DADDY'S GIRL • by Jennifer Tatroe

Marisa Tourneau booked her wedding planner the day she turned twenty-one. She would have done it sooner, but the rule of the house was, “Daddy’s Money, Daddy’s Timeline.” That meant no Sweet-Sixteen planning until each girl’s fifteenth birthday and no, absolutely no, wedding talk until they were old enough to drink. Daddy always said, “No one gets married until she can drink the champagne at her toast.” But of course that was ridiculous, because all three Tourneau girls had been drinking champagne since they were old enough to stir a mimosa.

As he signed the check, Mr. Tourneau asked, “Who’s the lucky man, again?” He’d more or less given up on keeping track of the steady stream of boyfriends the moment the parade of Sweet Sixteens began. 

Marisa rolled her eyes, “No one, Daddy. It’s just that Janelle St. James is impossible to get, so we have to book now if we even want to have a shot in a couple of years.”

“So… this means you won’t be getting married for two years?”

“At least. She’s booked solid for three.”

He smiled and signed the check with a flourish.

Thirty-six months later, the “lucky man” turned out to be a blond, blue-eyed snowboarder named John — a perfectly respectable name if his middle name hadn’t been Lennon. John Lennon Moorcock, and he always went by all three. Ms. St. James left no detail to chance. The flowers were grown locally in a hothouse run by world-reknowned horticulturists. The cake came with three Michelin stars. Five minutes before the ceremony, Marisa was sewn into her dress by a master tailor.

“How’s that work?” John Lennon Moorcock asked.

“Stress can make you lose weight. And you can gain from anything. From drinking too much water. This way, it’ll fit like a glove.”

“I mean for getting it off,” John Lennon Moorcock said.

“Oh that.” Marisa shrugged.

Honeymoon planning wasn’t part of Janelle St. James’s package, but she still had her connections, so she made it a point to present each prospective groom with a portfolio of options six months before the departure date. Any earlier, in her experience, the duty would slip the groom’s mind, and any later, the most exclusive destinations would be booked up.

John Lennon Moorcock accepted the folder with easy grace. “This is awesome. I totally know where we’re going.” He brushed a bleached lock away from his eyes. Marisa imagined him doing the same, shirtless, on a white sand beach.

He wanted to keep the destination a surprise, so she packed a little of everything — some high heels and slinky dresses, three bikinis, all the lingerie from the shower except the nightgown from Aunt Hester. At the last minute, she threw in a pair of running shoes, not sure she could break the habit, even for a week. He reminded her to bring her passport, so she tucked it into her carry-on along with the latest Vogue and her silk eye pillow.

They slept in the morning after, wild on champagne and 600-thread-count sheets and each other. He pulled the Jeep around to meet her. Ms. St. James had suggested they keep it locked it away from the best man and maid-of-honor, but they’d found it anyway and festooned it with tin cans and window-paint hearts. It was right. It was good. 

The inside was loaded with beef jerky and Cheetos.

“Road trip,” John Lennon Moorcock said. He smiled with straight, white teeth. “We are gonna pown Canada.”

Marisa Moorcock sighed, tossed her bag of bikinis in the back, and climbed in. “Daddy’s Money, Daddy’s Timeline.” Daddy always said, “No one gets divorced until there’s tarnish on the ring,” and Janelle St. James always insisted on platinum.

Jennifer Tatroe lives near Seattle with her husband and eight-year-old son. Her work has appeared in numerous venues across the internet and even, occasionally, in print.

This story was sponsored by
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