Chapter 10 - Mothers' Meddling

When May told Emily she wasn’t able to get an appointment until this afternoon, she was hoping that would end this subject of conversation.  But no such luck because Emily went on to ask what she did for the entire morning.  May could sense something suspicious in her best friend’s tone and Daniel definitely caught his soon-to-be sister-in-law’s look.  He called it ‘The I’m Watching You Look’.
But May was never good at lying; so she refused to look at Emily.  "You know, my usual … just kept busy!"

Knowing her best friend expected to hear every single detail of her love life, May knew it was just a matter of time before Emily would force it out of her.  But she felt this was not the right time yet.  She figured Emily also had too much on her plate. As well, May wasn’t sure where this relationship was going, it seemed everything was happening too fast.

Then a voice broke through, again, out of nowhere.  "She took Daniel and me to that waterfront cafe for breakfast!"

Suddenly, all eyes turned to Alice.  Emily picked up on her sulky tone at once, and didn’t like the way Alice said the pronoun 'SHE'.  Alice’s statement also made it sound as if May was the third wheel, which Emily knew wasn’t the case.  She had noticed Alice’s sour expression towards May since Daniel was asked to sit next to his mother.  But Emily played it cool and cruel.  "Oh, you didn't get to play tag along with your parents?"

"Oh no!  Daniel made arrangement to take her out for breakfast this morning!"  Anna intercepted for her daughter and eyed Daniel coyly.  "Ever since you guys were kids, we all knew how you two would rather hang out with each other than to hang around with us old folks!"

Ethan being as innocent as ever gave a chuckle.  "Actually, Daniel and I hung out together, Alice just liked to tag along with us!"

May turned to Daniel and whispered.  "Seems like our plan failed!"

Daniel placed his arm around May's shoulder on purpose for Alice and her mother's sake. "Yeah, I should have been more forthcoming!  I knew I should have introduced you as my girlfriend!"

But Anna didn't get the hint.  "Daniel, do you have time to visit Whistler with us over the next three days?"

Before Daniel could respond, his mother and Emily spoke up at the same time.

"Ethan has a whole long list of things for Daniel to do before the wedding!"  Kate told her demoted good friend.

"Daniel won't have time to breathe starting tonight!"  Emily added.

Anna was about to say something but was interjected by Kate.  "He purposely moved here before the wedding to help out!"

"Gram is waiting for him to drive her down from Kelowna."  Emily wanted to emphasize how impossible it was for Daniel to be spending any time with Alice.  Then she turned and smacked Daniel in the arm.  "Don’t forget you have to fix my seating plan!"

Daniel felt like he was standing in the midst of shooting arrows and took a few seconds to take in what Emily said.  Then he nodded with a smile.

"Oh well, that's understandable."  Anna turned to her daughter.  "Alice, you’ve been to Whistler so many times, I’m sure you would rather stay here to help Daniel out.”

Instantly, four sets of voices around the table came forth, followed by a fifth set belonging to Mr. Carlson telling his wife not to make last minute changes to their travel itinerary.  Ethan and his Dad were encouraging Alice to go to Whistler and that Daniel wouldn’t be needing any extra help whereas Emily and Kate were saying it would be boring for Alice to stay behind as Daniel would be too busy running to appointments and picking up their guests from the airport.

Seeing how Daniel was nodding his head in agreement to everything that was said, Emily thought she would wrap up the conversation with this bit of hidden truth.  "I doubt Daniel would have free time for anyone when his girlfriend is around!"

Emily put her arms on May’s shoulders and drew her away from Daniel.  “Right, Daniel?”  When she saw Daniel's orbs growing wider, she added.  “Will you allow me to spend some time with your girlfriend before the wedding?”

But before Daniel could respond, Alice gasped aloud in utter shock.  "Girlfriend?!  You mean Gillian is coming to the wedding?!"

This time, no one answered on his behalf.  There was a sudden hush around the table as all eyes turned to look at Daniel.  May felt bad for him, but there was nothing she could do.  By the silence around the table, it was clear Gillian was Daniel's ex-girlfriend.  She wondered if everyone knew of the pregnancy prank Gillian pulled.  She looked at Daniel and she could tell he was determined to let the conversation take its own destiny.
 
"Daniel, I thought you and Gillian broke up months ago?  When did you two get back together?"  Anna finally asked with disappointment in her tone.

While all eyes were still on Daniel, he sat back once again and gave May an eyebrow grin and she knew he wasn't going to answer Mrs. Carlson’s question, or that of Alice's.  He was just going to let them think whatever they wanted. 

Kate was taking a sip of tea from her cup when she caught the grin her son gave to May.  So she calmly placed her cup down and addressed her soon-to-be crossed off long-time friend.  "Oh Anna, you said it yourself many times!  There is no way of telling how young people think these days!  One minute they break up, the next minute they make up.  Randy and I can’t keep up with who he’s dating or not dating anymore.  We just stay out of his love life these days!”

When Daniel noticed Alice was busy with Anna, he nudged his mother’s elbow and gave her a 'you are such a liar' grin.  "Just three nights ago, you warned me not to get involved with her!"

"And I'm glad you STILL listen to me!"  His mother whispered back.  "And I want to know everything about you and May!"  Then she gave him an 'I mean business' glare to which he threw back his head and chuckled aloud.

As if trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, Alice suddenly shot forth the most unexpected question out of nowhere.  Again!  "So when will Gillian be here?"

Once again, Emily put her arm around May’s shoulder and whispered under her breath.  "Such a Dumbo!" 

Then she turned to Alice and beamed her Colgate smile, the forced one.  "I never said anything about Gillian!"  Then she gave May a nudge to prepare her for impact.  "I was talking about May.  I thought you had breakfast with the two love-birds!"

Silence fell around the table as all movement of heads stopped to look at the couple.  Then total dead silence fell and May turned to look at Emily with questioning eyes.
Emily let out a dramatic sigh and shook her head.  "They must have kept it a secret again!" 

She turned and looked at May and Daniel.  "I told you two not to be so secretive!"

Emily was waiting for Alice and Anna to show signs of finally getting the message when she felt a hard tapping on her right shoulder.  Then she got an under-the-table smack on her lap from May and an elbow nudge from Ethan.  She ignored them.

A few weeks ago, Daniel told Emily how annoying he found Alice's relentless pursuit over the last few months.  She advised him the only way to send the message across was to say he was seeing someone already, even if he wasn’t.  However, Daniel refused to come to such demise.

As the turns of events took place, Emily decided it was time to take this up another notch.  She said to Alice and Anna.  "As you know, Daniel is Ethan's Best Man and May is my Maid of Honor!  Who knows?  My best friend might one day become my sister-in-law if the Best Man played his cards right!"

Emily didn’t expected Daniel's rebuttal to come so quickly.  Most of all, she wasn’t expecting an affirmation from Daniel so soon.  "Right, that's if you don't scare her off first!  Just don’t leave me with no more cards left to play!"

That earned him a few chuckles around the table, even from May herself.  The news seemed to bring delight to everyone around the table except for Alice and Anna.  As expected.

“Did you tell her?”  May whispered to Daniel.  

He shook his head. 

“You told Ethan?”  She asked again.

Daniel shook his head again.  Then he noticed Emily had her head down and was typing on her cell phone with deep concentration.  He made a gesture for May to look at Emily.  “I think she’s bluffing!”

Then Daniel turned to look at his mother who defended her innocence immediately.  "I swear I never said a word to her!"

Daniel’s cell phone that was sitting on the table lighted up and a notification came in.  Kate recognized the sender, so she pressed on the icon.  After reading the message, his mother said to him.  "See?  I told you!"

Daniel's father saw Kate looking at the cell phone.  "Daniel got a message?"

"Yes, from his Fairy Godmother!"  His wife told him.

Daniel chuckled and picked up his cell phone.  He nudged May's elbow and showed her the message.

D-Boy you owe me big time!

Then May’s cell phone chimed as well.  She took it out from her purse and read the message with Daniel.

Little-B, thanks for playing along and sorry I made you the scapegoat.  I owe you one!

After May read the text, she immediately texted her back to meet in the Ladies' Room.  NOW!  When they got there, Emily started her chain of apologies.

"Emily, I didn't ask you to come here because I wanted your apologies!"  May finally spoke up.

"You didn't?"  Emily pretended to sound surprised.  "Then why did you make me come in here?"

May turned around to face the mirror.  "I have something to tell you!"

Emily also turned to look at her in the mirror.  She pretended to study May for a few seconds before letting a coy smile escaped her lips.  "Does it have anything to do with the Best Man?"

"How did you know?"  May gasped. 

Emily raised her arms and made an exaggerated gesture to thank the Lord above.  Then she came back to earth and faced her friend.  "Okay!  Since you didn't try to keep this from me, I will not hold it against you.”

“Okay.”  May was trying to understand if her best friend had gone crazy.  She was still puzzled.  “Who told you?” 

Emily flashed a big triumphant smile.  “I saw the two of you at the park, you guys were so lovey-dovey!  So when did this all start?"

May tried to envision what Emily might have seen.  But before she could say anything, Emily pulled her in for a hug.  "I am so happy for you guys!   Who would have guessed?!  Ethan’s Best Man and my Maid of Honor!"

"But I'm not his girlfriend!"

"You’re not?"  Emily released May from her hug. 

“I haven’t said yes to him yet!”  May explained.

“Why not?"  Emily asked.  But then her smile became bright.  “You two are perfect for each other!”

May’s heart couldn’t help but be on Cloud 9 because Emily’s joy was so exuberant, but her brain brought her back to earth.  "How can you say that?!  It’s only been two days since we met up again!"

"Yeah, but you guys knew each other since high school!"  Emily was still very optimistic.

"I don't know if things will work out between us!"  May’s brain won the battle and sent her heart back to earth as well.  "His mother once told me to stay away from him!” 

"Kate adores you!"  Emily’s hearing went off to outer space after May mentioned Daniel’s mother.  “She adores you!  Looks to me she was protecting Daniel from Alice so he could sit with you!”

Though today was the first time May met Ethan’s mother, she had always known Emily has a really wonderful relationship with her.  She wasn’t about to burden the bride-to-be with things from her past.  But she did tell Emily the entire story of how Daniel wanted to be acquitted from being a liar and how she ended up being his ‘date’ in hope that Alice would leave him alone and move on.

When they were about to return to the luncheon, Emily gave her another hug.  “You will say ‘Yes’ eventually!  I think you two are a great match for each other!"

When they stepped out from the Ladies' Room foyer to the hotel's corridor, they were met by someone they were absolutely not expecting to see.

"May!"

May came to a sudden halt and asked with a shaken voice.  "What are you doing here?!"