Ivy sat on her bunk bed in the girls sleeping hall of AG Farms. She was listening to her gymnastics routine music, making sure that she knew the beat and where all her tricks went and when. Well, even though she didn't want to admit it, she was also listening to some of her own music that had nothing to do with her upcoming gymnastics routine.
"Ugh," Ivy sighed in frustration. "This tempo is so hard. Maybe I need to rest my mind and have some fun." With that, Ivy turned on the music she preferred; a classical Mozart symphony paired with a nice old song.
The phone wasn't necessarily blasting, but ITunes was ready to break down with the amount of different music Ivy was switching to and from. That is what she'd been doing for half of the morning.
Just then, unknown to Ivy, Payton walked into the bedroom.
"Ivy?" Payton tried calling; it was no use. The music was just too loud.
Payton grabbed the phone and pressed the pause button on ITunes.
"Hey, what was that for, Payton?" Ivy asked, "I was listening to my song for gymnastics."
"It didn't sound like gymnastics to me!" Payton replied, "Anyway though, we just got today's mail. There's something in it for you - a pale blue envelope if that means anything."
"A pale blue envelope?" Ivy replied in a question. "The only thing I remember is that my aunt used to have stationary that was pale blue. I think she finished off that stationary pack years ago, though. I'm too busy right now. Would you bring me the letter?"
"No, Ivy. I have to get off to practicing basketball with Julie. She's seriously worried about not making the team this year. After all, there will be nearly 200 kids trying out - boys and girls."
Ivy collected the pale blue envelope from the mail table in the main house's front entry and then threw it onto the nightstand. She had songs to listen to - she'd deal with it later.
Later that day (nearly an hour later), Samantha came in to do something. Sitting on the top bunk, she fiddled around with a little wallet and seemed to be counting to herself.
"What are you doing?" Ivy asked.
"I'm counting up my money - I really want a new American girl doll. So far I have $55 saved up. That's nearly half of what I need. The bad thing is - it took me nearly five months to save this much up."
"You'll get there," Ivy assured her. "Which doll do you want?"
"I don't know. I think I want the Julie doll."
"Ivy, do you know what the blue envelope lying there is? I've never seen it before. Is it a letter to you?"
"Oh!" Ivy cried, "I completely forgot! Here, let me open it."
Ivy reached down from her top bunk and grabbed the envelope and began to rip the sealing back carefully.
"A heart card!" Ivy exclaimed, "How cute! It looks homemade too!"
"What does it say inside?" Samantha wondered.
Ivy began to read to herself.
Hello Dearest Ivy,
it is my pleasure to invite you to be the junior bridesmaid in my wedding, this August 31, 2014. Please RSVP at: IvyPie@gmail.com.
We love you and request your family's presence at my wedding to Owen J. Burke.
Ivy suddenly screamed in excitement and surprise.
"What is it?" Asked Samantha, who was now brushing out her hair in front of the vanity.
"Here, let me read it to you," Ivy smiled, jumping down from the bed.
"Her name is Ivy Ling?" Samantha asked once Ivy was done reading the letter.
"Yep - I'm her namesake. She's my Mother's sister and I was named after her."
"I never knew that!" Samantha smiled, "That's cool that you're going to be a junior bridesmaid in the wedding!"
"What is it?" Jasmine came in to Samantha and Ivy jumping up and down in excitement.
"Ivy's going to be a junior bridesmaid."
"For who's wedding?"
"My Aunt Ivy's. I have to go talk to my mom. I need to see if she knows anything about this! She hasn't let on if she has. Talk to you two later!" Ivy dashed off with that and Jasmine and Samantha were left alone.
"We need to make this the best wedding ever for Ivy and her aunt. We need to make it super fun, exciting, and magical!" Jasmine gushed, already beginning to plan out ideas in her head. "Wow, a junior bridesmaid."
"That's so cool!" Samantha agreed, "Why don't we go shopping for accessories for Ivy once we find out what dress she's wearing. We can be like her fairy godmothers!"
With that, the girls set off to connive.
The next morning, Ivy got news from her mother that they were going to meet Aunt Ivy to go dress shopping. Ivy was allowed to take two friends; the amount of friends that could fit into the backseat of the car without having to double buckle.
"Jasmine, do you want to go dress shopping with my aunt and I? Can Samantha come too? I know how much you two are excited about this - it's only fair that I choose you two to come."
"Thank you! I'll go get Samantha - I know she's free today."
The girls were shortly pulling up into the mall parking lot where they saw a nice Chinese woman who resembled Ivy somewhat, was standing by the entrance right at the curb. Mrs. Ling let all three girls off and drove away, promising to pick them all up in time for Ivy's gymnastics meet.
"OH Ivy!" Aunt Ivy cried out, hugging her. "I missed you so much from the last time I saw you." Aunt Ivy had met up with Ivy on 4th of July, so the had nearly spent two months away from each other. That was a long time for them.
Aunt Ivy, who was SO SO SO nice, hugged Jasmine and Samantha as well.
"Samantha, Jasmine, I remember you two as the great connivers at the 4th of July party." Aunt Ivy smiled and hugged them both tightly. Jasmine and Samantha exchanged a secret smile. They had done a great job both with the 4th of July parade and the party afterwards. They were glad that Aunt Ivy was recognizing that.
Once they got to the bridesmaid shop, Aunt Ivy began to chat while Ivy stood back and looked at the elegant but pricy displays.
"I am having a wedding and I need something that is red and white." Aunt Ivy told her firmly. "I am having a somewhat traditional wedding and I need the perfect bridesmaid dresses."
"There is this red one," The salesperson gestured towards a red dress that just looked way too flashy.
"No. No. NO." Aunt Ivy told her firmly once more, "I need something traditional."
Ivy and the salesperson went into the back and she showed some clothing to Ivy who gladly tried it all on. She was pretty excited about being the bridesmaid.
Ivy tried out the first dress but got bad comments from the "gallery". The black scotty dog charm just wasn't good for the wedding - it would be the only black in the wedding. (except for the hair of course)
Next, Ivy tried on a red jumper. It was truly beautiful, and it won over Aunt Ivy. But they needed to find a suitable white blouse to go underneath it.
"Here are our plain white blouses," the salesperson showed them over to the display of plain white blouses, "The rest of the blouses have tiny accents that I cannot imagine will go with the wedding."
Soon, a shirt and dress were picked out and everyone was on their way home. Ivy had to get to an important gymnastics meet.
They had to stop at the food court first though, and they all eagerly ordered up cupcakes, smoothies, a sandwich and ham sandwich kabobs. It was a feast for all of them.
The next night, about an hour before the rehearsal dinner, Ivy lay in her bed. She was just sort of staring out, not moving or doing much. She had a little blue clip in her hair that was sweeping back her bangs.
When Jasmine came in, she knew that something was not right. Ivy was lively and always a great, exciting person to be around. But now, she was barely even blinking. "Ivy?" Jasmine asked her uncertainly, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, uh, huh," Ivy smiled quickly. Even Jasmine could tell it wasn't a real smile, though.
Then, Samantha entered the room and came up behind the now sitting Ivy. "We went shopping for you, Ivy," Samantha smiled, bounding with excitement.
"We got these shoes for you. We weren't sure what you would think - but we know you always like wild outfits and these shoes just screamed "Ivy take me!" Samantha giggled and Ivy smiled weakly.
"We also got you a bow - nearly matching the one that your aunt was wearing when she took us shopping the other day. You two can match in the wedding if she chooses to wear her bow!"
"Thank you, Sam," Ivy smiled, "I need to take some time to nap now. I really do feel tired and worn out from today. Thank you two for going shopping for me. You two really are thoughtful."
"Your welcome!" the two girls chorused as they exited the room.
Later that night, Samantha was sleeping. She woke up though, to the sound of a strange noise. It was sort of like sniffling.....it had to be...crying? Who was upset? Why was anyone crying.
"Oh why did I read those ghost mysteries?" Samantha sighed to herself. She was nearly scared to move an inch. Suppose it was a crying ghost!?
In the corner of her bed, Ivy sat against the wall. Samantha shone her flashlight in a dim setting and approached the not-so-ghostly girl.
"Ivy, is everything okay?" Samantha asked worriedly.
Ivy continued to stare at the wall; motionless and speechless.
"Really, Ivy, what is wrong?" Samantha's eyebrows creased into a genuinely worried frown.
"I can't do the bridesmaid thing tomorrow. It was already nerve-wracking at the rehearsal dinner and that wasn't all the people."
"But you never get stage fright!" Samantha told her.
"Well............I've not been in the spotlight ever since my.........my fall off the balance beam last month. I can't go in front of the entire family. I just can't! I want to be brave, but I hate being in the spotlight now!"
"You shouldn't hate that!" Samantha told her, "They've all forgotten that - and besides, even Olympian gymnasts fall. Remember when we watched it a few years ago?"
"I guess," Ivy sighed weakly as a tear rolled down her cheek.
"Here, you are too upset. Let me sleep with you," Samantha and Ivy buried down together and they slept together enjoying the company of their friendship.
The week, before the wedding, Ivy refused to leave the room. She sat with her head against the bunk bed and just tried to block everything out - even her thoughts.
"I'm not going! NO WAY!" Ivy started screaming at Samantha as soon as she even entered the room.
"Don't yell at me, Ivy!" Samantha told her, "I am just trying to help and don't say you don't want my help because you need it. You don't want everything you need."
"I'm too scared." Ivy admitted.
Just then, Aunt Ivy entered. "Jasmine told me everything," she whispered to Ivy. "I love you. You have no need to be scared of being in my wedding. Uncle Owen and I are going to love you even if you tripped and had to crawl down the aisle!" Aunt Ivy laughed, getting a giggle out of Ivy. "You must be in our wedding. Follow me," with that, Ivy took her hand in not exactly an eager fashion, but not a reluctant one either, and the two of them walked down the hills of AG Farms and into the wedding place.
Ivy was later preparing at her end of the aisle. It was right at sunset, so it was barely even light out. She looked over and walked down the aisle and saw her friends' smiling faces in the crowd. Ivy was so happy that she had gotten over her fears. She was making her Aunt Ivy happy and she would never let her down.
Then, the wedding ceremony finished up and in the last rays of light, they said their vows.
It was the best wedding ever and they couldn't have done it without Ivy.