um so one of my drafts just disappeared completely. what the faaaaaak.
I remember being in the kitchen when Jake told me the news. Pouring a glass of water, no less, as he walked in dejectedly, looking upset. Before I could open my mouth to ask what was wrong, he told me.
“Tito’s gone,” he said.
I was in shock. Processing what he’d just told me. It was such huge news, and I never saw it coming. I completely forgot what I was doing, the water overflowing from my glass and spilling to the floor.
“How can he be gone?” I asked frantically, my voice high.
Jake shrugged. “He quit.”
“No...” I shook my head. “No. He can’t. He’s all we know.”
Let me backtrack for those who aren’t Red Sox fanatics. Terry Francona, aka Tito, had been the Sox manager for eight years. He’d known Jake longer than I had – he knew everything about him. The same went for all the team. He’d been there when I met Jake. He’d been there through everything. Jake saw him every day from March through November. He really was a father figure. And I knew that neither Jake or I could ever imagine anyone coming close to taking his place.
I knew Jake felt betrayed. Not only had the majority of the team given up, so had his manager. He was meant to help deal with the sting of the season that ended too soon, but instead he walked away. And now Jake just looked lost.
We sat down later to watch the press conference, and it was hitting him hard. He just stared at the TV, his eyes not full of life like they usually were. I didn’t know how to help him.
“Why does this shi.t keep happening?” he asked, resting his elbows on his knees and dropping his head down, cradled in his hands.
“I don’t know,” I murmured, rubbing his back.
“When do we get a break?”
I didn’t know that either.
That was Friday. On Saturday, he had to put on a happy face. Or at least a non-depressed one, as we made our way to my father’s office. He’d given us use of his best conference room for the morning – one that overlooked the whole city – as we interviewed wedding planners. Maybe a little excessive for some, but we really needed to weed out the bad ones.
The first hopeful came in, a ball of energy. Jake and I stood to shake her hand, and then we discussed the details. Or, rather, I discussed them, Jake sat there, staring at the table.
“We don’t want something small,” I said, “but discretion is obviously key for us. There are a lot of people who know that this wedding is happening, and probably quite a few who wouldn’t mind making themselves a part of it.”
“Got it,” she replied. “No wedding crashers, no paparazzi, no curious public?”
I smiled. “Right.”
She actually seemed alright – she was polite, but direct, and she understood what she wanted. But the problem came when we found out she’d only planned one wedding before – a small, regular one. And though Jake and I didn’t call ourselves famous, we had to be real about our status.
We were definitely reminded of it when we interviewed the next girl, who began gushing as soon as she took her seat.
“I’m just so excited that y’all are even interviewing me, I always read about you and see your pictures in magazines and I can’t believe I’m actually meeting you. I’m such a big Red Sox fan and I just idolise you, Daria, you have the best fashion sense and you’re so pretty...”
Jake and I looked at each other, thinking the same thing.
We went through the interviewees dejectedly. Too excited, not excited enough. Not focused, too cynical, too young.
Until we met Bridget.
She was writing things down in a notebook as we talked – the first girl to actually take notes. I was already impressed. And she read everything back to us once we’d finished.
“So it’s a big wedding in Vermont, but privacy is the most important thing to you. Daria is Catholic, Jake is Protestant, so you need to find a church to cater to that. You want the reception at a resort or mansion but you don’t want their catering or furnishings. There’s three bridesmaids and three groomsmen, the maid of honour is Emma and the best man is Matt. You want an Elie Saab dress but you’re going to Paris to check out others, and you want Tom Ford for all the men. And you’re honeymooning in Spain. Is there anything else?”
“We want Taylor Swift to sing,” I grinned. Bridget scribbled something in her notebook.
“She wasn’t serious,” Jake said.
Bridget smiled. “I’ll look into it anyway.”
After we said goodbye, I turned to Jake with wide eyes. “I love her. I love her so much, I want to get plastic surgery and attach her to my side so she can come everywhere with me and organise my entire life.”
“That’d be awkward in bed.”
“No Taylor Swift.”
“Yes, Taylor Swift!”
He rolled his eyes. “You’re such a girl, Daz.”
With everything that had happened, we needed to get out of Boston for a while. We knew that New York probably wasn’t the best place for Jake to be, but I needed to see my friends, and he didn’t want to let me go on my own. So after spending a day with my mother, who was looking sicker each time I saw her, we drove with Ash down to New York.
I’d called Bridget once we got there to let her know that we wanted to hire her, and we needed her to come to Vermont with us next week to look at places. She was grateful, but professional, and agreed to clear her calendar.
After we got settled, Jake and I headed to the rooftop of the apartment block to watch the sun set. It was cheesy, but I thought it might make Jake feel a little better. And maybe his spirits would be lifted even more as I climbed into his lap as he sat on a wooden recliner, kissing him softly.
“I love you,” I said, for about the thousandth time in my life. “I’d love you even if you sucked, but you don’t, and things are going to get better.”
“I know,” he sighed. “Thank God I have you.”
As he kissed me again, the door from the stairwell opened, and I heard heels clicking on the wooden deck. I didn’t care, my attention focused on Jake.
“Ugh, gross,” I heard a female voice say. When I finally tore my lips from Jake’s, I saw Karla, Ryan’s girlfriend, standing by the door, a pack of cigarettes in her hand.
“What’s your problem?” I asked.
God, I just didn’t care. I turned away from her and kissed Jake again, probably showing off a little. He pushed his hands up my skirt to annoy her even more, and we finally heard the door slam closed.
“Why do so many girls hate me? I’m a nice person.”
“I know,” Jake grinned, “but you’re better when you’re feisty.”
“Wanna go have obnoxiously loud sex to annoy her?”
Jake laughed. “Yeah, that’d be why girls hate you, Daria.”
[comment with 'bye tito’ if you read? does anyone even read these anymore?]