I was in Vegas for my best friend’s bachelorette party. I was never allowed to go anywhere — my husband and I were barely making it paycheck to paycheck, the curse of being married too young and being dumb to know how to save any money.
But Leah was my best friend, so I managed to convince Ben that he should let me go. I had to share a hotel room with four other girls, but it was worth it to get away from Ben. Don’t even ask me why I got married at 23. I couldn’t even remember why I once thought that was a good idea. Now I was 28 and felt like an old lady.
The bachelorette party was in a swanky restaurant and we were all dressed right on the edge of sluttiness. I had on a neon yellow one-shoulder dress that I loved and I was trying my best to relax.
My problem was the other girls. Leah had invited 20 girls and most of her other friends were grating on my nerves. They took too much time in the bathroom, they were too loud and their conversation veered from 50 Shades of Grey to the best place to buy leggings. I needed a drink and it was only 9 p.m.
Leah looked gorgeous. She was wearing a sleek smoke-colored silk cocktail dress with the right amount of sparkly accessories. Leah was always an eye-catcher, but tonight she was glowing. And her laugh was contagious.
A few minutes after we were seated at a long table in a private alcove, two guys were eyeing Leah from the entrance to the restaurant. One looked vaguely familiar. They kept looking and looking until one of them finally decided to walk toward our table.
The other girls started whispering. Then the whispers turned to squealing.
"What are you celebrating tonight?" he said with a wild hand gesture and a big smile.
I was far away at the other end of the table, so I had to struggle to hear over the din of the restaurant. I watched as he started posing for photos with the girls and had his hands all over Leah’s arms and back. They were fawning all over him and bragging about our special bachelorette trip to Vegas — as if he cared. After he demanded it, Leah showed him her engagement ring and he pretended to be impressed, clapping his hands together and kissing her hand.
I knew him. Of course I did. But he was more beautiful in person — prettier than any man had the right to be. He looked like he just came from a red carpet, or he was heading there. I couldn’t really get a good look, and I was still starstruck. As he got closer to my side of the room, I felt flush with nerves. I certainly wasn’t going to be like the others and just say “hey, let me take a selfie with you.” No way.
"I just wanted to come say hi because you girls look like you know how to have a good time. I’ll send something over, what do you want?" He waved one hand dramatically towards a waiter while he checked his phone and typed a text with the other.
I looked him up and down and up and down again. It was a running joke between me and my husband that I never found men attractive. He would point to guys on the street or even on T.V. and ask me if they were hot, and I’d always say “ehhh…no.” That guy’s nose was too big, this one was too muscle-y, that one had bad teeth. I was never impressed.
But right now, I was impressed. Beyond impressed. I had just learned that he was my personal version of perfection.
I wanted to run away from the table.