MidReal Story

Unveiling Love's Second Chance

Scenario: Evelyn is dreading the wedding of her brother, as she will have to face an old boyfriend that she made a pact with years ago; she meets Benjamin on the plane and they decide to pretend to be engaged, but as they spend more time together, they may just be falling for each other.
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Evelyn is dreading the wedding of her brother, as she will have to face an old boyfriend that she made a pact with years ago; she meets Benjamin on the plane and they decide to pretend to be engaged, but as they spend more time together, they may just be falling for each other.
I had been dreading this wedding for months, and now that I was finally here, I could think of nothing else.
I’d been working nonstop for weeks, trying to keep myself busy and focused on something other than this wedding.
I can’t do this, I thought as I stepped onto the plane.
I can’t go to my brother’s wedding.
I’d taken on extra work, stayed late at the office, and worked on weekends until I’d managed to draft a thirty-minute speech for Jamie and Samantha in between press releases and staff memos.
I can’t see Jamie get married.
I’d even tried to convince Jamie that I didn’t need to be here, that I could be there in spirit and that would be good enough.
I was his best friend, though—the only one who knew about his college relationship with Samantha—so he wasn’t having any of it.
And I sure as hell can’t see him again.
“Please tell me you’re not going to give a speech,” Samantha said when we got in the car.
But I had to go, didn’t I?
It was my brother’s wedding, after all.
She backed out of the parking spot and headed toward Manhattan, where she and Jamie lived, while I sat in the passenger seat and tried to calm my nerves.
And I was the maid of honor.
I would have gladly skipped all of these pre-wedding festivities if I could have, but that wasn’t an option either.
I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I missed my brother’s wedding, especially not when he’d asked me to be there.
I’d been dreading this day for years, and now it was finally here.
My brother Jamie was getting married.
“Of course not,” I said, shrugging.
And not just to anyone—to Samantha, his girlfriend of six years and the love of his life.
I had no intention of giving a speech, but the last thing I wanted to do was get into an argument about it on my first day in New York.
I was tired and cranky, and I didn’t want to spend the next two days pretending to be someone I wasn’t.
They were perfect for each other, and I couldn’t be happier for them.
A few minutes later, Samantha pulled up in front of their apartment building, and we got out of the car and went inside.
But that wasn’t why I was dreading this weekend so much.
I called Jamie to let him know I’d arrived and then took a shower while I waited for him to get home from work.
I was dreading it because of him.
He had a few meetings that afternoon, but we were planning to meet up later, so he could fill me in on the wedding details and tell me what to expect over the next few days.
Because he would be there too.
And because of the pact we made in college.
I was just about to hop in the shower when my phone rang with an unknown number, so I quickly answered before hopping in the shower.
It was a joke at the time, of course.
“Evie, is that you?”
We were drunk and stupid.
Jamie asked when I answered.
It was just something we said.
“Yes, Jamie, it’s me.”
“Are you free right now?”
But now I was thirty and single, and so was he.
And I knew that pact was the real reason I’d been dreading this day.
“Not really,” I said, looking down at my naked body.
I’ll be free in about ten minutes, though.
This weekend was going to be awkward enough without him there.
But pretending to be in love and engaged?
“I just wanted to check in and make sure you’re still coming.”
I just hoped I could make it through the weekend without losing my mind.
I rolled my eyes and sat down on the bed, wrapped in a towel.
As the plane descended toward the airport in New York, I took a deep breath and tried to shake off my anxiety.
It wouldn’t do any good to panic now.
“Yes, Jamie, I’m still coming,” I said through gritted teeth.
I was here, and there was no turning back.
“I’ll be there in a few days.”
“Good,” he said with a sigh of relief.
If I was lucky, maybe he would be too busy with work to show up.
Or maybe we could just pretend we didn’t know each other.
“We really need you here for this.”
“I know,” I said with a smile as I ran my fingers through my hair and tried to untangle the knots.
I knew that wouldn’t work, though.
“So what time are you going to be here?
How could I ignore him when he was all I could think about?
The rehearsal dinner starts at seven.”
How could I pretend that the man I once loved more than anything in the world meant nothing to me?
“I’m not sure yet,” he said with a sigh.
I said a silent prayer as I stepped off the plane and headed toward baggage claim, hoping to make it through this weekend without humiliating myself or losing my mind.
My heart raced as I waited for my bag to appear on the carousel, but it wasn’t there.
“I’m still at work, but I’m hoping I can get out of here soon.
Of course it wasn’t.
“You can pick me up whenever,” I said.
I’ll be ready by then.”
I groaned and checked the tag again, praying that it really was my bag and it wasn’t just being an asshole like everything else in my life right now.
But as soon as I saw the pink hearts on the tag, I knew that it was in fact my bag.
“Great,” he said, and I could hear the smile in his voice.
“I can’t wait to see you.”
Samantha walked up to me then, and I forced myself to smile as she took me in her arms for a hug.
“I’m so happy you’re here,” she said, squeezing me tight before letting go a few seconds later.
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“Me too,” I said, smiling at her as I grabbed my bag from the carousel.
“Me too,” I mumbled before hanging up the phone and rolling my eyes for what felt like the hundredth time that day.
She was wearing a pink sundress, and she looked radiant with her glowing skin and long brown hair flowing down her back.
She didn’t look like someone who was about to get married in two days; she looked like someone who’d found her soulmate and was about to start a new chapter of her life with him.
My hotel was beautiful.
It was big and grand and way more luxurious than the hotels I usually stayed at when I came to Manhattan for work.
I envied her for that.
I wanted that kind of love more than anything in the world, but I knew better than to hope for it.
It was right in the middle of everything downtown, and all of the shops and restaurants made me feel like I was still in college when I used to come visit Jamie all the time.
I didn’t really want to be there, but I was trying to make the most of it and act like I was excited about the wedding, even though I wasn’t sure if that excitement would carry over into Saturday night or not.
It just wasn’t in the cards for me.
After I got off the phone with Jamie, I took a shower and got dressed before heading downstairs to meet him in the lobby so we could go pick up Sam together.
“I can’t believe Jamie’s getting married,” she said as she linked her arm with mine and led me out of the airport to where her car was parked.
My heart raced as I stepped out of the elevator and walked through the lobby toward the front doors of the hotel.
“Yeah,” I said, unable to think of anything else to say as we walked outside.
It was hot and humid—nothing like Washington, D.C., where I lived—and even though it was only nine o’clock in the morning, I could already feel myself sweating through my shirt.
“Hey, Evie,” Jamie said when he saw me walking toward him.
I waved back and walked a little faster to get to him sooner.
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His arm was wrapped around Sam’s waist as she stood by his side, and even though they were both exhausted from the last few weeks of craziness leading up to the wedding, they looked so happy together.
I felt like I would never have this with someone else.
“Hey there,” I said when I finally reached them.
I gave Sam a hug first and then turned to Jamie to give him one too before we walked outside to wait for the car to pull up.
“I’m just so happy you’re here,” Sam said with a huge smile as she leaned into Jamie’s side and played with the hair on his chest that was poking out of the top of his shirt.
“I am too,” I said, but my words came out more like a question than anything else.
As much as I wanted to be happy about being here and being part of this weekend, all I could think about was how much I didn’t want to be here or be part of something that was supposed to bring so much joy but just made me feel miserable instead.
“Did Jamie tell you when he’ll be home?”
Sam asked me as we climbed into the car and headed toward their apartment to pick up his things before we headed to my hotel room to drop them off.
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I pulled my phone out of my purse and checked it for any new messages, but there wasn’t anything from him.
“He didn’t, but it’s no big deal.
I can just call him when I get there, and I’m sure he’ll answer if he can.” My brother was busy getting ready for his wedding, so I didn’t expect him to answer if he was in the middle of something.
It was strange to think about, considering he used to answer every single time I called him before he met Sam.
I never worried about what he was doing or if he’d be too busy to talk to me, but that was different now.
She was different now.
I never expected to find a girl like her, and at first, it scared me because I was afraid she would take Jamie away from me and I wouldn’t be his favorite girl anymore.
But she brought out the best in him and made him happier than he’d ever been, so I couldn’t be mad or upset about that, even though she wasn’t what I wanted for him at first.
I knew she was good for him and that he was good for her too.
She trusted me and loved me just as much as he did, and that made it easier for me to open my heart to her too.
I was so used to being by myself and not having to worry about anyone else that it was hard to let someone in, but she made it so easy.
She loved me as much as her own sister, and she was the best friend I’d always wanted but never thought I’d have until I met her.
She understood everything about me, probably better than my own brother did, and made me feel less alone when he was gone or busy doing things with her instead of me.
“Thank you so much for doing this weekend,” Sam said as we drove through the city toward my hotel.
“I don’t know what I would’ve done if you hadn’t agreed to plan everything for us.” She leaned up between the front seats and put her hand on my leg as she talked to me, trying to make sure I saw how much she meant it.
It was going to be the bachelorette party to end all bachelorette parties in Sam’s mind because she was the kind of girl who needed to be the center of attention all the time and make sure everyone knew she was the most important person in the room.
I didn’t want to say any of that out loud because I didn’t want her to think I was jealous or that I wanted to do anything else but make this weekend about her and her happiness.
It was already hard enough being here and pretending like I was happy for them when I wasn’t sure I could do it anymore.
I didn’t want to add to any of it by saying something hurtful or mean that would ruin her night before it even started.
“No problem at all.
It’s the least I could do.” The car pulled up in front of my hotel, and the driver got out to take our bags so we could go inside.
I said good-bye to Jamie and Sam once I was checked in and walked through the lobby toward the elevator to go up to my room.
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Sam asked me after Jamie had gone back outside.
“Of course I am,” I said, and I made sure to smile at her even though I was so nervous about everything I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stop shaking until the whole weekend was over.
She’d been so excited about this wedding for so long, and I couldn’t help but feel guilty that she was marrying my brother when I didn’t even believe in love anymore.
I didn’t want to ruin her big day by telling her any of this, though, so I’d just had to lie to her instead.
“Don’t worry about me,” I said.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.” I got on the elevator before she could ask me any more questions, and I let out a deep breath as soon as the doors closed behind me.
I wasn’t sure how long I stayed there with my eyes closed, but I finally opened them when the elevator dinged to let me know it was time to get off.
I stumbled out into the hallway and walked down to my room on the floor, still not sure how any of this was happening right then.
It wasn’t like Jamie and Sam hadn’t been together for long enough that we all knew they were going to get married eventually, but all of it still felt like too much for me to handle right then.
He was my big brother, and he was my whole world growing up since our parents were never really around when we were kids, but all of that was going to change once he married Sam.
It would be the end of an era, and I wasn’t sure how to feel about that yet.
I knew he loved her more than anything and that she felt the same way about him since they were always doing things together whenever they had free time, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t sad to see everything changing now that they were going to be husband and wife instead of just boyfriend and girlfriend.
I went into my room and set my bags down on the floor next to the bed before sitting down on the mattress and looking around at everything inside it.
I’d been so busy planning everything that would happen over the weekend that I hadn’t actually thought about what it all meant until just then, and now that it was almost time for all of it to start, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for any of it anymore.
I was doing my best not to think about it too much, though, and to focus on what Sam wanted me to do instead so she wouldn’t have anything to worry about while we were here celebrating her engagement and having fun together.
She’d asked me to plan and take care of everything, so that was what I was going to do, and nothing else mattered at all.
“Evelyn, are you ready?”
Sam called out from just outside my door a few minutes later, and I turned back around to look at where she was standing with Jamie so they could see me and know that I was about to come out too so we could all go together.
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