I heard Julie’s voice over the bar’s PA system and looked over to see her waving from the DJ booth. The DJ was wiping her trademark candy-apple red lipstick off the corner of his mouth. Oh Julie…she could charm anyone with a simple kiss.
Brandon and I were getting married in a week, after five years of dating, and Julie had insisted on taking me out for one last wild night on the town. She’s booked us a hotel in Brighton, where we’d first met. Julie and I started the day with pancakes at our old favorite diner. Then it was off to the spa for facials and matching mani-pedis. We hit a chick-flick matinee and had steaks for dinner. Now, we were at Moxie, our old college nightclub, dancing to Cyndi Lauper and Duran Duran. Julie struck a lot people as a shallow, good-time girl, but with the exception of Brandon, I couldn’t think of anyone I loved more.
But what was she doing in the DJ booth?
“All right, all you handsome boys out there, we’ve got a bit of a game for you. My best friend Libby is getting married tomorrow…” She paused for cheers and applause. A spotlight came up on me, and catcalls flooded my ears. “So here’s the deal. She’s got one kiss, one last bachelorette kiss, to give out to the highest bidder. Bids start at a buck, and all the money goes towards her honeymoon, so bid high! Head over to the bartender and he’ll take it all down, bidding stops when your money is spent! And…” She paused again. “The second highest bidder gets a kiss from the maid of honor!”
I wondered what my last kiss should be like. Closed-mouth? A little tongue? Full-on, backseat-of-dad’s-car-prom-night-frenching? I guess it depends on how much my lips went for…and how good-looking he was. For one second, the horror of having to kiss a sweaty slob in a grease-stained Metallica t-shirt for twenty bucks flashed through my brain. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. I didn’t want to be unfaithful to Brandon, after all, and if word got out that I kissed a guy on the eve of my nuptials, that might assure they never happen. I swallowed the rest of my champagne in a single gulp and looked around for the nearest exit.
“Julie,” I had to yell over the music even though she was only a few feet away. “I don’t think this is such a good idea…”
“We have a $1,000 bid on the bride-to-be!” the DJ announced.
Julie screamed and gripped my arm. My heart began to race. A thousand bucks for a kiss? Please let him be handsome, please let him be handsome, please let him be…
My fiance waved from the DJ booth, grinning. Tears welled up in my eyes; this was even more romantic than when he proposed to me , at sunset on my parent’s farm when we were home for my birthday. Never before had I loved him so much in a single rush of adoration.
I ran towards the DJ booth and Brandon met me halfway, sweeping me up in a passionate kiss. The spotlight came up on us and everyone cheered.
“How did you know we were here?” I asked.
“You didn’t really think Julie would let you kiss a frog, did you?” Brandon asked, holding me close.
“I would have kissed you for free,” I said, kissing him again.
“I’m afraid I’ll have to take you up on that offer,” he said. “I don’t have a thousand dollars.”
I felt my heart sink a little, but he knew just how to buoy me up. “I already spent it on our hotel upgrade.”
I knew my man would come through.
But the DJ wasn’t finished. “And our second highest bid, $200, Mr. Steven Chandler, let’s get you up here to kiss the maid of honor!”
Julie squealed when the lights came up on Steven Chandler. He was just her type; tall, with dark hair and sleek, muscled body, willing to spend money to impress her. Okay, so maybe Julie was a little bit shallow. But she’d arranged for me to have one of the greatest nights of my life and reaffirmed my love for my husband-to-be.
And Julie even brought Steven to the wedding.
–Libby Cudmore, New York
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