Sofie and the Movie Star

By: Rachel Schurig

Chapter One


Here’s a life tip for you: if you happen to be hormonal, bloated, nearly seven months pregnant, and nauseated, a bridesmaid dress might not be the best look for you.

Seriously. Take it from me—there’s just no way to make the situation not suck.

It shouldn’t have surprised me, really, that I was having such a hard time keeping it together the day of my cousin’s wedding. First of all, my morning sickness decided that the third trimester was a great time to make a surprise reappearance. I wasn’t puking as much as I did in the beginning, but the nauseated, icky feeling was rearing its head from morning until night.

Also, my feet had swollen up to about three times their normal size. I actually had to go out and buy new shoes for the wedding. And with the whole impending single-motherhood scenario fast approaching, I was definitely happy to spend my limited financial resources on shoes I wouldn’t have the opportunity to wear again for God knows how long.

My feet, of course, weren’t the only thing that was swollen. Though my cousins and sister told me repeatedly that my baby bump was much smaller than average, I wasn’t quite sure I believed them. I certainly felt gigantic—not just in my belly but in my face and my ass (God, my ass felt huge) and my hips—even my hands felt fat. Is it possible to get fat hands from pregnancy? Everything about me felt oversized and uncomfortable, totally off-balanced and clumsy. I sometimes wondered how I would manage to make my way down the aisle.

The most distressing thing, for me, was the hormones. I came from an emotional family, the type of people who think a gathering hasn’t really started unless there’s been at least one crying jag or shouting match. Unlike my family, I always prided myself on my ability to play it cool. I was not a crier. So why had I felt like crying pretty much constantly since stepping off the plane in London?

It might have had something to do with this—my cousin, Lizzie, my very best friend in the entire world, was standing in front of me in her wedding dress. And she looked absolutely radiant, more beautiful than I had ever seen her, a huge and glowing smile attached to her face as if by super glue. She was about to marry the love of her life, the very cute and totally perfect-for-her Thomas Harper. Oh, and did I mention that Thomas happened to be an internationally famous movie star? Yeah, I would be beaming too if I were her.

In fact, her overabundance of joy was beginning to have severe consequences on her makeup. “You need to stop smiling for a minute,” another bridesmaid, Callie, said somewhat crossly, leaning over Lizzie with an eye shadow brush in hand. “It makes your eyelids crinkle up and I’m never going to get this on you with crinkled up eyelids.”

“Sorry, Cal.” Lizzie’s smile didn’t falter in the slightest. “I’ll try.”

I snorted inelegantly. I had a feeling the chances of Lizzie going stone-faced at any time in the near further were slim to none. “Nice snort, Sofie,” Lizzie told me, still beaming.

Little brat, I thought to myself, with only the slightest hint of anything resembling malice. Of course, I was thrilled for my cousin. I liked Thomas very much and was more than happy to have him join the family. He’d gone out of his way to win me over from the time they started dating—going so far as to fly me over to London for her Christmas present last year. And when Lizzie had offered me a place to stay in their house a few month ago, Thomas hadn’t complained—as far as I know. How could I not like a guy who was so willing to woo not just Lizzie but her favorite cousin as well?

No, there was nothing about their marriage that I could object to. After leaving home and meeting Thomas in London, Lizzie had absolutely come alive. She’d always been shy—downright timid, to be honest. Too often overlooked and bullied by her loud, bossy family. Something about her relationship with Thomas had changed that for her, transforming her into the confident, independent girl I saw before me. I would always be thankful for that.

But, if I was completely honest with myself, it was just a teensy bit hard to not feel jealous. After all, I was the one who was pregnant. And in a matter of weeks (Oh, God, only ten now, and I was so not ready) I would be bringing a kid into the world. Without so much as a boyfriend at my side.

“You look a little pale,” Lizzie told me, her smile fading slightly. “How do you feel?”

“Fine.”

She raised her eyebrows. “Really? Not nauseated? I think I have some crackers in my emergency bag—”

“Lizzie.” She had been worrying pretty much non-stop about how I would handle the transatlantic trip for the wedding. Her concern for me was sweet, and had been ongoing since I first broke the news of my untimely pregnancy. On the other hand, it was entirely possible she was merely worried that I might spontaneously go into labor and delay her marrying Thomas. “Stop nagging. You sound like your sister.”

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