Girlfriends (Patrick Sanchez)

BOOK: Girlfriends (Patrick Sanchez)
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Praise for the novels of Patrick Sanchez!

GIRLFRIENDS

 

“Grab your girlfriend and read
Girlfriends
. Who knows what will happen!”

Rita Mae Brown,
New York Times
bestselling author

 

 

THE WAY IT IS

 

“A witty tale about single women searching for friendship, unconditional love and the perfect dessert.”

Booklist

 

“Lots of drama and truly hilarious moments make this a fast, enjoyable read that readers will devour!”

RT Book Reviews

 

 

TIGHT

 

“A frank comedy of manners that exposes both the highs and lows of the modern quest for youth and beauty.”

Kirkus Reviews

 

 

ONCE UPON A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

 

“The writing is brisk, and the emotional undertones treat nicely the ups and downs of life, love, children and aging parents.”

Publishers Weekly

Books by Patrick Sanchez

GIRLFRIENDS

 

THE WAY IT IS

 

TIGHT

 

ONCE UPON A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

 

 

 

And don’t miss

 

MURDER WITH FRIED CHICKEN AND WAFFLES
the first book in the Mahalia Watkins Soul Food Mystery series coming soon!

 

 

 

Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Girlfriends

Patrick Sanchez

KENSINGTON BOOKS
Kensington Publishing Corp.
http://www.kensingtonbooks.com

All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.

Table of Contents

Praise for the novels of Patrick Sanchez!
Books by Patrick Sanchez
Title Page
Dedication
ACKNO WLEDGMENTS
Always the Bridesmaid
Princess Charming in a World of Toads
Booty Call
Perky Cheerleaders
Sorry-Assed Chick
Cheap Wine, Lucy, and Sex
Obligations
Girls with Flair
We Meet Again
The Personals
Immediate Regret
Blue Sundays
Passing on a Milky Way
Name Tags
Another Short, Pudgy Man for Gina
Diving Right In
Mr. Right
Busted
Bedside Manners
The Life of the Party
Responses
Commiserating
Change of Heart
Reprimanded
The Stakeout
Malling
Dalump
A Family That Eats Together . . .
Super Cooper
He Works Hard for the Money
Responsible Pet Owners
Jerks
Latin Strangers
Medication Money
No Big Deal
The Ole MJ
The Wild Side
Pizza Pizza
Unsolicited Advice
Hijahh!
Welcome to the Hood
Girls Night Out
The Circus Comes to Town
The Naked Truth
Salon Talk
Ten Years Later
Afflicted
A Ride Home
Opening the Candy Store
The Truth Comes Out
Another Morning After
Strictly Business
The One
Plotting Revenge
Lady with a Baby
It’s a Small World After All
Trying to Look Busy
Rock Bottom
Up to No Good
Testing Day
Post-testing Drinks
Family Planning
Screwed by the Same Man
Pretty Girl
Caught in a Lie
Blast from the Past
Husband
Fill ’Er Up
Must Think of Linda
And the Results Are In
The Mad Pooper
The Birthday Boy
Wench
Hot Stuff
Talk Show
Feeling Like an Absolute Heel
Six Hundred a Month
Settling the Score
Epilogue
Welcome to Mahalia’s Sweet Tea!
Copyright Page

To my late grandfather, Allison Herbert,
who will always be my hero

ACKNO WLEDGMENTS

Much thanks and gratitude to:

 

My parents, Patricia and Guillermo Sanchez. My three sisters, Donna, Maria, and Laurie. My extended family, Cal, Paul, Allison, Helen, Caroline, and CJ. My grandmother, Bertha Herbert and my Uncle Murry.

My editor, John Scognamiglio: For appreciating my sharp (some might say caustic) sense of humor, being a genuinely nice guy, and helping me take my manuscript to a higher level.

Yvette Chisholm: For always coming through for me, being knowledgeable about virtually everything, and all your wonderful ideas for this book.

Steve Stark: For all your tips, advice, and guidance, but mostly, for being the first person to tell me that I might actually have something here.

Karla Mahoney: For helping out a complete stranger and doing more than just proofreading my manuscript.

Tony Smith: For creating my Web site.

William Sloan: For crafting such a fantastic cover.

Wendy Corsi Staub: For doing a great job with the cover copy.

Johanna Tani: For doing a super job copyediting my manuscript.

All my current and former colleagues at ValueOptions.

The following individuals for helping out in one way or another through friendship, support, encouragement, inspiration . . . or proofreading: Jennifer Amato, Dorothy Barry, Jennifer Carroll, Whitney Clark, Tony Curtis, Lucia Ferguson, Teresa Glaze, Mike and Kerri Gray, James and Mindy Harrington, Barry Hirsch, Lyn Laparan, Mary McDonald, Andrea Newsome, Cindy Ostrowski, Jim Palumbo, Angela Perri, Joe Russell, Tasha Tillman, Holly Tracy, Alev Volkan, and Sandy Wells.

And, most important, to everyone who takes a chance on me and buys this book. I’d love to hear from you at
author [email protected]
and please check out my Web site at
www.patrick-sanchez.com
.

Always the Bridesmaid

G
ina Perry was uncomfortable in the hard church pew. Damn Catholics, she thought. Their weddings are just too fucking long. She’d take a quickie Protestant or Jewish ceremony over this foolishness any day. And what was the deal with all that kneeling and standing and kneeling again? If she’d known there was going to be a whole Mass along with the wedding ceremony, that would’ve done it—she definitely wouldn’t have come. And to top it all off, Linda didn’t show. At least as far as Gina could tell, Linda wasn’t there. The church was so damn packed, Linda may have been somewhere in the crowd, but Gina wasn’t able to find her.

Gina’s mind wandered a little while a friend of the groom’s read the Bible story about God taking Adam’s rib to create Eve, blah, blah, blah. She’d heard it too many times over the last few years as, one by one, virtually all her friends took the plunge and became MOHs (married old hags). It was like all her friends had joined a club that she couldn’t. She didn’t even see most of them anymore. She hated going out with couples and feeling like a third wheel. It had been nearly ten years since high school, a fact she was recently reminded of when she received the invitation to her reunion a few weeks earlier. She couldn’t believe ten years had gone by already, nor could she believe that virtually all her friends had gotten married, and some had even started families.

The classic church was decked out in white and pink roses—white and pink roses on the altar, white and pink roses in the sanctuary, white and pink roses on every windowsill in the God bless-ed church. Earlier, when Gina spotted the bridesmaids getting out of the limo, she was quite taken aback. They were all wearing pink dresses (the same shade of pink as the roses) with white bows on the sleeves and a big white bow on the bustle. Penelope had asked Gina to be a bridesmaid, but Gina couldn’t bear being the bridesmaid one more time. She had enough pastel puffed-sleeve dresses in her closet to clothe a cross-dressing army, and she wasn’t eager to add to the depressing collection. Besides, she was tired of being paraded down church aisles looking like Glenda, the Good Witch. She just lied to Penelope and made up a lame excuse about how she was out of vacation time and wasn’t sure if she would be able to get off from work the day of the wedding.

The whole idea of Penelope having a church wedding was so ridiculous. Penelope barely knew Jesus Christ from Jesus Jones. But, like many of Gina’s wedded friends, who hadn’t stepped foot in a church in years, Penelope suddenly returned to her Catholic roots when she needed a place to have her wedding ceremony.

The entire scene should have been unbelievably tacky, but to Gina’s surprise, the pink-and-white display was stunning. It was a pleasant summer morning, and the pastel colors gave the church a soft, warm feel, which just added to Gina’s disgust with the whole thing. Penelope had been a good friend to her, and Gina really did care for her, but Gina couldn’t help wishing some disaster would happen. Maybe Penelope would get overly nervous and vomit all over her wedding gown. Or, better yet, Donny would have second thoughts right in the middle of the ceremony and walk off. That way, at least Gina wouldn’t be the only straight girl she knew without a relationship.

Gina looked around and saw couples everywhere. She seemed to be the only single person in the church.

God! There is nothing more pathetic than a dateless girl at a wedding, Gina thought to herself as a middle-aged woman slid into the pew next to her. The woman was wearing a tight navy blue skirt and a cropped sleeveless top. She looked old beyond her forty-six years. With her thin, dry hair, raspy voice, and fine lines all over her face, she could have easily been the poster child for an antismoking campaign. Fresh from the salon, her hair was an even brassier shade of auburn than usual.

“Shirley,” Gina whispered. “Why are you so late? You probably should have stayed in the back until the ceremony is over.”

“I had a hair appointment. It took forever. Did I miss anything?”

“Just the whole wedding.”

“Good. Weddings are a drag. Just show me the way to the open bar.”

“Mother!” Gina droned. The only time Gina called Shirley “Mother” was when she was aggravated with her.

As the service came to a close, Gina contemplated going home and skipping the reception. She was considering potential excuses as she watched Penelope and Donny glide arm in arm down the center aisle while joyous music blared from the church organ.

Gina followed the crowd outside. The wedding party had already scampered around to the rear of the church and back inside to begin taking pictures. With Shirley in tow, Gina walked toward her car after giving one final sweep for Linda. She sat in the car, trying to decide what to do. She wasn’t thrilled about going to the reception with just Shirley, looking like the only escort she could get was her mother. Not that Shirley was Gina’s escort at all. Shirley was chums with almost all of Gina’s friends, at least the ones Gina would let her get near, and was an invited guest as well. Shirley certainly lacked maternal inclinations, but she was always good for a few laughs at a high school slumber party or college barbecue.

BOOK: Girlfriends (Patrick Sanchez)
3.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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