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Spotlight on Poppy
Author: Mary Warren







“Poppy, I think I’m going to be sick,” Josie groaned as they pulled up to the farmhouse where all the bridesmaids were getting ready. Poppy could just see the look on Hannah’s face if she walked in there with a puking bridesmaid. It was not happening.

Poppy put her hands on Josie's face and looked into her eyes.

“No. You’re not. It is your sister’s wedding day and you’re going to pull yourself together.”

“I know,” she said, as she took a slow deliberate breath. “I’m so fucking hungover.” Josie pulled down her oversized sunglasses and appeared to steel herself for the day as they stepped out of the car. Poppy’s best friend, Hannah, was getting married today. Hannah had lived in the city when they were kids, but would always come back to her family's farm during the summer. They spent their summer days running back and forth between each other’s houses and splashing in the creek that separated them. Then last year Hannah moved to the Glenn family farm permanently. Today was her wedding day. Poppy was happy for her best friend.


Yes, happy and not at all jealous.

“Hey Han, we’re here. Where are you?” Poppy called out as Josie winced and covered her ears.

“I’m upstairs,” Hannah called down.

They made their way upstairs to Hannah’s room where they found her sitting on a chair getting her hair done. She looked beautiful and she didn’t even have her dress on yet. Hannah was curvy and blonde and beautiful. She was sitting doing her make-up in front of the large vanity that led into the lavish master bath. Poppy had always known this room to belong to Hannah’s parents, but after Hannah moved into the farmhouse permanently, she and Graham had taken over this room, and it showed. From the reading nook with a giant shelf of romance novels, to the framed picture of Hannah and Graham on the wall, it was much homier than it was before.

Hannah’s sister had flown in yesterday from LA for the wedding and proceeded to get shitfaced at the rehearsal dinner. Poppy tried to keep her under wraps so Hannah wouldn’t worry. But it’s kind of hard to hide a bridesmaid dancing on the bar, having to be wrangled into a car, and showing up the next morning in sunglasses still reeking of booze. Hannah was a bit of a planner, and a bridesmaid puking was definitely not in the plan. Meaning it was up to Poppy, as maid of honor, to babysit her.

Poppy’s family owned Smith’s orchard on the property next to the Glenn’s farmhouse. It was a staple of the community. Her brother had taken over operations after their grandfather passed away four years ago and was working to make improvements. Poppy, however, was still just trying to figure it all out, and with everyone around her settling down, she felt like she was running out of time.

Getting out of Mystic Falls was something Poppy had always wanted. She’d left for college, and even lived in the city for a while doing the whole starving artist thing. But she came back when her grandfather got sick and just never seemed to get enough steam to get anywhere after that.

But today was not a day to dwell on that, it was a day to celebrate Hannah and Graham's love, plus it was time to get ready. Poppy curled her long brown hair and braided two pieces on the side to pull back out of her face, then pinned some flowers into her hair. She then worked on Josie’s hair while she sipped her Gatorade. Hannah didn’t even ask, which Poppy was thankful for.

“I need to go to the bathroom,” Josie said, standing abruptly. She left quickly and shut the door behind her.

“How drunk was my sister last night?” asked Hannah.

Poppy had to laugh to herself. She should have known there would be no keeping a detail like a hungover bridesmaid from Hannah.

“She was ‘dancing on the bar’ wasted. Sam and Josh both had to wrangle her into the car. Then she slept on Sam’s couch, but don’t worry. I got it all under control,” Poppy said in her most reassuring tone.

“I know you do. Best maid of honor ever.”

“And don’t you forget it.” She put her hand up and Hannah slapped it a five.

“Not even a chance. I wanted to tell you.” Hannah turned from the mirror to face her. “Yesterday Graham and I made a little trip to the Ren Faire in town.”

“Oh yeah?” This piqued Poppy’s interest.

Hannah and Graham had a very interesting love story. Last year at the Renaissance Fair Hannah had bought a love spell from a vendor at the fair. Later that night, she performed the spell, not thinking it would work in any way, but the next morning when she awoke to Graham in her barn… from 1745. It had been quite a year for them, but they were a match. Poppy had never seen two people more in love or more suited for each other. It was like they both brought out the best in each other and they shared such a deep love. It was palpable to anyone who was around them.

Poppy would give anything to have a love like that. And if this was going where she thought it was going, she might just make her move to find a love like theirs.

“Yeah, we stopped by the tent of the Scottish witch and invited her to the wedding,” Hannah continued.

“Is she coming?” Poppy tried to sound calm, but she was screaming on the inside. She had wanted to make it to the fair to see if the witch was there to get a spell of her own, but on the weekend of her best friend’s wedding, there just hadn’t been time. But if the witch was indeed in attendance, Poppy was going to see if she could get a spell of her own. She wanted her own magical boyfriend. Maybe then she could finally start living her life, find a way out of Mystic Falls and stop feeling like there was something just out of her reach here in this small town.

“She said she would try,” Hannah said. “I still can’t believe our own story sometimes. However it happened I’m just grateful. I love him so much.” The last couple of words caught in her throat and her eyes got a little glassy.

Poppy reached out and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. “I know you do, and so does everyone who sees you two together.”

“That sounds like some good speech stuff right there, maid of honor,” she said trying to collect herself.

“Oh trust me, I got the speech in the bag.”

The door opened and Josie slipped back in. Even though her eyes looked watery and her breath smelled minty fresh, they all proceeded to get ready as nothing had happened.

Poppy slipped into her knee-length, emerald green dress. It hugged her curves and showed off her large chest. She fixed the daisy that was nestled in her hair and gave herself an appreciative once-over in the mirror. She looked good, and she knew it. Poppy was fat and was once self-conscious about her body. She had a big butt and a belly, but she also had a very large chest. Sometimes it was too large if she were being honest, but she learned to work with what she had been given. And with a best friend like Hannah, who you could share clothes with, it all seemed to work out.

There was a soft knock on the door. Hannah’s mother came in carrying the bride’s dress. Hannah slipped it on, and all three women turned and looked at her, all of them with tears in their eyes. It was a white knee-length gown, the top fitted and the bottom flowy with lots of sheer layers. She wore a beautiful sapphire pendant necklace that Graham had given her, and a beautiful crown of flowers sat atop her soft blonde waves. If anyone would have told Poppy last year that her urbanite best friend would be getting married on the farm wearing a flower crown, she would have laughed at you, but things changed when she found Graham.

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