Frantic, Miffy dug through her purse, an over sized bag made of dried, stretched cow hide. It disgusted her, just how soft and comforting it felt. Animals being harmed for the shallow sake of fashion made Miffy’s stomach turn. Her nausea grew as she continued digging. Breathing through her surgically reconstructed nose, she focused the healing white light entering through the top of her head. Slowly, she exhaled through her silicone injected lips. Her cigarette trembled. That lighter had to be somewhere. Closing her eyes, Miffy tried channeling her inner power willing herself to be drawn to compact, silver Zippo.

Miffy put her car in drive, and pulled back into the parking spot. Parked, she reached over the center console, picking up her purse and forcing it between her perky implants and the steering wheel, giving the horn a little beep. From the time she had woken up she had been three places – Ben’s apartment, the studio, and the convenient store. The clock read 7:30 AM. She was supposed to be at the park by 8, and back on the road by 8:30, 8:45 the latest. She would call Ben as she left the park. She had an idea of what she wanted to say, but planned on practicing it on the drive East.

Staring down into the bag Mify tried to calm herself, at least enough to focus on finding that damn lighter. Miffy took out the largest items first – her makeup case, her travel toiletry kit, her bible, and her wallet. Dragging her hand around the bottom she found a handful of change, a few wrappers, but still no lighter. Miffy clapped the acrylic tips of her finger nails together. Her teeth clenched as resisted the urge to scream. Taking a small notepad from her bag Miffy ripped out a chunk of pages, tearing them into confetti. She opened the car door throwing the paper onto the pavement. The clock on her dashboard read 7:38 AM. She didn’t have time for this.

Miffy threw everything back into her bag, save her wallet. Leaving her car running, Miffy dashed inside and bought a small, white plastic BIC. While the cashier was counting the change Miffy lit her cigarette. A long plume of smoke reached out, wrapping around the cashier’s nose.

“Ma’am, you can’t -“

Snatching the change from the young man’s hand Miffy turned on her heel and exited the convenient store. Once back in her car, Miffy opened all the windows, turned on the vents to bring in fresh air, and starting making her way out to the park. Miffy killed the radio five songs and four cigarettes later as the station began to lose signal. Clearing her throat, Miffy flashed a fake smile across her face as she began, “Hi Ben, it’s me. Miffy.” She giggled a little then continued, “I know we’re not supposed to talk until the wedding later, but I just wanted to tell you how excited I am for today. Even though we booked me a room I ended up sleeping at the park. The only thing missing was you. See you later, Ben. I love you.”

Miffy played it back. It wasn’t right. She seemed distracted. “It’s that fucking lighter,” she said reprimanding herself. Sliding a new cigarette out of the pack, Miffy began again. “Hi Ben,” she giggled, “it’s me, Miffy. I know we’re not supposed to talk until the wedding later, but I just wanted to tell you how excited I am for today. Even though we booked me a room for last night, I had driven out to the park remembering when you asked me to marry you. It was so gorgeous I ended up camping out there last night. The only thing missing was you. See you at the alter. I love you.”

Better, she thought. Still, it needs work. Miffy looked at the clock, 7:58 AM. The park was another 10 minutes away. Flashing her biggest smile, Miffy pushed her voice through her tightened throat. Opening her eyes wide, she started from the beginning, “Hi Ben! It’s me, your almost wife!” Giggling, she continued, “I know it’s against the rules, but I’m so excited for today! Yesterday I drove out to the park. It was so romantic I ended up camping out instead. Don’t worry, I called the hotel already. They’re moving last night’s stay to the end of our stay instead!” Miffy giggled again. “The only thing missing last night was you, Ben. See you at the alter – eek. I love you!”

Miffy took a long drag of her cigarette. If she could do that again when she actually called Ben it would be the perfect voicemail from the perfect wife-to-be. Between rehearsing her speech and reviewing the plan the rest of the car ride flew by. Miffy rustled her hair and smudged her eye make up. If anyone ran into her, she would just be another camper taking a morning stroll. Popping in a piece of gum before getting out of her car, Miffy hummed to herself as she walked around the larger loop. She would return to her tent, pack up her stuff, dig up her phone, and send out a number of texts to her bridal party and her mom. She would pack up her car, call Ben on her way to the hotel and waiting patiently for breaking news that her fiancé was missing, potentially missing and murdered.

The wind rustled through the trees as Miffy walked down the path toward her tent. Andrew’s breath tickled her ear, “can we really do it?” His body was pressed against her own. His legs stacked on top of each other, the top tier of toes grazing her shin. Sitting up, his right arm traced the outline of her belly button. His face nuzzled into her hair. “Baby, we already did,” she said turning to face him. “And we’re getting away with it,” adding as rolled onto her side. Her left leg sliding in between his. Pleasure radiated through her body as she dug her pack from her her back pocket. Patting her pockets, a chill ran down Miffy’s spine as she pulled the small, white plastic lighter from her front pocket. They were going to get away with it, no matter where her Zippo might turn up.

Miffy pitched forward slightly, her cigarette dropping to the floor. Looking back a twig rocked back and forth. Fucking trees, she thought to herself. Regaining her composure Miffy saw her tent out ahead of her. She gave a quick look around, before squatting. Instead of unzipping her tent, she reached under and removed the Ziplock bag with her phone from the ground. Fidgeting with the zipper, Miffy finally got her tent opened. In a half dive, half crawl Miffy entered the tent without touching the ground. Miffy wiped the dirt from her hand on the sleeping bag nearby. Her eyes rolled as the flakes of earth smeared across her fingers. Of course she wanted to save the planet, all the best Influencers did, she just didn’t understand why it had to be so messy.

Her phone said 8:16 AM in big numbers across the front. Removing her phone from the baggie, Miffy opened her group conversation with her bridal party, “Good morning bitches & hoes… IM GETTING MARRIED TODAY!” Before anyone responded she began texting off things that had to get done, and which bridesmaid was in charge of doing them. Miffy had made it very clear early on that on her wedding day she wasn’t lifting a finger without assistance. Especially now that there would be no actual ceremony she certainly wasn’t going to put in effort. She had already done a lot of heavy lifting the night before. Andrew’s back flexed, his sweaty shirt clung to every movement. He whimpered as the handsaw snagged. Miffy reached forward tracing the edges of his muscles. He relaxed, taking a breath before flexing, forcing the saw forward. Her phone vibrated bringing Miffy back to the moment. Rebecca was “just the most excited” and couldn’t wait to “make it the most perfect day ever” for her “dear friend!”

Miffy smiled to herself as she finished typing out her text, “Leaving the park in a few – just HAD to sleep under the stars last night. Connecting to my moon mothers and charging my spiritual self xx Rebecca, grab us a starbies and meet me at the hotel at 9:10 sharp. YAY Team Bride” She began packing up the tent, taking great care to touch as much of the bedding and floor as possible. Before sliding her phone into her back pocket, Miffy looked once more at the time 8:25 AM. She would be back in her car en route to the hotel, probably just in time to have Rebecca help carry her bags inside for her. Cursing Ben’s name as she lugged the camping backpack to her car, Miffy sighed deeply as she popped her trunk open.

Taking a few moments to freshen up, Miffy waited for her phone to connect to her car. As she threw her car into reverse she began calling Ben’s cell. “Hi, you’ve reached the voicemail box of Ben. I can’t come to the phone right now, please leave a message and I’ll call you back… beep

“Hi Ben! It’s me, your almost wife!” Miffy giggled. Her opening scene in the first act of the rest of her life. And what a performance it was going to be!

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