Chapter 26: Wedding Plans
A short, strawberry blonde-haired girl opened the door. "Can I help you?"
"I hope so. I'm looking for Kimberley?"
"Oh, yeah. She's up in her room. Come on." She stomped up the stairs, yelling Kim's name loudly.
"What?" Kim's husky voice responded.
"Someone to see you," the other girl called.
Kim emerged from a room to the left of the hallway. She hadn't changed much. Still statuesque and beautiful. The kind of girl who reminded you of that like from Ricky Martin's Living La Vida Loca: "her skin the colour mocha." She looked at me, surprised.
"Hi, Kim? Remember me? Kat. I'm a friend of Howie's?"
"More than a friend if what I heard the other day is true," she replied, and though Kat tried hard to stop it, it was a reflex action now, she grinned happily.
"Yeah, that's me. Can we talk about..."
Kim cut her off. "Come in here. It'll be quieter." She led Kat into her bedroom. "Sorry. It's just Lexie is a new room mate, only two months now, and I don't want to talk about who I think you are here to talk about with her."
"So you know why I'm here?"
"Why else would Howie's fiancé show up on my door?"
"Kim, I thought I was more than just that. I though we were friends," Kat said, trying hard to re-establish the rapport that they had had months ago.
"What do you want to say, Kat?" Kim asked bluntly.
"I have a story to tell you, and then a question to ask. Will you listen?"
"It's about AJ, though?"
She sighed. "If you want me to get back together with him you are talking to the wrong person. He dumped me. Weeks ago."
"Please listen to me, Kim?"
"Kim, you are also going to need to promise to listen to all I have to say. Some of it will be hard. But, please promise."
Kim looked at her curiously, then nodded her assent.
Kat sat down on the bed, indicating that Kim should do likewise. She took a deep breath and began.
"A little over three months ago, the guys came to Toronto for an appearance. You didn't accompany AJ."
"I had to work."
"I know. But things between the two of you were rocky at the time. No, he didn't say anything, and I don't know what was going on. I don't want to know; that's your business. But AJ was hurting a lot, and none of us realized how much at the time."
"Kim, I said that's your business. What I have to tell you is different from that."
Kim hung her head and signaled Kat to continue.
"As I was saying, AJ was hurting about something, and none of us knew what. He covers it well; always bouncing around and flirting. But it was what happened later that…"
Kat stopped, taking another deep breath. "Howie and I were also fighting. About something ridiculous, but it seemed important at the time. AJ was there for me."
Kim looked at her, shocked.
"AJ and I slept together." Kat said plainly.
"Jesus! Why are you telling me this?" Kim exploded off the bed.
"I have to, Kim. You promised you'd listen."
"I made that promise before…"
"But you made it, Kim. Listen. Please. There is more and it gets worse."
"You slept with my boyfriend! How does that get worse?"
"AJ thinks he's in love with me."
"Just get out! I don't want to hear anymore."
Kat stood her ground. "Tough. You are going to. AJ thinks he's in love m, but he's not. And I am not in love with him. What happened was a mistake."
"How can you not feel anything for him?" she said incredulously.
"Did I say that? No. I care about AJ a great deal. He was there for me when I needed someone. And the sex…"
"I don't want to hear that either!"
But Kat continued ruthlessly, " The sex was great." Then quietly, "but that was all it was."
"Howie knows. That was part of why I left. Disappeared. I couldn't handle what I had done. I left and hid from it for months. If I hadn't found out about Nick's rape charge I would probably still be hiding now."
Kim sat heavily on the bed. "I don't believe this."
"Kim? I love Howie. Always have. Always will. Kevin says it was love at first sight, and I think he's right. That's not the issue. What is an issue it the way AJ is acting. He is not in love with me, no matter what he says." She laughed wryly. "I'm not that good in bed."
Kim laughed dully.
"I think AJ is saying this because of something else. Something that happened even before he arrived in Toronto. I think you know what it is."
Kim turned away. "I thought you said you weren't going to ask."
"And I am not asking now. What I wanted you to know is what has been going on with him for the past while. He slept with his best friend's girlfriend, had his lights knocked out by that same best friend once he found out, had one of his closest buddy be accused of a horrible act, and the person he needed to talk to about all this run away because she was ashamed. He reached for a tiny point of light in all of that and blew it out of proportion. Now it is getting away from him. He needs help, and I can't give it to him."
"And I can?"
"I think so, Kim. Look, I talked to both of you, separately, before all of this stuff went down and you two were crazy about each other. Neither of you would shut up about the other." She smiled and held Kim's hand, squeezing it lightly. "It was kind of sickening… so goopy and sugary."
Kim chuckled weakly.
"Then all this crap happened. I think you still care deeply about him, and he about you. Please call him. Speak to him. Try and get through. I think you are one of the few people who can."
"If he thinks he is in love with you, why don't you…"
Kat shook her head. "I've tried. And frankly, I am afraid to try any harder. Howie's tried. We've all tried."
Kim was silent. Kat just watched her, giving the other girl time to think.
"Is that all you came to ask?" Kim said finally.
"No, actually." Kat smiled. "I was wondering what you were doing four weeks from now."
Kim frowned. "Nothing that I can think of."
"Be one of my bridesmaids?"
"Oh my god! Are you serious?!" Kim was stunned.
"Yeah. I don’t have many friends down here, and you did stick up for me from day one. Besides, I want you there. I need a fellow Canuck to help support me against all these pesky Americans."
"Yes! I'd love to. Thank you so much for asking."
"Good. That's settled. Now I just have to find a dress. I can't wear the one I wore the first time," Kat mused.
Kat blushed a fiery red. "Ummm. Howie and I are all ready married. This is just for friends and family."
"What the hell? Tell me everything! Now!" Kim was more excited than Kat was. Of course she'd had a few weeks to get used to waking up in Howie's arms. Gods, how could you ever get used to waking up with the most beautiful, intelligent, sexy man on the planet? Okay, 'used to" wasn't the right phrase. More like incredibly grateful for her profound luck.
"I found out about Nick and called Kevin..."
"I talked to Nick a while back. Told him I thought it was bullshit, and not to worry."
"Yeah, he told me. That's why I thought I could tell you the truth."
Kim flushed. She was still thinking about what to do about AJ. "Go on."
"Howie found out I was back and came to find me. They had been looking for me for the entire time I was away." She laughed, "Only a couple hundred miles from here. Anyway, he wouldn't leave me alone until I finally spoke to him, and once we started talking, well…"
"You started talking…" Kim said, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.
Could Kat blush any deeper? "Yeah. Sort of. Then he proposed. Only he proposed when he had arranged for us to end up in Las Vegas, without telling me. And then once I had agreed, marched me down to the nearest wedding chapel and that was that."
"That is so romantic," Kim sighed.
"Wasn't at the time. I was rather upset at him for tricking me. But he made it up to me." She grinned. "Okay, that's it! Enough double entendres!"
"So anyway, he is all ready my husband, but we want a ceremony that isn't so rushed this time. Something we can share with the people we care about."
"Thank you, Kat. I am honoured. I'd love to be there."
"Good!" Kat sighed happily. "I've never had to organize a wedding before. I always ran and hid from my friends when they were organizing theirs. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. But at least this is squared away."
Kat gave the other girl a hug. "I better go. I have to find a cake and… oh, I don't know. All sorts of other stuff. Mama D is helping. She knows what to do."
She turned back to where Kim sat on the bed. The girl looked lost, forlorn.
"Kim, what is it?" Kat was worried now.
"You were honest with me. Brutally honest. I want to tell you…"
"Kim, you don't have to," Kat said as she stroked the other girl's back, trying to comfort her. "It's all right, you don't need to tell me."
"I want to. I have to tell someone."
Kat just held her hand until Kim was ready to talk.
Kim took a deep breath. "The reason AJ and I were… I had a miscarriage."
"We didn't even know I was pregnant. It just happened. And I was so upset. I pushed him away. I told him to get out and to leave me alone. I lost his baby, so I made sure he lost me too."