Faith obliged. “I feel bad about that. Don’t you want to have a wedding the way you always dreamed about? It’s not like getting married in a year would really change anything between you and Sawyer if you’re both so sure you want to be together forever.”

Piper had suspected Faith was not in favor of the timing of things. “That’s true, but I also think—why wait? What is really going to be different in a year? I’ll be able to fit in a better dress? That’s not the point of what we’re doing. We’re getting married because we want to be committed.”

“Commitment is a daily act, it’s not something you agree to once and then it’s over with,” Faith argued.

“I know. The day is simply symbolic. I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree.”

Faith was about as confrontational as Piper. She let it go and left the room so Piper could change. Piper tried not to let her thoughts linger on Faith’s point, but failed. What she couldn’t tell her future sister-in-law was that she feared Sawyer would change his mind if she waited. She believed him when he said he only wanted to get married once. If they did it now, he’d stay committed to her. If they put it off, she might lose her only chance.

None of this was ideal, but it was as good as Piper was going to get. She wanted her son to have two married parents. They bought the dress and headed back to the car.

Downtown Grass Lake consisted of one main road. Piper thought it was adorable. There was a theater with a big marquee announcing the one movie being shown there, a hardware store with a couple of rocking chairs outside where two old men sat and greeted customers as they came and went, and then there was Harriet’s Flower Shop, with a window full of roses in every color on display.

“Should we stop in and say hi to Harriet?” Piper asked, pushing the door open before Faith could answer. A bell chimed, and the fragrant smell of hundreds of flowers hit her all at once.

“Maybe we shouldn’t,” Faith said, chasing after her.

“Oh.” Piper hadn’t meant to assume Faith had the time to kill. As she turned to leave, her eyes connected with the woman behind the counter. Sawyer’s mom.

“Well, it must be family and friends day,” Gretchen said. “Don’t worry, I promise I don’t bite. You okay? You’re pale as a ghost.”

Piper felt a bit light-headed and her heart pounded. “I—”

“She didn’t know you were staying here. We’re going to go,” Faith said, gently pulling Piper toward the door.

“Don’t leave on my account. Your brother came in and informed us there’s a wedding to plan. You must be running around checking things off your list. Buy a dress—check. Order flowers—check. Trap a man into marriage by getting knocked up—check.”

“Mom, stop,” Faith pleaded.

“He’s not ready to get married. You said so yourself, Faith.”

Piper wanted to run away, but her legs wouldn’t move.

“Sawyer and Piper are adults who get to make their own choices,” Faith said. “It’s not our place to tell them what to do or to judge them.”

“What kind of trouble are you getting yourself into now?” Harriet came out of the back room with a roll of pink tulle. She stopped short when she noticed Piper. “Oh, boy. What are you doing bringing the poor girl here?” she asked Faith.

“I couldn’t grab her fast enough.”

“You all act like I am going to hurt the girl,” Gretchen complained. “I don’t want to hurt her, I want her to stop making plans to hurt my son. Is that too much to ask?”

“We’re going to go,” Faith said, resuming their retreat.

“I’ll be by the house later today to make some arrangements for the wedding out of the flowers on the bus,” Harriet said. “Everything will be beautiful, I promise, Piper.”

“Thank you,” Piper managed to mumble. Faith got her out of the store before Gretchen could make her feel any worse.

They walked in silence to the car. Piper’s head was spinning with a million questions. She spun her engagement ring around and around. “Do you agree with your mom?” she finally asked.

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