Jilted Groom(2)

By: Mia Carson

Tommy smirked behind her shoulder, and Edmund patted his mom on the back, pursing his lips at Tommy to make him stop before he lost it and laughed. “It’s fine, Mom. I’ll be fine, given time,” he told her, hoping his sadness sounded sincere. “Life will go on, really.”

Life would go on, and a new life awaited him, unexplored. Getting out of this church and away from the prying eyes of his parents was the first order of business. Most of the guests lingered, waiting to see if any more drama developed, but he did not want to be here if Jenny decided to come back. This was his out, and he was going to take it. Quickly. He widened his eyes at Tommy, making a leaving motion with his hand behind Sarah’s back. Tommy winked, straightened his jacket, and cleared his throat.

“Mrs. Eastwood, why don’t I take Edmund out for a drink, to help sooth his sadness over this horrible tragedy?”

Edmund rolled his eyes, but Sarah leaned back and rested her hand against his cheek. “I need to get out of here,” he told her quietly. “Please? Give me some time to collect myself?”

She sucked in a shuddering breath as Edward strolled over and laid a heavy hand on his son’s shoulder. “Let him go with Tommy, Sarah. He doesn’t need to be hounded by everyone right now.”

“Alright.” Sarah sighed. “But don’t get drunk. She’s not worth it, and the last thing I want to hear about is my son wasted at some bar and having sex with some piece of no-good, white trash.” She stood and smoothed her hands down her skirt and jacket. “We’ll deal with the guests. Go with Tommy.”

He kissed her cheek, thanked his dad, and followed Tommy down the aisle and out of the church. “You're a lifesaver, as always,” Edmund said as they slipped into Tommy’s truck. His old Mustang was parked behind the church, but he’d fetch it later. “Where to, Lieutenant?”

Tommy floored it out of the lot and took off towards the interstate. “Somewhere no one knows you, that’s where.”

“Great,” Edmund agreed and undid his bowtie. He rolled down the window and the rush of air ripped it from his fingers. “Freedom, man, complete freedom.”

“Until your parents find another woman,” Tommy grunted.

“Are you trying to kill my mood?”

“Trying to be realistic,” he said. “Maybe you need to do something drastic.”

“Oh yeah? What do you have in mind?”

Tommy tapped his fingers on the steering wheel until his eyes lit up and he laughed. “You know, you could just run away.”

Edmund’s eyes slid to his friend. “Run away? I’m not a kid.”

“Exactly, you’re an adult, and you, my friend, can do whatever the fuck you want,” Tommy informed him. “That’s what being an adult means. Get away from your crazy, controlling parents for a few days—hell, a few weeks! Go see what’s out there in that big old world.”

“What, just hop on a plane?”

Tommy shook his head. “No, you gotta do this right. Get in your car and just drive.”

Edmund stared out the window. “And where would I go?”

“That’s the point. You don’t pick a place, you just go and see where the wind takes you. Think about it, that’s all I’m saying.”

They drove for another twenty minutes before Tommy exited the interstate and parked the truck in the lot of a bar lit up with neon signs advertising pool tables, beer, and on occasion, hot chicks. Edmund ditched his tux jacket in the truck and followed his friend inside. Country music played overhead, and because it was early evening, the bar wasn’t too busy yet. Tommy grabbed them beers as Edmund set up a table for a game of pool. His cell vibrated in his pocket, but he ignored it as he racked the balls and held a pool cue out while Tommy set their beers on a nearby high top.

Edmund shot first, scattering balls across the table and landing a solid in the corner pocket. “You really think it’d be that easy to disappear?” he mused as he lined up his second shot.

Tommy nodded as he sipped his bottle of Bud. “You just have to do it.”

Edmund bit his lip as he took the shot and cursed when he missed. “Mom would kill me.”

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