Too Much, Texas
Nineteen-year-old Mary Dell Templeton pushed her white lace veil away from her face, knelt down in front of the toilet, and seriously considered vomiting.
She could hear the staccato tapping of her mother’s high heels coming down the hallway and reached up to click over the lock only a moment before Taffy tried the knob and then started hammering on the door.
“Mary Dell? Open the door. I will not put up with any of your nonsense today, young lady. Cousin Organza only knows three songs on the piano, and she’s played them through four times already. People are starting to notice. Do not embarrass me in front of half the town, young lady!”
Taffy Templeton paused, then rattled the knob again. “Mary Dell? Do you hear me? You unlock that door and come out here right now!”
Mary Dell closed her eyes and leaned down, resting her forehead on the cool curve of the porcelain seat. “I can’t. I feel sick.”
Taffy made an exasperated sound. “Well, of course you feel sick. It’s your wedding day. What did you expect?”
It was a fair question.
What in the world was she doing, marrying Donny Bebee? When he’d proposed, she’d immediately said yes, relieved that her problems had been so easily solved by uttering that one little word. But what if marrying Donny wasn’t the solution it seemed to be? What if she was just exchanging one set of problems for another? She barely knew Donny. Four months ago, she’d never even heard his name.
Another wave of nausea hit her as she realized that even now, she didn’t know his middle name. Or if he even had a middle name! How could she possibly promise to love, honor, and cherish until death did them part a man whose middle name was a mystery to her?
Before she’d met Donny, she was unattached and content to remain that way for the foreseeable future. Now she was engaged, nauseous, and crouched in front of the commode in a wedding dress, minutes away from either becoming Mrs. Donald Middle-Name-Unknown Bebee or busting through the bathroom door, knocking down her mother, and making a run for the nearest pickup truck and the Mexican border.
How had she gotten herself into this mess?