? You look kind of sick,” she asked kindly.

“My mother has that effect on me. She stresses me out.”

“Yeah, mine too. I love her with all my heart, but she drives me crazy sometimes. Remember that this day is for you and Adam, not anybody else.”

“That’s what my friends told me too. It’s hard, though, because I know how much it means to your mom and I really want to make her happy. I won’t bother with trying to please my mother. She’ll never be happy with anything I do.”

“Maybe that’s why you’re so anxious. You’re too worried about failing to please other people.” Abby was a smart cookie.

“You’re right. I need to stand up for myself. I can do it. I have support from my friends, and Adam comforts me when I get too overwhelmed.”

She snorted. “Sorry, it’s just so weird. He’s my little brother, and he’s Adam, you know?”

“Yeah, it’s even weird for me sometimes because he’s Adam, and I’m me, and we battled each other all through school.”

“We all knew that he had a crush on you, though, and we’re all glad that you’re going to be our sister.” She gave me a warm look and I became emotional.

“I’m glad, too,” I said, my voice cracking. Abby reached out and hugged me, and I hugged her back tightly.

“You and I are close in age, and we’re both lawyers,” she said, letting me go after a few seconds. “We should hang out more. Right now we should get back in there, though, before they choose your kids’ colleges.”

“I agree. I need to put my foot down, or they’ll roll right over me.” I marched back into the living room and faced the mothers.

“This is my wedding, and this is what I want,” I announced, squaring my shoulders. “First, it will be a traditional Jewish wedding, with Rabbi Stein, who has known us since we were kids. Secondly, it will be whenever and wherever we decide, but you can give us your input. Third, you can handle the details if you want, but I get final approval of everything.”

“Okay,” my mother replied.

“Okay?” I asked, dubiously.

“Okay,” she repeated.

“Okay!” I smiled confidently. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’m kind of tired too.”

“Of course, dear,” Mrs. Roth said sweetly. “Don’t worry about anything. We’ll get on this, and we’ll make sure that you approve of everything. It is your wedding after all.”

I wasn’t sure how I had won that round so easily, but I wasn’t going to question it. Of course, it dawned on me later, that what I had asked for, was what they wanted too, but it didn’t matter, as long as Adam and I were happy. The fact that it would also make them happy, was just a nice perk.

Chapter Seven

My hives went away at the same time my mother did. Coincidence? I think not. I went into the bedroom where Adam was curled up on his side asleep, hugging my pillow. He looked so sweet and innocent. Looks could be so deceiving.

I walked quietly over to the bed and sat down slowly so as not to disturb him. I was planning to read, but I couldn’t help just watching him like that for a few minutes and thinking about how much he meant to me. A little curl had fallen onto his forehead and I reached out, ever so gently, to brush it back. Then he spoke up and nearly gave me a stroke.

“Why are you watching me sleep?” I jumped and yanked my hand back with a yelp. What, did he have freaking ESP?

“Because I love you, you schmuck. How did you know with your eyes closed?”

“I’m aware of everything you do in bed,” he answered, opening his eyes and smiling at me. “Did they go home?”

“Yeah, but not before pushing me to the edge of a nervous breakdown. I stood up to them, and held my ground, but I think I need sex again.”

“Again? Are you trying to cripple me? At this rate they’re going to have to carry me up the aisle.”

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